Making your own engineering prints for your walls.

This is it. My favorite time of the year. Yes, I know that’s a bold statement, but it truly is. The time when all of my Christmas decor comes down and I get a fresh start on my decorating.

I decided I wanted something simple that involved my little loves and their smiling faces. So why not put a giant photo of each of them on the wall?

Here they are! Beautiful, smiling and all for under $100! This project is super simple and can be done in a day if you wanted to.

So, here’s how it all went down. Er, up!

I spent roughly $80 on the frames. They are 24x36 photo frames from Michaels. They had wood, black and white, but I liked the warmth of the wood tone for my living room. I will link the ones I bought and some similar frames I considered below. They are all around $20 a frame.

Since I wanted 3 frames to go across my long wall, I needed 3 different photos to go in them. Here’s the process for the photos.

  1. A light, plain background is best for the engineering prints. These prints are low quality, which is why they are inexpensive to print, so creating a simple background will help keep your image looking nice.

  2. I put our daughter in front of a well lit wall, and took a million photos of her smiling. Here’s the original photo straight from my phone and the one that I sent to the printer.

3. Because I wanted the photo to be simple, I opened the photo in Photoshop and cropped the picture so she was toward the bottom, with a lot of white space above her.

4. I then made it black and white and bumped up the brightness. I also made sure my photo was 24x36 and bumped the resolution to 200.

Once you have your photos ready, you’ll need to find a place to print them. I originally called our local Staples, however, they told me they would not print a ‘photo’ as an engineering print and that I would have to pay $30 or more for a poster print. I didn’t want to pay $30 and I didn’t want a poster print, so I called a few other places. I ended up printing them at our local FedEx store for roughly $5 a print.

I’m really happy with how they turned out. The paper is super thin, so be careful when handling them. You’ll want to be sure your frame has a backing, otherwise you will want to mount the print to a foam board.

I’ve been lovingly gazing at them for days. Our living room just got a whole lot sweeter.

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See more of our living room here or in the posts below.

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