A few months ago, I decided I wanted to blow up some photos for our walls. I had ordered some poster-size enlargements a few years ago for our living room, and although we love how they look, they definitely werenâ€™t cheap.
This time around, I went looking for a way to get some personalized wall art without spending big bucks. I discovered â€“ thanks to Pinterest â€“ that you can have â€śengineering prints" made from a picture, for just a few dollars. Theyâ€™re supposed to be for blue prints, but you can print whatever you like, as long as youâ€™re ok with blue print quality. That means that they can be huge (up to 3 feet by 4 feet), but theyâ€™re printed on thin paper and only in black and white. They end up being a little bit more grainy than a photo-quality print would be, but I think the effect is actually pretty cool â€“ they have a slightly soft quality to them.
Lots of office supply places will do these prints; I ended up going to Staples, because it was right next to the grocery store and very convenient. I put the pictures on a flash drive and took it to the store. About 10 minutes later, I walked out with my pictures. I got mine printed in the 2 feet by 3 feet size, as I had frames for that. The frame I had for our boys was a bit smaller than that, and I was planning to cut the picture down at home. When the lady at Staples heard that, she offered to just change the print size to match my frame, and all I had to trim off was white space around the edge. So if you have a frame that is smaller than the sizes they offer, you can ask them to alter your image to fit your frame.
I spent $3.59 on each of these pictures:
The frames are from â€“ of course! â€“ Goodwill. I got them first, so that I would know what size to get the pictures printed. They were exactly what I wanted: simple and understated, but large. I got them on half-price day, and I think I paid about $5 each for them. I left the original pictures in the frames (flipped backwards so that the images wouldnâ€™t show through light places in the new prints) in order to provide rigidity for the new prints.
I put these pictures where they wonâ€™t get any direct sunlight, as Iâ€™m sure that sunlight would fade them much faster than it fades photo-quality prints. Theyâ€™ve been on our walls for a few months now, and we love them. Less than $9 each, including the frames, for huge copies of our photos â€“ hard to beat that! If and when they fade or we want to switch to newer photos down the line, we can print new pictures for just a few dollars, which is pretty awesome.
Have you tried engineering prints for your walls?