DIY Large Photo Prints
I have been making these prints for years and they are affordable, easy and look amazing! I put a post up on Instagram and many of you wanted to see the DIY tutorial for how I make them, so here it is!
First, you will have to find some large poster frames. These ones are 24"x36" and I bought them years ago at Micheals - they are often on sale. They have them in wood, black and white. I scored them on sale for only $20 a piece. They come with a clear plastic covering for posters, which I prefer not to use. The covering is very shiny and I love the matte look like a canvas, so I threw that away.
Your next step is to shoot a high quality photo. It is important to have good lighting and a pretty large size since they will be blown up so large. iPhone photos work great, so no need for a professional camera. This year I used our family photos done by a professional, so either way works. In the past I have always done black and white Photos, but since I painted the piano white this year I felt we needed some color in this room. I love how the color provided some warmth to this area.
Here is what last year's photos looked like in black and white. I have redone them annually every January so that we always have fresh photos of the kids. As you see, it looked a little bland with so much white in one room, but that's just a matter of preference.
So, now that you have the frames and some great photos it is time to have them printed in large scale! There are many ways to do this and I have tried a couple of options. My favorite option is to do an adhesive poster from Walgreens. These posters are AMAZING, and while this is the most expensive part of the project it is so worth the cost to me! You can do a 24"x36" adhesive poster for $46.99 but if you keep and eye you can typically get it for 70% off much of the year, making each one only $14 each. The reason that I love this option so much is that they have the best quality for the price and they are perforated which means no bubbles or wrinkles. They also are re-stickable, so you can move them around. The material is very similar to removable wallpaper. They have a nice matte finish as well. My local Walgreens prints the posters on the same day, so it is great for impatient people like me!
I have seen some people suggest to do an architectural print at Staples since it is much cheaper and I did this for a couple of years but it didn't come out nearly as nice. For one, they will only print black and white and also, they come on very thin blueprint paper. you have to use an adhesive glue to stick them down and I found much more room for error here. I always ended up with some sticky glue mess, bubbles and wrinkles, or the print people up. The adhesive prints have been the perfect solution to all of this.
The last step to this process is mounting the poster. I like to use a piece of foam board for this. It is affordable and readily available. I typically get this foam board from hobby lobby, which unfortunately comes a little larger than necessary, so you do have to take an exacto knife and cut it down. It is easiest to stick the poster on first and then just cut right up to it (as long as you trust yourself not to slip).
Since the posters are quite large, sticking them down is best with two people. I will usually have my husband hold up the top edge and we kind of roll the backing off and rub it as it sticks down. You will see that the bubbles come right out as your press on them.
Last step is to stick your poster board in the frame (remember not to use the plastic top covering if you want a matte look like mine) and hang them up!
These will last for years if you want them to, but I love changing mine out annually and the second time you change them you can just flip it over and use the other side of the foam board which means all you need to buy is the adhesive poster!
All in all this project cost me:
3 Frames: $60 + tax
3 adhesive posters: $42 + tax
Foam board:$18 + tax
Total: $120 + tax
It is not the cheapest project ever, but it is the best deal I have found for large scale, beautiful prints, and you can swap them out on your own! Also, annually I only pay for the foam board every other year and the posters once a year.
I really hope you enjoyed this tutorial, please be sure to share on Pinterest if you did and comment with any question or to let me know you liked it.