Shaped Frame Family Photo

This shaped frame family photo is a beautiful way to make an impact for not a lot of cash. Monica and Jess, one of my monthly contributors is back with an awesome way to frame a picture.   I know many of you ask me all the time how to get large pieces of art on the cheap.   Well here is your answer!   You can frame a large photo for less than $20 making a huge statement on a wall with this tutorial from the East Coast Creative. 

Hey, It’s Monica and Jess, from East Coast Creative! Today we’re sharing an awesome, low cost way to frame a humongous photograph that will be a traffic-stopping scene-stealer! Not only that, this project is super easy and takes very little time. We were actually very surprised at how quickly it came together. You know when you have a creative idea, and you think it should be easy, but it almost never is? Welp, you won’t have that problem here!

Supplies:

1 Piece 4’ x 8” Underlayment/Luan

24” x 36” Engineer Print

Spray paint

Spray adhesive

Mod Podge

Mini-projector (or a regular one will work too!)

Picture hanging hardware

 

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Luan, otherwise known as underlayment, is a type of plywood usually used in flooring. Not today, folks! It’s ultra-light, maybe 5 pounds for the whole sheet, and so it was the perfect medium for making a frame. I chose it because I was planning on hanging it high on a wall in my entryway that has vaulted ceilings. I wanted something that would be light enough to stay put on my wall so that it didn’t accidentally knock off when a guest entered my house. Also, since it is so thin it was really easy to cut using a jigsaw (more on that later), and cost only $10 for the whole sheet.
Have you heard about the engineer prints from Staples? Oh.My.Goodness. They have completely changed our life for the better. Just wait, you’ll feel the same way. Take your favorite picture into Staples and ask for an oversized print (they come in multiple sizes, but the largest is 3’ by 4’. They’ll make a copy right there for you, and the best part…..it costs less than $5 for a print! You’re only able to get the picture in black and white, but who cares?! It’s 5 bucks! The   tricky thing is that the picture is printed on very thin paper, so you have to be careful not to bend or mark it.
Engineer Print
Here’s where having a crafty best friend comes in: Monica has an adorable mini-projector that was perfect for this project. She brought it over and set it all up using the image of the shape I pulled off of Google images.
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If you can’t get your hands on a projector, I’m pretty sure you can make your own using this fun little tip . Monica downloaded the image of the shape onto the projector (it will accept anything in jpeg form).
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Then we turned out the lights, and voila!

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The perfect shape to trace!

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Then, we took that bad boy out to the garage and started cutting out the shape using our trusty jigsaw. I would say we use this thing more than is normal for a pair of moms, but what can we say? We love this tool!
Make sure you take a cheesy picture of yourself holding the frame for posterity.

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See what I mean about how thin the luan is? I would say it’s about 1/2” thick.

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The next step is to sand all the rough edges so it’s smooth. We recommend using a sanding pad vs. an electric sander because of how fragile the underlayment is.

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Because my framed picture is going to hang high on a wall, I wanted our faces to be large so you could see them, so I printed my picture 3’ by 4’, and then cut off the extra space using an Xacto knife. You could avoid this step by cropping your picture close before printing. Make sure you’re using a high-quality photo so that it prints clear. Our photo was taken by the fabulous Salvatori Photography, so I knew it would turn out great.

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We used Rustoleum Painter’s Touch spray paint in Satin Lagoon. It’s such a pretty shade of blue- almost like a peacock blue.
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It took a few coats, but the underlayment takes the paint really well.
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Before adhering the picture, Monica added the hardware to hang the frame. We didn’t want the picture to get messed up, so we made sure to do this first. You should definitely use actual picture hanging hardware, but this is what we had on hand and it worked well. We screwed them in about a 1/4 of the way down from the top of the frame and then threaded picture-hanging wire through.
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After determining the placement of the photo on the frame, we marked the corners in case we had any slippage during this next step. Since the picture is so big, we decided to place one hand squarely in the middle of it, and fold one half back towards the middle, spray the spray adhesive all over wood on that half and then smooth outward from the middle. You can use a rolling pin to help get all of the air bubbles out, but we didn’t find it necessary. Having a friend help you with this is very helpful, though!
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Finally, we brushed matte Mod Podge all over the picture to seal it and keep it from fading over time. It just makes it look more finished, too.
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Then it was time to hang our beauty up!
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I told you it was high! I’m not sure how Monica got this job because she’s afraid of heights, but hey! She did it like a good best friend. :)
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I am so in love with it, and can’t get over the beautiful pop of color it brings to my entryway.
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The total cost for this project was exactly $20, and the impact it makes is HUGE! We’d love for you come on over to our little piece of blogland to see how Monica used a giant photo in a totally different, but equally awesome way in her home!

jess&Monica
 





  • http://ourpinterestingfamily.blogspot.com Megan

    What a great project! I love the frame…great idea ladies! Megan

  • http://reneweduponadream.blogspot.com Sarah

    Wow this looks amazing! Great job with the cut out & I love the color. Thanks for the tip on Staples too! I just ordered a giant print of one of our engagement photos that I’ll get to pick up Saturday!

    • Red Pretty Hair

      NOT every Staples has the engineering machine to print photo quality. Please call and ask before you submit a job. I work for Staples and its very annoying when customers see things on the internet and assume we can just do it and we can’t.

      • Amy

        It shouldn’t be annoying to you to answer a customer’s question, that is your job while you are there. All you have to say is “no, we don’t do that here.” Geesh!

        • Em Bee

          Suggesting that people call prior to submitting a job is a great tip, but being “annoyed” is ridiculous!

  • Jamie

    Was your picture photo paper or was it paper paper. I did my two kids pictures that way but mine pictures where on paper and I was afraid to put mod podge on the paper.

    • http://www.realhousewivesofbuckscounty.com Jessica

      Hi Jamie,

      The picture was printed on regular paper. We found that when we used an almost dry brush and put the mod podge on sparingly, we didn’t have trouble with bubbling etc. The mod podge is totally not necessary, though, if you’re worried about giving it a try! Good luck!

      Jess & Monica

      • Michelle

        Hey Jessica were you able to get the prints the SAME day you went to STaples? Or did you have to wait??? I’m planning a 50th surprise party for my husband & want to do his baby pic, his HS football pic, & a recent one :) THANKS!

        • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

          I think mine was next day.

        • Katie

          Jessica,
          I worked at Staples for 3 yrs. If you order on Staples website, the website will always say pick up will be in 24 hours unless you want to pay a rush fee. But in reality, most of the stores can print it same day, sometimes while you’re in the store waiting. If they have the nice Xerox over size printer (the only one you want to use for photos, some of the Staples have an older printer that sucks…see my comment at the bottom of the page) the printing itself takes less than 5 mins, no joke. So if there’s no orders ahead of you, they can take care of you pretty quick :)

        • Jackie

          You can totally get your prints same day!
          I run a Staples Copy & Print Center, Pensacola FL.
          These are easy, fast prints.
          They are Black & White Oversized Copies with “Laser Toner” so thats why modge podge doesn’t smear it. It only comes with plain paper.

          Color Oversized Prints, do come on Glossy, Satin or Matte Photo paper. These are high quality “Ink Jet” prints, modge podge can ruin it. If you must, have it Laminated first.
          Also, these type print slow, but still usually same day.
          :)

          • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

            Thanks for your input Jackie.

    • Melissa C

      A light coat of hairspray sprayed over the picture will help it from fading and will keep it from getting dusty if you don’t want to try to mod podge.

  • http://aintshecrazy.blogspot.com Jami

    I love it! Now I just have to think of where to put one in my house. :)

  • http://www.somethingmonumental.com Mandy Crandell
  • Erin

    So much cheaper than organic bloom frames. I also love the blue color on your walls! What is the name/brand?

    • http://www.realhousewivesofbuckscounty.com Jessica

      Totally! The paint is Rustoleum’s Painter’s Touch Spraypaint in Satin Lagoonl. It’s a gorgeous, rich color! :)

      Jess & Monica

  • http://www.modpodgerocksblog.com Mod Podge Amy

    Wowzers! I love it! Although I don’t want to see my own face that big (hello wrinkles). Hahaha!

  • http://allreddesign.net Lori Allred

    Love this post! And how simple they made the tutorial looks…can’t wait to try!

  • http://www.angelpatch.blogspot.com Darlene

    I love love love this! Where can I find the projector thingy?

    • http://www.realhousewivesofbuckscounty.com Jessica

      Hey Darlene-

      Amazon sells the exact one we used:
      http://www.amazon.com/Aiptek-PJV11X-PocketCinema-Portable-Projector/dp/B001K7IC48

      It makes this project so much easier! Good luck!

      Jess & Monica

    • Jackie @ Staples

      If you don’t have a Projector:
      1) Just take a .jpg of the shape, and get a enlarged print of it with you picture. (just measure ahead of time so you know the exact size you want.)
      2) Cut out the shape
      3) Trace it onto the wood.

  • http://www.sandandsisal.com Kim @ Sand & Sisal

    Love the results! This has so many applications for kids rooms, teen rooms, family rooms! It’s whimsical and fun!

  • http://carolynsfunkyfurniture.blogspot.com Carolyn O’Connor

    What a great idea!! I have ideas popping all over in my head and you have given me some great ideas for a wall that is vacant…..Thank you so much for taking the time to document this and share it. Very interesting and complete instructions! Great job! Hope I can find more of your work.
    Carolyn

  • http://[email protected] nicole

    um. i am totally doing this.

    like this week.

    awesome. thanks for sharing.

  • Elizabeth

    Absolutely fantastic!! So cheap and seems so easy! Big bang for your buck! One question: What image/shape name did you google to find that frame shape or similar ones?

    Keep up the good work and keep the great ideas coming!

    • http://www.realhousewivesofbuckscounty.com Jessica

      Elizabeth, we are totally in love with Organic Bloom frames, so did a Google search and found one we liked. We {heart} a cheap knock-off! :)

      Jess & Monica

      • Lauren

        So happy I read all the comments this is the answer to my question! Great work ladies, hope my attempt turns out as great as yours!

  • http://www.sewtara.com SewTara

    Did you go in the garage with your bare feet? ;)
    Just asking. hehe

    Loove how the project turned out!

    • http://www.realhousewivesofbuckscounty.com Jessica

      Ewww….yes!!! I need to remember to wear shoes when doing projects for the blog. Sorry you had to see that. :) Ha!

      Jess (& Monica)

  • http://31ottercourt.blogspot.com Christy

    Working on this project tonight and when we went to mod podge the print, it started bubbling, ridging, lifting up, etc. :( We did spray adhesive over the entire print, first, however we didn’t let that sit overnight or anything? Suggestions? I’m doing it for my sons’ birthday parties tomorrow, but might just spray adhesive new prints on in the morning and not worry about the mod podge part for the party and see if it’s something I want to try again after. But, looking for any insight!! Thanks for the great tutorial!!

    • Sarah

      Instead of modge podge, why don’t you use a spray sealant? I used a crystal clear finish one for coasters I made for Christmas and it turned out great and was really easy to apply.

    • http://www.realhousewivesofbuckscounty.com Jessica

      I’m so sorry that happened! We used a very light coat of mod podge and didn’t have trouble with bubbling. If you use too much, it doesn’t work right on thin paper, so maybe try a drier brush! Quite honestly, though, you don’t need the mod podge unless it’s going to be touched a lot or in direct sunlight over a long period of time.

      Hope the party went well!

      Jess & Monica

  • http://carlasinspirations.blogspot.com Carla

    Wow, that is amazing tutorial.

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  • http://www.papereudaimonia.blogspot.com Laura

    This is an absolutely amazing idea! I can’t wait to try this! Word of caution to those of you ready to try this: There are often copyright issues with enlarging a professionally taken portrait. Unless you have written permission from the photographer, you may have trouble getting places to do the print for you.

    • http://www.realhousewivesofbuckscounty.com Jessica

      Yes, we whole-heartedly agree! We worked with an amazing photographer who gave us all rights to our family photos. Thanks for pointing this out. :)

      Jess & Monica

  • Elizabeth

    Love this! Would like to know the name of the template image from Google images.

    • http://www.realhousewivesofbuckscounty.com Jessica

      We looked up Organic Blooms (their frames are amazing!) and picked one we loved. There are so many great options. Or you could look up “shaped wooden cut-out frames”. Hope that helps!

      Jess & Monica

  • ksissy

    The picture looks great. I would really love to see the rest of the area that has been cutout under the staircase and into the next room. Did you do that yourself, or was it done by the previous owner? TIA

  • http://trulieuniquelife.blogspot.com Trulie

    Love this idea and so very economical. … a must try. Thanks for the tutorial!

  • http://www.artsyfartsymama.com/ Lindsay @Artsy-Fartsy Mama

    LOVE this! Such a great idea.

    Featured you on my blog today, stop by & check it out:
    http://www.artsyfartsymama.com/2012/03/pinteresting-features-n-shtuff-27.html

    • http://www.realhousewivesofbuckscounty.com Monica

      Thanks for the feature Lindsay! Glad you liked it!

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  • yvonne

    Can you just bring in any picture to blow up? Nothing came out blurry?

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      It has to be a high quality resolution pictures but no they turn out great, especially for the price.

  • Kristin

    I’m having trouble finding the tip on how to make your own projector. All the link brings up is an ad for the site inventables or something which I search within and come up with nothing. Please help!

  • Erin S

    Love this! I’m definitely going to put this on my to-do list. Thank you so much for your creative and inexpensive ideas!

  • Sam

    Do you have to bring the high res photo in black in white? Or if you bring a color print will it be ok when they print it in black and white?

  • NaniCat

    I totally love this concept, but I’d love to know where you purchased a sheet of Luan for $10 …. I live in central LA and that price is totally unfathomable here.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      I am not sure how much it is in LA but I know here in Indy it is $10 for a 2′ x 4′ piece at Home Depot. It is near the trim in lateral shelves.

    • Holly

      TY for asking this… I too live in LA, & as I commented further down, the only luan Home Depot has for $10 a sheet is no thicker than paneling. Now that she told me which department she got it from, I will look there. I was looking in plywood, but she is saying near the trim, which is several aisles over.

  • Totem

    Too much work! looks nice tho!

  • Maria

    Hey Ladies! I was wondering how to get the print from staples. Did you guys just take in a print, or a CD or a memory card? Also, any clue weither I can do it through their website rather than going to the store?

    • jess

      yes, i printed mine last week and just uploaded to their website. it said it would be ready by the next day but then i got a confirmation email that it was ready about 10 minutes later!

      • Marisa

        just curious — did you have a specific file format? I am trying to load some family pics to the staples website but it doesn’t recognize any of my files! any advice? Thanks so much!!

        • Sarah

          Convert your image to a high quality pdf (300-600 dpi) if you can, since that is what Staples.com will convert your image to anyway.

  • Niki

    Love the frame ladies, I’d like to use something like that for a DIY cork/chalkboard. Where did you get the frame stencil? Thanks :)

  • Mandy J.

    I really love this! Do you know how hi-res that photo was? 10MB?
    Thanks!

  • Bindhu

    How did u get your photo to look so good? Mine came out looking like a fax even though it was a professional portraits from sears that I got the copyright release to on cd. Any tips?

    • http://www.eastcoastcreativeblog.com East Coast Creative

      Hmmm. I’m not really sure why. We really just said, “here, print this” and yes it was actually a color pic too. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

      Monica and Jess

    • Katie

      Bindhu,

      This is probably too late but I only just found this blog :) I worked at Staples for 3 yrs and the thing is, the Staples chain uses two oversize black and white printers. The old, yucky Kyocera model is designed for line printings, you can really only use it for blue prints. Half the stores have that still. The others have a REALLY nice Xerox oversize printer. I used both machines while I was at Staples, and photos on the Kyocera was a nightmare. Awful. But our store finally got the new machine and it was INCREDIBLE. Very detailed, very beautiful prints, either from color files or black and white files.

      If you want to try again, call your staples and see if they have the Kyocera or the Xerox. If they don’t have a Xerox machine, see if someone in their store district does or if their “production center” does. If they do, Staples will ship it from one store to another store without charging the customer :)

      • Katie

        Hi Katie! I was wondering if you might have an answer to my question… Do you know if engineering prints are archival?

  • Bindhu

    Sorry, me again, was your pic originally in black and white? Mine was in color and I’m wondering if the print will come out better if I make it black and white before printing?

  • Momma Lee

    Must say my absolute favorite part of reading this awesome awesome project was ‘TAKE A CHEESY PIC FOR POSTERITY’ you rock that was awesome and this is great! I am always looking for ways to showcase my little girls’ photos :-)

  • Emibub

    You said your photo was done by a photographer. Did you get a release allowing you to copy it? I’m curious if Staples would copy iy otherwise? Just curious.

    • http://www.eastcoastcreativeblog.com East Coast Creative

      Hey!
      We did get the rights to the picture, and had a little letter to prove it. I would bring it along when you go to make your copy bc sometimes they’ll give you a hard time.

      Thanks!

      Monica and Jess

      • http://jwellman.com Jessica

        You might want to update your post to remind people that due to copyright reasons they NEED to get permission from their photographer before doing this… or they can be sued, bigtime…

  • http://www.iwantbdphotography.com bridgette davis photography

    hi girls! BEAUTIFUL project. i did a dresser makeover with the engineers print. see pics here http://www.iwantbdphotography.com/archives/2661 and my tutorial on ikeahackers http://www.ikeahackers.net/2012/04/10-malm-facelift-huge-impact.html
    as you said, HUGE IMPACT for super cheap. my only issue was that it is not staying smooth. now that it has dried, it has some separation…i wouldn’t say its bubbled, just wavy (no modge podge was used). did you experience this at all? any suggestions/tips? i have so many photos i’m dying to get up but wanna do it so they will last. thanks for the help, love what you have done here!

    • http://www.eastcoastcreativeblog.com East Coast Creative

      Hey Bridgette (BTW, my middle name is Bridgette, spelled the same as yours! ;)
      We had only really minor bubbling and I think it was because we had two people pressing it down. We also used a good amount of spray adhesive. We didn’t have any peeling on this project, but on a few others we’ve also added some regular old glue under the corners. Good luck if you do more!

      Monica (and Jess)

  • Rave

    You must have a good Staples in your area. I’ve tried twice to get Staples to print a 3′ x 4′ engineer print of a bridge for me…each time they call and tell me it is a big black blob and you can’t tell what it is & I will have to pay the color price ($7 a FOOT) and have it done on the big color printer.

    Is there something I’m missing? Something I’m forgetting to do to my photo? Or is the Staples by me just a bit ignorant?

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      I don’t know mine was a pdf. Maybe that would help.

    • http://www.myhomeisnashville.com Beth

      Staples explained to me that a “black and white” photo actually has grey scale and grey is actually a color. They said the arch. prints are only black or white. They said the same thing about doing something a little more expensive.

      • Katie

        Rave and Beth:

        Beth, I have no idea what those Staples employees were talking about , because it sounds like BS to me. I worked as the Copy Center Specialist at Staples for 3 years, and here’s what I found in my experience. (I no longer work there so this isn’t a plug for Staples, I just sincerely love the oversize printer there)

        Half of Staples stores are equipped with the old oversize printer, the Kyocera, and it prints like CRAP. Photos do NOT print well on the old machine, the old machine is seriously ONLY meant for blue prints.

        Some stores have the new Xerox models they use are what make these GORGEOUS prints. MOST of the things I printed for my customers used color images and they still came out very detailed and very nice looking. I would scan photos in and use digital files. Digital files are best, but scans would still do a really great job. I have no idea why they told Beth about the arch stuff, but it sounds like the store she went to had the crap machine.

        I’ve used both machines personally, and the difference with photos between the Kyocera and the Xerox is SHOCKING. The Xerox machine is amazing. Staples is cycling through in replacing the machines so all the stores have the nice, new machines, but 50% still have the yucky machine. It’s worth it to call ahead and find out what machine your local Staples has or at least ask for a sample print before you print your full size.

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  • Michelle

    The project is fabulous and it’s so perfect for a generally unused space!

  • Shannon

    I tried this project and the picture only lasted 2 weeks and then started peeling off the luan. After about a week, the whole thing came down…. I used a spray adhesive and it went on very well, but didn’t last for the long!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      What spray adhesive did you use? i recommend Scotch 77

  • Brenda

    I went to Staples and asked for the engineer print for $5.00 — they told me its 4.99 ——-PER SQ FT– which means the 3′x4′ one would cost $60… I called Office Depot -same numbers, my local UPS store – $8.00 per sq ft …

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Try Office Maxx I got mine for about $4 for a 20 x 30

      • Anna

        Hi Beckie, I was wondering if you could tell me how you ordered the print form Office Maxx? We don’t have staples in Alaska, but we do have Office Maxx! I’m looking through their options and am trying to figure how to get a big print for cheap!

        • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

          Just upload your picture and pick oversize in black and white on regular 20# paper.

    • http://www.eastcoastcreativeblog.com East Coast Creative

      Hey Brenda! Try Staples again and just ask how large they can photocopy. I know our store has another more expensive process, but this one is the cheaper alternative. Good Luck!

      Monica and Jess

      • Katie

        Brenda,

        This may be too late. I worked at Staples for 3 years. It’s been a yr since I left, but when I was there, oversize black and white prints were $.50 a square foot. My store was in Utah, and I know Staples prices different in different “zones” but $4.99 a square foot does NOT sound right.

        Half of the Staples have the old printer, a crappy Kyocera model that doesn’t print photos well AT ALL, it really only does basic blue prints. The other half use a very nice, new Xerox printer that’s fantastic. Maybe the Staples you went to only has the crappy machine and has a policy not to do photos on it and gave you the prices for the color machine? Because that sounds more like the color pricing to me.

        I would try again and make sure they understand you want black and white on plain old bond paper. Maybe see if they have the Xerox machine too (I wouldn’t waste my time if they have the older machine though *shudder*)

  • Amelia

    Beautiful!!! And cheap!
    But- did you get photographer’s permission? Or do you already own the rights to the print? Most photogs don’t want you enlarging their copyrighted work.
    Just food for thought so you dont get in troubke for copyright enfringement.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Yes they got permission.

    • Holly

      Most photographers who do not want you reprinting their material find a way to make it so it can’t be duplicated or so that it will be obvious that it is being reprinted without permission. Sometimes they watermark their work & sometimes they tightly control how & when the digital proofs get used, either only releasing them to the customer for an additional fee, or simply refusing to release them at all & you must get all your printing done thru them. I think it is standard practice for a lot of stores with photo or printing centers to not accept watermarked pictures for duplication, at least it used to be.

  • http://www.imagesbytonijo.com Toni

    Hey, I’m wanting to do this and I’m on staples right now and I’m a little confused. I’m not sure if I’m ordering it right. I can’t go to the store because I live wayyyy out in the country. I was going to order it and ship it but I’m scared that I’m going to buy it and it won’t be the right size… anyone know step by step how to order it correctly? their ordering format isn’t exactly user friendly… it doesn’t let me preview it with dimensions so how can I be sure it’s the right size??

  • Michelle

    Love this idea!! Just ordered prints from a photographer and have been eyeing the organic bloom frames,wondering if maybe this would work with my prints as well?

  • Bronna weaver

    I have a question did you take the actual picture in or do you have to take your memory stick in from the digital camera. Thanks and I luv this so much! I think using upolstery tacks on the corners would be cute and might help keep it down also. Just an idea

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      I just ordered mine online and then picked it up.

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  • Katie

    I went to the Staples site and it says that Engineering Prints are not suitable for photo images. Do you think I should try it anyway?

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Mine turned out fine. It is up to you. It isn’t photo quality for sure but I think it works for the project.

    • Katie

      Katie,

      Not sure if you’ve already tried printing your photo or not. I worked at Staples copy center for 3 yrs. The reason why the website gives that warning is because half of the Staples stores have an older Kyocera printer that SUCKS at printing photos and is meant only for blue prints, but half the stores have an incredible Xerox printer. The new Xerox printer can make beautiful prints, I did it for loads of my customers. :) It’d be worth calling your store to see which model they have.

  • Holly

    When you say take a picture to Staples, do you mean an actual picture or a digital image they will access on computer? Or can they do both? I’m worried that if I pick a picture that isn’t professional, it won’t have a good enough resolution to be blown up so big. But it is so cheap I guess I can just give it a shot! GREAT idea!

    • Katie

      Holly, I worked at Staples copy center for 3 yrs. Staples can scan hard copy photos at high res, but digital is always much better. They can scan color hard copy photos that are 11X17 or smaller and black and white photos up to 34″ wide.

      As I posted below, just be careful that the Staples you use has the nice, Xerox oversize printer. Half of the stores still have the older version that is really only meant for blue prints and is terrible quality for photographs :( but the new Xerox printer is AMAZING, the prints it makes are gorgeous! Either machine they’ll have, the print will still be waaay cheap, but if that’s a concern, call ahead and ask or at least ask for a sample print

  • http://www.vannclan5.com Lori Vann

    My boss asked me this morning where he could have a large map printed, I immediately thought of this post on pinterest! Thank you – you saved a lot of calling around for me!

  • Katie

    I worked as the Copy Center supervisor at Staples for 3 yrs. I think it’s important that your readers know that not every Staples is equipped with the same copiers! Some Staples are equipped with the old oversize printer, the Kyocera, and it prints like CRAP. Photos do NOT print well on the old machine, the old machine is seriously ONLY meant for blue prints.

    The new Xerox models they use are what make these gorgeous prints. Staples is cycling through in replacing the machines so all the stores have the nice, new machines, but 50% still have the yucky machine. It’s worth it to call ahead and find out what machine your local Staples has or at least ask for a sample print before you print your full size. They are all supposed to give you a sample when you print something, but most stores don’t.

    I’d hate for people to waste money and get a lousy print they can’t use, even if it is ridiculously cheap :)

    • Lindsey W

      Hey Katie, you didn’t happen to work at Staples for 3 years, did you??

  • Katie

    Oh, forgot to say–the new Xerox printer works best with digital files, but if you take a high resolution scan of a hard copy, those turn out great too. But I can’t stress enough, beware of the old Kyocera, it will make your photos look awful

  • http://www.mommyinthemountains.com leah

    OMG! I adore this! I immediately thought of first birthday party decorations. Because I am always thinking about kids parties. How great would it be to have a huge picture like this hanging over the dessert table. And for a price like that, it would be pretty affordable! Such a great tip.

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  • Stephanie S.

    How big is the frame in the end? Also, how big is the actual picture in the final product?

    I love this and want to recreate it for the large space over my fireplace; however, I want to be sure it will fit. :) Thanks for a cheap, personal, alternative for decorating a large space.

  • Tanya

    I absolutely love this! I was just wondering if Staples ever gives anyone a hard time for doing this. I just looked online to upload to the staples website and saw that is said engineer prints were “not suitable for photographs” and “only black and white line drawings”. I really want to try it but I also don’t want to be scolded when I pick up my print, lol!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      I am pretty sure they won’t scold you. But the quality definitely isn’t the same as a colored poster would be.

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  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/charlenebrown?ref=si_shop charlene

    freaking brilliant!!!! i am so doing this… thanks for sharing!

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  • http://studiokathy.blogspot.com Kathy McDaniel

    I love the idea and plan to do it I will share when I get it done. Thanks for the great idea.

  • kim ortiz

    Hello Ladies-

    @ Katie- I am a fellow CPC Expert. Just as a few fyi’s- most stores have the Xerox w/f b&w now as the kyocera contracts ran out (THANK GOD!). The new xerox has a setting for grey scale photos instead of line prints. This setting make a huge difference and looks amazing. Also- the price of blueprints just went up as of July 1, 2012. So it went from $0.50 sq/ft to $0.55 sq/ft which takes the 36 x 48 to $6.59ish. I have done about 16 of these in the past two months for graduation presents and so on. They look great as long as the digital file is high res. If a copy center is pushing people to the color print it’s sad because they really look awesome and their is no need. I took phone pictures of my niece & nephew at their graduations and blew them up for the party at house. We hung them on the garage door so everyone knew which house it was. They looked so cool.

    Feel free to shoot me any questions if people run into issues.

    Kim:)

  • Cynthia

    If you don’t have a projector you can get check one out from the library. They have the ones we use in school but those work really well.

  • Lisa

    In case anyone is interested, Walmart (most anyway) have new oversize HP printers that do actual color photos – varies by size – but got 24 x 36 for under $20 – gorgeous! I actually have used Photoshop to arrange 4- sizes of pics on one sheet, too.

    • Randee

      Was it engineer paper at walmart?

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  • Cory

    Ok yeah, it’s a great idea. Thats why I took this crafty project on.
    Staples took 4 days to do my 13 enlargements.
    Luan was $11 but they were able to make 5 free cuts (i needed 9). The board splinters very badly. My hands regret not buying gloves while I was at lowes.
    Everything went and easy up until it was time for the mod podge!
    Although I purchased, and used a heavy wallpaper roller to roll out the bubbles while adhering the photos to the board… It did no good at all when I applied the mod podge. The moisture in the mod podge, lifts the paper right off of the board, creating a “deflated balloon” look.
    Out of the 13 large photos that I did, 2 are usable, but have lots off bubbling so I can only hang them in dim lighting. Im so disappointed in how this project turned out. Waste of time and money.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      I am soo sorry to hear about your experience. Maybe next time you could try a spray adhesive instead. Mod Podge does take practice to perfect. I have been decoupaging for years and have no problems but I remember the days of bubbles. They key is a light even coat and not a thick one.

  • LisaLisa

    you ladies are brilliant! thanks for the tips all around! (love the old name & your county!)
    just want to warn you…after years of spray gluing (its a love/hate relationship)…be wary of spraying on your wall to wall (unless that was just for the tutorial shot)…the overspray grabs & holds any dirt and ruins carpeting. almost had to pay for new apartment carpeting until a friend produced a super-industrial steam cleaning.

  • http://www.katskalamities.blogspot.com Kathryn Cain

    thank you for the Great info on Staples ,I have several ideas and knowing the cost. I now can do with a budget in mind….Can they do old vintage pics too…I have some great ones….

  • matt

    thanks alot now my wife has a honey do project for me…..:( :)

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Oh you can do it! ;-)

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  • Jeremy

    As a professional photographer, the thought of someone printing my images (whether they have a copyright release or not) at Staples makes me cringe.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      I can totally understand that especially when you bring art to each photograph you take.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      I can totally understand that especially when you bring art to each photograph you take.

    • Valerie

      You shouldn’t cringe if your customers are happy with the final product. That’s just silly.

  • Mary Oliver

    As a professional photographer, I’ve printed my own photos in various forms for various {fun} projects to save money, because as a professional photographer, I am always changing out my photos and it can get pretty pricey with my growing family ;)

    ps-I assume you don’t give copyright releases, so you have nothing to worry about.

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  • Julie Kennedy

    I have a question… I bought two large canvases with a Groupon not too long ago. I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with them. Do you think I could use these oversized prints on canvas? And if so, how would I adhere them? I love the idea of using a photo. But I thought there was no good way to “transfer” them on to canvas. But now I’m wondering if it could work… with the thin paper you described.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Yes you could staple it onto the back and mod podged it to protect it but only if you wanted to. If you just staple it you could remove it later to put a new picture on it.

  • Holly

    Where did you get the luan? I went looking for it at my local Home Depot, but what they sell isn’t any thicker than paneling. Yours looks like it’s about 3 of Home Depot’s sheets stuck together, thickness-wise. Any tips on where to get it?

  • Haleigh

    HELPPPP!!!! I just got done with most of the picture, I was onto the last step- putting MOD Podge on. It was totally flat before I put it on then after it dried for about 2 mins it had HUGE bubbles ALL Over!!! What did I do wrong??? This is my first time using Mod Podge. I was hoping to have out family portrait done by this weekend for a my sons birthday party. Thank you for any suggestions~

  • Haleigh

    What kind of spray adhesive did you use? brand? repositional or permanent?

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      I recommend permanent Scotch 77. But you could use any permanent spray adhesive.

      • Haleigh

        I actually redid it on the other side, and used 3m super 77 for the adhesive, then I used a spray sealer. Did it again. I was super excited about this. I wish I could make it work. What could be my problem? If it didn’t have wrinkles up and down all across It would look awesome!

        • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

          Are you putting a thick coat of Mod Podge on it? Was the adhesive completely dry?

          • Haleigh

            The first time I used mod podge I am not sure if it was thick or thin it was the first time I used it, but I was trying to get it pretty thin i would say. The second time I didnt even use mod podge I used a spray photo sealer. Yes they were both completely dry.

  • Erica

    I was just wondering what u gals think about using a wood stain, rather than the colored spray paint??? For the project I have in mind, I think a more natural wood-look would be better. Just not sure how nice it would turn out on the Luan. Curious if you’ve tried staining the Luan. Thanks!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Luan stains beautifully, go for it.

      • kat

        also when buying luan, they sell smaller pieces the 4 x 8′s. At least home depots do. Also they will cut it right there for you for free. to a smaller piece easier to work with.

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  • Liz

    Thank you for pinning this! I ran across this last week and did the project this weekend. I tweaked it for myself…like square corners to match my room, but i did 3 large prints (18″x24″) on plywood that I cut myself and hung with red cord from Wal-mart. They look awesome! thank you!!!!!

  • Nicky Nugent Fontenot

    Hello Jess, I was wondering if you could tell me what did you use to come up with that frame, I would like to make one but not sure, how I find the particular one that you used? Or if anyone else knows?

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  • Rosam

    great job, girls. thanks for the tips

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  • Randee

    Is there any way to do this project in color and not black and white?

  • Lindz

    Hello, I have been trying to make some large prints from Staples for this project. I do not have a staples in my state or anywhere close so i tried to place my engineer print order online. It was $7 total and I was pumped! The Staples man called the next day saying they cannot print photos on the paper and he was cancelling my order! He said i HAVE to do the “oversize photo” prints which are > $25 or so per print! Any suggestions? I guess they are getting a lot of orders from this awesome project tutorial :) Thanks.

  • Kristi

    Hi I was wondering if you could tell me what the final size of the picture frame is? Thanks!!

  • http://www.hhaines.blogspot.com Heidi

    Alright, this is NOT as easy as it seems! There are three Staple stores near me and I tried getting the full size (3×4) at each one and each one had two light track marks running the length of the print. THEN I tried spraying Mod Podge to adhere the photo to my board and if I didn’t spray it thick enough it wouldn’t stick and if I sprayed it too thick it bled through the paper. Final result of that part was a MUCH darker picture than I originally printed and weird dark marks on our faces. So I got another print made. Tried adhering it with rubber cement, which worked really well. On to the next step of applying Mod Podge to the top. Well, it just completely ruined the whole thing because it bubbled so bad that I am pretty sure that I’m gonna have to toss the whole thing. HUGE waste of time.

    • kat

      unless I am mistaken, your spray adhesive wasn’t suppose to be modge podge, that was for covering when done. a simple spay adhesive would do, like elmers. midge podge is thing so that may be why it did what it did.

  • Stacey

    Jess & Monica – I love this idea and am planning on trying it. I was wondering what color your walls are in the entry way of your house. Love the color and we are having our house repainted. Thanks!

  • http://www.adasinteriordesign.com/blog Ada (new york)

    It looks AMAZING!!!! Economical + huge (beautiful + unique) impact = BRAVO!

  • Katie

    Thanks for the great idea! I wasn’t happy with an enlargement I had done at a professional photo lab so I decided to try Staples. Although there is obviously a big difference in the paper quality but the image itself looks much better in the Staples version!

    I am just wondering how your photo is holding up? Does it looks as good as the day you put it up?

    Thanks again and here’s mine: http://katiephoto.tumblr.com/post/36489006969/staples-engineering-print-vs-photo-lab-i-have

  • Sandy

    Did these for a wedding and they turned out great!

  • Ginger

    Thank u for this tutorial!!! I did it today!! It worked just as u described! I am a professional photographer, so I didn’t need ‘permission from Staples’ but the sad thing is that they didn’t even ask me:( Being a photographer, I love decorating my home with pics of my family, so I couldn’t wait to do this project. I got a 3′x4′ print for $8 at Staples. I went to Lowes to get my wood piece, but they didn’t have any of that kind larger than my print, so he recommended that I use ‘teacher’s board.’ The best way to describe is it reminds me of a puzzle, bc it’s really soft on one side and slightly rough on the other. It was huge! I’m not completely positive the size but it was 4′x approx 8′. He even cut it for me down to 4′x5′!! So that means I have extra to do this project again:) That board cost $7. Wholly cow this is really an inexpensive project!! I didn’t use any projector or ruler, etc, I just free-handed the frame shape based on ur template and it turned out just how I wanted:) I used the jigsaw, sanded it, then spray painted it. I’m waiting 24hrs to let the paint fully dry before I put my pic on it. I am sooo pleased with how it is turning out! It’ll be my daughters’ Christmas present for their room!! Again, thank u for ur tutorial!

  • http://www.decorating-ideas-made-easy.com Jennifer Davenport

    What a fabulous idea! I LOVE it! Thank you so much for sharing!!! Now, I have to go find a good photo of our family!

  • Cynthia

    hi, I just went to print my pictures @ Staples today n it came out nice but it has two light streaks across the picture, did that happen to yours too? plz let me know if it’s how urs came out the same way, thanks for this awesome idea!!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Nope mine came out perfect.

      • Cynthia

        thanks for replying back! went to two staples n both of their printers did the same thing with the light tracks across the pictures, they said its normal for engineer prints, so I went n try the one from kinkos today n their printer came our nicely with out the tracks…their prices were just about the same as well, n they were even willing to print longer than 36 inches or how ever long as I wanted. happy camper here! :) thanks a bunch!

        • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

          Oh good. That is strange that happened at Staples but I am glad you got it figured out.

  • Alicia Zinn

    Office Max does engineering prints instore 24×36 are $3.90

  • Megan Nowak

    I love this! I am going to try and make this this weekend. I am wondering if you still have the place where you found the picture of the frame to use to trace with the projector? I have googled but haven’t found a picture like this. Thanks for sharing I cant wait to start this project!

  • http://kateandautism.blogspot.com Katie

    Question!! I love this frame & so cheap. Do you think I could make it smaller like 8×10? And if so, do you know where I could get a print like you have but in the smaller size?! Does this make sense? Or do you think this project would only look good with BIG frames?

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      No it should work with any size. You can get a post print at Walmart in smaller sizes.

      • http://kateandautism.blogspot.com Katie

        Thank you for replying so quick!!

  • Lisa

    Here’s my question!! Regarding the spray adhesive – isn’t there a lot of overspray all over the “frame”? Maybe this will make no difference to the project. I was just picturing adhesive ALL OVER the LUAN and collecting dust.

    Thanks for the tut!!
    Lisa

  • Alysa

    I’ve gone to staples and they told me you can’t get a photo on engineer print that engineer prints can only be designs like house layouts. Could you help? What did you do?

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      I am sorry they said that I don’t know what to tell you. It worked at mine.

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  • michelle barb

    Great talent and ideas! Y’all should consider making duplicates of your projects and selling on Etsy. I’d definitely be a customer.

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  • Amanda

    I love this idea. I tried several nights ago to make one of my own. I used the same kind of board and a 36×48 engineer print from Staples. Everything went fine until I woke up the next morning and the entire thing was bubbly and bumpy. I used spray adhesive and a heavy marble rolling pin, as well as my hands, to smooth it out after gluing it down. I painted the board first, so maybe it wasn’t dry enough before I glued the print down? Maybe not enough glue? It was like long air bubbles everywhere from top to bottom. And there weren’t any at all until the next morning after it had dried. Any ideas? I want to go get a reprint and try again, but I am nervous because the first one came out so badly. Plus I am cheap and the 36×48 is $7.08 after tax and I am now on my second one + the board cost $13, so I don’t want to keep sinking money into this if it’s not going to work. I am a serious perfectionist, but I am not being picky – it was really bad. Help!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Try flipping the board over so you don’t have to buy a new one. I babysit mine for an hour or two. pushing all the bubbles down. The key is an even coat of adhesive everywhere and then press press press until it is completely dry. I hope that helps.

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  • Ria Smits

    great looking picture, great idea.

  • Donna Rigg

    I LOVED your idea and went out and got one big print done. It printed fab.$28 here in New Zealand. Was so excited to get started. got the wood prepared, and then glued the picture to the wood. The paper has bubbled, and when i tried to get them out, the paper creased. A real mess. :( Did the spray glue come though the paper, or make the paper bubble with you? Love your imput Thanks Donna R

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Donna, When I work with spray adhesive and I work meticulously to smooth out all the bubbles with a brayer for about 20 minutes until it is completely dry. Unfortunately, at this point, it is near impossible to get the bubbles out. With a credit card or brayer, roll the bubbles out from the center to edge and keep watching over until it is dry. I am sorry for the trouble you had and hope this helps.

    • Vicky

      Mine did the same thing.

      • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

        This project was done by my past contributors, Jess and Monica from East Coast Creative. You can check in with them about this particular project, but I know I usually babysit projects like this with my brayer to avoid bubbling. Sorry it didn’t work well for you.

      • Donna Rigg

        I have reprinted them, trying it again, hope it works this time

        • Cristel Hodge

          Did it work?? Would love to have any tips..wanna do this…

      • Donna Rigg

        I was told to laminate them first

    • mitzs

      To me it sounds like you did not get all the air out. If you try and do this on funiture, you spray a section at a time using something to push it down with in one direction. That will help with the air bubbles.

      • Donna Rigg

        Thankyou

  • Swan

    So is the only reason Staples says it’s not suitable for photo printing that it’s in black and white and on thin paper?

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Yes, and it is considered an engineering print and not photo quality. This project was done by one of my past contributors, Monica and Jess from East Coast Creative. They may be able to give you more information or you could contact Staples directly.

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