August 31, 2012

Giant Picture for cheap, take 2

Giant Picture, for cheap, take 2.  Using my previous tutorial (sort of).  Eek!!  I am in love with this- -

 I'm sure you recall that I've done a tutorial on a DIY giant cheap picture - it's of my girls and still hangs in their room - looks just as good today as the day I posted about it:
I love that picture and the project - the problem is that it is upstairs and in a bedroom, so most people who come into my home don't see it and it's fabulousness (unless I drag them up there to show it off - which I do occasionally).

So when I redid my living/dining room, I knew I wanted to do a family picture, Giant Picture style.  And it's awesome.

First off, take a picture.  Trevor blogged his side of this story - - I told the kids to fake laugh.  Some were more exuberant than others.  I had a friend climb on a shakey ladder and take a picture.  I think it worked.

Then, I printed it as an "engineer's print".  See the previous tutorial for that info.  I have printed one at Office Max and one at Office Depot - both places did it for me.  This one is a little smaller than the one of my girls - it's 3ftx4ft and this one was 3 1/2 ft by something - - I didn't want it to be too big for the space.  Anyways, it cost me $6 to print.  The print is on flimsy paper but it doesn't matter to me - it's up high.  And say it fades in 5 years - I'll want a new picture by then anyways.

The one of my girls I stuck onto a cheap piece of styrofoam.  Since this was going in my dining room, I wanted to step it up a little, so I went with a sturdy piece of plywood - it was $40, but I used a little less than 1/2, so let's say the board cost me $20.

The board was bigger than the picture to create that border.  I painted it.  I also had Trevor router the edge and painted inside the groove with this awesome silver paint to fancy it up a little:

I was lazy and only painted the edge, which you can see in this next picture.  Then we spray-glued one side, pressed it down, then worked on the other side:

At this point it looked pretty good, but a little plain:

So I painted some trim pieces then just used wood glue to attach them right to the board, covering the edge of the picture.  I forgot to take a picture of that step - sorry.  But here's an upclose picture of the trim around the edge of the picture - I really like the added touch it gives:
For those of you wondering about quality of the print, it's not pixely at all - - here's an upclose photo of the photo (untouched by photo editing) -

And just to give you a reference point on how big this Giant Picture is, here's my almost-4-year-old standing next to it:

Then Trevor's favorite part - - hanging up a heavy picture.  Then stand back and admire it.

Have you made a Giant Picture yet??  Seems like everyone is doing it - and I say go for it!  It has already gotten lots of compliments in my home - it's a conversation piece and it really sets the mood of "fun" right when you come in.  Anyways, give it a try!  (remember, the old tutorial is at Cheap Giant Photo Picture Print and in addition to the tutorial, there are lots of helpful tips in the comments section)


About Author:

Mandy is a craft blogger who loves to blog and enjoys all things crafty, sewing, and DIY - she feels that if she can do something, you can too, and provides tutorials to help you along the way. She loves being a mom to 4 awesome kiddos and blogs from the Kansas City Area. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or Google +

54 Fabulous Comments:

I think it is fantastic! This gives me an idea! (insert evil laugh here). Oh and that color is the perfect pop in that room and definitely ties in your cool chandy. Im still searching for one to paint, Ill find one someday!

Wow! Your posts seem to always bring this word to mind;). Love it! My entry could totally use something like this! Thanks for sharing your "how to"!

I love this!! I just wish I wasn't the phtographer in the fam so I could actually BE in the pictures once in a while! lol!

You can! I am our photographer, but I just set everything up like I want it and hand the camera over to a friend. Get in those pictures! :)

I love this! I need to do this thanks for the idea!

Love the frame idea and your family photo is fabulous!

What a great tutorial! I really must look into this. I haven't hung any pictures in my home yet since moving in over a year ago. I've been meaning to hang some photos and get some canvases done but this is great-er! I love the extra trim you put over the edges of the print. It really looks like a proper frame and looks fab :)

Love this one too! I finally upgraded to a newer camera so I could get larger prints!

Yes, I have your other post you done on this saved. Loved the idea and appreciate the update here! GREAT idea...I am so doing this! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Lovely picture really enjoy your blog x

We are getting ready to sell our house but this idea is being saved on Pinterest for our new home! Love the color pop you used too! Thanks for posting how easy it is! Kathi

This is so cute! I love the picture of you and your family. I also love your frame you made!

I LIKE it! The added trim really makes it.

Mandy, how did you end up choosing that color for the "frame" of the photo as well as your dining room chandelier? It's unusual ... we're looking to redo our 1926 dining room (right now it's entirely a not-unpleasant shade of yellow -- both ceilings and walls). I love what you've done but I'm unsure about choosing such a bright color -- and wonder how you got to that decision point. Thanks!

Hey Beth - - I love turquoise and bright colors, so I knew I wanted to incorporate something without being too overwhelming and painting a whole wall that color. The smaller frames on my frame wall are actually a lighter shade, and I painted those first with a can of left-over paint from a friend. So when I went to paint the big picture, I grabbed a paint chip card with the light color on it and picked a color 2 shades darker down on the card and just went with it. I love it!!

This is awesome!!! I've had grand plans for a decade to make a collage of my grandparents' love letters from the early 1900s and do something similar. This is great inspiration. And - for the record, I plan to scan the letters first and then create the collage.

I LOVE IT!! I have very high vaulted ceilings in my living room, and I totally need to do this!

I have been wanting to do this FOREVER! It was like you were reading my mind because you answered all the questions I would have asked. PINNING!

Thanks to your original tutorial, I had an engineer print done up at Staples to put in my huge 20x30 frame from "Cut it Out" frames. I LOVE how it turned out, & it was much cheaper than having an actual photo printed in that size!!! (If you happen to live near a Staples, it actually cost me less than $2.00 for the engineer print there!)

While that color in a dining room is beyond my "comfort zone" per se, I will definitely consider a fun color addition -- maybe if we go with a similar color scheme to the one you chose for the walls, I could look at shades of the original (and rather overwhelming!) yellow -- and bring it in as an accent. Our insulated shades (we live in New England) are a muted green.

I might have to do this somewhere in my house! I would LOVE for you to link this up at my first LINK PARTY!

this is gorgeous!! i want one!!

would love it if you could share this on my linky party Serenity Saturday, that runs from sat-thurs @

Natasha xx

Gorgeous and so much cheaper than the professional ones we had done as a family. We had a photo shoot for my birthday and I nearly fainted when they told us the price! I will definitely be doing it 'Sugar Bee' style when it is time to update them x

I love this so so much, and that picture of your fam is absolute perfection!!! No, I have not done a pic this big yet, I have SO many family pics around my house, but we are in need of a new one;)

I'm so glad that I'm following you! Engineer's print...that's just genius. Thanks for sharing on Sundae Scoop:)


I LOVE it! We just have family pictures made and I'll have to print one and blow it up like this!

I LOVE this!! What a fun picture of your family! We'd love for you to share your tutorial at our party!

So great! I've been wanting to try this myself since the one of your girls. I'm definitely doing it, I have a big empty wall space and everything! Thanks so much for sharing :)

~Jess @

Awesome! I can't wait to try this. I absolutely love the blue trim. I would love it if you linked this up at One Creative Weekend on The party is open Fridays-Wednesdays every week. Hope to see you there!

How is it hung? And where did you purchase the trim?

I grabbed the trim at Lowes. I also got the picture hanger there - it's a cleat looking thing made to hold a lot of weight, and it's in the picture hanging section. Good Luck!

That is gorgeous!!! I cannot wait to do the same!!!

I love this! I just stumbled upon this project via Pinterest. I am on right now trying to upload a picture to do this project. However, it is not allowing me to upload photos. Can you tell me what format your picture was in to upload it for an engineer print.

I didn't upload them online - I put my pictures on a jump drive/usb port thing and just walked it into the was just in JPEG format. Good Luck!

What store do you actually go to for prints? The few I've checked out are WAY more expensive than 6-8 dollars.

I have used both Office Max and Office Depot. Make sure you're asking about an "engineer print" - that's the cheap one.

Hi Mandy, do you know about what size the digital image needs to be to get a decent Giant Picture?

About what pixel size was your original photo? I'm sure a smaller size would not enlarge as well. Thanks!

my camera is a 12 megapixel camera, if that helps - it's a Canon Rebel, DSLR

I don't want to sound dumb but is the spray glue just from michalels or a craft store???
I love both of your photos!

yep! Michael's or a craft store or even the craft department at Walmart - - good luck!

I printed some test prints and their great, but I have like a 1 1/2 inch line across each this common or something they did wrong? It's like the picture has a faded stripe across each one.


I had this happen when I was printing a quote using the Engingeer Print technique - - I think the printer ink was low - the tech ended up printing it a different way for me

I'll do another test run and see if we can fix it...I love my pics and I did one that was pixels and it actually turned out really nice...great graphics..

Thanks again for your help!

I love it!!! Thanks for sharing! Got a couple questions.... while spray glueing the pic to the board, how does it not crinkle or tear (you mentioned print is kinda thin)?? I've never used spray glue or heard of it..
Also, have you ever tried it with a color print? Or only black & white?
Can't wait to try it!

Engineer's Prints - the cheap ones - only come in black and white. I'd love color, but it'd be significantly more expensive to print. With the glue, I spray the board and then have someone help me lower the photo onto it -- I talk about it more on this post:

Good luck!!

I love this idea! We have a large (36x24) photo above our fireplace. (You can see it here:

We needed color against our gray walls, but I'm dying to find somewhere to put a big black and white!

I got the largest engineer print possible at staples and it was 4.23. So awesome! Thanks for the posting! Saved me bunches of money

You can get a colored 20X30 photo print at Costco on luster photo paper for $9. Did you put anything over the print to protect it? I've seen a photo texture cream and wondered if you've used it before? Also what are your thoughts on using mod podge instead of the spray glue?

You can get a colored 20X30 photo print at Costco on luster photo paper for $9. Did you put anything over the print to protect it? I've seen a photo texture cream and wondered if you've used it before? Also what are your thoughts on using mod podge instead of the spray glue?

I have the original how-to post on this where I talked about how I tried Mod Podge - it ruined my print and I had to go back and get another one! So I'd avoid Mod Podge, but maybe someone else can get it to work .

I tried to scroll through the comments to see if anyone had asked, but I must've missed it because it should've been the number one questions: where/how did you get your chandelier?? I've been looking, and I'm not sure about painting it because I don't want to ruin it. HELP!

Hi Mindy! I posted about the Chandelier here: - - I just spraypainted it. You can do it!!

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