Home Remodel

DIY Large Engineered Prints

I recently posted an InstaStory of my oldest singing “Jesus Loves Me,” and I had an overwhelming number of people give me some heart eyes for Jacks AND the prints I had hanging in the background. 🙂 The best thing about the prints…they cost under $4 to make! My favorite kind of DIY project. Bonus points for taking under 15 minutes to create, too! So today I want to walk you through just how I created the prints so you can make some large goodies for you home, too!

I took the pictures of the boys on my iPhones. Nothing special, no fancy camera. Just an iPhone and a plain, lightly colored wall. I did silly things to get the most authentic smiles possible, because we all know how cheesy those smiles can get when they’re forced. 😁 I didn’t put them in anything in particular, but more things that they love to wear. Things that represent them. Nothing fancy here. These prints were meant to be my boys, as they are, beautiful and innocent. Real-life and sincere.

I have the app Adobe Photoshop Express, which is free to download on ios systems (and quite possibly on Android systems, as well). It connects directly to your Photos on your phone so it instantly uploads all pictures you take right into the app. You are able to correct, adjust, crop, and add effects as you’d like within PS Express, and the learning curve is very small. It took me no time at all to learn the app and become very confident in adapting photos.

I took the photos of the boys and added more exposure and highlight to them to get a bright background and crystal clear black and white effect. Using the app, it’s extremely easy to create exactly the image you are looking for with the effects that you desire.

I uploaded my prints to Staples.com and ordered 18″ x 24″ engineered prints. Engineered prints are meant to be for blueprints and the like. They come in thin, lightweight paper that is very delicate (keep away from those little kid fingers!) It explicitly explains on their website that photos are not recommended to be printed as engineered prints, but instead, to be printed as posters. When I first started this process, I followed their instructions and did it as a poster. $42 later, I went back to my original plans of engineered prints. 🙂

Online, you’re able to do additional cropping and resizing to get the best print possible. You also need to be sure to choose whether you’d like landscape or portrait. Be sure you double-check you selected what you are truly looking to get from this project.

Staples.com does a pick-up in store option, but you do have to wait 2 days for it to be free. If you prefer a “rush order” of same-day or next-day, it costs $10 additional. If you are comfortable waiting the 2 days to pick-up, it cost just under $4 for the prints to be made! I don’t know that I’ve paid for something online in the $3 range for a long, long, looonnng time!

Blue Table and Chairs – IKEA
Teepee – Homemade!

The frames I used for this project were purchased at Target for $14.99 each. I liked the slightly thicker black frame as I didn’t make overly large prints. If I would have made these prints slightly larger, I would have gone with Ikea’s RIBBA frames that cost $14.99 for a 19″ x 27″ frame. They are slightly thinner which sometimes gives an even more dramatic look.

Huge warning to come with those Target frames: The back of them was created by someone who loved torture. The thin metal pieces can draw blood…and a few too many curse words.

Why? Why so many?!

I hung my large prints under this precious “This Is Us” sign created by Spring Meadow Co on Etsy. I purchased the Large size (50″ x 17″) to take up a sizable space on the wall and make more of an impact. They were wonderful to work with, shipped quickly, and the product came in beautiful condition. I was beyond happy with their product and their site makes me want to order so many more for the house!

The playroom remodel is underway and I’m excited to add some creative storage to this space soon!


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