Instead, they’re essentially just copy paper glued to a large wooden board, and hung on the wall.
This is a relatively easy, inexpensive way to add some “pop” to your walls, especially if you have a large space to fill. Here’s how I did it:
- Particle board ($11 for large sheet, cut into 5 pieces)
- Engineer Prints from Staples ($3.59/each)
- Spray adhesive
- paint, if desired (I already had this on hand)
- Hangman canvas hanger ($3.50/each, using Michael’s 50% off coupon)
The space above my couch was 8 feet long. I knew that Staples could print engineer prints for about $3 per paper, and I wanted to do each photo measuring a height that was double the width. Based on all those calculations (and the size of one large wooden board that I could get at Lowe’s), I chose to do prints that were 18″ x 36.”
FYI: An engineer print comes in black and white only, and the paper is very thin. The biggest print that Staples can do is 36″ x 48.”
- First, I went to Lowe’s to buy a board (my 4-year-old assistant is pictured here :)). I’d initially planned to go with MDF, but it was a bit thicker than I’d imagined. So, I went with a 4′ x 8′ particle board instead. Lowe’s will cut these pieces in store, and so I had them cut the boards to size (18″ x 36″) for me. (I even had some leftover pieces, which I’ll save for a future project.)
- After taking the 5 pieces home, I sanded the edges (make sure to wipe them off wellif you use particle board–this creates a thick brown dust) and then painted the boards white, since I knew the photo paper was thin.
- I chose 5 photos that I though would show well in black and white, and went to Staples and had them printed. (It shows that you can upload them online and have them printed for pick up, but I tried unsuccessfully. The clerk assisting me noted that it wasn’t working at the time.) Interestingly the customers ahead of me were also printing engineer prints with photos…
- Prior to glueing the pictures to the boards, I mounted the hanging hardware onto the back of each board, and went ahead and hung them on the wall to make sure they were spaced like I wanted them. (Pictures are great, and make it seem like this was a 5-minute chore. If only… :))
What I’d do differently if I do this again:
- Costco can print 20×30 posters for $8.99. Since this is higher quality paper, I’d probably redo the pictures on this, and then mod podge over the photo paper. I’d have to cut my boards smaller (probably 15″x30″) or use the outside edges as frames. (I made the sizing decision (to make them bigger; I was originally thinking 15″x 30″) when I did some quick calculations at Lowe’s based on the size of the particle board–basically I went as big as I could given my wall size and the board size.)
- Not use spray adhesive: the about step would also keep me from needing to use adhesive glue, which is highly carcinogenic and teratogenic (can cause birth defects)–a risk I’m not willing to take just to decorate my home or save a few dollars.
- The boards I used were quite thin, and since they are already fairly heavy, I may use a thicker board next time, such as the thick MDF I originally declined.