Engineering Prints Project

I've had a black and white wall since our first Europe trip when I was 22.  
It gradually evolved after we got married, had kids, etc.  And it was starting to look scrappy to me.

A few months ago I came across THIS idea on Pinterest.  
Massive black and white photos for, like, pennies at Staples! 
Mental note: do this ASAP.

I'd intended to do it exactly like the genius from Sugar Bee Crafts did it- by applying it to foam insulation board, etc.  But I chickened out at the last minute and decided to step it up a notch and use canvases.  Guess what?  Hobby Lobby has canvases 30% off this week!  Plus I used that 40% coupon on one of them each trip. :)  
So, it did end up costing a little more- but I still scored big bargains AND I knew the final product would be a higher quality.  Plus, I would screw up cutting up that foam board so many times I'd waste just as much money as I'd spend on canvases.  
So, justified.

So, without further adieu- here's how I did it, and what you can expect yours to look like when you do it,since you won't be able to resist the project either! :)

Paint the edges of the canvases black- it looks classier. 

And I learned after applying one print that you should also paint the inner edges black, too.  Otherwise you'll have white peeking through where it's not adhered perfectly.  
And trust me, it won't adhere perfectly- just brace up for that you psycho perfectionists.  :)

Using some sort of spray adhesive (I had leftover Loc-Tite I bought at Lowe's from my upholstered headboard project, but Elmer's makes one you can grab at Hobby Lobby when you get your canvases). 
Spray the edge of the canvas and corresponding edge of your super huge photo- align as well as you can and plop it down.

Let that dry for a second you so have one secure adhered edge like the picture above.  Then liberally spray the rest of the canvas and back of the print- try to get all the way to the edges.  
Carefully lay your print down and smooth it down with something flat- I used a level-thingy.
Aaaahhhh- Paris.

Careful to work with dry paint, and wash your hands frequently after touching the ink- Dax now has black streaks on his forehead!

This is mid-project chaos.

I'd given Ada the paper scraps from cutting out the pictures, and her work area looked a lot like mine when I came in to check on her!

Now you're ready to hang them!  Some of them I had to go in with Elmer's school glue to get the edges to stick a little better.  Just FYI.
Professional photo by Rob Milton.  Who will probably cringe when he sees his shots blown up on 24x36in computer paper!  But they really don't lose a ton of quality.  I would stick to 18x24 for amateur or even phone pictures (YES!  Phone pictures and Instagram shots worked!)- but if it's a GOOD professional shot, 24x36 will be fine.

Notice some of the bubbling- especially in the one of sweet Ada at 3 weeks old.  Now, some of that is the blanket wrinkled up in the actual picture, but you can definitely tell it's not flat.  It doesn't look THIS terrible in real life- but again, perfectionists beware!

If you're hanging them on the stair wall, get prepared.  
Either be a good, patient girl and wait for your husband to get home.
Or be at least 5'9", and try not to be 8 months pregnant.
I can FEEL my mom cringing at this picture of the stool I stood on while hanging a few.

Here's a big picture shot of the big pictures! :)
Love it. Love it. Love it.
(Stop analyzing my spacing, alignment, angles, etc.  I'm not changing it! Mostly because I refuse to touch up the walls where I scraped black paint or nailed 6 holes.)


SciTeach said...

Great job! I love your energy, how you use your creativity to make such a wonderful home for your family. Can't wait to try this myself.

Ashleigh said...


Alicia said...

Love you lady!!! I need you in my life this week.

Haley Jolley said...

Thanks so much for your tutorial- found this on pinterest! Yours ended up looking great! I made mine with canvas also and followed your directions- they look awesome! Thanks again! :)

Brittany Adams said...

Awesome tutorial! Spray adhesive is a must-- great tip! I had never used it before so I tried Mod Podge first-- bad news bears!! I can't wait to show you have I have done! :) Thanks!!

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Anonymous said...

I absolutely love this!

Taou said...

You are simply hilarious! I laughed throughout the whole blog...Great job! I like your project a lot.