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// DIY Oversized "Gallery" Prints For $6 Each!

DIY Gallery Prints - Kaelah Bee
Mike and I are creeping up on our one year anniversary (under 2 months away!) and we have yet to really print any wedding photos. I thought for sure I'd be crazily ordering prints left and right but I think I was just relieved for the wedding hype to die down a bit, ya know? Don't get me wrong - I love our photos and I had so much fun planning our wedding... but sometimes it's nice to take a step back and enjoy marriage for what it really is. Anyway, I've seen the oversized print images floating around Pinterest for well over a year now, and I finally got around to trying them for myself. Now, this idea is nothing new. I didn't come up with it or anything like that. I remember some design blogger mentioning it in early 2012. I've only looked at 1 or 2 "tutorials" however, and both of them called for Mod Podge and a wooden surface. Well, I like things to be nice and cheap. Their versions were neither of those things. Mike and I tried three or four different ways of "wrapping" the prints and this is by far the best version we experienced.

You'll be able to see below what the Mod Podge version looks like compared to our technique. It's not 100% perfect, but it's by far superior to yucky wrinkles and creases. All you need is some oversized engineering prints from Staples (~$5 each. They only come in black and white! Mine are printed on 24" x 36" paper), foamcore board (~$1.25 at your local Walmart or Target), some packing tape, and of course something to hang it with. We used sawtooth hangers since we had them on hand.
DIY Gallery Prints - Kaelah Bee
DIY Gallery Prints - Kaelah Bee
This "tutorial" is so simple I feel stupid calling it a tutorial ya know? The photos don't even do the process justice. Each piece only takes about 5 minutes (if that), but I'll say this: You should really have one more person helping! The tugging and taping is a lot easier with an extra set of hands! Step one: Lay your image down on your foamcore (our boards were 20" x 30") and decide where you want to align it. Ours weren't printed with the final size in mind so we had to usually do ours off-center. Flip the photo and board over and begin taping down the wrapped excess by pulling on the shortest sides first. Do one side and then push the board down and wrap the other. Tape them as tight as possible! 
DIY Gallery Prints - Kaelah Bee
Step two: Envelope fold the corners of the two remaining sides (4 corners). This will give the wrap a nice crease at all 4 points. Be sure to fold the 2 corners of each side at the same time, then use 2 hands to pull the excess over the edge. This will ensure a tight wrap. Tape those puppies down!
DIY Gallery Prints - Kaelah Bee
Step three: Once you've wrapped your images, flip them over and attach your backing. We attached sawtooth hangers with E-6000, but you can get creative. The finished pieces are very lightweight so there are a multitude of options available. -- Then that's it! Hang and enjoy! It's sort of ridiculous how easy this is, but it makes such a difference! We outfitted our 12 foot hallway for right at $30. We also made a couple more for our bedroom. Canvas prints are often so expensive! This is a nice alternative. We have grey walls so the high contrast of black and white looks really nice in my opinion.
DIY Gallery Prints - Kaelah Bee
Above is a side by side comparison of the tape technique (left) and Mod Podge (right). It makes such a huge difference! The engineer prints are printed on very thin paper so you have to be extra careful when exerting any force with it. The beauty of the tape technique is that you can just slice off the tape with a utility knife if you want to toss out your print and use a new one.
DIY Gallery Prints - Kaelah Bee
DIY Gallery Prints - Kaelah Bee
Overall we're super happy with the finished product. We whipped up 8 of these puppies in under 30 minutes! I'm all about cheap home decor projects so I know we'll just swap these out with new images as time goes by. It'll be nice to have a rotating gallery of our own!

Just a heads up - You can order engineer prints online and in store! The 18" x 24" prints are only $1.79 each, and they go as large as 3' x 4' (for only $7.29!) This way you can try it out and not feel guilty about wasting money.

What do you think? Worth a shot in your place?

34 comments:

  1. This is fantastic! I did several smaller prints in frames pretty soon after we got married, but I have yet to do any large prints. I need to try this out soon. Thanks for the instructions!

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  2. I really appreciate your intro paragraph, I think wedding photographs are very special, but the actual marriage between the two people is the most important thing! I'm a photographer, and I remember shooting my first wedding and thinking, "...wait are they doing all this just for the pictures?" I think that they were and that makes me sad.

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  3. I feel like this is one of those "dur-da-durp" moments where I think why didn't I think of that?! Thanks for sharing your technique.. I have some prints already and have had problems on how to display them! This is perfect! Also, your photos look gorgeous!

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  4. Oh cool! I need to do some of these for over our bed!

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  5. gorgeous! they look so stunning!

    www.modernsuburbanites.blogspot.com

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  6. Awesome idea!! Inexpensive DIYs are my favorite.

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  7. I just got married about three months ago and haven't printed any pictures out because I didn't know what to do with them. This is perfect! Thanks so much!

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  8. I got married three months ago and haven't printed any pictures out because I didn't know what to do with them. This is perfect! Thanks so much!

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  9. wonderful tutorial and these look great, i love the vivid black and white!

    writingwhimsy.com

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  10. Brilliant!!! I've been wanting to do this for so long now!! xo

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  11. GORGEOUS pictures and I love the giant prints.
    December marks our fourth anniversary and we still don't have any printed out. Granted, we've moved three times since getting married (one of the places wasn't ours) so hopefully we can get some printed soon.

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  12. These look great! The tape was definitely a good call. I had no idea you could grab such awesome, giant prints for so cheap! Your wedding photos are ultra-gorgeous so I love that you have them up in your house now!

    -Becca
    Ladyface Blog

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  13. I printed some of our wedding photos as engineer prints for our kitchen, but didn't mount them. I'm kicking myself now! Great (and cheap) idea!

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  14. Perfect timing - thanks for sharing! Have been wondering how to work a fun family picture into our decor without it feeling too formal or out of place. xoxo

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  15. Your photos look magical in black and white!!!!!!

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  16. Your photos look magical in black and white!!!!!!!

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  17. Love this, your photos are really sweet (: I want to do this for my current home but since I'm moving this spring seems like it would be best to wait. But love the idea and definitely booking marking it for future reference! :D

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  18. This is really great. Ironically, we just got a print from my father (he is a photographer) that he did this same technique with- only he used wood boards, which are heavy. I love this idea.

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  19. These are so beautiful. And, Happy (almost) Anniversary

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  20. They are amazing!! Bookmarked without a doubt.

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  21. Good call on the foam core! I've been trying to figure out how to make them more sturdy so I don't have to just tape them to the wall.

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  22. Yay! These turned out amazing! I managed to make my mod podged to canvas print work as "artsy", but I'm definitely going to give this a shot for my next engineering print project. I already have a photo in mind. Thanks for sharing!

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  23. make it even cheaper with 20% here is a code! MCSOFF

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  24. here is a 20% code to use at staples.com code MCSOFF

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  25. your post just inspired me. can't wait to try this!

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  26. The other day ı was just thinking ways to hang some fabric prints and this might be a good idea. You can even use some sturdy cardboard as your base. And I agree with you your version looks better than modpodge version. Sometimes Modpodge is so overrated in the craft world (and it is expensive and never really dries and you end up with sticky texture forever). Ha!



    My life in Africa: http://mzunguintown.blogspot.com/

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  27. Yay! Cheap DIY! Great result too. Definitely filing that one away for future use! :D

    -Rebecca
    http://mn2nz.wordpress.com

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  28. Ahh wow this looks like such an inexpensive way of getting big canvas type prints! Yours look beautiful. I will most definitely be trying this - hoping I can get all the stuff in the UK.

    Beth // SansSouci

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  29. I cannot believe it's been almost a year! Wow, where does time go? I've been meaning to do this with a few prints I'm in love with. Thanks for the reminder!

    xo Ashley
    thetiniestfirecracker.com

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  30. When you prepared the engineering prints online, did you run into any issues with distortion/pixelation when fitting the photos to the size of the print? I thought about doing this project, but all my photos look super wonky once I upload them. Any tips?

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  31. Such beautiful pictures!!! I'll have to keep this in mind for the future. :)

    x Sara from tinysugarbee.blogspot.com

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  32. this is great! i've seen the mod podge tutorials you mentioned and thought it looked like a very messy project (not on the photo, but on everything else, i mean, but i've never worked with the stuff before). this looks so much more convenient! when i saw the photo of the two with your husband and stepson, i didn't realize at first that they were two different results. i was thinking to myself 'why does that one look like it has a bunch of ripples or something?' then i kept reading - your version looks markedly better!

    <3 max.
    petticoats & pantalones

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