Monday, July 30, 2012

Huge Wall Art for our Bare Stairway

I'm not sure how your stairway walls look but we've been feeling like our need something bigger. Most substantial. We had a few 8x10 frames with family photos but with such a huge wall they just didn't seem to make any impact at all.

Enter Pinterest. I saw this great tutorial at www.girlinair.com and with a Sunday afternoon free decided to take a wack at this. The boards I used were actually old closet doors that we had removed and put in mirrored closet doors. These worked great because they are hollow and therefore lightweight, however, you could use any wood for this project cut to any size you'd like.

First: the photos were easy. Take pictures in landscape, up close, download to Picasa (free online photo editor). You can change the photo to black and white if your camera doesn't have that setting. The important thing is to RESIZE them to 18x24. This will come in handy with the next step. Add a thick border of you like.

Second: upload photos to Staples.com and order an engineering print. My local Staples cost $1.79 each. Having never ordered on there before I originally uploaded my photos and noticed that after cropping some were more of a portrait size so that's why I suggest using Picasa to resize. Figuring out that tip saved me a lot of time...after I figured it out of course.

Third: after you drive to Staples and pick up your creation (mine took about 3 hours to print), you have these great 18x24 prints. This is where I freaked out a bit because they seemed too big. I decided to use that extra size to wrap the photos around my board so that it looks like a canvas. I happened to have some old closet doors that I cut down to size but you could use any kind of wood to adhere your photos to. I used an 18x70 piece of wood and wrapped the extra photo paper around the back. Lightly apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the bare board, then lay your photo flat and try to smooth out any wrinkles. Wrap around the frame like a present. (Side note: Did you know that mod podge can be made with 1/2 water and 1/2 Elmer's glue? Yeah, that'll save you some money!!!)
Okay, back to work here - I then applied a thin coat of Mod Podge to the top of the photos to seal them and give them a glossy look. I will give you a TIP - try not to put mod podge on the faces of the photos. Mine did become wrinkled and while some people said, "Oh that makes it really look like canvas," I didn't like the look. I learned after doing a few that the mod podge works fine when you just avoid the faces of the photos.

Last: attach picture hangers, get out your level and hang!

Project Cost: about $30 since I had free boards.
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