Decorating Projects + Tutorials

Engineer Prints – Large Scale Art

April 25, 2016
Tiger and Lion Photos

We got 2 more cats!! Don’t worry, these ones are just made of paper.

I’ve been loving the look of large scale art lately. One thing I’ve learned from tons of searching is that large pieces can come with an astronomical price tag. So, I started looking up some ways that I could replicate the look and I found some pretty awesome stuff, like this octopus made out of a shower curtain:322a9bffc385777cbbc51b76cd617b2f

Eventually I came across the idea of using engineer prints (the prints typically used for blueprints & other architectural work) to print photos on a large scale. There are a ton of great examples out there of people using photos they’ve taken of their kids, or even abstract photos, and turning them into beautiful wall art.

Now, I’m about to get into exactly how I did my tiger & lion prints, but first let me start by saying: if Greg had tried to tell me a year ago that we were going to have huge prints of tigers and lions as a focal point in our living room, I would have spat in his face. Usually when you think big photos of tigers and lions on a wall, you imagine tacky orange roaring creatures & a 10-year-old’s bedroom. However, when we moved into this house, I promised myself I would design it in a way that whoever walked in would get the sense that it was OUR house — not a house that feels like “this is someone who loves HomeGoods!” I’ve had so much fun creating a home that’s OURS by finding projects like this that speak to the things Greg and I love. In the 2 months that we’ve been here, we’ve piecemealed our place together with vintage finds & tons of stuff that has a lot of meaning to us, and it makes us love our home that much more.

My first step in this project was to scour the internet to find the perfect tiger & lion pictures. My first stop was Etsy since a lot of shop owners sell downloadable files. Once I came across Lila and Lola’s shop, I knew I found exactly what I needed.

I bought the downloads for $6.50 a piece. They send you 4 different sized files to use, depending on how big you’re scaling the photo.

Next stop was to head to Staples website and see if this really was going to be as easy as everyone says it is. Short answer: yes. Here’s where you can go to upload your prints.

I chose to print my photos at 24×36. I knew they’d be hanging above our new credenza, so I didn’t want them to be too big. Since Staples engineering prints are only black & white and on super thin paper, printing them is very cheap. Each one of these cost only $3.50 to print! That brings each download + print to only $10.00!

Here’s the print before I framed it:

Large Tiger Photo

I had to be very careful because the paper is extremely thin. That meant no cats stepping on it (and believe me, they tried!)

I got the frames on sale at AC Moore for $12.99 each. They are just super cheap, matte black poster frames, but I love that the edges are flat and thin (instead of fat, round & shiny like George Costanza’s head most cheap poster frames)

Oh, I forgot to mention that I did this all without telling Greg. Big cats are his favorite thing in the world, so I wanted to surprise him. The real cats were very curious & I asked Greg no less than 7 times if he thinks they can tell that they are looking at other cats. (He doesn’t think so)IMG_9840 (1)

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Today we picked up our new credenza so they are finally in their rightful home now! IMG_9917

Tiger and Lion

So there you have it! It really is as easy as I read it was. I would highly recommend giving it a go if you’ve got some empty wall space to fill. There are endless Etsy shops with awesome prints to choose from (and I also read somewhere that Staples just started doing these types of prints in color!)

Here’s the breakdown of costs for this project:

Files from Etsy: $13

Prints from Staples: $7

Frames from AC Moore: $26

Total for this project: $46

The best part is that the prints are so cheap, I can easily change them out if we ever get sick of the tiger and lion. (It wont happen.)

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