DIY Canvas Prints: HUGE Impact, low cost

imageSo I was perusing pinterest for some cheap art work ideas when I came across one pin showcasing how to make a DIY canvas look-a-like on the cheap…right up my alley. But the styling was all wrong for my living room. So, I took the tips I read about and added my own style ideas and with some trial and error I came up up with what you see here.


1. Loctite spray adhesive – make sure you pick up the kind made specifically for foam otherwise it will eat the foam. I did some heavy trial and error to find what adhesive would work best and I LOVE this one. I used some of the cheaper brands and found the adhesive bled through the paper. The more adhesives I use the more I come back to this one as my first love. I love it so much here is a picture so you do not miss it:

2. 3/4 x 4 x 8 foam insulation board – you can find it in the insulation section at your hardware store for about $12!

3. VERY sharp razor OR a very nice hardware man

4. 3’x 4′ (36″x48″) engineering print out of your favorite picture from staples.

5. Scotch wall tabs

6. Bread knife (or at least that’s what I use to trim foam lol)

TIP: I was able to save some time and order my print online. It cost about $7 a print for this size but you can go smaller, 2×3 (24″x36″), and get them for only $4 a print – this is the size the pinner had used but I wanted something a bit more in your face so I went BIG. I think it was totally worth the extra cost.

WHAT I DID: I ordered my print the night before. Even though I selected a pick up date two days from the order date, the next morning I got an email saying my print was ready for pick up. Don’t mind if I do. I headed over from work, picked up my print from staples, and then headed over across the street to the local Lowes for the remainder of my supplies. While perusing the aisles for just the right adhesive, I had a nice employee at Lowes cut my foam board into four long pieces so that I had four pieces like this one: I wanted a more modern feel to my pictures which is why I chose this size and shape but your options are pretty much endless with how you can shape the foam board. Also, it just happens that cutting the board at Lowes allowed me to transport the foam home perfectly in the front seat of my car. I began to worry about that when I saw just how big the insulation boards were. If you don’t want to cut the board until you’re home, then make sure you have a BIG car to transport the foam board inside of. You can’t just throw these boards in the back of the truck or you will look in your rear view mirror and find your board flying out.

Once home, I trimmed about 4 inches off the top of each piece with my handy bread knife, laid my print out over the board and played with the print’s positioning until I had it just right. Then, I carefully lifted up about a foot section of the bottom, sprayed adhesive on the board and smoothed the bottom portion back onto the board, applying pressure from the inside out. I then did the same at the top of the print. Make sure you lightly lay the print onto the board with adhesive and smooth it out from middle up and middle out. This will avoid wrinkles and bubbles in your print. Have a bubble or a wrinkle? No problem! The great thing about this adhesive is that you can gently pull the print off of the board and replace it where you want it. No tears. No reapplying adhesive. I LOVE this adhesive! After the front portion is affixed to your foam board just perfectly, flip the board over and use the adhesive to fold your corners over almost like you are wrapping a gift. You want sharp corners like this: I let my boards air out a bit. The adhesive can be a bit overwhelming in small spaces. Once dry, I used Scotch wall tabs, one top middle and one bottom middle of each canvas, to attach them to my wall. Voila! All supplies and printouts cost me just under $50.00 for 4 canvas look-a-likes. Now that is a great savings when compared to your normal canvas pricing!

HERE’S A TIP: to save even more, print out your pictures in the 24″ x 36″ size, pick up a foam poster board from the dollar tree, and done… a canvas print for $5.00!!! Christmas present idea anyone?

Here’s a peek at the smaller faux canvas I made and placed over my work area. Not bad for $5.00!image

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273 thoughts on “DIY Canvas Prints: HUGE Impact, low cost

  1. Dani says:

    Staples’ website says the engineer print is not suitable for photos and when I uploaded it to have mine printed, they called saying it could not be done. Any suggestions?

    • Ah yes, I saw that same warning. My pictures turned out great despite that warning but I did just start with one picture as a test run before printing off all 3 just in case. I never had any issues uploading my pics. It may be related to the pixelation of the photos. My suggestion would be to transfer the photo to a thumb drive and take it to your local staples and have them print it off of that. I know it’s a bit more of a pain, but they may be able to have it printed by the time you go get your other supplies. Then, you’re not out of a trip. Let me know if that solves the problem. Thanks Dani!

      • Liz says:

        If your picture is a small file size the larger you go the more it falls apart (gets blurry). If you use a photo from online or a cell phone they don’t have enough information to go that large. If you can use a photo from a photographer or a higher end camera with more megapixels I would recommend that.

      • Love this idea! I think I will try this when I move to my new place this summer! One question, your prints look sepia toned, but Staples says it prints B&W. Are you limited to B&W photos only for the engineer prints from Staples?

      • I know what you mean. Mine are actually black and white. The yellowish lighting from my lamps makes them seem sepia. The only option I had was black and white so I assume that’s the limit for the cheap cheap prints at least. If you read through the comments, some readers had some great tips on where to get color prints for reasonable prices. Thanks so much for visiting the blog! So excited for you to try this. I just love them!

    • dee says:

      With regards to coating the print to mimic a canvas, this is what I found on another site. Has anyone had any experience with this?

      -TEXTURE CREAM or CR TEXTURE COATING If you are in Utah (SLC area) you can go in and purchase a 6oz jar of texture cream for $8.95 at The Wood Connection. Or, you can go online & order 1 quart of the cream technically called CR Texture Coating at for $15.90. (FYI: one 6oz jar will cover approx. a dozen 12×12 surfaces)

      -FOAM ROLLER I have used two different kinds of rollers for my canvas’s. A craft roller will give you more of a rough texture and the roller pictured here (I bought it at Lowes) gives a tighter more even texture…I like this look/texture best.

      Lay down something to protect your work surface and be careful not to get this cream on your skin.
      Spoon the cream onto your photo wrapped canvas. Grab your roller and start rolling it out. To ensure that you have the right amount of cream on your photo, start with a spoonful and if you need more add it a little at a time. Roll it out until it looks even.
      Don’t forget the edges! It will look similar to this, a little milky…but don’t worry…it dries clear.
      It takes a while to dry so put it somewhere safe for a good 12 hours.

    • john says:

      Well I just had 4 Pictures printed oout at staple and they came out terible with lines on them and yes it was a Engineer print any help here?

      • My best guess, without seeing the prints, is that Staples’ printing machine was running low on ink. I just had some more prints done a few weeks ago and they came out great so I would assume yours did not because of an issue with that particular store’s machine. Anytime using a new printing store I always print off just one as a test run. Even if it is just another Staples. If I have not had any experience with that particular store’s print quality, I give it a test run. I learned that one the hard way. I had issues with smaller prints that varied from store to store. So sorry your prints were so messed up. Perhaps a call to the store to see if they can try to run just one again may prove to be fruitful? I hope you are able to get them fixed!

      • Chris Franklin says:

        go to Office Depot!

      • emily says:

        I work at staples. We hate printing these. They ruin our printers which cost us thousands of dollars. Please don’t do these. Most of us will turn you away.

      • Emily, so sorry you hate printing these out. The employees at my local staples have never had anything but complimentary comments but, then again, they are also friends. As for the cost of printing and machine repairs and replacements, the company is free to include that added cost into their pricing system. I would venture to say that since they still have not raised prices that the company is still making more than it costs. Or, at minimum, they get additional business from those using the printing service that it results in an overall profit for the company. Additionally, I would be very cautious about sending business away without the blessing of your business owner and not just a manager. As a small business owner myself, I would be very unhappy if my employee refused to honor an advertised service at an advertised price without speaking to me first. That said, again, my apologies that you hate doing these so much. Thank you for taking the time to visit the blog and share your concerns!

      • Audra says:

        I sent my photos online to staples and selected the B&W engineer print. When I got there they showed me the first one and it had streaks and lines. They suggested I redo the order and select the Colol Engineer print (even though they are B&W photos). They said they use a different machine that is higher quality. The difference in price was about $4/print. Well worth it, they came out great!!

    • Jennifer says:

      Mine did as well but they came out great just make sure you select glossy color engineering or do black and white.

  2. Annie says:

    I wonder, if once your boards were dry, could you mod-podge the canvasses for extra durability and a glossy finish? That might look super fab!

    It would depend on the way the printouts are printed though I guess!

    • Annie, such a great idea! I actually tried to pick up mod-podge at Lowes but I had no luck finding it. I did pick up some glossy spray paint but that made the ink on the print run. Like you said, it really depends on the type of print. For the prinouts I had, they were super delicate when it came to anything “wet.” I decided not to chance it and go with the matte finish – which I loved anyways. I am super interested in seeing how a mod-podge finish would look. Let me know if you try it!

      • Mona says:

        You won’t find Mod Podge (to my knowledge) at Lowe’s as it’s a “craft item”. Try your local craft store. Alternatively, you can easily make it yourself using a 50/50 mixture of Elmer’s glue and water (for a matte finish), or add a small amount (about a tablespoon, depending on the size of the jar) of clear varnish for glossy. Hope that helps!

      • Kerrie says:

        Walmart has mod-podge! In the craft aisle! 🙂

      • C says:

        If you spray the prints with hair spray, it’ll stop the ink from running! Just make sure you do thin coats and far enough back. I usually do two thin coats before mod podging on top. Hobby lobby, AC moore, Jo Anns, Michaels, etc carry mod podge

    • Phillip Goodwin says:

      I modge-podged mine and it turned out very wrinkly… the engineering prints are done on very thin/cheap copy paper, and the wet goop takes a toll by creating wrinkles. I wished I hadn’t applied it.

  3. These are gorgeous – I’d love for you to link them to my “Do Your Thing” link party!

  4. Jessica says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your size, i was wondering what size did you end up getting your pictures printed out?

  5. Stephanie Boone says:

    Have you tried this using a colored picture?

    • I have not because the engineering print only comes in black and white… at least that’s the only option I was given. If you find out a way to get it in color I would love to know!

      • Kaylie says:

        I have actually gotten engineering prints in color from FedEx Office and am almost positive from Staples as well (maybe it depends on the location?). FedEx has comparable prices but, of course, slightly higher than Staples. Also note that color is more money.

      • Myrian Peery says:

        Have you seen ? They print big sizes posters in color, SUPER cheap…

      • Oh my, you just rocked my world! Thanks so much for sharing. I love the easel option…it would make a great DIY project to add that on. My poor husband…we will have pictures everywhere now!

      • getonpointe says:

        You can have Sam’s Club (or costco, or something of the like) do an enlargement print in color for just a few dollars more. I did 3 20″x30″ poster size enlargements over my couch for under $40… They print them just like they would any picture! Hope that helps!

    • Tammy Culbertson says:

      I had a 36X 24 print done through VistaPrint in color. i haven’t finished the project yet.. but i am getting ready to do it.. i will post mine if you like when i am finished.

  6. Evie says:

    Thanks so much for the post, I found it on pinterest. I just made mine and it turned out AWESOME! I did apply Modpodge and I can’t say there is much of difference other than the picture doesn’t feel as delicate because its coated. Thanks again!

  7. Tig says:

    This is great! i want to do this for a christmas gift. Do i just go to develp the picture i want with a 3X4? that seems really small compared to how big this board is… i just need a little help with this!

    • Ah, these would make such a special Christmas present! To print out my picture, I went here:

      Then I selected 36″ x 48″ (which is 3′ x 4′) and followed the website’s prompts to upload a picture straight from my computer. If you wanted to try to get a print out from a hard copy photo, you would need to call staples and see if that something they could do. Hopefully this helps out a bit. Let me know if I didn’t answer your question and I would love to try again!

      • Thelma says:

        I would love to try this I’m so glad I finally joined pinterest but I have a question for you as I’m on the staples website it says it not suitable for picture on the engineering size 3×4, shoul I worry?

      • Thelma, not one bit. The only prints that have not turned out well for me were prints I copied and pasted off of facebook. I knew that was a risk when I did it but I tried anyway. All other prints I have made have turned out very well! If you want to be safe, then try out one and if it goes well, then print out the rest. Thanks so much for visiting the blog!

  8. Kelley says:

    Quick question, my Staples said the engineering prints aren’t good for pictures. Is the quality still good? Thanks and love the idea

    • Yes! I saw that same warning and only printed one as a test run but they turned out great. Not pixelated at all. It may depend on the pixels in your pic so print a test run just to be safe. Let me know how the project turns out!

  9. I did these this summer…lots of fun and really neat to see your pics in supersize. Only thing is after a while, the engineer paper started to bubble. any idea why? (I’m thinking I did not apply enough spray adhesive).

    • I haven’t had any bubble problems yet but I can see how too much or too little adhesive could cause that. I erred on the light side with the adhesive. The one I used is such that you can gently pull the paper off and reapply if you need to. I figure I can always add more later If I need to but so far so good. I’ll keep my eye put for bubbling. Thanks for the heads up!

  10. Keri Steube says:

    We don’t have a Staples near by. Can you suggest any other stores that might have engineering prints?

  11. Sheryl says:

    Any idea how many pixels a pic should be to look nice?

    • Sheryl, sadly I do not. Perhaps one of the readers with some knowledge of photography can give us some insight?

    • Mel says:

      In my intro to photography class they say the rule of thumb for visible resolution for the average human eye is 300 dpi or ppi (pixels per inch, or dots per inch for printing). At handheld distance I can begin to make out pixelation in pictures at that resolution, but hanging on a wall it should look fine to most people. Go higher resolution if you can. So take your file size in pixels and if you divide that by the new dimensions you want to use you want to still have more than 300 pixels per square inch… make sense? if it’s less than 300, it will probably be visible with the pixelation (little squares of different colors).

      Example: 2 foot print needs 7200 pixels to have 300 ppi resolution; 3ft=10800; 4ft=14,400 pixels. so a 2×3 ft print would need to be 7200×10800 pixel dimension or more to not appear too pixelated in your blown out print. This is probably one of your medium or large settings on your camera. multiply the area to find the megapixels it requires, so 2’x3′ or 7200×10800= 7.776 megapixels- your cameras are probably much better than that.

      Also don’t forget this is a calculation for close up viewing. You will have some leeway for resolution if you are hanging this print further away and not standing right up on it to see it.

  12. sweetpea2200 says:

    Totally going to try this

  13. Debbie says:

    Question? You put the adhesive on the foam all over then put picture on top? I love tis idea a d I want to do tomorrow!!!😀

    • How exciting! I know you are going to love, love, love this! I sprayed the adhesive onto both surfaces. I first placed the picture exactly where I wanted it on the foam board. Then I lifted up about a foot of the picture on the bottom, gave it and the foam a spray and placed it back down lightly, applying pressure from the inside out to avoid bubbling. Then I lifted the picture from the top and applied the adhesive down the remaining portion of the picture and foam, lightly placed it back down and applied pressure from the bottom up and inside out. Best of luck to you!

  14. emilyp711 says:

    This is the BEST idea! I am going to do this for my mom for Christmas…such a great idea!! Love it 🙂 Thanks for the tip, great blog…I will def. be following to see what DIY’s you come up with next!

    • Thanks so much Emily! I hope you mom LOVES the canvas! I have some DIY projects in the works but too much turkey kept me from finishing them this week lol. Hope to have some up soon. Happy Thanksgiving and thanks so much for following!

  15. Alivia says:

    My fiancé and I just had our engagement photos done and I have been trying to find something like this! I will be doing it this week and I will let you know how it turns out. Thank you for the great idea!

  16. I really want to try this, but when I am ordering my prints from Staples, the picture does not fit the whole frame they are showing. Does that mean that my print will come out as only the picture in the middle? (I hope I am clear). Am I doing something wrong? I want to do this as a Christmas present for my daughter-in-law with their family pictures. Thank you.

    • I think I know exactly what you are saying. My guess is you are trying to print a horizontal print. If that is the case, I suggest you load the pic onto a flash drive and take it down to the store so you can explain exactly how you want it printed. Mine were vertical prints and when I downloaded them, they covered almost the entire space with the exception of a few inches on each end. That is how I got the tall, thin shape of my canvases. Let me know if the store is able to help you stretch the picture to the appropriate size. Thanks so much for visiting the blog and I know your daughter-in-law will LOVE these! Merry Christmas!

      • Kathy says:

        There’s a little box that you check that says “fill the entire area” and then make sure you check portrait or landscape.

    • Mel says:

      Consider printing a small black and white draft example at home. Label on it the dimensions you want and add any notes such as, this edge will wrap around the back. This is the area visible from the front. Etc.
      It may not be to scale or exact but perhaps it will be enough to give them the same idea you have in your head then they could help you print it correctly.

    • mstiner says:

      Much too late for your specific need I’m sure, but I figured I would comment with my experience for others to read. I submitted my first prints with staples tonight and had the same issue. Prior to uploading them to staples, I had cropped my pictures to 3′ x 4′ but mistakenly just used a 3 by 4 ratio and it came out much too small. I ensured I did a 3 by 4 foot crop the second time and when I uploaded I didn’t have to worry about fitting to the screen, etc. It fit perfectly. You can do this in Picassa, Photoshop or probably most standard photo editing software.

  17. jenifer says:

    Did you have to convert your pictures to black and white before uploading them to Staples?

  18. Heather says:

    I absolutely love this idea, I made my own! I would love to share it but I don’t have a blog:( How can I share it with you? Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  19. Nicki says:

    Question…if the pictures were not done by you, I know some places want copyrights before they will print. Did Stables ask for this when you got your prints done there? And I have old pictures of my kids when they were babies that are printed but don’t have the digital anymore of it, would this still work if I scanned it in (I think they are 8×10’s now) and had them printed off? I am thinking doing 16×20’s a maybe a size bigger for an empty wall above the couch. Thanks!

    • Scanning the picture could cause quality issues. I would take the photo to staples and see of they can scan it into their printing machine for a better quality photo. As for the copyright waiver, Staples did not ask me for one when I uploaded the picture nor did they ask me for one when I picked it up. If you don’t have a waiver, I have found that some stores allow you to sign an affidavit of sorts certifying that you are authorized to print the pictures. Most stores just want some sort of documentation to move the liability off of them and onto someone else. Thanks so much for visiting the blog and let me know how your scanned pictures turn out!

    • Nicki,

      My attempts to print pictures off of fb were a fail. I would assume the scanned images would be similar. Sorry to bear the bad news :(.

      • Nicki says:

        Hi there! I just wanted to let you know that I finally got around to trying one out and used an old picture of my daughter that I had to scan in and I’m very happy with it. It’s very clear. There are a couple of scan lines above it in some blank area but depending on how the other one turns out, I may just cut that space out and just have a close up of my daughter. I will try and upload a pic when I am done with both of them. I used an 8×10 pic and had it printed to a 24×36 with just about 2″‘s on the top and bottom to spare. Thanks!!

      • Great news! Thanks so much for taking the time to come back and let us all know. I know I have had a TON of questions about scanning pics. Thanks!

  20. Grace says:

    Hi!! I love the idea!!! I was wondering on the quality of the print. I have zillions of pictures on my phone that I would love to print them, not sure if would work if I print them so large to transfer to the canvas. Can someone tell me, if it has to be good quality? Or cell phone Picts would also work.?? Thx

    • Thanks for visiting the blog Grace! I have an order pending right now for pictures I copy and pasted off of fb (which are generally poor quality photos). I will let you know how those turn out as soon as they are ready and picked up.

  21. Arielle Samuel says:

    I just did this project for Christmas gifts and I am THRILLED with how the pictures turned out. I used a 1 1/2 inch thick foam board because I liked how it looked and it is amazing. Thank you so much for the easy step-by-step instructions. What a fantastic and beautiful gift for super cheap!

  22. Abbie says:

    I am going to do this with Alice in Wonderland themed pictures for my office! My Staples offers their engineering prints in color and black&white. (65¢/sq foot for color and 55¢/sq foot for b&w) This is a great tutorial, thanks to putting it together!

  23. Alana says:

    Found this via Pinterest and love it!!! Looking for a way to do something similar with our recent honeymoon photos in an 8″ x 10″ version. Your pictures are fabulous by the way. 🙂

  24. Kat says:

    Great idea! Just curious, is foam board the same as foam core? I used it years ago, but its white?

  25. Kaylee says:

    Where do I customize my print to a 3 x 4 at staples?

  26. Brittany M. says:

    Love this idea! Question: If I’m going to do the 2×3 prints, what size should I get Lowes to cut my foam board? 2×3?

    • You want to leave room to wrap your print out around the board. I would say leave an extra 3 inches around each edge at least, so your board measurements would be 1.5′ by 2.5′. Thanks for visiting the blog Brittany and I hope your canvas comes out great!

  27. Yvette Jimenez says:

    I know this might sound silly but in an earlier comment Myrian Peery mentioned the poster website, shortrun poster. Is the material of the engineer print from FedEx or Staples and a poster going to affect the adhesive to the foam board. I guess does it matter what kind of paper the picture image is on.

    • If I understand you correctly, you are asking if using poster paper will effect the adhesiveness to the foam board versus using paper print outs from Staples. If that is your question, I would have to guess no. I say that because the adhesive places what feels like a thin layer of sticky rubber to the paper and the board. The rubber even sticks to my hands, so I do not think it would have an issue when put on poster paper. When the paper and the foam board touch, the rubber on each one combines into a seal, doing a great job of sticking the two together without making it permanent – because it is rubber, you can carefully remove the paper without tearing it and reposition it or replace it all together. Hope that helps Yvette and thanks so much for visiting the blog!

  28. Sai says:

    Your tutorial is amazing! It was so easy to follow and I absolutely love my final product! Thanks so much for sharing!

  29. My son is currently in Europe for 40 days and he is sharing some amazing photos via his iPhone to Facebook. I wanted to use some of these photos as you have done here to give him for Christmas next year. I see you have said the photos from Facebook will not work….is that correct? I don’t know if it would make a difference but I downloaded the pictures to a photoshop type program to enhance them.

    • Patricia, that is so sweet! I know he will love your surprise. I would say just try a 2 x 3 printout and see. It’s a few dollars but if it works, what a great gift. My fb pics did not turn out as clear as I had hoped but it was worth it to me to try. Thanks so much for visiting the blog! Best of luck making your gift!

  30. Sydney says:

    I am curious how long yours have been hanging up now. We did this too and love them. We did two horizontal ones and one vertical (like yours are) via the blog I followed we used duck tape and wire, and sure enough the vertical one fell after two weeks. The horizontal one we have and the other horizontal one we did as a gift from my understanding is still hanging well. But I was looking for another way to hang them since the vertical one fell twice now. So I was curious how long the tabs have been working for you. Thanks!


    • They work great! Not one has moved as of yet. I did have to use packing tape on a new bunch I made for the hallway and that is not going well. I strongly suggest the tabs. They’re just so easy! Thanks so much for visiting the blog!

    • Melissa says:

      I had the same problem. I did this project a couple of months ago, and they turned out great! I first tried the wall tabs, and they fell after a couple of hours. Then I tried duct tape and wire, which lasted a few days before falling. Doesn’t make sense because they are SO light! I am searching for a creative way to get these to stick to the wall.

      • They have wall tabs made to hold up full size, wood picture frames. Those should get the job done. That is crazy that they’re causing you such an issue. Best of luck getting them to stay up!

  31. Connie says:

    Just uploaded a few senior pictures I took of my daughter. I can’t wait to get started and have these up for her reception. Thanks so much for sharing.

  32. ravelstudio says:

    Reblogged this on ravelstudio and commented:
    Love this DIY idea by TrendyThrifting! I never knew Staples did those prints.. must try in “free” time!

  33. Annamae Hoch says:

    I placed an order with Staples and they just called me saying the photo keeps pringting with lines on the picture. Did you have a problem with that?

    • The only issues with lines I have had was when I tried to print out prints I had copied and pasted off of facebook. Even then, the lines were hardly noticeable. My guess would be the picture quality or Staple’s machine is what is causing the lines. Hope that helps. Thanks for visiting the blog and best of luck getting your prints!

  34. Julie says:

    Engineering blueprint right? That’s what it says on my receipt , is that right?

    • I assume so. The Engineering print is the only option I saw with those words in it. And since it is made for the Engineer’s blueprints normally, that would make sense. Sounds like you’re right on track to me. Thanks for visiting the blog! Hope your project turns out great!

  35. Julie says:

    What size would I Ned’s the foam if I did the 24 x36?

    • I would cut off at least 2 inches off each side and make that the measurement for your foam. (Assuming you have 1/2″ thick board or less). So, a 20 x 32 sized board or less should work well.

  36. Emily says:

    Did anyone have issues with the quality of the prints from staples — mine all had a weird line running through the middle of them. When I asked they told me it was because the engineering printer is technically not for pictures…I am wondering if I should just try another location since it seems like no one else had issues???

  37. Robin says:

    Sorry if you have answered this question or not but I was wondering what size you had lowes cut the board I’m repairing my bedroom and want to do some of these for the wall!

    • I left the length as was simply cut the width into four equal parts. The nice man that helped me actually just somewhat folded the board in half and sliced it with his razor then somewhat folded each half into half and sliced it with his razor. If you wanted something a bit more exact, simply divided the width of the board by 4. Hope that helps! And thanks so much Robin for visiting the blog. Hope your project turns out great!

  38. diane says:

    I tried this and did not get very far. No store in the Nashville, TN area will make an engineer print out of a photo…… not for very cheap, so good luck with this.

    • Diane, so sorry to hear that. I have had good luck doing this 3 times now. Do you have a Staples close by? They were very easy to work with for my projects and they would be my strong suggestion if you haven’t tried them yet. When I ordered my prints online, I believe I remember seeing an option to have the prints printed and shipped to my house. Maybe trying an out of town staples and having the prints shipped may work. I know in my area, eastern NC, they print out beautifully and cheaply. Hope you find a way to get your prints! Thanks for visiting the blog and taking the time to comment.

      • Alecia says:

        The issue is that since this is now becoming a phenomenon, many stores are beginning to refuse to do this since it’s “cheating the system”. When requesting these prints, you’re asking for full photos to be printed at the same cost as something that typically is just lines. The specific location of office supply store that I work at refuses to do these prints at this cost as we lose money on them.

  39. WhitneyM says:

    Loved this idea and went to get my pictures printed and it turned out really dark? has anyone else had this problem or have any suggestions? My pictures was not dark at all when printed regular?

  40. Jennifer says:

    Thank you so much for the idea and for the wonderful instructions…I did see one like this but they put it on a board…and framed it…I thought that would be heavy but I love this one..I could do this one with out my hubby’s help.. Thank you for being so patient with everyone and all of thier comments…I would laugh when you would answer one question and then several lines later the same question..LOL thank you! You are a good teacher! :o) have a great day! When I do mine I will get you some photos!

  41. Tia says:

    So, I have a huge gliceé print that I would like to try this with, but do you know if it works with that kind of paper/print? Would the spray adhesive damage the print? Thanks!

    • My best guess would be it would work without damaging the print. The reason I guess this is because the adhesive is a sticky type of rubber that sits atop the paper and foam. It is not absorbed by whatever it sprayed on. That said, this is only a guess so I can’t promise you 100% it will work. Have any of my readers tried this on a giclee print?

  42. Patrice says:

    I would think you could coat this with something to creat art work to hang outdoors. I love this idea.

  43. Leona says:

    I finally tried this and love the results. You are the only one (that I found) that explained the wrap technique. I am completely thrilled how they turned out. I made 5 to hang side by side in my home. Huge impact on a budget. Thank you so much!

  44. Julie says:

    Hi folks, I’ve read thru the post and comments. Just wanted to let you all know about my experience. I’ve had excellent results at my Staples. I took in an actual 4×6″ photo and they scanned it and printed it off in a 3×4. To give you an idea how good it turned out-the lady waiting her turn dropped her jaw when they pulled it off the printer! So give it a shot-it’s $5 if it doesn’t work out you aren’t out much. In case your looking for another option I found 42″x 35″ white board-with adhesive already applied at Hobby Lobby for $14 (use your 40% off coupon and it is less than $10). But-it won’t peel off if you screw up! We started from the middle and worked our way out. Hope this information is helpful to some of you who don’t have digital copies.

  45. Nicole Diane says:

    i really love this idea but i dont like that engineer prints only come in black and white 😦

  46. If I use Modge Podge, do I just paint it on over the photo? Do I still have to use adhesive? I like the idea of a glossy finish.

  47. […] it on Pinterest and was just looking for a great explaination on how to do it. Soo in comes this blog! This lady explains it well and I was so happy to have found it so thank you! Its DIY Canvas Prints […]

  48. Nichole says:

    could you use like a regular canvas (one like you would paint on) to put these pictures on? and would you do it the same way?

    • You could! If you do that, I would use a different adhesive spray. The one I featured is best for foam but I don’t know how well it would work on a canvas. Should be very easy to find an adhesive spray for the canvas surface, it’s the foam that was tricky. Thanks for visiting the blog!

  49. Wow! This is so awesome..thanks so much for sharing! I recently did this in my kids playroom..loved how it turned out! Super inexpensive and easy!

    Here is the link:

  50. Angel spivey says:

    It’s it better to use vertical or can you use horizontal prints?

  51. Brittany says:

    Thank you for this amazing post! I just made mine and love it! I know you made your prints at Staples, but I went to Office Depot and they don’t have an engineering print. They did have big black and white or color options for posters. So those of you looking for color, this may be a good option. I made mine BW so I don’t know how it would turn out in color, it was a little more expensive though.

    • Brittany, Thanks so much for taking the time to let us know about that! I have had a ton of questions about alternative stores and color prints so I know your comment will be much appreciated by many. Thanks!

  52. dawn mccorkendale says:

    I was wondering if you had this printed out on paper or canvas material?

    • Paper. I would like to see if they could do it on canvas if you brought the material in. What a great idea if they agree to it! The last office supply store in my town just closed down :(. If you try getting them to do it on canvas, let me know how it goes! Thanks so much for visiting the blog and taking the time to post Dawn!

  53. Chritina says:

    Hi, love this idea. Where do I find the Loctite spray adhesive?

  54. Jennifer says:

    Absolutely amazing! Love, love, love this project. They turned out so well and were SO easy & inexpensive. My husband is going to kill me when I have over-sized canvases all over the house 🙂 Thanks so much for introducing me to this!

  55. Mary Ann Martin says:

    I used same technique but applies print onto 1 1/2″ artist canvas purchased from craft store during 1/2 price sale. I did Mod Podge over print for protection. Looks great!

  56. Erin Meece says:

    I did this about a year ago. I’m also a photographer so if you don’t already know this you can get engineering prints in color, but it will cost you. I had a 3×4 in B&W done for $6. To get it in color it would have run me about $80. HUGE difference!!! Also, if you are having trouble with your images run your photos through a noise program and also a “blow up” program and re-edit them. It makes a huge difference as the pixels are the problem you are running into. Happy crafting!

  57. alyssa pelton says:

    Were your photos black and white? Can they be in color if ordering them as engineering prints?

    • No, they only allow black and white for the cheap engineer print outs. I have had a few readers comment about being able to obtain color from similar stores but at a higher price. I would read through the comments section if your are interested in getting some color print out ideas. Thanks so much for posting Alyssa!

  58. alyssa pelton says:

    Ok just saw the comment above about the colored prints…but are yours black and white? Just curious because they look great! 🙂

  59. Are your photos black and white?? They look sepia ish 🙂

    • They are black and white although I agree, they have a bit of a sepia look to them. I think they are picking up on the yellower lighting in my living room. When I had them outside, they definitely looked black and white.

  60. Kelsey says:

    Omg this is my next project I just ordered my engineer prints yayyy….

  61. Dave says:

    I am having an issue with the adhesive eating away at the foam. Did you run into that? There was no problem on the front, which has the foil layer, but the edges sort of dissolved when I sprayed them. Did you spray the edges, or only the lined front and back? Maybe I just put too much on, but I didn’t think I did that much.

    I also had the adhesive soak through the print at one spot on the front, changing the black to a sort of brown. I probably did put too much on at that spot.

    • Did you get the exact same adhesive shown in my blog? If so, it should not eat the adhesive as it is made for foam. Double check the adhesive and see if foam is one of the recommended surfaces. If it is eating it, then my best guess is the same as yours, too much, but I didn’t have that problem and I was a bit liberal in some spots. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help Dave. Thanks so much for taking the time to visit the blog!

  62. Jean says:

    Hi I just found these what a great idea!! I really want to try these however, I have a question did you put the adhesive on the insulation board on the shinny side or the dull (writing side)? Also, if you put it on the foil side did the adhesive hold this ok? Thanks and they look wonderful. I am getting a new grandbaby in October so when (she hopefully) arrives I can do a pic of each grandbaby for my wall. Thanks!

    • Thanks so much for your sweet words Jean! To answer your question, I did the shiny side and it worked just fine. I also did this on a plain old foam board and it worked well on that too. I really haven’t used it on something it has not worked on as of yet. Congrats on the expected arrival your new grandbaby! Best of luck to you and mom.

  63. Holly says:

    I recently competes this project and applied a layer of mod podge on the top. However, my print immediately wrinkled all over! Any suggestions to avoid this in the future. I liked the idea of having a coating over the print.

  64. Lenita says:

    Hello!! I have a question in regards to thickness of the foam, I have only been able to find 1″ foam but newlywedlegalese picture appears to be thicker, I would like to know has anyone glued to sheets of foam together to achieve a thickness? I am thinking about trying that out!! Suggestions and opinions are welcomed and appreciated!!

  65. Kayte Vest says:

    Quick question, when i ordered my prints they are just paper. Were yours? Yours looked almost like poster material, wanted to make sure before i start my project.
    Thanks Kayte

    • Kayte,
      Yes, mine were paper thin. Make sure you adhere them to a side of the foam without any pattern on it. I started putting mine on the side with writing and you could see it through the picture. Thanks for visiting the blog and best of luck to you!

  66. Kayte Vest says:

    Yay! I just finished my boards, they came out so good! I made 2 2×3 one each of my kids for living room. Ready to make smaller ones in color for hallway. Thanks for the instructions.

  67. I love this, thanks so much for sharing. I am a photographer so I plan to do some of these with my photos and hang in my studio.

  68. Kami says:
    Best price I have found for color posters online and I can get a 3’x4′! Can’t wait to get started!

  69. Barbara says:

    I had some issues with the prints staying on the styrofoam board. I did everything as suggested. I had to re glue the backs as they started to come undone. After reading your post the only thing I did different was I sprayed the adhesive on the print and then attached. And I removed the silver backing from the board. When I sprayed the adhesive right to the board it would start to disintegrate and shrink.

  70. Andi says:

    I have done about 6 of these and loved them…. Until I opened my front door and windows and humidity got to them… Now they are a huge bubbled mess 😦 suggestions??

    • Oh no! That is super sad :(. The only way I can think of to protect the paper from moisture is to seal it. The problem is finding something strong enough to seal it without making the ink run. I know a few readers have used mod podge but I am not sure that would seal it enough to protect the paper from moisture. Does anybody else have an idea or tried something that worked?

  71. Kayte Vest says:

    Ok I’ve made these not too long ago and loved the turn out, unfortunately they are now covered in bubbles.
    I’ve removed the paper, re-applied my adhesive and looked good again. 2 weeks ago I noticed the bubbles are back.

    Anyone experience this??

    I had ordered some color ones and used them on the already adhesive ones they sell at Hobby Lobby. So far so good.

    Just would like to fix the problem with my black and white ones.


  72. Kristi says:

    Hi, can you tell me if I did my pictures 24×36 what size I should get the 3 boards cut to? 🙂 Thanks!

    • 2 2/3 feet tall and 1 1/3 feet wide should get you there. You can start with a larger cut out, say 4′ tall by 2′ wide, lay the print over the foam cut out and see exactly where you want to cut it down. Thanks for visiting the blog!

  73. Khushboo LaSure says:

    When I upload the pics on the Staples website, do I fit to scale? For example, when I upload the pic, it just it placed in the center with the large white border — do I just zoom in as close as possible then order? Thank you!

  74. Anntoinette says:

    Can u do it with uploaded pictures from your phone?

  75. […] and combined several different methods to achieve the look I wanted. Most of the method came from this post. She is so descriptive and there are lots of tips in the comment section.  This is my final […]

  76. Anna says:

    All I have to say is I can’t believe you are still replying to comments. 🙂 I’m sure you are glad to have real comments and not just spammers visiting your blog. I love your tutorial and I am thankful that I sifted through all of the comments so that a few more questions I had in the back of my mind were answered. We had family photos taken at Christmas when the older kids were all home. I almost feel giddy at the thoughts of doing this. ( FYI: if you have prints done at Walgreens or CVS they also have poster sizes available in color and I just scan through the ad in my email to see if they are 40-50% off. Not $5 but still under $10)

    • Anna, thanks so much for taking the time to visit and leave your sweet and helpful comments. I am already looking at getting some colored prints!

      • Anna says:

        Just amped the excitement up another notch or two! I had our recent professional photos on a jump drive in my purse where I’ve been meaning to take them in to have prints made and thought, what the heck. I’m going to see if our Office Depot will do it. My photo is done and waiting till after dinner. Husband is going to pick up the foam for me! I will link back when done.

      • Exciting! You’re gonna be amazed at how easy it is. Can’t wait to see it!

  77. I love the tutorial, one of the best DIY Canvas Prints tutorials I have seen. Have you tried painting over the photos? I am looking for a way to paint over a portion of a color photo I took of a rolling hill with some trees but am hesitant to apply paint on the glossy photo paper, thoughts? One thing we love is printing a single photo across multiple canvases, basically follow the same steps here but you split the photo into three and then color the border of the canvas.

    Link text.

    • I love that split picture idea! Thanks for sharing that. And as for painting over it, I have not personally. I liked the more matte finish but I know a few readers have used Mod Podge and seemed to like the results. If you brush it on a bit streaky, it gives the picture the feeling that it has been painted instead of printed.

    • Anna says:

      I’m thinking of using artist quality colored pencils on mine. Just one color like some of the edited B&W Photos that are popular.

  78. dee says:

    With regards to coating the print to mimic a canvas, this is what I found on another site. Has anyone had any experience with this?

    -TEXTURE CREAM or CR TEXTURE COATING If you are in Utah (SLC area) you can go in and purchase a 6oz jar of texture cream for $8.95 at The Wood Connection. Or, you can go online & order 1 quart of the cream technically called CR Texture Coating at for $15.90. (FYI: one 6oz jar will cover approx. a dozen 12×12 surfaces)

    -FOAM ROLLER I have used two different kinds of rollers for my canvas’s. A craft roller will give you more of a rough texture and the roller pictured here (I bought it at Lowes) gives a tighter more even texture…I like this look/texture best.

    Lay down something to protect your work surface and be careful not to get this cream on your skin.
    Spoon the cream onto your photo wrapped canvas. Grab your roller and start rolling it out. To ensure that you have the right amount of cream on your photo, start with a spoonful and if you need more add it a little at a time. Roll it out until it looks even.
    Don’t forget the edges! It will look similar to this, a little milky…but don’t worry…it dries clear.
    It takes a while to dry so put it somewhere safe for a good 12 hours.

  79. Cecily Sebastian says:

    Hey guys! So, loved this idea and decided to try it, but I wanted to do more than three. The only problem is, I’m on a very tight budget (grad school…spaghettios and ramen noodle budget!), and $50 isn’t feasible for me.

    Soooo…I went for a slightly smaller size print, substituted the foam board with box tops and bottoms (the kind of boxes that department stores usually use to package men’s dress shirts), and just used a lighter grade adhesive so that it wouldn’t eat through the cardboard of the box top. I used duct-tape to reinforce the undersides of the box tops and bottoms (noone will ever see the underside anyway).

    Result? Fabulous quality; 6 very modern yet personalized looking art pieces; and best of all, under $35. Most expensive bit was printing out my 6 photos…and the best part is that noone has noticed it’s a DIY project. Most of my visitors ask me where I had the pieces made; I just smile and say oh, you know, here and there. 😛 Thanks for a wonderful idea!

  80. Sue says:

    Love this project and I’m trying my hand at making the prints myself by using the tiling provision in a computer program. You can print out any size you want, glue the tiles together, then attach them to the foamboard. Since I’m an ink refiller I don’t have to worry about ink costs and I’m able to re-create my own artwork. When I finish one of these I will know if I want to do more and if I love it, I’m going to fill our home with my artwork in very large sizes.

    Needless to say, when I found this blog and this idea I went crazy with all the possibilities. I do want to coat the prints with something to protect from dust, etc. Has anyone used an acrylic spray sealer with success?

    Thanks for the ideas and the time to inform us all.

    • Cecily Sebastian says:

      Sue, I work with charcoals a lot in portraitures, sketches, and silhouettes, and I coat all of my pieces with Krylon Workable Fixatiff to prevent smudging and protect against dust. I’ve found that it works very well for my purposes, and it only runs about $3 or $4 a can in your Walmart craft or paint section. Simple, cheap, and effective. I don’t know if it’s what your looking for or not, but figured I’d suggest it anyhow. 🙂

      • Sue says:

        Hi Cecily:
        Thank you for your quick reply. Yes, I do use the Krylon for my pencil drawings, but was looking for something with a bit of (semi) gloss and a bit more protection than the Krylon gives. Would prefer something that is not water based if that is possible without too much mess. This way the prints can be dusted and maybe even wiped occasionally with a small amount of moisture on a cloth.
        Thanks again Cecily.

  81. Cecily Sebastian says:

    🙂 Let me know what you end up going with, I may start using the same thing!

    • Sue says:

      Will do. My husband just bought some auto clear coat spray from Home Depot for something he needs and hope to experiment with this to see what it does to the inks and paper. I will do a small print out, fold it around some foamboard, spray it and let you know what happens. If it works I’ll let you know the brand and where to get it.

      • Kristin says:

        When i go onto staples website to order the 3’x4′ it is coming up $10.49 a print? Any suggestions?

      • Do you have the shipping set to pick up in store? It is also possible that all the picture printing has finally caught up with us and staples has finally raised their prices to off set the increased ink costs. Maybe call you store and ask why the price increase. Best of luck Kristin!

    • Sue says:

      Hi Cecily:

      Here’s an update on some of my experiments thus far. Since I’m doing things a bit differently (creating prints on my home computer using tiled sections) I’ve had to figure out how to attach each tiled section. I’ve ended up using a really good scrap booking glue called Zip Dry that I bought off the internet. It’s wonderful and puts out a really fine bead of glue in just the precise place that I want it.

      Next, I experimented with spray glue, and while I may end up using that, I really didn’t like the mess. The spray we used was a large aerosol can of upholstery glue from JoAnn’s fabric store, and there’s nothing wrong with this glue, but it sprayed in such a large swath of messy glue everywhere that I hated it. I’ve ordered some sheets of glue off the internet called Silhouette double sided glue sheets. Haven’t received those yet so can’t report on it’s success or not, but I figured that I don’t need a concrete bond of the print to the foam board, just enough to bond it long enough to fold the sides over and adhere those with duck tape. I’ve found that duck tape works great for that. They even make colorful duck tape now if you don’t like that icky silver stuff.

      Now, here’s the good part. I bought some Min-Wax from Home Depot called Polyurethane Fast Drying Semi-Gloss – aerosol spray and this stuff is wonderful. I actually affixed a small print to some of the foam-board using some wonderful matte photo paper that I purchased from Red River Paper co. (who BTW makes wonderful professional papers for photo printing) and gave it about 4 quick sprays. I let it dry about 10 minutes between each spray and OMG, it’s wonderful. It totally did what I was dreaming of and that is to seal the print as well as create a coating that can be wiped with a slightly damp cloth. I will be coating the top folded edge of the wall hanging with the Min-Wax as well so occasionally I can wipe the dust off. This little experiment with the actual print over the foam-board allowed me to learn about the Zip Dry glue for joining printed tile sections, about adhering the print to the foam-board (this is where I learned that I didn’t like spray glue), and how to fold the corners for a really good looking fold.

      My husband is going to make me a large, shallow, open sided box to lay my print in to spray with polyurethane after it has been attached to the foam-board and he will make it the size of the largest planned print so I can use it for all prints. We are making about 15 of these prints.

      The only thing left to figure out is the glue I’m going to finally use to secure the print to the foam-board. I’ll let you know how the double sided glue sheets worked. If that’s a go I’ll be set to turn my home into an art gallery with these techniques. While I will be doing mostly my own artwork for the walls, I will be using one four generational photo of myself, my daughter, granddaughter, and “great” granddaughter as well and it will be about 30 x 40. Can’t wait to do this.

  82. […] mount them, I just followed the instructions from this blog. You can buy insulation foam boards at Home Depot or Lowe’s (mine was $10, and it was big […]

  83. 😦 I got the print & glued it to my canvas. It looked awesome on the canvas until I put Modge Podge on it. Now it’s wet and 100% wrinkled!!!! I think I totally ruined it! All I wanted was a glossy look to it. Any suggestions?

  84. Cara Young says:

    Did you have any problems with the jagged edge that shows in the photo? It looks quite smooth on your wall but wondered how you got it that way. Thanks!

    • I was worried about the same thing when I first saw those edges. I used a bread knife to even out the jagged edges best I could. They were still a bit jagged but not horribly bad when I got done. I also made sure the edges were the exact same length. Then, when I wrapped the paper around the edges, I noticed the paper was just thick enough to hold straight where the edges were a bit more jagged and curved inward. It looks much more polished on the outside than it really is underneath. But, from looking at them, you could never tell it. Hope that helps Cara! Thanks so much for visiting the blog and taking time to comment. Hope your project turns out great!

  85. […] These canvas photos are what I want to put in our master bedroom  There is a tutorial of how to make them. […]

  86. […] Enlarge meaningful photos to display Get steps here:  how to do this affordably by Trendy […]

  87. Angie Rice says:

    Hi! Can you tell me what size your boards were after lowes cut them? Trying to figure that out. Also what was your finished size? Thanks so much!

    • They were 2 feet wide and 4 feet tall when lowes was done. Then, I sliced off about 4 inches of the height…just enough to get my picture to wrap around the top and bottom. Hope that helps! Thanks so much for visiting the blog!

  88. Katelyn Nichols says:

    I am VERY excited about trying this. I have a few questions for you though. I am interested in having 2 of our wedding photo’s printed on the larger engineer prints. When I tried to upload them on the website, it states that the resolution is something like .4 (extremely low), and needs to be at least 8 megapixels. Is it because I saved them from the photographer’s website to my desktop, and then uploaded? Would it be better to upload directly from the CD of pictures that my photographer gave to me? Or is it better to have the 2 pictures printed in like a 5″ x 7″ and then take it to staples? Sorry for so many questions, I am just really interested in making this work 🙂

    • Definitely best to upload them directly from the CD. That will give you the highest resolution. So glad you are so excited to to do this project. So much fun and so easy compared to the wow results you get at the end. Best of luck and do not hesitate to ask if you have anymore questions! Thanks so much for visiting the blog and taking the time to comment!

  89. […] Project and Photo credit to […]

  90. cynzen says:

    This is a very cool idea. I need some larger wall hangings but buying original art is PRICEY!! This is original and even more original…and it can be anything I want rather then anything offered in a store. Thanks!

  91. Sam says:

    Staples will no longer print photos on engineer paper. Any other ideas?

  92. Girly Girl says:

    Love this idea…now to find the perfect pictures! 🙂 BTW…how are your originals holding up at this point? Thanks!!

  93. […] real love once in a lifetime! That’s why this special emotion deserves to be placed on a wall. Click here to see how to make canvas prints on your own, that will have a huge impact, but will cost you almost […]

  94. […] Full tutorial on […]

  95. […] art because we don’t have much for our new house. All we got are blank walls, baby. I’m using Engineering Prints at Staples (Cheapest DIY Art EVER at around $10 for three giant prints) and will show you how these […]

  96. Rachel says:

    check out you can make your own photo posters and have them printed for cheap! I think a 24×36 was only $15.00!!!

  97. Phanessa says:

    Hi. I was wondering if you peeled the plastic off the foam or not. Thanks.

    • I did not peel the plastic off. I attempted it but it seemed attached pretty good so I left it alone to avoid making a mess (I tend to do that a lot lol). If you do attempt that let me know for next time! Thanks so much for visiting the blog!

  98. Haley Roberts says:

    My husband and I did this project together. It was super easy and fun! I highly recommend it, it brought a lot of life to our bare living room walls!!!

  99. Debra Lynn says:

    Wow! I am so amazed by new technology making it cheaper and easier to print and create designs. I actually wish I could afford to take classes in advanced computer art techniques of which I may be totally overwhelmed!

    I am an artist and way back in possibly,1974, I drew an 18″ x 24″ pencil drawing of a primitive doll (with an intriguing story in our family.) Now primitives are very collectible. The drawing is called, “Birdie’s Doll”. I spent hours and hours drawing the still life in detailed pencil. There is an old keg in the background, and in the foreground is an old toy iron and an old toy primitive cookstove. I also put the doll, VERY primitive -looking on a highly detailed original quilt probably made by my great grandmother who was a quilter and possibly made the doll for her baby girl.. It was a tragedy, as the little girl died not long after, (Mom and I visit her grave on Memorial Day every year to put flowers on it.)

    The story is that the baby got pneumonia, was put into the hospital, and was being looked after by a nurse and doctor who were dating. They took her out in the cold, she got worse and died. My grandmother “doctored up” ( pun intended) the story and it was handed down from generation to generation. i also wrote a poem about the story.

    Well, I was taking classes in college the year I drew the doll and paper prices soared. horribly.

    My professor had told me to always use rag content paper when drawing, because an artist may draw a wonderful drawing, but it wouldn’t keep long, as cheap papers have cheap
    binders, turn yellow and crumble. I was a poor student, so I just went ahead and drew it on a cheap drawing.pad. I gave the finished picture to Mom who never It came out of the frame and she just gave it back to me.recently, (as she had a brain tumor),and the picture was all yellowed and crumbly .I put it in my art cabinet for safekeeping, but my cat jumped in on it and put claw marks on it from both paws, and knocked a chip from the bottom. So sad.

    But I read on Pinterest( now i’m addicted to Pinterest) that engineer prints could be made. Way back when, it was very hard and expensive to have good pencil drawings printed. I took it to Staples and spoke with the manager of the printing. He was very good at his job and i had some other simple prints done of my detailed pen and inks. i went back 2 hours later (It took a longer time to make the engineer prints) The drawings almost looked as if I has just done them. Brand new!But alas for the cat scratches! ( that just makes them more primitive, lol) The prints are wonderful and cheap and the guy who helped was great. ( one girl did not do as well before, so it pays to talk to someone who knows exactly what to do. He was fast and efficient! A commercial for Staples!

    Mom’s birthday is in November and I worry about her each day. I want to fix up one of the prints for her, but do wonder how to make the finish last longer? and now I’m all excited!
    I found several quaint Victorian photos of mustachioed men and long white dressed women and babies in their carriages. ( one may even be Birdie.) I want to hang these in my living room, as i love antiques. and am very excited using idea from these wonderful websites. So, off to Staples again! I also havebeen collecting old frames to redo. Ideas galore!

    And then i found great Grandma and Granddad’s wedding certificate! A Highly detailed intricate Victorian design–very amazing! but this one is so crumbly it will have to be pasted and scanned. I want to do all this by Mom’s birthday Nov 13, and surprise her!!! Ok—now my question is how to do the extremely fragile wedding certificate. It is bent in thirds, partly missing pieces ,yellow , and can’t be run through anything i know of without tearing up.( but i am good with pen and ink.and pasting up.) I would also like to make all the above look
    very antique, with a yellowed wash of some kind. i used to do it on watercolor paper with coffee but the paper is not thick enough.I am afraid to put watercolor on the thin paper. So, you wonderful people on here, can you write more what you think? The comments are just super!! The new tech is super and cheap!! ( I am still a poor starving artist!!) But just maybe this will get me stared doing some nice things!!!

    Sorry i wrote a book, but I am 60 this year and so excited about all this wonderful printing and crafts i never thought i’d see in my lifetime. Once I paid $5oo for some prints that sold well, but now I can copy for pennies!!!! Isn’t this just wonderful and so motivating to make pretty stuff for the home, also!!! Love you all———-deb

  100. Michelle says:

    I’ve tried this but the photo came out extremly grainy. Do you have a suggestion?

    • Was the photo professional grade quality? I tried to print some from Facebook once and they looked horrible. Only when using professional photo files (which I own the rights to) have I been able to get great quality prints. That’s my only grainy photo experience so I hope that help! Thanks so much for visiting the blog and I hope you get a great print next time!

  101. Michelle says:

    So pics r on regular photo paper? Or printer paper?

  102. Janeen says:

    Has anyone tried the Mod Podge sealer spray that they have at Michael’s?

    I was contemplating whether or not to try it since I have 2 little ones and the pictures I am making will be going in their playroom. I was going to go with a Matte finish but at least it would work as a sealer in case they somehow splatter something on them.

    • Janeen, hopefully someone can let you know how it works. While I haven’t used that one specifically I know that the sealers I have tried were always too wet and made the ink run. I would try spraying it on the back in a corner and see how the ink responds. Thanks so much for visiting the blog and taking the time to leave a comment!

  103. Lardarius says:

    Hi- I scanned through all comments and couldn’t seem to find how you hung these on the wall. What sort of clips did you use? Thanks again!

    • Command strips were what I used. They worked well for me but some readers had problems with the smaller sizes holding up so be sure you get medium-large. Thanks for reading and taking the time to post your question!

  104. cinthya says:

    I love your blog waiting on my pictures from can’t wait.. 🙂 🙂

  105. Judy Murray says:

    I love any idea that makes something related to insulation fun. Being in the insulation business for over 26 years, it can be a little unexciting! I will be sharing this with clients as a fun project to do with a not so fun product! Thanks for sharing!

  106. Millie says:

    What type of print did you order from Staples?

  107. Brittany says:

    I just made 6 of the $5 ones. I wanted to share my experience to help others! I printed 5 black and white 24×36 engineer prints at staples and they amazing! I also printed one color one in the same size and that did not turn out as well but it wasn’t awful.
    For the first one I glued it down with mod Podge then turned it around and glued the corners on the back down. That turned out bad. Bubbles all over the front and you could see where the glue was.

    What worked great was when I put no glue on the front and just glued it secure on the back. Easy and cheap!

  108. supernatural says:

    Canvas prints: I luv this idea. Instead of using just one pic per canvas, can I use multiple pics on one canvas? I would like a collage look, black and white

    • I don’t see why you couldn’t do that! You would need to find a way to make the collage separate then upload it to the Staples website as one pic unless you or somebody else sees another way of doing it. Let me know if you figure out how to get it. That sounds like a great gift idea! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit and comment on the blog!

  109. […] Thrifting’ shows us how to use those amazing bargains called engineering prints to make these DIY canvas prints out of your own photos… I think these look better […]

  110. natasha says:

    If you are using the foam board from dollar store do you use the same adhesive?

    • I did use the same adhesive and didn’t have any issues. If you have a problem with it adhering, tape along the paper edges folded over on the back to give it a little extra help adhering. One note I will volunteer is I had a friend try to tear the paper lining off the dollar tree foam board first and that was a hot mess. Made the board curl up. So leave it as is in case you were tempted. Hope your pictures turn out great! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on the blog!

  111. […] of Baby C and glued that to a Dollar Tree foam board similar to the process I blogged about here: I used some of my personal crafting items (like the stamps and ink pads) but total (including […]

  112. Melanie says:

    Love this idea! Are these pictures printed on photo paper in the large size? I ask because I have access to a plotter to print large pictures but only on regular computer like paper- I have been hesitant thinking it would fade- I guess for such a cheap price it would be okay but I’m just curious with your experience-thanks!

    • It is just regular printer paper. I don’t have my pictures in direct sunlight but they are in a bright room and I have had
      no fading yet. I know some readers used modge podge to seal their prints but that just made the ink on mine run so I skipped it. Plus I love the matte finish. Hope that helps and thanks so much for taking the time to visit the blog!

  113. shemeka says:

    I went to Office Max today to get copies of photos and she printed on regular paper in black and white, it was horrible! Reprinted in color, still horrible! I’m was so disappointed. Taking copies back to reprint on photo paper and hope it’s better.

    • I am so sorry Shemeka! I haven’t used Office Max so I appreciate you reporting back on the bad quality. The photo paper may not be flexible enough to bend onto foam board if that is the look you are going for. Just wanted to give you a heads up on that. Thanks for taking the time to visit the blog and comment!

  114. Lyn says:

    I have been using shortrunposters for years! I have a unfinished laundry room in the basement. I have taped up these posters all around the room to let my mind be transported. Now, I will “upgrade” the posters with this techniques. Thank you—

  115. anyone ever tried I could not find one review online! what makes me nervous.

  116. […] Tutorial via […]

  117. Chelsea says:

    where did you get that mirror? im looking for one like that…that wont break the bank!

  118. Kayla says:

    If your local Staples won’t print them, PhotoJojo prints ones especially designed for photos! $25 plus free shipping for a huge size! (3’x4′, I think). Plus they’re made on high-quality prints and done here in the US, so that’s kinda awesome too.

  119. stephanie says:

    How did you hang the picture on your wall?

    • Stephanie, I used command strips. You could also use pin needles from a sewing kit to minimize holes in your walls. Thanks for taking the time to visit the blog and comment! Hope your pictures turn out great!

  120. […] diy projects. Wallah! DIY Canvas Prints. You can find more detailed instructions and pictures at Trendy Thrifting (original source) but in the meantime here’s a list of what you’ll need to get […]

  121. […] Inspire: Big Photographs. Home decor has fallen completely by the wayside since, you know, giving birth. But, I’m […]

  122. Mer says:

    Is that quality of the print too delicate for me to use it as a sign in board?

  123. Laken says:

    Where to you order your prints? I’ve been calling and searching everywhere and I don’t know any way or where to do it.

    • Staples offers engineer prints you can order through their website. Just set up your order for engineer prints in the size you want, upload your high resolution pictures and press order. Your order should be waiting for you in a day or two.

  124. Amanda says:

    My local staples does not do photo printing so I looked at local prints shops and for three black and white photos 2’x4′ they quoted me nearly $250. I asked for the engineering print and they assumed that is same as blueprint paper. Was that right or am I doing something wrong?

    • I believe the blueprint paper is the same. Without seeing it I can’t be absolutely sure. But, I can tell you the engineering prints are printed out on paper. It isn’t photo paper. It’s more like huge versions of regular old copy paper. Hope that helps Amanda!

  125. Kristi says:

    Why in the world would you go through all the time and energy to end up with something that’s going to look cheap, won’t last because of the acid in the cheap paper? Sometimes when you spend $5 on a project it just looks like you spent $5 on a project. If you look on Living Social, Groupon or any of the other coupon sites, there are always great deals on photos printed on canvas, wood or metal. You can often find a deal for aroun $30 for a single canvas. Yes, that’s more money but for something that looks great and will last!

    • Kristi, I have had these three years and they look just as great now as they did when I first made them. When you see them in real life, done well, you will be see surprised at how good they look. I have found that as life progresses and new milestones are added you will want to memorialize those moments. Paying for new canvases each time isn’t an option for us. The $30 deals you spoke of are for canvases about 18″x24″. The “canvas” I made for over $20 cheaper is twice that size and the shape of my “canvas” adds height to my ceiling which is a bonus not offered on groupon. There is something enjoyable about creating so for me so it isn’t a waste of time in my eyes. In addition, it only takes about 15 minutes to apply the print to the foam board. Clearly if I want a keepsake I am going to get a real canvas (and have which is how I know what the $30 coupons will get you) but for artwork on every day walls where I can display happy events in life and change them up as life changes, why not use these?

      • Sue M. says:

        I so appreciate the knowledge of making these inexpensive large prints. And you taking your time to share it with the world. If anyone doesn’t want to go this route they always have the freedom to do so, but I, for one, appreciate having this option and don’t always want something of archival quality because I can always change them out when times change. Thanks again.

      • Angie Rice says:

        I love your comments back to this not so nice person!!!!!

      • Sue M. says:

        You are always so nice no matter whether anyone else is or not.. Plus when you are nice to someone who is a jerk it makes them look even worse and when you respond in like manner, well, it just makes you/us just like them and it becomes simply a different point in time. I tried to teach my daughter that when someone is ugly to you, in a way, they are sending you an invitation to fight. If you accept the invitation, and fight, at that moment you just became 50% responsible for whatever comes next. Congratulations!!! You didn’t accept the invitation.

      • Ah thanks Sue :). My mom and you must have similar teaching styles.

  126. […] Next, would be family pictures. Behind the couch would be a blank wall and I would love 3 large (2o x 30) black and white photos. An example would be below. These are a little bigger, but I want it to have the same effect. She actually wrote a tutorial on how she did these pictures and you can find it here. […]

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