Images above (left to right) Martha Stewart, Design Editor, and A Beautiful Mess
Well, another thing for the home, but I promise this is more of a designy-crafty-DIY type of a thing than home renovations. I’ve been seeing these large Debbie Carlos prints around for years, online and at renegade. I learned that blowing up your own pictures really big can make for some great artwork from all my years watching early Trading Spaces. A year or so ago people started posting about how you can get your own images blown up, in black and white, cheaply at copy stores, by just asking for blueprint or engineering copies. Brilliant!
Then a little bit ago I saw this great pin about making a life size photobooth strip from Today’s Creative Blog. I think that tutorial just pieced together 12×12 prints to look like they were all one strip, but I thought “why not take it a step further and just blow up a real photo booth strip?” I called up a local copy store and they said the largest size they print is 4’x3′ for only $5. The print is like a very large xerox and the paper is pretty similar weight to a nice copy machine paper. 4’x3′ is much wider than just one strip so I figured why not do a few strips side by side.
just a few of my photo chemical photobooth pictures strips
While looking through my strips I realized I liked some pictures from a lot of the different strips and decided to piece together some of my favorites of Matt and I from over the years. I scanned 3 photobooth strips to get the background right, and then scanned all my strips for the individual pictures I wanted to place over the existing pictures. They are all real photobooth pictures, just not from the same strips. You could easily just scan complete strips and have them printed as is.
Once again, I’m not a home decor photographer, but COME ON! Look how I was able to get two adorable kitties in the shot AND both are looking at the camera! I may have missed my calling to be a pet photographer. It’s like a family portrait of sorts above. Matt and I in the print, and the cats below. I said “too bad I didn’t remove the laptop from next to the couch” and Matt said “well, that’s part of the family too!”
A few extra ideas I had while doing this project:
I scanned the photobooth strips in at resolution of 1200 so that when they were printed out that huge they would still look pretty crisp.
The print is just stuck to the wall using wall tacky, which I’m not crazy about for the long run. I doubt I’d just find any picture frame that large that is in range for a $5 print. I need to look online on sites like https://www.secretasianman.com/best-canvas-prints/ for some framing ideas.
Think about what else you could print large. What about a face, Chuck Close style?! You aren’t limited to enlarging photographs either. It would be really cool to scan an object (fern leaf, needlework, heirloom lace, seeds, sequins) or photograph a sentimental object (wedding rings, baseball, keys, handwriting) you have and then blow up those images really big to display in your home.
You could get an even bigger impact by dividing your image up into parts, getting each piece printed out on the largest size paper and then piecing all the prints together on the wall.
Many years ago I remember finding the site rasterbator.net, and this project reminded me of that. I was glad to see the site is still up. Rasterbator allows you to upload a picture and then set the specifications (image dimension, as well as paper size) and the site will create a multi page PDF with your image blown up in half-tone. You can then print the pages from home and piece them together.
Last minute addition. I love this idea that MyCakies shared where she blew up a print of the Eiffel Tower and then let her children go to town painting it with watercolors. Instant Art!