Most of the many hours I spend on design-porn websites are totally wasted – I’m only juuust getting the hang of Pinterest to actually store the images I like (follow me? I guess?) and most of the time it’s procrastination, pure & simple. But occasionally something will stick with me, usually if it’s ingenious and crazy cheap. Like engineering prints! These are giant black & white prints for drafting, architectural/engineering plans, etc, but they also work for black & white photos, if they are pretty bold and contrasty. They are available at Staples, and cost less than a pint. I first saw a DIY of these here, via one of the sites I regularly visit (How About Orange) here, I think, then was reminded of them by a post on Jenny Komenda’s interior design site Little Green Notebook. With the added bonus idea of… foam core display board. No frame required! For our dark hallway, it was perfect. Here’s the finished object sitting (stylishly) above our bikes:
So, I converted one of our wedding photos to b/w and upped the contrast a bit, then uploaded it to the Staples website (there’s an option for “engineering prints” under Copy & Print > Banners & Signs) and chose the biggest option, 36×48 in. It was…. $7.86. A few minutes later (seriously, go Staples) I got an email to say it was ready.
One trip to Staples and a little less than $25 later, we had the print, a 30x40in piece of black foam core for another $7, a roll of double-sided tape and a pack of Command velcro picture-hanging strips. The assistant at the copy center chopped the big white borders off our print for nothing, and they came in at almost exactly the size of our board. We took it home, carefully attached the print to the board with tape, and hung it with the strips – and it looks pretty great. (Now, to do something about the ugly yellow-beige wall paint… baby steps.)
Here’s a closer look. It helps that the photo, taken by Sarah, is so great.