“Engineer Prints” are no secret. They are all over the blog-o-sphere. You’ve seen these trendy pins on Pinterest before:
But how do they really work? Glad you asked. Here’s the skinny on the big pictures. For those of you who haven’t heard of engineer prints, they are HUGE prints for extra cheap. They only come in black and white, and on thin thin paper. I bought ours at Staples. The 24″ by 36″ print was $3.29. Here’s a breakdown of their sizes and prices:
18″ by 24″ $1.69
24″ by 36″ $3. 29
30″ by 42″ $4.79
36″ by 48″ $6.59
Me, Kami, & Sara decided this would be our “woman craft” while the husbands were having “man craft night.” (You’re going to love that post. It involves an epic DIY disaster, power tools, grumpy men, and several broken scroll saw blades.) We decided to test how well engineer prints worked with pictures of the puppies. Here are the images we took to get printed. Fern’s picture (on the left) was taken with an iPad, and Indy’s picture was a scan of a picture.
I took the images to the printing counter at Staples on a flash drive and handed it to the nice lady. I didn’t want to go any bigger than 24″ by 36″ because of the quality of the images. I didn’t know how pixelated they would translate. While I was at Staples I picked up a can of Spray Adhesive glue.
Here is how the images looked printed:
Fern’s picture was slightly pixelated, but only if you put your face right up to it.
Once you have your print, you can do whatever you want with it. Some people put it in a frame. Framing it would probably be the easiest idea, but frames that size can get pricey. We decided to put our prints on a board. We bipped on over to Lowe’s to pick up a sheet of particle board. The sheet was $12 and they were able to cut 4 24″ by 36″ slices out of it. So, $3 for each piece: lots cheaper than a frame.
We painted the edges black. Since Indy’s picture was so dark, I just stuck with the edges. Fern’s picture had a lot of white in the background, and the print paper is THIN, so to avoid unevenness Sara painted the whole thing black.
This part is where I’m a bad blogger. I didn’t take pictures of the actual adhering processes. Hopefully my words can paint a clear enough picture of how I tackled this
beast puppy. We sprayed an all over coat of adhesive on the board. (Make sure you have a drop cloth, or do it outside. Our floor felt like it had an invisible layer of syrup. My own personal hell will have sticky floors.) Then Sara held one side up in the air, while I lined up the top corners of the print to the top of the board. I pressed the corners down, and started smoothing it out with the edge of a cutting board. A rolling pin also would have worked. She would gently let part of the print down, and I would continue smoothing it out, making sure there were no air bubbles. What happened though is the cutting board was smearing some of the black ink. AH! So I put a paper towel on the edge of the cutting board to help stop the smearage. I put a new paper towel on every couple of seconds. That worked just fine. We did NOT do this with Sara’s print of Fern, and it dried with air bubbles. :-( Indy’s dried just fine.
Obviously we aren’t keeping Indy on the mantle for real… just testing out the display. Our front room is SO PATHETIC at the moment.
It’s like you can see the tears our fireplace cries everyday. “I’m ugly, and no one likes me…waaaaah.”
Now that I have done a trial engineer print, I’m thinking I want to do a gallery wall of over-sized photos here:
(That bubblegum light fixture is heinous though. Barf x 10. Bleck!)
So, that’s my real life experience with engineer prints. Does it seem easy enough for you to try?
!!!UPDATE!!! I tried another Engineer Print, and used a rolling pin. NO SMEARING, NO BUBBLING! Win
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