Do you have a large wall in your home that needs artwork? My favorite artwork is pictures of my kids. (What can I say, they are my favorite!) One budget friendly way to decorate a large wall is with black and white prints.
Since I just moved I haven’t had a chance to create this look in my home, but my sister did and I love it!
It’s so simple and cheap you’ll be wondering why you haven’t framed large prints of your favorite people yet!
Measure your wall space.
This is a very important step. If you are blowing up prints and hanging them you need to make sure you have enough space to include all the photos. This isn’t a gallery wall, so you’ll want more than the standard two inches between prints.
Personally I like to have about six inches between large pictures on a wall. For this project I am going to use the Ribba frame from IKEA which measures 24×35 ¾ inches.
To figure out how much room you need you’ll want to take the number of frames plus six inches between them. Also consider the fact that you don’t want them to hang right up against the edge of the wall. I like to add 8-12 inches from the edge of the wall on each side.
For example: If you have four frames that are 24 inches wide you’ll need six inches of space between each picture.
(6 inches x 3 spaces between pictures = 18 inches)
Then 12 inches from each wall edge.
(12 inches x 2 wall edges = 24 inches)
Then add the width of the frames.
(24 inches x 4 frames = 96 inches)
18 inches + 12 inches + 96 inches = 126 inches or 10.5 feet.
Most living rooms are at least 12-15 feet long so you should have plenty space to hang your pictures. If you don’t have the space in a living area you can do this in a stairway or hallway, or wrap it around two walls.
Find Your Photos
You probably already have photos on your phone that you can use for this DIY project, however if not, spend an afternoon taking photos of your kids.
If you don’t have kids, you can do this project with your pets, items in nature, or your favorite things. Personally, I think this looks best with humans or animals but it works with any large scale print.
You’ll want to adjust the filter on your photos to black and white. Remember to make sure that your images are a large enough resolution to blow up. Most photos on your cell phone will be fine, however you cannot take photos off Facebook or Instagram because they change the resolution when your photos get uploaded to the platform.
Important tip: Make sure all your photos are the same orientation. Vertical orientation is preferred, but you can always crop a horizontal photo if you love it.
I love Walgreens or CVS to order prints. They are right by my house and usually I can get posters printed in less than 24 hours. However, if you don’t live nearby one they do ship prints.
Walgreens runs sales year round on their photo prints. (Currently 40% off posters)
Currently poster prints (24 x 36) are $29.99, but with 40% off you only pay $18 per poster.
Follow the directions on the website for uploading and ordering your images.
Get Your Frames
Most craft stores, Target, and Walmart sell large poster frames. I recommend not purchasing an actual poster frame because they have very thin sides. You’ll want to pay slightly more (use a coupon!) to get a frame that is at least an inch wide. This is a game changer for your large prints.
Personally I like the Ribba frames from IKEA. If you purchase these frames you won’t use the mat that is included with the frame.
If you use the Ribba from IKEA, you’ll need to trim your poster slightly on the sides. It’s only about a 1/2 inch so it shouldn’t affect your photo.
Hang the Large Black and White Prints
Following the measuring guide mentioned above you’ll want to hang your prints. Measure your wall from the top and bottom to make sure all the prints are level.
This is the hardest part of the entire project. Most walls aren’t totally level all the way across, making it difficult to get it just perfect. And if you are OCD like me, uneven photos will drive you crazy for the next 10 years.
Depending on how much you spend on the frame, the total cost for each print is under $40. Even if you have a several prints to hang this is cheaper than purchasing several large pieces of artwork for the walls.
Plus, you will enjoy your favorite people (or things) on your walls instead of a piece of art with little to no meaning.
What I love about this DIY project is that these large black and white prints are the only artwork you need on a wall, or sometimes even in a room. You don’t need to hang anything else in a room when you have these large photo prints on your walls.
Becky L. says
The children photos look nice. I have many photos in my living room that have some of my favorite framed photos on my wall. I call it my gallery. There are a few of my two now adult children in a corner of room. My son and wife and children photos are in hallway. A few of my photos are on canvas. (5) I’m a photographer that had a bit to training. Learned a lot by reading photo magazines and been in a photo group for a few years.