The Real Housewives of Bucks County is now East Coast Creative!
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ginormous Family Art {With an Industrial Flare}

The hubs and I had a little chat a few weeks ago… we were both pretty sick of having a semi-finished family room.  We’ve had bare walls for pretty much ever. I just couldn’t decide what to do… stalking other blogs and design sites had me leaning a different direction every day.  Finally, I decided to just do something!

Remember my fingerprint artwork?  I still really love it, but decided it needed to be relocated to the other side of the room.
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What, you might ask, did I have planned for the striped wall? 

Welcome to my Ginormous $4.99 Family Art work
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Pin It Right off the bat... YES, I know the picture comes beyond the frame, and I did do it on purpose.  My kids have asked me about that about 214754 times in the past two weeks.  

Here's how I made a 4x3 Ginormous piece of family art for only $4.99!
I headed to the Bucks County Re-Store on Saturday afternoon without anything specific in mind. I just knew I hadn't done a project in forever and I needed some inspiration.  I only bought one item, but it was $15 and just what I needed to spark a project idea!
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Check out my new $15 mirror and my super-cool dance move! (Yes, I was doing that while taking the picture.  Too cool for school, I know...)
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This was how it came from ReStore and where my demo needed to begin.
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I unscrewed the wooden boards from the back and then took a screwdriver to pry off the wooden backside.  I just tapped it in with a hammer and then angled the screwdriver.  I did this all around the edges until it came free.  
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I was left with a big mirror (still plotting what to do with it), the frame I needed, and a piece of wood that headed to the trash.  
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I primed the mirror first... do you know how rare it is that I take the time to prime?  I was proud.  After the primer I gave it two coats of Valspar's Navy spray paint. 
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Remember the awesome family pictures that the fabulous Stacy Salvatori took back in the fall?  Well, I    knew I was ready to have one blown up really, really big, but I didn't want to pay big bucks for a massive print.  
Thankfully, Staples will print huge black and white pictures.  Just ask for an engineering print.  They can go over 3 feet wide and really long.  I just brought the jpeg on a flash drive and they uploaded and printed in about 5 minutes.  The best part... It cost me $4.99!! 
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Do you recognize that black paper behind the photo? It's the infamous Nate Show Tar Paper! I was wicked excited to use it for another project! 
I got out my trusty yet my nemesis spray adhesive and got to work sticking the pic to the tar paper. 
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The engineer prints aren't on heavy paper, they're on average copy weight paper, so I wanted to give it a bit more stability with the tar paper.  
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I adhered it, trimmed the edges with a utility knife and then got out my favorite new tool... my grommeter! I only had gold grommets, so I spray painted them a hammered metal first.  I put one grommet on each side.  
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I had two copies of this framed print laying around back from my old homestaging days.  I decided to ditch the boat and use the frames.
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I also had about five of these frames laying around in my basement and decided to have them join the navy spray paint club as well.  
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Here's the arrangement as it looks now.  I added gold chain to the grommets and I'm in search for the perfect doorknob to hang it from in the middle.  I might need to head over to Architectural Antiques this weekend.  I'm also going to add sketched artwork to the 4 empty frames.  
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All-in-all, I'm thrilled with how this completely inexpensive family artwork turned out.  I love having my family's faces right in our main living space, and I love that it's a little quirky and unique.  
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Don't worry, I'll share the true finished product once I get a knob and artwork added.  I was just too impatient not to share the family pic right away! 

So, how many of you are running to Staples to 
BLOW-UP some Ginormous pics?  

25 comments:

  1. i have been wanting to blow up some pictures of our kids.... but didn't want to pay the price. NOW i can! thanks Monica :)

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  2. looks great....so where is the stencil on the fireplace wall?:)

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  3. This is a great idea- so unique. Thanks for the "blueprint" for my hall.

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  4. Hehe, I was wondering the same thing about the stencils?? :) :) I think it looks very modern, definitely a conversation starter!
    I'll be going to Stapes to print some large posters for the Birthday Party!!!

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  5. Speechless about and totally stuck on the fact that you have a grommeter. Amazed that this is available to the public. :)

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  6. i love it...I must go do this...thats my kinda deal! high-five, well done!

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  7. Okay I must know... where did you get your grommeter? I have a chintzy fabric store kind but it is older than the hills and won't work for my projects. And the ginormous art??? All I can say is Staples here I come!! Thank you so very much!

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    1. Hey Peggy,
      I actually got it from Nate Berkus. They sent it for me because I needed it for one of our episodes. I love it and have used it so many times in the last two months. I looked online though and Amazon has a bunch of them. Here's a link to one that I think is similar. Hope it helps!! http://www.amazon.com/Lord-Hodge-1073A-4-Grommet-Kit/dp/B00004Y692/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1332512025&sr=8-3
      Monica

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  8. I love this! I can't wait to try it!

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    1. So glad you like it Tiffany. I'm loving it and am so happy with how inexpensive it was!

      Thanks for reading!
      Monica

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  9. That is very inspiring to go and get busy. I love how big of an impact it is.

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  10. I was sooo excited about this project and, as you suggested, ran straight off to Staples to get it done. They had never heard of an "engineer's print" and acted like I was crazy. I called other Staples stores, to no avail. I even tried Office Depot, their competitor. I ended up having to settle for a $19.99 16"X24" print from Walgreens. I wish I knew the exact Staples you went to so I could call them and have them enlighten my Staples people! I would have every wall in my house filled with these! They're wonderful!

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    1. Some Staples will tell you they don't do it but I just kept trying all the stores around our area and Office Max was our friend. Just keep trying, some people are nicer than others. It also works really well on a canvas. Just spray adhesive and then modge podge!

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    2. (I realize this is after the fact but...) Also check online. I don't know the cost because it won't tell you until the end but on the staples website they offer large prints. (It does say the "engineer prints" are not suitable for photos but they offer oversize color prints on the same page. Black and white wouldn't be hard to fudge using that option or just use a photo that is already black and white. (At any rate, you can use the page on their website as proof that they are supposed to offer that service! Ha!) Here is the link where I found it. http://www.staples.com/sbd/cre/programs/copyandprint/engineering_prints_oversize_prints.html Hope this helps!

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  11. I don't understand what you did with the mirror.

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  12. Kind of crappy that you bypassed paying that good photographer for a blow up of that picture they took. That's how they make their living and can afford nice things for their house and kids, not to mention keeping their gear in good working order.

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    1. So you want me to get an over-priced Designer blouse, when I have the talent, creativity and know-how to sew my own garments? Or maybe I should go out to eat every night because I should pay someone who went to culinary arts school instead of making my own Beef wellington? LizzzFilm, get a grip. - There's this place called Home Depot and Michael's...they have isles of DO IT YOURSELF PROJECTS. lol thanks for the chukle

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    2. Hey there,
      The great thing is that our photographer gave us the rights to the pictures and loved what we did with it. She's gotten great advertisement through it. Thanks!

      Monica

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  13. @ LizzzFilm-not all photographers make their money by selling prints. That's why we pay them session fees, and since she obviously has the jpeg file of the picture, that most likely means she bought the copyright from the photographer. It isn't as if she cheated the photographer out of anything. The photographer has made his/her money through other means than printing.

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  14. Haha people are silly, were not all loaded and love being able to have nice things like this at a fraction of the cost....great job I'm lovin every bit of it

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  15. I know I'm late to the game here, but wondering: did you seal the photo surface with anything? I'm wondering if I'd need to buy a protective plastic to go over it, use mod podge, something else..? Thanks!

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  16. could i just use pictures i take from my camera or does it have to be professional photos. and if so, what settings do i use on my camera so that it would look good being blown up.

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  17. Just found your site and heart it already :-) I am so going to blow up some pictures in the near future! I'm all looking forward to decorating our new place we are building, so this will be awesome.

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  18. Such a fun project. I'm definitely going to do something with an engineer print when we get some family photos taken. My favorite part of the post was actually that you spray painted the grommets. There would be so many fun uses for grommets if they're a better color than the ugly gold!

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