**Post Script: October 8 2012** I have had so many emails about this project, as well as posts, that I thought I'd try and answer some of your questions. Thank you so much for all the nice comments and posts! I am sorry I'm just now getting an update - please note I don't keep up with this blog any longer as my photography business is now full time - you can check out my photography blog at: www.cribtalesphotography.com
OK, here we go...
1. dimensions - several people asked about the dimensions of my portraits. If you click on the image below that shows my scaled down print out you will see the dimensions of each portrait. The largest is 24X20, the smallest are 4X6, there are a few 8X8's and 5X5
2. I've not tried modge podge but I have seen other sites that try it with success; maybe try it with a smaller less expensive photo first
3. Two years later my prints are still in pretty good shape. The edges are starting to peel up so I will probably need to re-glue them soon, but no one really notices that but me. If I were to do it again I'd probably get the larger ones pre-mounted on styrene via my current print house, White House Custom Color. That would cost a bit more but eliminate the peeling issue. These really don't gather dust because they are hung on a wall so there's nothing for dust to cling to really. I live in Colorado so dust is a factor typically.
4. My pillows - yea, they're not the prettiest pillows ever. I've since changed them out and the room has tones of pink, green, and red. Yes, someone told me how ugly my pillows were.
5. The portraits are glued onto the fabric side of the wrapped canvas. The ugly side faces the wall. I've had no issues at all with them coming unattached from the wall. Yet...
6. The black fabric is just inexpensive, thin cotton black fabric. It has very little "give" - you don't want a jersey fabric because it would pull and be thinned out.
7. The styro is the pink insulation stuff at Lowe's. I've used the white stuff for projects as well and it works fine. I used the white stuff covered in fabric to make large but light backdrops. :-)
I think I covered all the main questions I've received. Thanks for the additional tips various posters have shared! I hope this project brings you the joy it has brought me. Two years and I still smile every time I walk in the room. Bonus, I now have a small studio in my house and these portraits now serve as a showcase of my work. And one other funny story - we had a holiday party last year and a friend brought her husband whom I'd never had over before. He walked in my family room and immediately said "Hey, I've seen you on Pinterest!" Nicest thing anyone could say to me!
I love the look of large portrait canvases in a room. They are personal, elegant and tell a story that no piece of store-bought art could ever do. They are also very expensive. Shhh...don't tell my clients this, I would like very much if they all ordered canvas portraits. Lots of them. But I'm also realistic. To do a wall of canvases such as I imagine, would cost me a small fortune. And since I am a part-time photographer and full-time mommy/homemaker, that does not fit in our budget. But I knew I could come up with an inexpensive "thrifty" way to get the same look for a lot less.
This little project combines 3 of my greatest joys in life: photography, thrifty home decor, and my family. Trifecta!! Here's how I did it:
*several large print images - I used Bay Photo for printing- they are amazing! But they are a professional printer so as an alternative I do recommend Mike's Camera or another camera store that focuses specifically on photography. I also highly suggest lustre or matte, never glossy. Don't skimp on photo printing if you are going large format. Go big or go home, that's my motto!
*layout of what you want your design to be (see below images for an idea)
*large pieces of custom cut insulation foam
*enough inexpensive black fabric to "wrap" each of the pieces of foam
*staples and duct tape
*level and ruler
ok - here we go...
I first toyed with using MDF. But I knew this would be way too heavy for my wall. So I scoured the Home Depot and found this pink insulation foam stuff. I asked the HD guy if it was ok to cut and glue on this surface. He said yes. He also said I could paint it, but that turned out to not be the best option since it warped the foam. I'll get to that in a minute. I had the nice HD guy cut my larger pieces for me. He would not cut anything smaller than 12 inches. I cut those at home with a razor blade. We tried using our circular saw but it dented the foam.
foam pieces cut to size:
Next up was giving the foam a canvas-y look. As I said, I thought about just painting the edges black but that warped the foam and was messy. I decided to just wrap them in inexpensive black fabric, sort of like a present. The only part of this fabric that will show is the edge. I wanted it to sort of blend into the background but still pop on the wall.
Here I am stapling the fabric to the foam. That was easy. Notice that is a plain stapler.
More stapling, and a view of the thickness of the foam. I just wrapped it like a present, doing my best to insure that I got the sharpest corners possible.
I then decided to use some good old fashioned duct tape just to further secure the staples. Elegant - no. Sturdy - yes.
Next step - I don't have a picture of it. But I just placed each print onto the sticky canvas and rubbed it with a very soft cloth (my t-shirt) to get it to adhere. This was really easy, too.
Here are all the lovely big ones ready to go...
Here are all the lovely big ones ready to go...
My laid out design with measurements. I wanted it to be centered on our family room wall. You can get a glimpse of what my sizes were for my images if you click on this picture. The largest print was 20x24. The smallest were 4x6's.
I used double sided Velcro to adhere the canvases to the wall. They are SO light. I probably could have used any of a number of sticky-type-stuff to hang it, but I settled on Velcro. That way if I want to change out my canvases can just take them down and put new ones up, like a rotating gallery. Plus this made it easier to make sure everything was nice and level. I followed my measurements above for hanging. And used a level and a ruler to insure every image hung perfectly. Tada!
This is the view into the playroom from the family room. Ignore that ugly lamp and shade, we're working on our lighting in this room.
That is it! I think this project gave me more satisfaction than just about anything else we've done on the house. It is very personal to me. In fact selecting the images I wanted to use took the better part of a weekend. The rest was cake. I love it!Thanks for reading!