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Wednesday, August 6, 2014


When we finished the wood wall in my son's room, it was so pretty that I knew I didn't want much on it to cover it up.  Knowing that the upholstered headboard would cover a bit of it, I decided to stick with one large piece of artwork over the bed and call it good.

With this project from Life in Grace in mind, I set out to create my own large photo mounted artwork.  My son has always loved airplanes, so we went to a local small airport where we could walk right next to the lane where the planes park.  We chose a plane we liked and took lots of shots from different angles.  After choosing our favorite one, I edited it and made it black and white.

Then, I used Jenny's suggestion and took a file of my photo to Fed Ex Office to be copied.  They will make an "Engineer's Print" for less than $10.  Black and white is the only option, but there are a few size choices, with the largest being about 36x48".  The print is on regular paper and isn't crystal clear photo quality, but I'm very happy with how it turned out.

When determining how to mount the photo, I came across a similar project from Sugar Bee Crafts.  She discovered that the large sheets of foam board that are used for house insulation would work perfectly, and they are a very reasonable price for such a large sheet of foam board.  I found mine at Home Depot for about $15, and could make 2-3 of these pictures with one sheet.

I measured my foam board and found it easiest to cut with a straight edge and exacto knife.

Before mounting the photo, I painted a little bit around the front edges all the way around, and painted the sides black.  I did the front edges just in case the paper didn't completely line up with the pink foam board.

Then, I adhered my print to the board...and totally messed it up.  More about that in a minute. Let me start with how I should have mounted it.

Since your photo is printed on regular old paper (like a piece of copy paper), spray adhesive works perfectly to attach it to the foam board. Becausee you're working with such a large piece and it's hard to get it straight and wrinkle free all at once, I found it best to work with a small section at a time.  I started by spraying the left end and lining it up, then I kept the rest of the photo folded back, sort of like a book page.

I would spray a small section at a time, then used my cutting mat (or anything big and flat) to slide it across the top to keep everything smooth and even.  I continued, working my way across a few inches at a time until I finished at the right side with the paper all glued down.

When my picture was glued down, I still had to trim one of the edges of the foam board a bit.  It's ok, I didn't have to worry as much with getting that side perfectly lined up.

Now, take my word for it,  DO not use white glue or mod podge to glue this down.  I had the not so brillant idea to treat this like I've done pictures on photo paper, and rolled the foam board with mod podge, then stuck the picture down.  I planned to coat the top with mod podge to seal it all, looked terrible.  Getting the paper copy wet made it all wrinkly and shriveled up.  Bummer.  Off to Fed Ex I went to get another copy made for round 2.

So, after take 2 worked out ok, I moved on to finishing it off.  Although I painted the outside edges black, they weren't very clean from cutting it.  I covered them up by hot gluing (just a dot every 5 inches or so) a black ribbon all around the sides.  I used 5/8" grosgrain ribbon and it was the perfect width for the foam board.

To hang the picture, I used some adhesive fasteners that the kind people at Scotch sent me to try out.

This stuff is GOOD.  You can actually hear the two pieces locking together.  I attached a piece (actually the hook and look piece already stuck together) to the back of each corner of the foam board, then with the back sticky side exposed just pressed it to the wall.  It has stayed put on the wood boards really well.  I'm not sure if I would use it on a painted wall, since it might damage the paint if removed at a later time.  I think it would be fantastic also if you have a brick wall outside or maybe at your fireplace that you'd like to have something on, it seems to stick to rough surfaces just fine.

After the fact, I love that this piece makes a big statement without being something heavy over the head of the bed.  Believe it or not, we've been having some rather large earthquakes (4+) in OKC for the past few years and it makes me a little nervous to have decor hanging over the bed that might be dangerous if it were to fall.

Another bonus, this is a pretty great piece of custom artwork for right around $20...if you don't have to print it twice ;)  !  

 photo jennifersignaturetwo_zps56f3de87.png

Would you like to comment?

  1. it looks amazing- so perfect there! i love it against the wood wall!

  2. That was such a great idea! It looks amazing.

  3. What a smart idea and I love the look with all the other goodness in C's room! Glad you didn't cover up too much of that gorgeous room!

  4. Love it, what a super idea. You did a great tutorial too. I love your son's room, so fun and so many great ideas and inspiration.

  5. Looks so great Jennifer :) Great tips too! xoxo

  6. I love that you went to the airport and took the pictures yourself rather than finding them in a book or on the internet. That makes this artwork even more special. Your tips, tricks and tutorial are super helpful, too! This is a terrific project and great to keep in the "mental bank" of ideas :)

  7. Great project! I think it's great that you went to the airport for the photos. I'm sure your son loved the experience! I do know that you have a great deal more patience than I do ~ :)


  8. Love how it turned out! Makes quite an impact.

  9. Such a great statement in his room! I tried that mod podge with a poster before and had the same experience! :(

  10. I love that this is a picture you guys took! It's perfect!

  11. It looks SO great in your son's room! I've used engineer prints before (I have one of my son and daughter in my bedroom), but used them in a different way. I actually have scrap pieces of the exact same foam you used and may make another one for my son's room! He LOVES trucks, so make a large Tonks truck or excavator!

  12. I love how the black and white print contrasts with the wood wall! Such a neat project! I'm so glad you mentioned your experience with mod podge, I would have done the same thing!

  13. Love it Jennifer! It's stunning in the room. Thanks for sharing.
    House on the Way

  14. It's so beautiful! I love that whole room, but this is such a smart idea and so affordable for a giant, impactful art piece!
    Kelly @ View Along the Way

  15. Gorgeous. Thanks for the tip about MOD PODGE. I always have trouble with it and ruin projects. Love the final result!!!

  16. It looks great Jennifer! I would've thought of using Modge Podge too but glad you told us about your experience!

  17. Wow, what a great idea. I have some of that insulation foam in my garage and I love black and white photos, so I'm going to have to copy this idea.....Thanks I also wanted to tell you, I love your blog.

  18. Just got the insulation board- same as yours. There's a thin plastic film on each side of it. Did you peel it off or leave it on? Thanks!

  19. This is the perfect project for my son and daughter's room actually, thank you for sharing this awesome DIY! =)


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