Tuesday, November 20, 2012

gallery wall: our little corner of memories

{that's really not so little at all}
I'm in love I'm in love and I don't care who knows it!
Remember this? You guys, this project has been four months in the making. We started this in July, for crying out loud!
{picking out pictures is no joke}
Part of the issue was finding a place that would print such large photos for less than thirty bucks apiece. {especially the panoramic frame}! I researched around for a LONG.DANG.TIME, and the cheapest I was able to find was Staples, believe it or not. They would do color poster prints starting at 4.99 apiece, but their size options were really limited. And, to be frank, i thought i could do better. 4.99 sounds pretty darn good for a poster print, but I needed at least eleven photos printed (not counting spares if I wanted to switch one out) and that added up quickly. Plus some of the sizes were a little odd, and that made things even more difficult.
it's been quite the adventure getting from this point to where we are now. 
My research led me to something called "Engineering Prints", a cost-effective photo-printing cheat that's been trending on Pinterest for awhile now {if you don't believe me, check it out}. Basically, Engineering prints are for blueprints, line-drawings, or anything you need both big and black-and-white, and you can get them done at any printing shop or office supply store (I ended up going with Office Depot).
They are not recommended for photos, but since they were so inexpensive I figured it was worth a shot. It would cost five bucks for a printed sheet so large I could get several photos on one page, which meant I got a lot more bang for my buck :). If they didn't work, I'd figure something else out.
{spoiler alert: they totally worked}

I picked the pictures we wanted to print, then spent some time deciding on which photo would go where. Then, I sized the photos accordingly and created a 36x48 inch slide in Powerpoint so I could arrange the photos in the most tetris-like way. Yeah baby! I was able to fit all  the photos we wanted (plus a few randoms for other rooms and spares for the gallery wall to change things up a bit if we got bored) onto two slides.
The Bottom Line? Twenty-two bucks shipped for twenty giant black-and-white photos (If I had lived closer to a store that did in-store pick-up, it would have been half that). Win. That's a little over a dollar for each!!!!!! Toldja I could do better than a measly 4.99 :)

I got a phone call the next business day confirming my order, and they arrived at my door the day after that. WHOO! We just cut out the photos we wanted, stuck them in the frames, and stuck 'em back up on the wall. Velcro is a beautiful thing. The print job was decent--we lost a little bit of the detail in printing but overall it's hard to tell unless you're up close.
I'm thrilled that we thought to get "spare" prints to switch out now and again; that way, we didn't have to pick favorites with the photos/people who appear on our wall now. Awesome! Plus we can swap out pictures for different seasons, if we get ambitious (ha, right). Since the pictures are up with Command strips, it's really easy to whip 'em down and stick 'em back up!
It's such a happy little place to hang out, especially now that the frames are filled with memories instead of a big wad of empty. Most are wedding photos, which makes it feel a teensy bit like a wedding shrine, but we worked with what we had.

What do you think? Would you use engineering prints for a gallery wall?


  1. I definitely love it! I never would have thought about printing them that way: how clever. And there's nothing wrong with having a "wedding shrine": it's a day you spend so much time and money on, so why not keep memories of it around as much as possible?

    1. That's definitely true! Plus, everyone looks awesome in the wedding photos, too.... haha

  2. I love it!! I'm wanting to do this in our place too. My friend owns a printing shop, so hopefully he can help me out with the cheap printing part ;)
    I'm hoping to do that somewhat soon...

    oh and P.S. I see my sister :)


  3. Wow! This looks really, really great. Such a fun idea :) xo, eliza


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