CREATE ART FROM PHONE PHOTOS

After living in our home for almost four years, I’m finally getting our master bedroom put together. It’s not complete (not that I ever will think it will be!), but one of the items on the to-do list was printing and framing some pictures. After browsing through old phone pics, printing at Costco, and some at-home framing tactics, it turned out pretty shnazy. Here’s how we did it!

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ASSESS YOUR SPACE – We have this long wall in our master bedroom that is the walkway from hallway to master bathroom. For four years(!) it has been “naked and afraid.” (Have you seen this show?! It’s strangely addicting.) Large photos (instead of a small cluster) is what we needed to fill the space. Also, since the space is long, a horizontal layout of frames was the way to go. I’ll spare you a before picture of a blank beige wall.

USE WHAT YOU HAVE – Before starting this (and every other) project, we always assess what we have on-hand that could be used. I scored these three large (24″ x 30″) frames for $1 each a few years ago. No, not everyone has this stuff lying around, but chances are you have some old frames that you can repurpose– perhaps some paint for the frames and an organized arrangement to make more of a statement.

CANDID vs PROFESSIONAL – For this space, we wanted our printed photos to be candid, not staged or even professionally taken– everyday pictures that capture that one specific, special moment in time. Plus, I just don’t like portraits in our bedroom that are staring at me. Even though they’re of our sweet little girl, I don’t like anyone looking at me while I sleep. I know I’m nuts. But I’m going to hold my ground on this one!

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And since the colors didn’t really relate across the three photos, we decided to go with black-and-white. We altered them in photoshop, but there are many other free options on how else to do this. When printing through Costco (where we did these– each 12″ x 18″ print cost $3), there is an option to change your photo to black-and-white (or sepia), so we could’ve just done that. I also thought upscaling phone pictures to 12″ x 18″ prints would appear slightly pixelated and figured black-and-white prints might help hide this. But that concern turned out to be unnecessary because the images turned out super crisp!

INEXPENSIVE IS A PLUS – We don’t have a matt cutter and we wanted to spend as little as possible, so we used a roll of Canson paper as our background white “mat”. The roll was $10 with a 50% off Hobby Lobby coupon and we have tons left for future projects. At first, it was a bit challenging to wrestle the large paper since it constantly wanted to roll back on itself. But after setting up two “stations”– one for cutting and one for matting– it got progressively easier with each framed picture.

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Station 1 cutting supplies consisted of the paper roll, cutting mat, metal ruler, utility knife, and cardboard cut-out of desired paper size. (We cut two paper “mats” for each framed picture just to make sure it would be a solid white.)

Station 2 matting supplies consisted of glue-runner, a pencil, tape measure (or ruler), paper mat, and “weights” to hold the paper down flat. (It looks like we did this on carpet, but we had the cardboard cut-out underneath the white paper mat for our flat surface. A large table or hard floor would’ve been better, but I was too lazy to walk downstairs for that luxury.)

After a little bit of effort and a lot of money saved, we are happy with our three framed pieces. The morning after I completed them, Mya walked into our room and dramatically proclaimed (with sigh included), “Mya pictures? Not again!” So, yeah. Maybe we’re beginning to have too many Mya shrines. But she’s just going to have to deal with it.

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