Once a kindergarten teacher, now your go-to guide for all things DIY. My passion for teaching didn't stop when I left the classroom - I merely switched from ABCs to DIYs. I've learned a lot from transforming my own home from scratch, and now I'm here to pass on that knowledge to you.
I’m so excited to share this post with you today in hopes that it inspires you to create a large gallery wall in your home. We received so many questions on the frames and the size of the images we used in our own home recently so today we’re spilling all the secrets. And we’re even including how to make your images high resolution for high quality printing.
For those that haven’t seen our gallery wall, as soon as we enter our home we’re greeted with a wall that’s 10 feet tall. We recently chatted about the design plans for this space and why we choose such large images. Today you’ll discover how you can also successfully print and frame large images (even cell phone images) on a budget.
Let’s start with the frames. We found our frames at IKEA for $14.99. A price that’s hard to believe with the frames being 19 3/4″ x 27 1/2″. Each frame comes with the white matte, fits a 16 x 20 picture, and has plexiglas instead of glass. Not needing a frame this large? The RIBBA line offers two smaller sizes and IKEA has several other affordable options to choose from in various sizes.
Now that you know where to find the frames, let’s chat about printing images. Before you even upload your images to be printed, you’ll need to make sure they’re high resolution. Without completing this step, your images will be very pixelated and appear fuzzy. I watched this great video tutorial on how to make any image high resolution. Keep in mind, this tutorial is for Photoshop. If you use another photo editing software, YouTube is a great resource to learn how to transform images to high resolution using your chosen software. Here are the steps from the video to transform any image into a high resolution image using photoshop:
1. Image > Image Size > Resolution + (Resample Bicubic Smoother)
2. Filter > Noise > Despeckle
3. Filter > Stylize > Diffuse (Anisotropic)
4. Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask ( try 200%)
5. Filter > Noise > Add Noise… (try 2%)
6. Duplicate Layer; [Layer 2] Filter > Other > High Pass… [Layer 2] Blending Options > Blend Mode > Overlay
Since we needed 8 images total, I knew I needed to find a way to print them with great quality while also staying within our budget. After a little research, I took a chance and printed them at Walgreens. I was very hesitant at first to go this route because I feared I wouldn’t be happy with the print quality. I printed only one to begin with and was seriously shocked at how well it came out. AND it was the image from my cell phone!
So, how much did it cost me to print each image? $7.99 per 16 x 20 image which is really considered printing a poster. This is comparable to the $14-$17 through other printing services found online. I waited until there was a coupon code for 50% off printing services which gave me the $7.99 price. It cost me around $64 versus $120 to print all eight. Worth it! And as you can tell, they are great print quality and I only had to wait an hour to pick them up. Which means I also saved on shipping. Of course, I can only speak of these prices and print quality for my local Walgreens but it’s worth it to give yours a try.
If you don’t have a Walgreens near you or you’d like to explore other options, here’s a list of a few other printing companies plus the pricing for a 16 x 20 image. Please keep in mind most of these will also add shipping cost to the final price and I can’t say how great their print quality is. If you have any experience with the ones listed, please let us know what you think in the comments!
Now that you know where to find affordable frames, printing services, and how to create high resolution images, what are you waiting for? I truly can’t wait to see the gallery walls you create in your home. Make sure to tag me in your social media shares so I can celebrate right along with you as you turn your house into a home.
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