Art DIY : Engineering Prints

I have updated our fireplace mantel several times over the past two years - mirrors, twigs, vases, plants, bowls. It's a great place to display personal items and ring in each new season. We originally considered hanging the TV up there but decided it didn't flow well with the layout of our room, and we worried about the heat. Plus, I didn't want the focus of the room to be on the TV and Tyler wasn't keen on drilling holes into the brick.


This spring, I stumbled upon a rectangular mirror in our neighbors trash that I just couldn't pass up. I liked how bright it made the room feel, but I thought we ultimately needed something even larger to highlight the space. The only problem? I needed something that was very flexible - meaning I wanted it to coordinate with multiple seasons yet feel different as holiday decor was added and removed.

The solution? Personal photos turned full-sized art! Remember my Fresh Air for the Soul post? I took several photos with my iPhone while we were driving through the country.

Drive9               Drive3

I decided it would be neat to blow these images up into full-sized art. Have you heard of engineering prints? They are traditionally used for architectural plans and engineering proposals, but you can really use them for just about anything. Staples offers 18" x 24" prints for just $1.99! I uploaded my photos to their online ordering system and picked them up in-store later that afternoon. Sure, the quality isn't anything fantastic, but I actually like the imperfect look.


The frames are from IKEA and cost $19.99 a piece, so that means the total cost was less than $25 per frame. Inexpensive, personal, and reminds me of home? I consider that a major success!

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