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DIY Giant Frames for Your Dinosaurs (+ $100!)

With the recent addition of our streamlined gallery wall in the living room’s gap, we’ve been itching to add something large – very large! – above our velvet sofa. Not wanting the room to feel overly cluttered with our already vibrant rug (and the opposing wall’s art round up), we’d been tossing around a handful of ideas for the last year (yes, really), and we finally landed on trying out a couple of over sized engineer prints.

This, of course, led us to the next question, of what? And since choosing to “go big or go home,” we took the most literal route and went with a tried and true favorite – dinosaurs!

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I picked up a vintage dinosaur book, Life Before Man, with page after page of prehistoric illustrations. We settled on the finalists – the notorious T-Rex (!) and a wild flightless bird. While the latter falls under a different (although prehistoric) era, we loved the composition when the two were paired up. We wondered if it was normal for two adults to choose such subjects, but we decided it was best to fully embrace our inner quirk and run with it! If it’ll make us smile every time we enter the room, why not?

Engineer prints can be printed up to 3’x4′ at any copy center (we used Staples), and they’re inexpensive at $7 each (although you can pick up smaller sizes for as little as $2!). I scanned our chosen images from the book at 300 dpi, submitted them through the online system, and we picked them up the next day. We knew the paper would be very thin, so we teamed up with Ace Hardware to create extra large frames to give them that finished, polished look.

For this month’s Ace challenge, we were teamed up with Tasha over at Designer Trapped, where we both chose to give the Bosch Variable Speed Palm Router a try; we encourage you to see what Tasha created! In our case, we used the palm router to DIY our frames, opting for thin and sleek, allowing the dino prints to be the star. (Naturally.) Here’s what we needed for two frames:

MATERIALS USED FOR 2 FRAMES, 39″ X 41″ EACH:
4 – 2″ x 2″ x 8′
2 Packs – Ring hangers
2 Packs – 3″ corner braces (each pack comes with 4 + screws)
2″ screws
Hanging wire (we chose 100 lb, but 50 lb would also work)
Paint
2 Engineer prints on 3’x4′ over-sized paper
2 Pieces – double paned glass cut to size (this can be done at any Ace)
2 Sheets –  Foam core (size dependent on art)
Anchors for hanging

TOOLS USED:
Measuring tape / pencil
Dust mask / safety glasses
Sandpaper / Power sander
Bosch Palm Router with 1/2″ straight bit
Compound miter saw
Drill
Chamfer bit
Wood glue
Clamps
Spackle or wood putty
Paint brush or small foam roller
Staple gun with 1/2″ staples

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WHAT WE DID. To start, I used our small power sander to smooth out the wood for the frames. They were pretty rough to begin with, but felt good after using an 80 grit paper, followed up with a 120 grit. Tip: 2x2s are very inexpensive, but be careful to choose pieces that are as straight as possible!

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We used our palm router to create the lip for the glass, art and backing to sit into the frame, and we chose to route all of our 2x2s first (rather than do so after the frame was put together). Never having used a router before, it took a few rough starts to get it right, but the ultimate trick was slow and steady. (Scott got the hang of it quickly, after which, it was smooth sailing!) It kicks up a lot of saw dust and debris, so safety glasses and a dust mask were crucial for this step!

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We adjusted the router to a 3/8″ depth, and the 1/2″ straight bit was perfect for getting that recessed lip. Bonus – the edge guide made it super easy to keep our line perfectly straight. Once each piece had been routed, I followed that up with a quick sanding to get off any burrs and rough edges.

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Next up, we used the compound miter saw to cut the four pieces for each of our frames. We goofed the math a few times (and tripped ourselves up more than we’d like to admit!), but when it came time to figure out the proper lengths, this is likely the easiest way:

  • First, measure the size of your art. Ours came to 35.75″ x 37.5″ (it filled the 3’x4′ engineer prints width-wise, and we allowed the height proportions to fall naturally). Your glass and foam core should be cut to this same measurement.
  • Subtract .75″ from your width and your height, and make your mitered cuts using those measurements for the inside edge. For example, this would give us a measurement of 35″ x 36.75″, which should be the length of the inside of our frame.
  • Once everything is all assembled, this will ensure that your print, glass and backing will fill the frame, but it will still leave you with an 1/8″ of wiggle room within the recessed tray!

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With all of our pieces cut down to size, we worked on one corner at a time. After a dab of wood glue, we used clamps to hold two pieces together, drilled a small pilot hole and used a chamfer bit to allow our 2″ screws to sit below the level of the 2×2. We only used them on the top and bottom of the frame, for a total of eight screws per frame.

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Our frames felt pretty sturdy after this, but as an extra measure (always!), we installed a 3″ brace along each corner, snugging it up to the routed edge as to not hit the 2″ screws beneath them. As large as these frames ended up, they were super strong and provided no give – perfect!

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I spackled the exposed screw heads, and once that was dry and sanded, I dived right into painting. I applied two coats of the same exterior Valspar paint that we have on our front porch, color matched to Clark+Kensington’s Designer White.

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We allowed everything to dry overnight, and the next day, we brought the frames inside to bring it all together! As mentioned in the supply list, we got double paned glass cut to size at Ace, and I used a utility to knife to cut the foam core down to the proper size. Using the same framing technique I’ve been using for years, I used a staple gun with 1/2″ staples to secure everything into place (the trick is nestling the gun about an 1/8″ away from the frame, which will allow the staple to remain proud). We finished it up by installing ring hangers (you can pick them up in a kit with screws) and 100 lb hanging wire; this is admittedly overkill, as each frame couldn’t weigh more than 20 lbs (the glass is the heaviest component!).

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Update! Check out Kyley’s comment regarding the installation of D-rings (photo above). For something this large and heavy, it may be best to use an anchor per ring rather than a strong wire.

Each frame was hung on a 50 lb. anchor, and we fussed with placement until the height was high enough so you wouldn’t hit your head while seated, but low enough to avoid the art-that’s-hung-too-high problem. Now, when you walk in our front door and look left, you’ll see this!

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We’re super happy with our choice to use 2x2s; they’re substantial enough for our massive prints (we still can’t help but chuckle when we realize that yes, we have large prehistoric creatures on our wall!), and yet they’re sleek enough as to not detract from… well, you know. The T-Rex!

Update: Please reference these comments below, pertaining to copyright laws and use of photos and illustrations.

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We absolutely love them (weirdos), but don’t forget to check out how Tasha used her palm router! And because we want you to make some ridiculously large frames too, how about $100 to get you motivated? Together with our friends at Ace, we’ll be giving away a $100 Ace Hardware gift card to one lucky reader! The giveaway runs through this Friday, August 1st at 5pm CST, and the winner will be announced within this post by Friday evening. Simply enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck and happy entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We’re excited to be collaborating with Ace Hardware as a part of their Ace Blogger Panel! Ace has provided us with compensation and the materials necessary to complete this project (hey, thanks, Ace!), and all opinions are our own. #rawr

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  • Heather7.29.14 - 6:28 AM

    Love the idea of using engineer prints to cover some white space on the walls in my apartment!ReplyCancel

  • Haley7.29.14 - 6:45 AM

    I love this! I will always love dinosaurs no matter how old I get, because they are fascinating. There is a reason Walking with Dinosaurs is on my Netflix list. The bird is a perfect compliment to Mr. Rex.ReplyCancel

    • Kim7.29.14 - 8:49 AM

      What! Awesome! I’ll have to add it to our queue as well!ReplyCancel

  • Nate7.29.14 - 7:06 AM

    For MCM house images!ReplyCancel

  • Lizzzy7.29.14 - 7:07 AM

    Brilliant! But is there any issue with copyright over the old book?ReplyCancel

    • Kim7.29.14 - 8:49 AM

      Thanks, Lizzzy! That’s actually a discussion we had before starting the project (we definitely take that seriously!), and we did a bit of digging to consider if there could be any issues. In the end, because this is personal use and not for sale or public display, we’re not dealing with infringement. Some of my favorite engineer prints I’ve seen are everything from books to magazines to vintage photographs!ReplyCancel

      • Jess8.4.14 - 1:41 PM

        Such a bummer! I LOVE this idea but just went to Staples and they wouldn’t do it for me because of copyright.ReplyCancel

        • Kim8.4.14 - 1:59 PM

          Wow, I’m sorry! Even though it’s for personal use and not re-sell? What did you try to enlarge? I know that sometimes photographers need to provide a photo release form (I used to do this when I was still freelance shooting), so maybe that’s the case?ReplyCancel

          • aaron8.20.14 - 2:25 PM

            Really cool project! I think the copyright problem isn’t with your personal use of the images. The problem is that the printer would be printing copyright images with the intent to sell them to you.

          • Kim8.20.14 - 4:07 PM

            Thank you, Aaron. We did speak with a few of our fellow artist friends, and they said the same! Good to know. Definitely food for thought for anyone taking on this project.

          • Lauri1.21.15 - 1:17 PM

            Actually, you were misinformed about copyright. Personal use is copyright infringement, if you have not purchased a personal use license from the artist. Educational use is what’s allowed without permission (copies made at a library for a school report or presentation), but personal use is not allowed for copyrighted material, unless you obtain a personal-use license. Artwork is made for personal enjoyment, which you only get to have if you either pay to purchase that artwork, or go to view it at a gallery or museum. When I create artwork, having it published does not give anyone the right to copy it and print it for their own use for free. The publisher was granted a right to use it, and often by PURCHASING that right. When I sell digital files to my clients, they come with a personal-use license. They are limited to personal use, and cannot use them for commercial use, (to promote their own business) unless they purchase a commercial use license. They cannot use them for resale, unless they purchase a resale license. I think the confusion comes from this: It’s common to hear in the above context, “yes…personal use is fine.” Because that’s what they paid for. But out of that context, it’s not true. Unless you contacted the artist, and obtained express written permission (usually by paying for it) this is copyright infringement. Asking a few artist friends isn’t enough. You need to ask the artist whose work you copied.

          • John Jones1.21.15 - 2:15 PM

            Use art that is over 75 years old, most of it is free unless someone has renewed the copyright.
            I found amazing botanicals in an old encyclopedia, great architectural and anatomical drawings and clip art from nineteen twenties mail order catalogues that would knock your socks off.

          • Michelle1.21.15 - 2:56 PM

            Laurie is right, even if it is for personal use it is still a violation of copyright if you havent obtained permission. Maybe you can edit your post to let your readers know and make this a learning experience for everyone. So much misinformation on copyright law floating around on the internet. Also, when you ask permission, I wouldn’t tell the artist it is personsl use only, as you are using it on your blog and pinterest, so that is indeed commercial use.

          • Kim1.21.15 - 3:03 PM

            Thanks so much, everyone! Copyright is something to be aware of, and a lot of information can be obtained and/or skewed online. I’ve also found John’s information to be true. As an artist myself, my intention is never to undermine another artist. Post has been updated to reference these comments.

  • Alison F.7.29.14 - 7:17 AM

    I’d like to enlarge a vintage postcard- perhaps hang it in our guest room? Cool idea!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel7.29.14 - 7:23 AM

    I love how both the print and frame turned out. Now I’m scheming about what I need to gigantify!ReplyCancel

  • Leslie7.29.14 - 7:36 AM

    I would probably either do botanical prints or cool house plans!ReplyCancel

  • Emily7.29.14 - 7:39 AM

    So incredibly weird – and awesome! I’d love to use some travel photos or maybe just close up textural images (river rocks, wood grain, etc.).ReplyCancel

  • Ann7.29.14 - 7:51 AM

    I would love to try the engineer prints at the end of my hallway.ReplyCancel

  • sarah r.7.29.14 - 7:53 AM

    i’d love to blow up some images from children’s books for my daughter’s room.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica7.29.14 - 8:08 AM

    I love the dinosaurs! I’ve been itching to get an engineer print of my own but I can’t figure out what image to print!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia]7.29.14 - 8:12 AM

    you guys are just so cool.ReplyCancel

  • Jen N.7.29.14 - 8:33 AM

    I’d blow up a photo from our recent European vacation.ReplyCancel

  • Jen7.29.14 - 8:48 AM

    I would live to print a huge photo from my recent trip to Yosemite. Thanks so much for this DIY!ReplyCancel

  • Erin@Suburban Bitches7.29.14 - 8:53 AM

    I love the dinosaurs print! I’m itching to get a large octopus engineer print somewhere in my house! Love weird animals. And great tutorial on how to build a frame.ReplyCancel

  • Laura @ Rather Square7.29.14 - 8:58 AM

    I never realized how inexpensive those large prints could be. I’ll have to look into this for our artless rooms (currently all of them – we are procrastinators and always do the art last!). And I love the frames you made – they really seem to contain the prints without detracting from them. Although it would be hard to detract from those ferocious dines!ReplyCancel

  • Mary7.29.14 - 9:01 AM

    These are so fun–I think I’d print a cool vacation picture or something.ReplyCancel

  • Catherine7.29.14 - 9:03 AM

    I have been wanting to get an engineer print done too but I also haven’t been able to decide on what to print. Love the dinosaurs!! I might hit up the graphics fairy for some vintage bird illustrations. I have a sofa that desperately needs something above it.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer I.7.29.14 - 9:14 AM

    I love engineer prints, but haven’t used them in my house yet. I love the way the dinosaurs look and I’m thinking I need something in our master bedroom….but maybe something less scary before bed, lol. Love the way it looks! I can’t believe the progress you guys have made.ReplyCancel

  • Heather7.29.14 - 9:16 AM

    What a great idea!The dinosaurs are perfect.ReplyCancel

  • Bethany Wellman7.29.14 - 9:17 AM

    My husband is decking out his “Man Cave” in our backyard, and some over sized prints would be PERFECT wall decor!ReplyCancel

  • Whitney D7.29.14 - 9:24 AM

    I love how easy and inexpensive this is. And the Dinosaurs is such a fun, unique idea.ReplyCancel

  • Jody7.29.14 - 9:25 AM

    I love using large engineering prints in home decor! I think layering some prints in around my TV would be a great way to add visual interest and draw the eye away from the TV.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny Doyle7.29.14 - 9:29 AM

    I would love to blow up some beach photos for my daughter’s nursery! Great idea for such large scale art!ReplyCancel

  • Cara7.29.14 - 9:40 AM

    I keep meaning to get some engineer prints and never get around to it. Look great!ReplyCancel

  • Jenna7.29.14 - 9:47 AM

    I use them to print a family picture now that we’re a family of 5.ReplyCancel

  • Hannah K.7.29.14 - 9:52 AM

    I have been wanting to do something with engineering prints for ever! Just haven’t figured out “what” quite yet. I love these!!ReplyCancel

  • kkoira7.29.14 - 10:08 AM

    Is that a Terror Bird next to the T-Rex? Because if so, they are probably one of the most creepy prehistoric predators that I’ve heard of. They would be able to outrun modern cars, apparently.ReplyCancel

    • Kim7.29.14 - 10:16 AM

      That gives me the chills! I’m so weirdly fascinated by these prehistoric animals… I double checked in the book, and it’s a Phororhacos, which comes from the same family as the Terror Bird. Can’t beat this pair, that’s for sure!ReplyCancel

      • kkoira7.29.14 - 3:54 PM

        I got totally hooked on the show Primeval (it is filmed in the UK but available on Netflix) with the dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals that make an appearance on there.ReplyCancel

  • kkoira7.29.14 - 10:11 AM

    Oh, also, I totally LOVE the prehistoric predators on the wall. It is an awesomely awesome touch.ReplyCancel

  • Janet7.29.14 - 10:32 AM

    It’s just Tuesday and the give away is closed? That’s the message I got when trying to enter…?ReplyCancel

    • Kim7.29.14 - 10:49 AM

      Janet, we’re SO sorry! It looks like there was a hiccup with the widget. It should be showing up now! Everyone else, please chime in if you’re getting a similar error!ReplyCancel

  • carrie @ brick city love7.29.14 - 10:48 AM

    I love your dinos!! Best choice of content ever.ReplyCancel

  • Missy G.7.29.14 - 11:03 AM

    If I did this, I think I’d go with some nature photos.ReplyCancel

  • Jackie7.29.14 - 11:04 AM

    I’ve been thinking of doing this with an old envelope I have that was postmarked in Antarctica, so that is likely what I’d do. Love the dinosaurs though!ReplyCancel

  • Great choice for an oversized print. I think if I did one it would be of my dogs!ReplyCancel

    • Kim7.29.14 - 11:35 AM

      We actually considered that and had an idea for something neat for a while… until we thought, how much art can we have of the pets?! So, dinosaurs won out. Ha!ReplyCancel

  • Heather7.29.14 - 11:27 AM

    I’d love to enlarge a photo from trips to Europe – such amazing architecture!ReplyCancel

  • Christa B.7.29.14 - 11:37 AM

    I would probably hang some engineered prints of cacti or mountains over our sofa.ReplyCancel

  • Mary Pat7.29.14 - 11:47 AM

    I would enlarge pictures of the Colorado MountainsReplyCancel

  • Renee D.7.29.14 - 11:57 AM

    I am seeing engineer prints everyone on the blog-is-fere! I am in love.ReplyCancel

  • Mandi M.7.29.14 - 12:12 PM

    I love the frames! But I am especially tickled to find out how to make engineer prints, that’s awesome. Thanks for the (cheap!!) decorating tip.ReplyCancel

  • Alexis7.29.14 - 12:29 PM

    Love love love this!!! I’m converting a large-ish closet into a craft space and am trying to figure out how I’ll decorate, large prints like this would be awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Tyler Anne Snell7.29.14 - 12:32 PM

    I want to do this to our blank wall in the bedroom! Freshly painted gray, we want BIG pops of color! This is a perfect way to do it!ReplyCancel

    • Kim7.29.14 - 12:40 PM

      Keep in mind that engineer prints are black/white! You can totally get over-sized color prints, but I’m not sure on the cost for those…ReplyCancel

  • Leila Waddell7.29.14 - 12:33 PM

    My husband will totally dig this new tool !ReplyCancel

  • Anna Creecy7.29.14 - 12:49 PM

    I’d use it to work on my entry hallway. I’m wanting to do a gallery wall. Not too busy though.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley7.29.14 - 1:04 PM

    I already have a large black and white print of a floor plan in my home. I am an intern architect and access to large scale plotters is one of the perks! http://southernarchitectress.blogspot.com/2014/01/collage-wall.htmlReplyCancel

    • Kim7.29.14 - 1:18 PM

      We love that idea too and considered it as well! Lucky you for free plotter access :)ReplyCancel

  • Joyce H.7.29.14 - 1:08 PM

    I love the dinosaurs! I didn’t even guess that it was made from an engineer print.
    Also, Kim, where did you get your flats? They’re so cute!ReplyCancel

  • Sharon Flasche7.29.14 - 1:31 PM

    I love this idea, never knew it was so cheap and easy to make large prints, on my way to the print shop and Ace hardware for materials. Thank You!ReplyCancel

  • Katie7.29.14 - 1:38 PM

    I would never think to make my own frame.ReplyCancel

  • LK7.29.14 - 1:47 PM

    Who doesn’t love dinosaurs?ReplyCancel

  • wendy7.29.14 - 2:06 PM

    I’ve had so many ideas for engineer prints floating around in my head for years. My question was always how to hang them, love these simple frames! And now I kind of want a giant T-rex in MY living room, or a vintage space poster, or maybe one of my kiddos.ReplyCancel

  • Laura Igram7.29.14 - 2:39 PM

    I would definitely create a couple large scale prints to hang over my bed (on my new charcoal wall!) I think it would complete my bedroom makeover perfectly.ReplyCancel

  • Jenna7.29.14 - 3:07 PM

    I love these frames! I’ll have to add them to my DIY list for my gallery wall :)

    Also, totally random question – I just bought a vintage sofa that looks almost exactly like yours (beautiful, right?), and I’m also thinking of covering it in velvet. What material was used for the cording/welting on the cushions? If velvet is used, it can sometimes end up looking like little caterpillars because of the pile and I’d love to avoid that!

    Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim7.29.14 - 3:53 PM

      Whoot! Congrats on your score!

      We used this velvet: http://www.housefabric.com/Chambord-Indigo-P162698C477.aspx

      When we brought it in to the upholsterers, they explained to us the “caterpillar effect,” however, once I showed them the fabric, they agreed that our pile was low enough that it wouldn’t be the case. We were able to use that same velvet for all of the welting with no issues!ReplyCancel

      • Jenna7.30.14 - 11:54 AM

        Thank you so much for the info!ReplyCancel

  • Emily R.7.29.14 - 3:14 PM

    I’d probably do something pretty similar to this – some awesome large-scale prints for our bedroom or living room. And dinosaurs totally rock.ReplyCancel

  • Katherine7.29.14 - 3:32 PM

    Holy Cow!!
    I’ve never even heard of engineer prints!! This is going to totally change my decorating and framing world!
    Thanks a ton.
    -KReplyCancel

  • bridgette r7.29.14 - 3:51 PM

    I think a fun geometric print would make a great statement. the frames look great!ReplyCancel

  • Kelley7.29.14 - 3:53 PM

    Those prints are awesome!ReplyCancel

    • Kelley7.29.14 - 3:55 PM

      Oops – clicked send too soon! I would definitely use them to do a large print like this in our living room. So much blank space in there!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly McKinnell7.29.14 - 4:07 PM

    LOVE the dino prints! I could use a few of these over my bed in my apartment!ReplyCancel

  • caroline [the diy nurse]7.29.14 - 4:19 PM

    I love this – so pretty, fun, and quirky. Very ‘you’ ;)ReplyCancel

  • Christa7.29.14 - 4:24 PM

    Honestly I would do the same as you guys (well not dinos, but hanging the prints over my couch).ReplyCancel

  • Surani7.29.14 - 4:42 PM

    I love the quirkiness! (quirkyness?) If you can’t like dinos as an adult, what’s the point?ReplyCancel

  • TulumChica7.29.14 - 5:11 PM

    I really like your over-sized framing solution. That little router looks like it would be SO handy! I would like to know you specified double paned glass?ReplyCancel

    • Kim7.30.14 - 10:18 AM

      When we told our guy, Al, at Ace that we needed glass cut in the size we did, he suggested double paned due to the large dimensions. It definitely helps during transport from the store to home! It’s not super thick, but it does feel sturdy, and it doesn’t have any green/blue tint to it at all.ReplyCancel

  • Anna, Sydney7.29.14 - 5:21 PM

    Long time lurker, first time commenter. Love everything you guys do (stumbled upon you back when you did your tiny light pink office in your unit).

    It’s freaking me out that those pictures look like old PHOTOS!!!! Time travel?ReplyCancel

    • Kim7.30.14 - 10:10 AM

      I KNOW. That’s what I told Scott – they look like actual old timey photos! Freaky.ReplyCancel

  • Trinitee7.29.14 - 5:22 PM

    I love this idea– budget friendly and my husband and son would love the dinosaur prints (we have a budding paleontologist). I also love the idea of simplifying our current gallery wall, which has a bunch of smaller photos currently, with oversized prints of our family. Thanks for the inspiration!ReplyCancel

  • jan7.29.14 - 5:50 PM

    I’d frame some of my pictures from our last vacation! Great idea!ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca Anderson7.29.14 - 6:16 PM

    They look awesome! The whole room is so fun! My husband loves Ace!ReplyCancel

  • Alli7.29.14 - 6:21 PM

    Dana at House*Tweaking also just did this and I loved it when she did it. Your post is just what I needed to see to get going on my own project. Also, thanks for the tip on Ace cutting glass. I’m not talented enough to make my own frames and the IKEA frames are now coming with plexiglass inserts. It’d be perfect to swap those out for some ACE glass!ReplyCancel

    • Kim7.30.14 - 10:17 AM

      Ugh, they are?! We’re big fans of using glass. Plexi just always seems to warp and look less than stellar. Go to Ace for sure. You can do it!ReplyCancel

  • Kathy7.29.14 - 7:10 PM

    I think it would be cool to get a world map in an engineering print and then use it to mark all of the places we’ve been.ReplyCancel

  • Marlene @ Jade and Fern7.29.14 - 8:01 PM

    Wow, I LOVE those dinosaur prints! I’ve been wanting to get some engineer prints made but am too overwhelmed by all the possibilities (and lack of wall space) to choose. A gift card to Ace sure would be nice though. :)ReplyCancel

  • Melissa7.29.14 - 8:45 PM

    LOVE! We’ve been considering engineer prints for a couple of places, most notably above OUR sofa or mantle or hallway. Kind if dog the idea of something unexpected and large in the entryway!ReplyCancel

  • Holly A7.29.14 - 9:09 PM

    I think a large, oversized graphic print would be awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Nancy7.29.14 - 10:13 PM

    Your instructions are so clear! I may need to purchase a palm router to try this project :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim7.30.14 - 10:09 AM

      Thanks, Nancy – the trickiest part is just getting the measurements right!ReplyCancel

  • Karen7.29.14 - 10:19 PM

    I have seen other bloggers hang engineering prints and think it can be awesome. My daughter just moved into a “new” letterpress studio in Portland. It has huge windows, extremely tall ceilings, and lots of white. I’m brainstorming ideas–thinking some close-ups of the workings (gears, type, etc.) of her old presses might look really great on those huge blank walls.ReplyCancel

    • Kim7.30.14 - 10:08 AM

      LOVE that idea! Sounds like an amazing place to live in a pretty amazing city, too!ReplyCancel

  • Cindy7.29.14 - 10:42 PM

    I actually just used some engineering prints for our master bedroom. I used some of our favorite pictures from my husband’s and my travels together. Such a statement!

    You’re right: the paper is thin. We mounted ours on foam core (they sell them in 2’x2′ sections at Home Depot now, which is a perfect fit for the 2×3 prints cut into a 2′ square) with double-sided tape. We tried glue adhesives, but the thin paper wrinkled with even the slightest bit of moisture.

    Yours look great!ReplyCancel

    • Kim7.30.14 - 10:07 AM

      Thank you! We considered mounting them with spray adhesive, but I feared that we had a higher chance of screwing it up that way due to the paper. I have nightmares thinking of my photo school days and mounting prints. It only took a bubble or two to have me going back to the dark room…ReplyCancel

  • Joy7.29.14 - 10:51 PM

    these are so FUN! they must make you both burst out in ear-to-ear smiles every time you see them. i’d love to do some engineer prints of bicycles — i think the big size would be perfect for all their fun little details!ReplyCancel

  • Caroline Bedard7.29.14 - 11:38 PM

    I really want to try engineer prints for a couple of family snapshots from the 50s.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa7.29.14 - 11:56 PM

    I actually have an engineer print of the Neutra House in Palm Springs in my bedroom . I love the T-Rex!ReplyCancel

  • tiffany7.30.14 - 2:52 AM

    I have contemplated using them in my hallway that runs the length of my home to keep it visually clean and simple. The difficult task is narrowing down the prints!ReplyCancel

  • Hi. I’ve been wanting to enlarge a couple of fun family photos we have taken over the years to be hung in our dining room and the price of the engineer prints is just right! Thanks for the simple tutorial on building frames.ReplyCancel

  • Jacqulyn7.30.14 - 7:06 AM

    These prints are amazing!

    I’ve always wanted to use old letters from my grandmother in some way. Perhaps I could blow them up really big and make prints.ReplyCancel

  • Brooke7.30.14 - 9:53 AM

    Love the engineer prints! Used them to make inexpensive art in my office at work and always get compliments on them!! But yours are WAY more polished. Great plan!!!ReplyCancel

  • Emma7.30.14 - 10:27 AM

    Wonderful! You saved so much coin on this project :)ReplyCancel

  • Liz7.30.14 - 12:09 PM

    I would have never thought to scan something from a book to turn it into art (especially large scale art) but I must say this is a really clever idea! And the frames are perfect.

    Way to go!ReplyCancel

    • AlisonG7.30.14 - 1:37 PM

      I don’t have wall space big enough! I think a house always looks more like home with art/pictures hung.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly D7.30.14 - 1:55 PM

    I think my daughter would love if I did prints like these with birds or butterflies for her bedroom.ReplyCancel

  • Kathy G7.30.14 - 2:12 PM

    I have a print I have been wanting to do this with a long time – thanks for the info on how!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren7.30.14 - 3:05 PM

    My husband is an architect so maybe we’d blow up a photo of a favorite local building.ReplyCancel

  • l7.30.14 - 3:51 PM

    cute prints. love the teal couchReplyCancel

  • alex7.30.14 - 5:02 PM

    i could use some large prints over my couch too!ReplyCancel

  • Trude7.30.14 - 5:09 PM

    They look awesome! Sometimes a few large pieces is perfect (as compared to a gallery wall). Really love the white frames, they let those amazing prints stand out. :)ReplyCancel

  • Holly7.30.14 - 6:29 PM

    Love the large frames! They are a great statement piece.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth G.7.30.14 - 6:31 PM

    I would like an over sized print in my kitchen.ReplyCancel

  • Nayla7.30.14 - 8:15 PM

    I would make photos of my lil one.ReplyCancel

  • Kthro7.30.14 - 8:22 PM

    I have wanted to have a tattoo inspired by this photo for ages:
    http://awfullibrarybooks.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/pregnancy21.jpg
    I even hunted down a used copy of the book! It would make a great engineer print too, I think. The writing is so dated and backwards and I’d like to take it back in a satire sort of way. Yay, feminism!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Scruggs7.31.14 - 9:17 AM

    This blog title made me feel warm and fuzzy before I even read past the first line. That was the clearest easiest most innovative frame making scheme I’ve seen and I will definitely be trying this. Dinosaurs are the best :)ReplyCancel

  • Kyley D.7.31.14 - 9:29 AM

    I love those engineer prints! I have a HUGE twin lens reflux camera photograph hanging in my house that I used the engineer prints for, but I’d love to add more.

    Also, I just can’t help myself (being that I’m a picture framer at all). But I noticed how you installed the D-rings on the back of your frame. While the double hole ones are great for heavy stuff, if you don’t have them facing each other (top of the ring to top of the ring) when wired, you run the risk of the wire pulling them towards each other over time – eventually splitting the wood and causing a BIG crash off your wall. If you decide to use them the way you installed it I would suggest not using the wire and instead putting a screw & molly into the wall on each side of the frame for it to hang directly from the d-rings. It’s a much safer option. I’ve fixed many broken frames over the years because they weren’t wired correctly on the back and came crashing down off the wall….so I just couldn’t help myself & would hate your lovely dinosaurs to break! :) (as a framer we always use “wall buddies” for the big stuff – incase you want to google them)ReplyCancel

    • Kim7.31.14 - 9:39 AM

      Eeks! THANK YOU so much for letting us know! We’ve used them over the years in the same way you see in this post, but not on anything this large. We even considered just using 2 anchors in the wall on the D rings, so we’ll have to do that to prevent a fall.

      Thanks, Kyley!ReplyCancel

  • Samantha7.31.14 - 9:48 AM

    I am redecorating our home office, which my husband uses more than anyone. I’m sure he would love some oversized prints of dinosaurs in there!ReplyCancel

  • Marie7.31.14 - 10:25 AM

    Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial. I bought a few posters two years ago and wanted to make frames of my own but unfortunately, my husband would never build them with me. I think he does not take the fun of it. Anyway, I eventually bought frames from the store and cut the posters. And I used screws and mollies to hang them.
    Know I can see how to build a frame, and I would need some more tools. I can do it alone, can’t I ? You guys are so lucky to have each other.ReplyCancel

    • Kim7.31.14 - 10:34 AM

      You can absolutely do this on your own! It would be helpful if your husband could help you balance out the longer 2x2s at the start, but other than that, you can handle the power tools on your own!ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn7.31.14 - 10:56 AM

    An engineer print would be great as a backdrop for a white board! I guess then it’s basically a big picture you write on, but still! Imagine the doodle possibilities!ReplyCancel

  • Hi! A couple of days ago I commented and thanked you for the tip on engineer prints at Staples. Well, I uploaded a few files to my local Staples and just picked them up. They are amazing. One image of the beach was enlarged to 36×48. It’s grainy which is fine with me because such a large format piece of art is designed to be viewed from several feet back. So, it works and the price was around $10. Thanks again. Now, I’ll need to learn how to build those great frames you guys did.ReplyCancel

    • Kim7.31.14 - 11:33 AM

      Oh, I’m so happy you did this! I actually love that when you look reeaaally close to the prints, you can see the dot matrix printing process, which feels like a cool throw back. Have fun making the frames!ReplyCancel

  • Joseph7.31.14 - 12:25 PM

    I could use two over my living room couch.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle7.31.14 - 12:37 PM

    My husband and I just bought our first house shortly before our June wedding, so we’re just now really diving in to the “good stuff.” Art has become a big priority!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Rohrer7.31.14 - 2:13 PM

    I just walked into Ace hardware for the first time a couple of weeks ago! Also, I LOVE the engineering prints! So easy and affordable!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel7.31.14 - 3:13 PM

    This is so cool! I don’t know if we’re brave enough for dinosaurs in our house, but I’m definitely itching to try making our own frames!ReplyCancel

  • Cara7.31.14 - 9:18 PM

    If there’s someday a matching giant T-Rex somewhere in Cincinnati, just remember that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. :)ReplyCancel

  • Nicole Dz8.1.14 - 2:56 AM

    I would use an oversized print of old short love poems I have from my hubby and hang them in our bedroom.ReplyCancel

  • Alana8.1.14 - 6:36 AM

    The Dino prints are amazing! I have been looking for something like that for my boys’ playroom. PERFECT!ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey8.1.14 - 11:26 AM

    I LOVE your print choice!! So great!!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Maria8.1.14 - 11:28 AM

    I love this idea – this is perfect for over our couch!ReplyCancel

  • Jen Covington8.1.14 - 12:53 PM

    I am planning a dirigible print for my bedroom to hang over my bed.

    Here is the link for the awesome images
    http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/41/49/11/414911dbd4f344ebc50dd45b9545b962.jpg

    I am torn between a print and doing a watercolor painting myself.ReplyCancel

  • Kala8.1.14 - 1:20 PM

    I love this project. The frames add a refined touch to the prints.
    Thanks for the chance to win!ReplyCancel

  • mysweetiepiepie8.1.14 - 1:24 PM

    I’d use large, oversized vintage prints of Venice Italy in our living room.ReplyCancel

  • Katrin8.1.14 - 3:39 PM

    I love the idea of oversized prints to make a BIG impact in a home but this just makes it so much easier compared to what I typically do- which is hope I get lucky with a thrift stores find!ReplyCancel

  • Nadia8.1.14 - 11:13 PM

    Fantastic idea. By the way, birds ARE dinosaurs, so you 2 prints match! (Geeky biologist alert)ReplyCancel

  • […] [DIY Giant Poster Frame | DIY Wall Hangings | DIY Abstract Art Canvas.] […]ReplyCancel

  • […] to spend in the print studio, Yellow Brick Home has found a way to make it a little easier. Their DIY giant frames not only make dinosaurs look even more awesome than normal, they do it in a quarter of the […]ReplyCancel

  • […] going to have to borrow a few tools from my Dad, but I’m planning on putting together this giant DIY frame for our paper wall […]ReplyCancel

  • house of hipsters8.13.14 - 10:41 AM

    ok, this is so weird, this is the second time today that i read about engineer prints! i knew nothing about them or that they even existed! thanks so much for the awesome DIY frame tutorial…it’s so difficult trying to find frames that are that large, don’t break the bank (custom framing) and aren’t too heavy. i can’t wait to try this!ReplyCancel

  • Mandi8.13.14 - 3:57 PM

    This is great! I had to comment on your shoes, though. Because they are Crocs and I have the same pair— couldn’t believe I would buy Crocs, but they are cute and SO comfy, right?!ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.13.14 - 5:42 PM

      So funny, isn’t it!? I said the same thing, and yet here I am. Wearing Crocs. Crazy!ReplyCancel

  • We love: DIYs |8.21.14 - 7:47 AM

    […] to make giant frames for your […]ReplyCancel

  • Claudia8.23.14 - 3:45 PM

    Amazing room! Thanks for the great DIY. :)ReplyCancel

  • Erin8.24.14 - 7:18 PM

    I love this! Would you mind clarifying…did you use double sided tape to attach the print to the foam board? If so, did you use it only around the edges? These are fantastic!ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.24.14 - 7:29 PM

      I didn’t use double sided tape, although, it’s a great idea to do so! The prints are REALLY thin, so this could prevent any paper buckling.ReplyCancel

      • maria1.29.16 - 5:08 PM

        Hi Kim – I’m confused. Your July 30/14 comment says you used double-sided tape to mount the engineer print to foam core.

        Then at a later date, on Aug 24/2014 you said you did NOT use double-sided tape. (See above if you want to confirm!)

        Can you clarify what you did? I’d like to know how you mounted the print onto foam core. :) Thanks! Loved your post and dinosaur prints.ReplyCancel

  • Tanya8.26.14 - 9:24 PM

    How about giant Zentagle prints?ReplyCancel

  • […] something huge over the girls’ beds, and I just keep coming back to this freaking awesome diy dinosaur engineer print. We visited the new dinosaur exhibit at King’s Island this summer and holy dinosaur […]ReplyCancel

  • Kelly8.30.14 - 8:29 PM

    I’m obsessed with the T-Rex. Any chance you’d sell a file of your scan? That book looks amazing but so expensive! Love it all!ReplyCancel

    • Kim9.2.14 - 9:02 AM

      Hi Kelly, I definitely can’t do that for copyright reasons, but a quick search pulled up some options on Amazon from different sellers! It looks like you can pick up a paperback version for around $1-5. Ours is a paperback, and it still has full color illustrations!ReplyCancel

  • […] giant engineering prints that you can have done inexpensively at office stores or online are certainly eye catching. But, […]ReplyCancel

  • Szerdai ötletelés #8 | Heart9.10.14 - 12:42 AM

    […] DIY giant frame (Yellow Brick Home) 2. DIY leather mason jar holder (Natalme) 3. DIY lamp with bangles (Heju) 4. […]ReplyCancel

  • These Things No.61 | Miss Moss9.23.14 - 11:02 AM

    […] DIY dino prints! […]ReplyCancel

  • Sunshine1.14.15 - 12:12 AM

    Where did you get that beautiful rug?ReplyCancel

  • Joseph Pianta1.21.15 - 2:00 PM

    I’d consider using Plexiglas for pieces that large. for safety and to add a bit of UV protection for your ‘art work’.
    Go to a glass shop and ask for the 1/8″ or closest to it. Stay away from the hardware store storm door stuff. You can special order non-glare plexi too. Spray both sides with Brilliantize to keep the dust down. I am glad some one said and you updated your DIY with info on D-Ring hangers. I’ve seen to many pieces done wrong and fallen on furniture and other things…ReplyCancel

  • mari1.21.15 - 8:32 PM

    love the idea. just sayin’… the art work would pop if your walls had a little more color to provide contrast.ReplyCancel

  • Dee1.26.15 - 9:32 AM

    Where is this beautiful couch from???ReplyCancel

  • […] 17. Frame engineering prints (via Yellow Brick Home) […]ReplyCancel

  • […] put in…well, it’s blood, sweat, tears and a whole lotta awesome. Kim introduced me to DIYing giant frames and engineer prints for which I’ll forever be grateful. One day she commented on my blog and I about fell over. I […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Yellow Brick Home […]ReplyCancel

  • […] to build a custom frame for a canvas. For traditional prints (not canvas), Yellow Brick Home has this great tutorial for building a custom frame.  The good news is that either way you go, you can get creative with […]ReplyCancel

  • […] prints.  7 || These placemats are amazing.  I want to frame them.  8 || What a fun idea for cheap art!  9 || I love these shoes for Fall.  10 || Most adorable girls room […]ReplyCancel

  • Adam9.24.15 - 2:15 AM

    Hey Kim,

    I love this post. You take something like DIY and hand tools and make it seem simple and doable. Your blog popped up awhile back and now it’s come up again I’ve hit subscribe to keep up with yourselves. I just wanted to say though you may want to clarify what an engineer print is. I had to go looking myself and the comments section makes it sound like everyone knows what these are except for little ole me. I was confused as to whether this was a brand or a type of print and whether or not it was a US thing only. Being an Aussie bubbling along in London at the moment I hadn’t heard of such a thing, but glad I now know. Bare walls beware!

    Cheers AdamReplyCancel

    • Adam9.24.15 - 2:20 AM

      In fact, I can’t see your subscribe button. Does commenting get me on the list. This could just be operator error, it is starting to look like one of those days.

      AdamReplyCancel

    • Kim9.24.15 - 10:01 AM

      Thanks, Adam! Here’s a site where you can buy engineer prints and see a little more about them: http://www.staples.com/sbd/content/copyandprint/engineering-prints.html

      They’re large and thin, and the quality isn’t superb for a photo, as that’s not the original intent, but you CAN have a lot of fun with them. A Google or Pinterest search on engineer prints will bring up a lot of other ideas as well!ReplyCancel

  • […] for larger pictures for which the cost of even premade frames can be really high.  This post from Yellow Brick Home has excellent step by step instructions that require just very basic DIY […]ReplyCancel

  • Susan1.22.16 - 8:06 PM

    Thank you – brilliant guide! We have had a 6’x4′ bus roll gathering dust and are nearly finished making a lovely frame according to your plans. Mega cost savings – hooray! I was wondering if I ought to add cross supports to keep it from warping. Have you ever had that issue? SReplyCancel

    • Kim1.24.16 - 3:28 PM

      Yes! We have made other large frames since posting this, and we have added supports. I guess there’s a few ways you could do this – using a Kreg jig to make holes for a 2×2 to secure into the frame, or you could even use metal T-straps (not sure of the right word for that, sorry!), and tighten with strong wire. I’d love to see your final results!ReplyCancel

  • maria1.29.16 - 5:11 PM

    I think my last comment disappeared before I hit “submit”. As I was saying, can you explain how you mounted the engineer print to the foam core? At one point, you said you used double-sided tape, then you said you didn’t….Can you clarify?ReplyCancel

    • Kim1.29.16 - 5:19 PM

      Hi Maria! We did NOT use double sided tape. :) I double checked the comments you referenced, and it looks like someone else suggested that they did that, but we didn’t. It definitely doesn’t hurt!ReplyCancel

      • maria1.29.16 - 5:23 PM

        OK thanks. CAn you explain how you mounted the print to foam core? This part of the DIY project is the missing piece of the puzzle. It doesn’t matter how great the frame is, if the print bubbles and looks smeared and crappy when mounted :)ReplyCancel

        • Kim1.29.16 - 5:29 PM

          Great question! We didn’t use anything for mounting. The pressure of the foam core and glass sandwiching the print held everything together nicely. If you’re nervous about bubbles, I really recommend double sided tape, since with spray adhesive, you only get 1 chance to do it right!ReplyCancel

  • Nirvana2.20.16 - 10:38 AM

    Hi I would love to know what digital scanner you own/ use!ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.21.16 - 11:32 AM

      It’s a Canon MG6120 that’s still kickin’!ReplyCancel

  • Maddie8.9.16 - 11:16 AM

    Could you tell me how much you spent? The prints are so much fun!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.9.16 - 11:58 AM

      Thanks! The prints were $7/each. I think you could create each frame and print for less than $50, assuming you’d need to buy paint and get glass cut.ReplyCancel

  • Beth Bishop4.1.17 - 12:43 AM

    My only papier mache dinosaur was a prosauropoddy-thing about a metre long, based around a previously p-m covered balloon, a tree branch with an interesting triple curve (distinct cervical, dorsal and caudal regions), coathangers, various bits of cardboard as well as the newspaper and flour-n-water goop, bamboo pedal claws, glass teddy-bear eyes, and a colour scheme based on the Plateosaurus in “Dinosaurs of the Earth”. Unfortunately the tree branch must have been inhabited by borers, and the dinosaur gradually developed a severely pock-marked and ragged appearance, and (after a last photo-shoot with the kids) he was retired a couple of years ago during another interstate move. It’ll be skulls next time!ReplyCancel

  • […] life example: This DIY from Yellow Brick Home is pretty much the best dino DIY ever. I want […]ReplyCancel

  • […] life example: This DIY from Yellow Brick Home is pretty much the best dino DIY ever. I want […]ReplyCancel

  • Kate6.5.17 - 9:51 AM

    It’s so hard to understand complex licenses. If you are wanting free images without the hassle of worrying about copyright laws, just go to a website that offers free images that you can use for any purposes with the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. — The pictures are free for personal and even for commercial use. You can modify, copy and distribute the photos. All without asking for permission or setting a link to the source. So, attribution is not required.

    Here are my favorite sites: pexels.com, unsplash.com and pixabay.com

    Enjoy!ReplyCancel

  • […] I stumbled upon these amazing dinosaur prints and knew this was the perfect way to find awesome […]ReplyCancel

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