How to Make Large Gallery Wall Photos {on the Cheap!}

We’re chugging away on my son’s ‘big boy’ room and finally finished his gallery wall. I’d been hearing whispers of an incredibly inexpensive way to fake a photo wrapped canvas (or large gallery style wall photo) and have been just waiting for the perfect time to experiment to see if it works. And guess what? IT DOES!
Large canvas wrapped photos can cost hundreds of dollars, but you can fake it for about $10 or less. Plus, you don’t even have to make yours train themed. Really. You could use, I don’t know, a HUGE family photo instead of train tracks. Mind blown, right?
Now before I begin, I should say that the end result may be all kinds of awesome but it’s temporary. If you have a treasured family photo I’d recommend splurging and going for the real thing (I love using Easy Canvas Prints but there’s lots of places to get gallery wrapped canvases) because they’re priceless. Here’s how we use the real thing in our home, and I’ll tell you what: not only do WE love them, but they always get compliments.
However, I know it’s not something we can always find the extra cash to buy, or perhaps you want several photos or to switch them out every few years. Or, mayyyyyyybe your son wants a train themed room and you don’t want to spend tons of money to do it because he’ll outgrow it (hopefully?) in a year or two. That’s when this easy solution comes into play.
Here’s the secret: Staples makes engineering prints for about $3. YES, $3 FOR A HUGE PHOTO! I got mine on sale but truly they don’t cost more than $5 or so even when not on sale. Engineering prints aren’t perfect, as you can see on the left hand side below. For $3, however, I’m willing to overlook it.
You’ll notice the edges are not gallery wrapped like a canvas, but you could try to do that by cutting the foam board and then “wrapping” the print. I’ve also seen people color the edges black to give it a ‘framed’ look. I, however, love it just as it is.
For exact step-by-step instructions, stop by Making Lemonade (URL below). You'll be amazed at how easy {and inexpensive!} this simple project really is!
Carrie MakingLemonade
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
Join the conversation