How To: Create a Large Scale Art Project

Min's February Jumpstart Project 2009

Title: Create a Large Scale Art Project
Name: Min
Time: 2 Days
Cost: $77

A totally customizable project to help decorate a kids room (or any room!). Click above for pics, below for the how-to and be sure to give Min a THUMBS UP if you find this project helpful....

Tools:
High Res photo(s), hole punch/setter, laminator (or access to laminating), loose leaf rings (3/4" and 2"), shower rod, scissors, ruler, tape or glue

Steps:
1. I found a photo I really loved of my 3 kids in the snow. BUT, although the kids' smiles looked great, the day was really grey. The NEXT day, I snapped all sorts of shots of the sky to get a blue photo. I decided I wanted to combine the two.
2. You could do the photo combination via Photoshop, but I really wanted to physically cut and manipulate my own art project. So, I developed the photos at my local Costco one hour developer. They created a 3x3 photo grid from each of my photos. I also had them develop an 11x14 photo of a cool looking snowy tree that I wanted to put in the background as well.
3. Now I had 3 photos to combine. I physically cut out the background from the kids' photo and placed the kids on top of the better background photo.
4. Now I cut out the tree, and then cut it in half, placing it on the two edges of my background. I kept arranging until I liked the result. Time: This took 2 episodes of LOST, which I have recorded. :)
5. Next I taped the photo pieces together using little scrapbook tape squares. I would recommend glue since the squares' showed through a bit once I laminated each piece.
6. Since I used individual laminating packets, I had to cut my photos down to a certain size - 3.75" by 2.75". I flipped the whole thing upside down and used a pencil to draw the grids to cut. Time: One more episode of LOST, boy is this year answering a lot of questions.
7. VERY IMPORTANT! After the grids are drawn and BEFORE I started cutting, I numbered each space. Whew! I needed that numbering system many times and I was so glad I did it. Let the cutting begin.
8. I ran them through the laminator next. My kids helped here and we had lots of fun watching each piece come out the other end. I happen to own one - a very good purchase - but you could take them to your local printer/copy shop and they'd do it for you. It's very important to make sure the lamination seals the photo in. If you laminate a large photo and then cut it up later, it will split apart and that's not what you want here. Time: two episodes of Spongebob.
8.5. We had a little TV habit we had to break at this point, so that was all for this day!
9. Next...the daunting task of hole punching. This is the only yucky step. A regular hole punch works, but is a big hard on the hands. I found that my hole setter worked much better. One swing of the hammer and it was through. It's just a lot of punches. This took a solid hour, with no potty breaks!
10. Back to the fun now...the kids and I used the numbers on the back of each square to organize the photos back together. Once it was done, we placed a 3/4" loose leaf ring in each hole. At the top of each column was a 2" ring. Time: after lunch until post lunch snack, about an hour.
11. Next, we stuck a shower rod through the top rings and hung it up via a hole drilled in each end of the rod.
12. It really is cooler than the photos show. It was easy and fun. I think that it's a funky art piece, and not an exact enlarged photo. I wasn't looking for that, I wanted art. :)

Sources:
Costco photo developing - you must go inside the actual building for the grid developing. For whatever reason, you cannot order this service online. They also have a 4x4 grid which would create a bigger end result and also a more distorted result, which could be super cool. Shoplet.com - I ordered the loose leaf rings here because they're semi local (Seattle). One day shipping and the price was very good. They sold boxes of 100 compared to my local Office Max which sold bags of 12 for half the cost of 100! Crazy. Shower rod - you could easily use a piece of metal rod or a curtain rod or a wire cord as long as it's sturdy. This is a pretty heavy project. I'd like the shower rod without the rubber ends, but then again...I thought it was pretty funny and so I kept them on. **Also...I really was looking for a metal factor in this project, so I used lots and lots of rings. BUT, on the super cool site, Photojojo.com, they sell something called "fotoclips" and they also work for this project. They'd be fun too. Plus, the bonus is that they have a little hanger inside so you wouldn't need a bar. Just a personal preference. I think that's it. Visit me at http://vacuumqueen.blogspot.com if you want to see more or ask me a question (or leave a comment!).

Give Min a THUMBS UP if you find this project helpful....

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Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.