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Hoe To Create Photo Artwork

It’s easy to turn ordinary snapshots into extraordinary masterpieces. And you can get that “photo lab” look right from your home printer.

Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Experiment With Sizes and Borders

There are two basic types of photo printers, the ink jet and the dye sublimation kind, which is much like a laser printer. For printing a large amount of pictures, a cost effective ink jet is the best option. Ink jets with the best quality have a small ink-drop size (about 1 picoliter or 1 trillionth of a liter). Many printers have dye-based inks but pigments inks may last longer. Higher-resolution sensors on digital cameras keep image quality when you are cropping or enlarging pictures.

Photo printers also come with special features: big image displays, multiple memory card reads for printing without a computer, 4 by 6 photo paper trays, editing functions like red eye removal and fun color effects and borders. Four by six inches is the standard size in photo printing and has the best quality.

The DPI, or dots per inch, tells you how clear and detailed the printer can reproduce your pictures. The higher the number, the better. You’ll want at least 600 DPI. Digital prints will last longest if you use photo paper made by the same company that makes your printer. Try printing all different size, including 8.5 by 11. Iimages can be printed with or without a border.

Step 3: Display the Photos in Stylish Frames

Consider using acid-free matting to display prints. It will keep them from sticking to the glass. Heat and humidity cause the photo to stick to the glass and can ruin it. Photos with similar frames and matting create a bold, unified statement that will give your room a very stylized look. For a timeless look, you might want to experiment and print in black and white or sepia tones.

Travertine Table

Lancaster Queen Bed

How To Make A Headboard with Picture Frames

This project was very inexpensive to make. The picture frames were all purchased at a thrift store and the headboard frame was made from scrap lumber. We spelled out “sweet dreams” and embellished each letter with flowers. Create your own personalized message or spell out your child’s name.

Materials and Tools

drill with 1/16th bit and regular drill bit for screws
chop saw
(11) 8″ x 10″ wooden frames varied looks
(11) sheets of card stock paper
yellow paint — pint
pink paint — craft size
white paint (for trim pieces)
paintbrushes in various sizes
flower stickers
(22) small eye hooks
(11) small nails
(4) longer nails for trim to go into wall studs
wood putty
pieces of salvaged trim — enough for frame
(4) flat L-brackets with screws

Paint the Frames

Remove the glass and paper from the picture frames. Paint all frames the same color — we painted ours yellow. Apply two coats if necessary.

Spell Out Your Message

Cut card stock paper to fit snugly into each frame. Print out large letters from a computer and trace them onto the paper. Paint each of the letters. Let dry and add flower stickers around each letter.

Drill Holes in the Frames

Use a small drill bit to make two holes in the top of each wooden frame. Then screw in the small eye bolts.

Place Letters in the Frame

Place the card stock and the glass in the frame and secure in place. Thread ribbon through each eye bolt, then tie in middle. Make the ribbon on each frame the exact same size.

Make the Headboard Frame

Make the headboard frame from wooden boards. Cut two boards at 50 inches each for the horizontal pieces, and two boards at 60 inches each for the vertical side pieces. If necessary, paint the wood. Attach the horizontal and vertical pieces together on the back side using L-brackets.

Lay Out the Frames

Lay out the picture frames in your desired locations. Pull ribbon to center and mark where nail will go on the horizontal pieces. Hammer nails into your marked locations.

Nail Headboard Onto the Wall

Secure the wood frame to wall and nail into studs. Countersink the nails, then cover with wood putty and paint. Hang picture frames from the nails.

Courtesy of Susan Teare

Joanne Palmisano is the author of Salvage Secrets (W.W. Norton, September 2011). Visit her blog, also called Salvage Secrets.

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