How to Buy And Frame Big Art For Less than $50

How to Buy And Frame Big Art For Less than $50

We've all been there, staring at a huge blank expanse over a couch or headboard, wondering how we're going to fill it with big enough art. 

So here's my easy budget solution for big art. I pulled this together in a single day for the Airbnb I'm designing and it turned out great. 

Step One: Find Your Art

The key to this solution is finding a digital file for art that you can print any size. Jenny's Print Shop sells digital files for only $15 and has some amazing options -- I particularly love the bougainvillea and desert prints. This Etsy shop has some great black and white options.

Or if you're really on a budget, just pick a photo you've taken on your phone or something off Google Images (check that the file size is extra large.)

Step Two: Print Your File Really Big!

The secret to this project is a huge print called an engineer print. Your file will be printed on very lightweight paper, and the color won't be very saturated -- I think it's meant for printing architectural plans. But the slightly softened look of the print is very pretty, and at 4x3 feet, it's huge! I think it looks especially good in black and white.

I had the cactus print in this photo printed by Parabo Press. They charge $20 for an engineer print in black and white or color, and their customer service is top notch.

And great news! You can get 50 percent off your first Parabo Press order in the month of October -- just use the code "EKERN" at checkout.

Step Three: Frame it!

If Ikea ever discontinues the Ribba frame, I'm going to have a real life crisis. For only $20, you can get a 24"x35" frame. They come in black or white with a pretty white mat. 

Handily enough, if you cut an engineer print in half down the middle, the two halves fit perfectly in two of the largest size Ribba frames. 

Normally I'm not a fan of diptic or triptic art -- they can skew kind of bad dentist's office art. But I think if the print is abstract, it works.

Alternatively, if you want to keep the engineer print intact, Parabo sells wood hangers that look really pretty. Or you could just frame two pieces of art side by side.

Voila! The best part of this solution is engineer prints are inexpensive enough, you could switch out your art on the reg.

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