March 11, 2009 12:00 PM

A copy shop makes these projects a snap!

ENLARGE A FAVORITE PHOTO

Choose an image that is crisp, colorful and not too busy. Keep the photo’s background simple, such as a clean landscape or a solid block of color.

Too many words? Try a simple border or a song lyric.

PUT IT IN WRITING

Inspire your family to eat right with an entire wall of fruits and veggies. Other ideas? Spell out your kids’ names or their favorite desserts. As for the color scheme: “Have fun with it,” says N.Y.C. interior designer and eBay design director Shawn Henderson, “but try to tie the colors in with the room’s existing elements.”

Cost: $10 a square foot. Impact? Priceless.

USE YOUR CHILD’S ART

Most of your child’s school projects—like a painting, drawing or collage—will work here; just be sure the image is bright, simple and takes up the entire piece of paper.

How To Do It

1. SELECT YOUR PHOTO

To ensure that your photo will be sharp even when it’s blown up to wall-size, choose a digital image that is at least 10MB in size.

2. MEASURE THE SPACE

Decide where you want the image to go and measure that space.

3. GET THE IMAGE ENLARGED

Transfer your photo to a CD and take it to a copy shop like FedEx Office. Tell the copy expert how much wall space you’d like to cover, and they’ll tell you how many panels of paper your image will require. (Our flower image needed two panels of 46-lb., heavyweight, coated paper; the copies were ready in less than 24 hours).

1. BUILD A DOCUMENT

Measure the space you want to cover. You’ll need to create a document with the same proportions. For example, if your wall is 8′ x 10′, create a Word file on your computer and set the page borders for 8½” x 10½”. (The extra ½ inch will ensure the end product isn’t too small.)

2. CREATE THE DESIGN

Enter words in a 20-pt. font using a typeface you like (we used Didot). Color words as desired, then save as a PDF file.

3. ENLARGE DESIGN

Put the file on a CD and take it to a copy shop to enlarge onto rolls of 46-lb., heavyweight, coated paper. Tell them how big to make your image (it would be 8½’ x 10½’ in the example above).

1. SELECT YOUR ARTWORK

Due to the artwork’s set dimensions (i.e. the size of the paper), the final, enlarged image will resemble an oversize poster. As a result, this project works best when covering a portion of a wall—not the entire wall.

2. MEASURE THE SPACE

Decide where you want the image to go and measure that space.

3. GET THE IMAGE ENLARGED

Take the artwork to a copy shop and tell them how much wall space you’d like the image to cover. Ask how many panels of paper this will require (Our tree artwork required one sheet of 46-lb., heavyweight, coated paper and was ready in a day).

BEFORE YOU START…

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Drop cloths

Sponge

4-inch roller

Paint tray

Wall primer

Level

Wallpaper paste

Smoothing tool

Scissors

9-mm. razor knife

Seam roller and repair paste

Liquid drywall

PREP YOUR WALLS

CLEAN

Wipe the area down with a soapy sponge to remove any dirt, says Lowe’s wallpapering expert Sean MacDonald.

SMOOTH

If necessary, cover the wall with a liquid drywall to even out any dings or dents.

PRIME

Apply primer with a roller. (Priming makes wallpaper easier to apply and simpler to remove, says MacDonald.)

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