When I am stressed I am crazy productive.  
Anything to keep my mind from spinning sideways into the dark and twisty road to panic.

Stress was creeping in.

A project was in order.

It had to be cheap.
It had to be easy.

Time and money are short these days.

Pinterest to the rescue.
(Remember the less pininng, more doing?
I'm not doing too well at that.  Are you?)

This was something that I have wanted to do forever and ever.
Something that part of me didn't really believe was as easy as it claimed.

Well, my friends.  It was.
Just as easy.  
Just as cheap.

For reals.

I just adore this picture of Jason and I, taken by Drew during our sunshine session last year.
Awwwww.  Aren't we the cutest?
I wanted it giant in our room.
Without a giant price.
A girl can dream.....

I took my baby boy off to do manly things at Home Depot and got a sheet of this hardboard.  It is big enough to make two more, so maybe go in on this project with two other friends.  More saving and more doing.  Home Depot tells it like it is.

Two things I love: 
The dude that uses this giant saw to cut wood for me.
The Ergo, so I can push the big lumber cart, full of the wood the dude cuts.
(I had him cut it to 30x48 inches, because that was the size of the space on the wall.)

I ordered an engineering print from Staples, honestly not expecting much.
The uploading is fussy, it took some rigging and some failed attempts.  Keep trying, and make sure your picture is uploaded as a portrait, not landscape.  It won't flip it for you automatically.
(I ordered the 36x48 size.)
The nice lady at Staples was actually surprised at the details that it was able to pick up.
So was I.
I mean for six bucks, seriously, six bucks....

 The paper is crazy thin.  Up super close it has a xerox vibe, but from a bit away, it is sort of a cool artsy xerox vibe.
Thin and fragile.
I was all prideful and thought it needed more than just folding it over the sides and duct taping it, so I got all creative with spray adhesive.


It will bubble and be weird, and I think that the paper has a coating that repels spray adhesive, so I just had a bubbly, sticky, frustrating mess.

Stay away from the Mod Podge.  Stay away from the spray adhesive.  Just line up your print on a board that is slightly smaller than your print, neatly fold it over, and duct tape it like crazy to the back.
Then go upstairs, try not to be mad that your air conditioning is broken because an evil rat chewed through the wires, (why do they eat wires?  why do they exist?) get crazy gross and sweaty as you hang it up by yourself because your husband has been traveling like whoa, and step back and be happy that you made something rad.

Then when he finally gets home, sees it for the first time, and while he looks at it, he gives you a nervous smile because he is thinking...
oh cuss, how much did this woman just spend????????

You can then bat your eyelashes and tell him it was less than ten bucks.

Then he will say 143 babe.  Because you dated back in the days of pagers, and you still say 143.

(linking up with Jess because she is my fave.)


  1. Totally awesome! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!

  2. awesome!!!!!!!thank you thank you for sharing. i'm on it!

  3. this is amazing - just might try it!! Thanks!! p.s. your salsa recipe is to.die.for. :)

  4. Love! I'll be anxiously watching and hope you'll update on how this lasts. I read somewhere that because these are made to be used and thrown out basically, that the ink will fade in about six months. I had planned to make one until I read that. :( hoping it's not true and yours lasts a LONG time!

  5. that's awesome! yay for creativity, doing it all on a budget, with baby in the Ergo while shopping, and the final product lookin' slammin'!!!!!! If I had the patience I'd be making one too :)

  6. I love it! It looks great! So, you are saying DO NOT use anything to mount it to the wood other than duct tape around the edge???? Hmmmmm..... Sounds easy enough!

  7. So awesome. I love it!
    Thanks for sharing.

  8. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!!!!! We totally say 143 too!!!!!!!! LOL So.Funny!!

  9. You guys ARE the cutest!! Love this!

  10. Your recap of the daily adventures of Julie is consistently fab. Thank you friend for always making me smile. Love the Jason part- love your art the best though! Way to go lady! You inspire!

  11. someone tell me what 143 is! i dated in the era of pagers too, but we did 459.....

  12. Love this. The photo, the print, the whole thing!!!!

  13. Love! I'm assuming the digital image was hi-res? Also looking for ways to display photos big without paying an arm and a leg...

  14. Hey Claire, I googled your question. 143, 459 sounds like the beginning of a football play to me (143, 459, hike!). They both mean "I Love You."
    143 because the numbers stand for the amount of letters in each word.
    459 because the first letter in each word matches the number on a phone.
    And btw, this project is awesome.

  15. I had planned on doing the same thing with spray adhesive. Thanks for the tip NOT to do that!

  16. I have been totally wanting to do this too! Gonna have to find a picture now and just do it!

  17. Awesome photo! But I don't get the 143.

  18. Looks amazing! I'm interested too to hear how it holds up. I hadn't heard anything about them not lasting, but now Lisa has me wondering. Keep us updated!

  19. Beautiful! I'm doing this for my husband as an anniversary gift this week - hope it turns out as well as yours!

  20. hi Julie! I totally love your blog and everything you share! I live in MN, but if I lived near you, I am pretty sure we would be chums! :-)
    I LOVE this idea.....maybe have to use "Office Max" instead of Staples since I don't live near one. Question for ya: how did you get the 143 on your photo? It's sooo cool!

  21. Suuuper cool! How did you get the 143 on the photo? cant wait to try this!

  22. That is awesome! Not gonna lie though, I didn't know what 143 meant at first, until I thought about it for a while!

  23. Wowsa! That is cheap! And I love your commentary at the end of the panicy husband wondering how much it cost!

  24. you are da bomb. and yes I just said that. love this! gonna have to give it a whirl.

  25. Just had to laugh because I knew what 143 was and not because of pagers. My mom and dad (in their late 60's) write it in all their cards to each other. So sweet. and your project turned out beautifully!!

  26. This is pure awesomeness. Love it!

  27. lovely. really lovely.

    i have wanted wall art for our room. we can't afford the kind my husband prints everyday (canvas, stand out, aluminum). this i could afford.

    sorry about your a.c. stupid rat.

    i'd be spitting out some "oh cuss" at the $%#@ rat.

  28. Amazing!!!!!! I live this idea !!!! 143 lol. Too cool!

  29. 143 is the best! so is 831 eight letters. three words. one meaning. BOOM!
    i miss my pager. ha!

  30. 143 for linking up. and this is AMAZING. you got skillz to pay the AC billzzzz.

  31. What a great idea! I love it! Thanks for sharing. :-)

  32. I really love this! I don't know if you check these comments or not but if you do... how has this held up? I'm thinking about attempting this but some of the other comments about the ink fading have me concerned. (It takes me a LOT of effort to actually turn a pin into a real life project, lol. I just want to make sure my effort will be rewarded with a long lasting piece of art!) Thanks for sharing this!!

  33. I really love this! I don't know if you check these comments or not but if you do... how has this held up? I'm thinking about attempting this but some of the other comments about the ink fading have me concerned. (It takes me a LOT of effort to actually turn a pin into a real life project, lol. I just want to make sure my effort will be rewarded with a long lasting piece of art!) Thanks for sharing this!!

    1. Well, it has been up for just three months and it looks the exactly same as the day I did it. Not sure when the other said it fades, but I have a feeling that I will want to change it anyway. For six bucks, I can have a little bit of decorating A.D.D.

      I'd say just make one.

    2. I made one and changed it up a bit. It's actually a lot easier than you would think. I use a black and white photo of birds sitting on an electrical line. I then bought aqua and cream acrylic paint and used a very little thinned out with water. I think painted over the top of the entire photo streaking back and forth to make it look like a painting. I then used gold mod podge over it. Sounds like a lot of effort but really it took all of about ten minutes. I emailed Joy a copy. It proudly hangs as the center piece in my living room and I get tons of compliments. People cant believe I did it for all of 20.00.

  34. I am wondering what you used to hang this on the wall?

  35. I really want to try this idea...I am wondering about the Landscape/Portrait part...your photo is Landscape...so why did you say to do portrait? I'm confused..

  36. 143? I have no idea! but I love it!

    I might need to do this with a photo!!