What is an engineer print? Learn more about making large black and white prints for pennies and 22 ideas to use these affordable posters to make large DIY wall decor.
For more large wall decor ideas, check out 60 Affordable DIY Wall Decor Ideas for Large Walls, How to Decorate Tall Walls, and 30 Ideas for Functional Wall Decor Shelves and More.
Engineer prints are the next big thing around the DIYing world (ha, see what I did there? 😉 At under $10 for a huuuge print, they’re a budget-friendly way to have large DIY wall art in classic black and white prints and photos in your home — and they come in color too! (See those at the bottom of the post.)
DIY Engineer Prints for Large Wall Decor
What are engineer prints?
Engineer prints are large, low quality black and white posters that are usually used to print blueprints and other designs. Some thrifty DIYers have discovered that office stores like Staples and Office Max are a great place to print these for large wall decor options, too! (Be sure to check with your local store, as some stores may not offer these prints or may not allow photos to be printed on the large format printer.)
What size are engineer prints?
Sizes may vary by store, but standard engineer print sizes are 18×24, 24×36, and 36×48. They can be trimmed as needed to make whatever size large wall art you need!
What can I print as an engineer print?
If you’re wondering what to print, we have lots of options here, for printables and for vintage images, plus more ideas below. Use Brynne’s instructions to prep an image for large-scale printing, and then use one of these ideas below for hanging and displaying your new poster!
How to Use Inexpensive Engineer Prints for Large Wall Decor
Keep it simple: hang your large wall print with clips on the wall. (via DesignSponge)
Mount a print photo on foam insulation board (Trendy Thrifting)
Or on inexpensive hardboard (Joy’s Hope)
Print and frame your favorite quote for easy personalized large wall art (Classic Play)
Related Reading: 27 Quick and Easy DIY Wall Decor Ideas
Make a dramatic DIY wall decor display by splitting the print photo between two canvases (House By Hoff)
Follow these tips from Chris Loves Julia for making prints look their best.
Frame your prints in simple wood frames (Five Marigolds)
Print your own large wall art set and frame it (The Creative Mom).
Related Reading: 50 DIY Wall Decor Ideas and Tips
Easy large wall decor! Make your own large monogram to print (Chris Loves Julia).
A nature image a la Ansel Adams looks lovely as a large wall art print, especially when printed hung from a simple wood piece! (Lay Baby Lay)
Isn’t this framed map lovely? (Life Made Lovely) Find the perfect large wall art print in our collection of printable maps or blueprints, and follow this tutorial for creating a rustic frame like this one.
Wrap an engineer print around a canvas frame for easy large wall decor — and I Should Be Mopping The Floor added spray glitter, too, for a special holiday art glimmer!
Mount a large poster print on wood for a simple but rustic look, and easy to change if you just use tacks/nails! (Because I Like To Decorate)
Related Reading: Easy DIY Wall Decor Kids Can Make
This aged book page print wasn’t actually an engineer print, but I would guess you can get the same yellowed paper look by using a cheaper engineering poster and some tea to dye the paper. (Delightfully Noted)
Feeling ambitious? Wallpaper with engineer prints! (via Apartment Therapy)
Mount the engineer print on fabric like burlap for a fun textured DIY wall decor look. (My Sister’s Suitcase)
Color Engineer Prints for Inexpensive Large DIY Wall Decor
Remember how I mentioned about being able to print colored engineer prints? They aren’t quite as inexpensive as the black and white ones, but they’re still a pretty cheap investment for large wall decor you can make yourself and customize!
See how Upcycled Treasures created her own watercolor from a photo and then printed and framed it, here on Remodelaholic.
This printable from Lemon Thistle (here on Remodelaholic) would make a great candidate for a colored engineer print!
Monochrome color engineer prints of classic story book pages look great as playroom DIY wall decor at Blesser House‘s house.
Young House Love used discarded retail display art, but this could be a fun idea for a colored engineer print wall art installation, too!
And when you want to frame an engineer print, Hi Sugarplum has the details for hacking an IKEA Ribba frame to look great and fit the mat.
This DIY wall decor set of large botanical prints is a stunning idea for a large wall art idea! (Blesser House)
How to Add Color to An Engineer Print
For a vintage look, you can also add color to your black and white oversized engineer print — try these 3 ideas from Parabo Press (yes, those are real flowers!):
Add some color for a large wall art installment, using this embroidered engineer print tutorial (Brit + Co)
Paint the edges of the engineer print mounting board or foam core for a pop of colorful DIY wall decor (Bower Power).
Use a large colored frame for your engineer print photo (Sugar Bee Crafts).
Or print a large coloring page as a tablecloth, photo backdrop, or wall decor for a party! Just add a banner, streamers, or balloons for color. These are from Caravan Shoppe and I imagine you could get creative with other coloring pages online and Brynne’s instructions linked above.
More large DIY wall decor ideas:
- 50 Affordable DIY Wall Decor Ideas for Large Walls
- How to Decorate Large Walls
- 25 DIY Kids Wall Art Tutorials
- Functional DIY Wall Decor Shelves and Organizers
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First published 02 July 2015 // Updated 20 March 2020