Engineer Prints


We had two sections of our wall in need of some attention. We didn’t find anything we wanted to buy, so I decided to DIY engineer prints.  I was inspired by Pinterest, of course. Where else would a gal gather inspiration?

Once I had this idea in mind, I chose the photographs I wanted to display.  This technique really only works with black and white pictures, so I used Instagram to edit the photos I selected to be sure the printer did not alter the coloring at all.  

We decided on two photos Boo took on our beloved Peaks Island, Maine.  This island holds a special place in our hearts – especially because it’s where we got engaged. But even without that, it’s a little piece of paradise where we love escaping to – all four seasons of the year.  In fact, this project was completed before we were engaged. That’s some serious Maine loving right there…

Tools you will need (for one print):

1 black and white photograph on a flash drive

1 piece foam board (large enough to back the painting – size will depend on photograph size)
1 xacto knife
1 level (we used a meter stick because of the size of our print)

1 tube stick glue or spray adhesive

Heavy books

3m command strips or metal wire plus tape and 1 nail

1. Edit your photo to black and white
2. Head to Staples or another office supply store with printing capabilities and ask for the largest possible print service they offer (keep in mind what they will likely offer you is a very thin piece of paper – some will call it an engineer print)
3. Once you have the dimensions of your print, measure this size onto a foam board and cut with an xacto knife, keeping everything straight with a level
4. Lay your print over the foam board to be sure there are no rough edges (cut again if you have excess foam board)
5. Depending on your glue, either spray a light mist over the board or roll on the stick glue so that the board is sufficiently covered, you do not need to drench the board with adhesive, especially because the paper is very thin (just for reference, I used a glue stick which worked fine, I am guessing spray adhesive would work too, but might be harder to move the print around if it needs slight adjustments)
6. Gently position the print over the foam board to attach the two (it’s helpful to hold the print slightly above the board to be sure you are accurate with your placement before you apply the print)
7. Smooth over the paper print to be sure there are no bubbles or wrinkles
8. Place heavy books over the print to help the paper adhere to the board and to ensure a tight hold, let sit overnight
9. If you are using 3M command strips, attach one on the right and left edges of the print so that there is reinforcement from both sides OR if you are using a nail strong tape should easily hold the metal wire onto the back of the board, hammer a nail into the wall and hang the middle of the wire directly on the nail

Our original photos in color then in black and white:

The drying process:

You can tell which items belong to whom – law school textbooks (Boo), West Elm diffuser and Henri Bendal candle (me).  Well, for people reading besides my mother (Hi, Mum!) maybe you don’t know what belongs to whom, but now the secret is out: I’m marrying an attorney.

Our prints hanging on the wall:

This project cost us under $20 and we love the results.

You can also paint the sides of the poster board if you are displaying the prints in a location where sides are viable. For us, the prints are hung so high that it didn’t make sense. But it’s a sweet touch. Check out Katie Bower’s version of this project where she did paint the sides. Too cute.

UPDATE: After receiving a few questions about how the prints look on the wall, I took this picture to show you.  It’s a tricky angle to capture because it is where two different ceiling heights meet, but I hope it gives you a better sense.  It’s not perfectly to scale, but hope it’s a start! 

So, what do you think? Do you like our Peaks Island tribute in the concrete jungle? I’d love to hear from you if you try this project!


The Future Mrs. Wolf

  • Katherine Lawson

    Looks great, TFMW! Can you post a picture showing the full wall? Curious how you set them up on the wall since there are so many pinterest posts on how to arrange.

    • The Domesticated Wolf

      I hope the update helps you!! xx.