How To Make An $8.00 Framed Large Scale Family Portrait From Start To Finish

Posted on Jan 4, 2012 in Do It Yourself, Home Decor | 1 comment

Every family loves to have a beautiful family portrait taken and framed in their home.  Having portraits taken and paying to have them framed can cost hundreds of dollars.  Let me show you how I took our favorite family photo and made it into a Large scale framed and matted portrait for only $8.00.

There is no way around the high price that you pay a photographer to come to your home and take a beautiful family portrait.  If you have them done and want a large scale photo all framed and matted it usually ends up quite costly.  Here is my way around that!  I asked a good friend to come out and take some pictures of our family for us on our property.  She used my camera and it really made for a fun day!  The kids just thought that she was here to play and visit.  We got dressed nice and went outside to “play”.  We keep it laid back and don’t worry too much about poses.  We would shoot a few pictures an walk around looking for good spots and try a few more.  I think by doing this, we get pictures that are really natural and beautiful.  We took a ton of pictures and got some amazing photos to look back on.  For me, the photo doesn’t need to have perfect lighting, or be posed just right, as long as when I look at it I can see us and our personalities shining through.

There are two simple things that you will need to start this project.  You want a great family picture that makes you happy every time you see it, and a thrifted large scale frame with a matte inside.  Here are my two pieces, but not exactly the style that fits into our decor.

I found this  large 23 by 27 frame at Goodwill.  It was marked $7.99 and was made with a nice solid wood.  If you are not a Goodwill shopper it is good to know that each day they pick a sticker color, and each item in the store with that colored sticker is an additional 50% off that day.  This frame was 50% off.  My final price for it was a whopping $4.00.  It had a matted picture inside and was the perfect size for the space I wanted to put it in.  It was not pretty, and had some very dated colors and square patterns in the matte.  But, it was nothing an exact o knife and some paint couldn’t fix!

I took and separated the frame, glass, and mirror carefully and was ready to make this frame fit our space.  I used paint that I already had and that matched the other pieces that we have in our living room.  I wanted the frame to look fresh and bright so I added 2 layers of white paint to give the wooden frame new life.  I took the existing dark green matte and used an exact o knife to make it a simple rectangle.  After I cut the little square details off I added a layer of blue paint and let it dry.

Now that I had the perfect frame for our living room it was time to fill it with the perfect portrait.  The picture that I choose was one of us all laying on our stomachs on our pier laughing and smiling at our friend’s silly antics.  I think it depicts our family perfectly and it really does make me smile every time I look at it.  We are not a terribly serious bunch – so a posed family portrait isn’t our style.  This picture needed a little editing so I used Picnik to add a vignette, and some other effects.  I love using Picnik, and get great results.  The finished photo is full of character and some people that I really like a lot captured beautifully!

Now, when it comes time to enlarge your photo patience is key.  I used a very high quality photo edited just the way I liked it.  This can cost anywhere from $20 to $40 to have enlarged.  My game plan was to create a poster print and wait until I found an awesome coupon.  I am signed up for a few different photo printing sights, and always take full advantage of their deals when I create enlargements.  I use Snapfish, Artscow, Walgreens, Walmart, Target, Shutterfly and a couple others.  For this project I found an Online coupon from Walmart’s photo center for a FREE 16 by 20 poster print!  Free is okay with me.  It was a better coupon than I imagined I would find.  It pays to be patient and wait for a coupon that fits your project.  I uploaded my family picture online and ordered it, and my coupon saved me the entire cost of the enlargement.  Before I print pictures I always scour the web for a great deal.  The photo deals are out there you just have to hunt them down, or wait until one comes along.

In the end my project cost me about $4.00 with about another $4.00 worth of paint to fix up the frame.  Not bad for my very favorite piece of home decor!  Thanks again to my sweet friend for taking the time to come out and capture some great pictures of our family!  Her taking the time to come out and take pictures resulted in some cherished family photos that will last a lifetime.


One Comment

  1. So glad I could help – it really was a fun day! Great job repurposing the old frame and matte. What a great way to save money and get exactly what you want.

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