DIY: Cool prints at home for less

I don’t know about you but I love filling empty walls with interesting prints.  There are some amazing prints available to buy and when budget allows I’ll purchase them but sometimes there are more walls in my house than my purse strings can stretch to and so I have to think outside the square to fill them.

Here are some inexpensive ways that I use to create cool cash savvy prints at home…

You’ll Need:

  1. A printer at home or access to a local printer

  2. Your home computer/the internet

Step One

If you don’t consider yourself to be much of a photographer or very savvy with software, head online to browse high-res free stock imagery.  I have come up with a few suggestions for sites that I like that (currently) offer stock imagery freely or with little to no restrictions*.  Note: while the majority of these sites let you use the images under a creative commons license it is still important to acknowledge where you found them and always reference the source as they would like you too (even if using them for personal use in printed form).  As I like to put it, give credit where credit is due because someone went to a lot of effort to create them!

Step Two

Once you’ve found an image (or images) that you like, print them either at home or I like to email my images (with size specifications) to Warehouse Stationery (simply because I live close to one!).  It is also best to keep the images to an A4 or A3 size.  It keeps your printing costs down to a few dollars.  If you print anything larger you’ll be heading into poster size paper which is more costly, over $10 (unless it’s on sale).  I like to go with a matte paper slightly thicker than your typical photocopy paper.


I didn’t realise that the bottom image was a picture of legs in a swimming pool until after printing, whoops! Waste not want not, I can still make this work. Image sources from Top Left: Gratisography, Far Right: Big Sur Slopes by  Found at  Bottom Left: Hot Tub II by  Found at  Licensed under a Creative Commons 3.0

Now this is how I display my images in a more interesting way…

You’ll need:

  1. Inexpensive picture frames (If you can re-use them, do! Or I also buy mine from Briscoes or The Warehouse  – black and white frames are modern and sleek.)

  2. Sharp scissors and a craft knife (Kids, get an adult to use these).

  3. A ruler and pencil

  4. Sellotape and a board for cutting on

  5. A dinner plate or round object.

Trick one (Two frames, one pic)

I had this image printed in black and white (to be different and its also a little cheaper).  It was originally  one picture but to to make it appear more interesting I split the image into two


Find the half-way point on your image and carefully cut in half to create two images.


Use a ruler to make sure each image aligns with the other and place in your frames. The white matte board came with these frames and I chose to keep it in (I like the crispness it gives.)


And just like that, one print becomes two pictures. I’d display them together with a little gap in between. And there is nothing to stop you using three or more frames (but then you might need to use Photoshop to extend the image lengthwise).

Trick Two (Change the shape of your mat board)

There is a chance that someone else could have the same image (I mean, the chances are slim that they’ll use them like this but hey!).  So, if you want to personalise your image a little more this is another trick I like to use.


Cut a piece of cardboard to the shape of your frame.  P.S You don’t have to use card ether, you could use wrapping paper / fabric or another image as your backing board.  Then with a ruler create a shape on the card that you will then cut out.   You’re only limited by your imagination really.  I went with a triangle.


Place your shape down in the centre of your frame. Then place your image on top before inserting the backing board.


Goodbye legs in a pool! (Okay they are kind of still there) but this is a great way to subtly alter the appearance of the original image and make it more interesting.

Let’s try another one…


See, this is where the dinner plate comes in handy.  Trace around it on a piece of cardboard (the cardboard could be any colour.  You could even try newspaper if you wanted to be really different/cash-savvy?).  You’ll likely need a craft knife to cut this so please be so so careful (kids, an adult should do this)!


And there we have it!

A wee disclaimer:

As always anything you try at your place is at your own risk and responsibility so take care.  Kids this tutorial requires using sharp tools, so always get an adult to do this!

With any free image (under a creative commons license), it is your responsibility to check that you can use the image in the way you are intending and ALWAYS credit the source correctly according to the license (even when using for your own personal use).  I  always credit the source on the backing board of the frame even if its not required.  This also helps me to remember where I found it!   *The links I have provided are suggestions for finding stock imagery with little to no restrictions on use but I am no expert on this so always do your own homework to ensure it is permitted.   By the way if you feel that I have incorrectly referenced something do let me know so I can rectify this.

I hope you found this useful, if you did I’d love it if you would let me know!

Erena Te Paa Stylist

#crafts #DIY #homedecor #make