When I started looking around for one of those "print your own" picture canvas' that you can order online or make at a photo printing store I was kind of shocked at some of the prices. For the size that I wanted, everywhere was charging more then $100 and there is no way that would fly with our teeny tiny budget!
I started looking at printing options and discovered that you can ask for something called a "Engineer's Print" (extra big) at office stores such as Office Max or Office Depot. Unfortunately there were no office stores too conveniently close to my apartment (as far as I know) and the "Engineer's print" only comes in black and white and I really wanted to print in sepia.
I chose my photo (this is a picture I took of Mike walking my dogs at the beach on our recent trip to South Africa) and edited it in photoshop to make it sepia and started looking around on the web for a poster printing website. After reading great reviews, I ordered my 30"x40" poster print from www.posterbrain.com for $26 (and only $4.99 for shipping).
A week or so later my poster arrived and it turned out great! The printing was great quality, I was very impressed.
I unrolled it and weighted it down on the edges to straighten it out since it had been super cramped in that tube for it's long journey.
I then headed out to get supplies. First, foam board to mount the picture on. Yes, foam board! as in that stuff you use to insulate houses. You can pick up a HUGE board at Home Depot for about $11. That thing was so huge in fact that I actually had to cut it in half to be able to fit it into the car (you will end up using less then half anyways).
I also picked up some spray adhesive and acrylic paint from "Michaels".
After the poster had flattened out a bit i turned it over and sprayed a coat of the adhesive onto the back. (TIP: Do NOT spray directly on the foam board, it will eat away at the polystyrene)
Flip it over (you might need to get someone to help you if its a big poster) and press onto the foam board. You will have quite a bit of excess foam.
Next you need to cut off the excess board. The best way to do this is with a hot knife. I heated up a knife in the flame of my gas stove and carefully cut the foam around the picture. It melted like butter and was super easy to do.
I then painted the white edges with my dark brown acrylic paint.
After the paint dries it's time to hang your picture.
I got super fancy and used some floral wire and duct tape. ha ha!
Here is the final product!
Sorry about the glare on this one...
And there you have it! A photo "canvas" for about 1/4 of the price you would have ended up paying to get it done professionally.