Blueprint Copies of Family Photos (DIY sneak peek!)

Blueprint copies for DIY family photo posters  I am working on a large scale DIY project in our home and I needed some giant copies of old family photos. I remembered seeing this pin a while back, which said that you can get giant prints called "engineer prints" at Staples for $4.99.

We called around locally to see what we could find. Our local Kinko's had a similar giant photo copy option called a "blueprint copy". I also heard from a reader that they are sometimes called "draft prints". These prints are only .75 per square foot. Totally affordable! 

Blueprint copies for DIY family photo posters (via A Beautiful Mess)This is the largest print I ordered, it's about 3×4 feet. The photo it is copied from is a tiny 3×3 inch photo of my grandparents. Some people have asked about the quality. I would compare the quality of these prints to any black and white photocopy. It's not perfect, especially since my prints are made from small photos that are very old. The thing is, when you have such a large poster the quality doesn't matter AS much because it's the scale that really catches the eye. If you want a perfect quality print, you can get those a lot of places… just not for under $10… ha! 

Blueprint Copies (also called Draft Prints) to enlarge family photosHere's one more of my (other) grandparents on their wedding day. Again, you can see that the image is definitely not perfect, but the size is what makes the statement. I love these memories and I am so proud to use them in our home decor… it's special. Now I can't wait to make more copies. 

I'll be back soon to share the project I'm making with this gigantic beauties. I just wanted to quickly pop in and share where/how to order these prints for any of you who might want to make your own! xo. elsie 

  • I love this idea, and have boxes and boxes of photos dating back to 1920s! I can’t wait to see how plan to hang/frame. That’s always the tricky part for me. I have so many things sitting around that need frames!

  • Oh I love this. I have some fabulous photographs of my parents (both deceased) that I would love made into poster – this one in particular …..

    Thanks for this.

  • Lovely! I have a few photos I am inspired to print now!

  • I LOVE THESE! They have such a great vibe:)
    Plus, could you do a tutorial for sock buns and dutch braids. Yo guys are my role models:*

  • FYI- as a staples copy and print center associate; the quality of you final copy definitely depends on the printer/plotter/drafter that they use. The prints you got look like they’re from a Kyocera printer (what my staples USED to have) but you can get much better quality from a xerox wide format plotter (what my staples has NOW)… The difference is astounding! Ask for a test print!

    PS- love your DIY projects 🙂

  • Hi Elsie,

    So funny you’re working on this project at home right now. My grandparents recently celebrated their 50th year anniversary and we’re working on printing a few large canvas photos of an incredible picture of them from their wedding day. I love the idea of decorating a home with some old family photos. Great to see that you can do it on a budget, too! We’ve been working with Shutterfly on ours and they definitely aren’t $10 …

  • These are fabtasticM I can’t wait to see your final project! We got married in February and are yet to print any photos! This could be the solution! I wonder if I can find something similar in Aus?

  • i am so excited to see you’re doing this! i’ve been wanting to make some for a while now (of both my family and my husband’s) and i’ll look forward to seeing how yours turn out. thanks for all the great inspiration!

  • Did you try it on any colored photos by chance? Or does it turn black and white because of the type of print?

    Thanks for the money saver!

  • I’d rather pay more for a better quality scan of the film and print. There is usually nothing very attractive about poor quality photographs.

  • Awwwww, love this idea soooo much! I can already think of some specific photos that I need…..:)

    Stephanie May*

  • Really love those! I have an amazing collection of family photos that would be perfect for this!

  • Oh my goodness, you are the best!! I just went to FedEx and got a HUGE picture printed out for less than five dollars. In Georgia, at least, it’s called “black and white oversize” (it’s still .75 cents/square foot), and the max size at the store I went was 36 inches, which is still giant.

    Thank you so so much for posting this!

  • love to see what you are going to do with these…how are you going to frame or hang them?

  • It already looks awesome, even that it’s unfinished 😉 Can’t wait to see the final result

  • Wow! I love the idea of doing this with some of my amazing old pctures! The graininess just adds to it

    Katie x

  • Kinkos does this as well! the paper is very thin though,but framed and put up that wont matter!

  • I saw this on Pinterest too!! I’ve been too nervous to ask my local Staples if they’d print my photos large for me. I’ll have to try it. Your pictures turned out great!!

  • Love it. We’re moving into a new house I would to try this out.
    Thanks for sharing – hopefully they offer the same kind of prints in Canada.

  • Love this! And love that you posted photos of your grandparents! So sweet

  • I love this idea, especially because it’s so cheap and easy! I have to give it a try!

  • Cool how creative! My family has some great old photos we would to re-create in this format.

  • Lovely idea, great way to use old family photos in your interior.

  • These are beautiful! My roommate did a similar print of her grandmother and we love it but we’re trying to find a cheap and classy way to frame it/display it. Any ideas?

  • Always call ahead to see how great the engineering printer quality is. I work for Staples in the Copy & Print center and ours is horrible for pictures. The printer is for line drawings, not pictures and is printed on standard paper.

  • I can’t delay to see what you’re operating on with these. That last picture of your grandma and grandpa is so lovely.

  • WOW
    I must look for this kind of prints in my town!
    Looking forward to see your project

  • I used to work for the construction department of a large real estate company and I used to love printing things on the drafting machines. Photos, posters, banners. What I lacked in benefits I made up for in ink and paper.

  • Thank you. I’ve always wondered how to go about having large prints of something made. This is affordable and really cool. I’m so happy to have found your blog.


  • Great idea! This would be lovely to decorate a room for a wedding/ birthday etc.Rx

  • wow this is sooo awesome. i love old family photos. i need to see what wall space i have for a large photo. i love this idea!

  • Those are great! I have a lot of olde photographs, especially of my maternal grandparents that I would love to something beautiful with — what a wonderful idea!

  • I’ve been planning on doing this with some of our wedding photos to make a more unique display. Thanks for reinspiring me!


  • I have this funny feeling that this has something to do with a wall.(???) Just thought I’d mention it. 😉

  • Wow awesome! Thank you so much for sharing. I cannot wait to do this.


  • Those are really awesome for being 3×3…
    Love the statement they make!

    Rachel Nicole @ Summer Breeze

  • as a stylist i am always trying to figure out how to get photos made much larger without the original negative, etc. and this is PERFECT!! thank you so much for sharing!

  • I’ve always wanted to do this, I have a wall reserved for when we do family photos around Christmas. I’m excited to see what you do with these. That wedding photo of your grandparents is so sweet. The not-so-perfect quality of the copies adds character.

  • I actually really like the grainy, poor-quality look to the these pictures. It makes you concentrate on the shapes, silhouettes and shades rather than on the image. Love the idea! And super cheap!

  • so so awesome! and affordable! i’ve been searching for the cheapest/easiest way to blow up some old i need to find out how to scan/print my old slides!

  • These are beautiful! Breathtaking and kind of beautifully haunting. Love the black and white.

  • This is great!! I think the “low’ quality gives it appeal! Super cool I am going to try this!

    Ali of aliandang

  • What a fantastic idea. I think I want to do that for my wedding photos too. Thank you for the awesome suggestion x

  • I can’t wait to see what you’re working on with these! That last photo of your grandparents is so sweet.

  • Oh, I LOVE this! I just discovered this bog two days ago and just ordered 4×4 prints from PostalPix to make a project you featured using pictures of my grandson 🙂 Thanks for the ideas and inspiration!

  • saw this on instagram and wondered what y’all had up your sleeves! can’t wait to see the finished product! 🙂

  • I’m so glad you made this post! I’ve been seeing those pins on Pinterest for a while now and just assumed there was some kind of catch. Glad to know it’s a real option!

  • What a brilliant idea, definitely going to try this at some point.
    xo, Clare

  • How fun! Can’t wait to see what you are doing with these. LOVE giant portraits as are in the home.

  • Old pictures are so romantic and great idea for decoration !

    XX Luba
    Well Living BLog

  • These look fab, can’t wait to see what your plans is for them! … p.s. the second photo makes me laugh, you just need to move your feet over a smidge to finish off your gran’s legs!!

  • 75 cents a square foot is expensive! I work at a (local) print shop, and ours are 45 cents per square foot 🙂

  • I’ve been wanting to do his or awhile. Excited to see how this turns out.

  • this is such a great idea and something i’ve definitely been dying to try with a certain brigitte bardot photo that i love!


  • I love old family photos so much. I keep meaning to make copies for myself to have. A sentimental, personal way to decorate your home.

    – tianna 🙂

  • I was just wondering if these are b&w copies of color photos, or color copies of b&w photos?

    they look great! can’t wait to see the finished product!


  • I have some really old photos that this would be perfect for.

    I have had some ideas of what I wanted to do with them for quite awhile and now that I know that it won’t be too pricey, I have no excuses. Thanks for the info. 🙂

  • I adore old family photos AND huge prints! Can’t wait to see what you come with.

  • these are so beautiful! love this idea. can’t wait for the diy post! XO

  • These are awesome!!!! I actually got an “engineer print” framed in our living room (One of my favorite photos, a pic of a vintage camera I took at a flea market). The blueprint price sounds way better to me. I think you just saved me a lot of money and gave me an idea for my next project. Thanks Elsie!!!

  • Oh my those are just gorgeous! Absolutely love the idea. Printing of photo paper that size is astounding!!!

  • Wow, has anyone told you that these DIY are awesome???!!!… I’m sure people have, but I figured I’d join the band wagon. THIS IS AWESOME! How cool that you are hanging old family pictures. Seriously such a great idea.

    – Sarah

  • This is awesome Elsie – reminds me of Debbie Carlos’ huge B&W poster prints. Not sure why I never thought of doing something like this myself! Thanks for the idea.
    You and Emma rock.
    Ronnie xo

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