A few years ago I signed up for an account on Pinterest. One of my very first pins (which I have tried in vain to find) was a link on how to make a super-humongous but cheap black and white photo print at the office supply store Staples. It seemed like a good idea, but considering the number of "pin-sasters" the come via Pinterest pins, I was a bit too skeptical - and cheap - to try. Then, earlier this year, I encountered the idea again (sorry, don't remember which website), only this time it was how to make a really large faux-chalkboard print. I was intrigued. I have long been considering how to make a display of Christmas carols to hang above my piano and I thought "What if I had a really big sheet of music printed?" So I tried it, and I am pleased to say it really worked!
I searched Google images for "free printable Christmas sheet music" and found a carol I liked, Then I went to the Staples website (Office Max does it too, but their website wasn't working for me that day) and searched for "Engineering Prints". I selected their largest size, 36"x48" ($7.79 plus shipping), uploaded my image, followed the very simple instructions, and ordered it. It really was that easy!
Now, you might be asking "what kind of quality is the print?" - which is a good question. The website clearly says "not intended for reproducing photos" and looking at my print I can see why. The blacks are black, but the edges are a bit blurry and there are some grayish patches in the white areas. You can't really see them from a few feet away on my print, but on a photo they might be more noticeable. I'd say stick with line drawings (like engineering prints!), bold lettering or sheet music.
After the print arrived, I decided I needed to dress it up just a bit, so I used a kitchen knife and cutting board to make slits in the paper (I'd recommend using a utility or craft knife, but I didn't have one handy, and the smell of garlic on the knife was just too wonderful to waste) and wove a Christmasy ribbon up the sides. It had the added benefit of stiffening up the paper a bit for hanging.
And that is it - the easiest homemade Christmas decoration I ever made! Thank you Pinterest.
Happy printing, everyone!