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How To: Create High Quality Prints of Your Child’s Art for Display

You can stick it up on the fridge with an ABC magnet, pin it to your office board at work, or tape it to the hallway mirror.  However, sometimes your child creates a piece of art that you know you want to keep forever and share with others.  In that case, why not treat it like, well, art?

My niece is, in my totally biased opinion, an artist extraordinaire.  She won a first-place prize for her painting of sunflowers at the Santa Barbara Fair.  I absolutely loved it and wanted it for me, all mine to hang on my wall.  Unfortunately, so did her mom, dad, and grandparents.

The solution was rather easy:  scan, print and frame the painting.  Here is how you can do all that and end up with a quality piece of artwork to adorn your walls at home or work.

1.  SCAN THE PIECE OF ARTWORK

The solution for a piece of artwork  that is 8.5″ by 11″ is pretty simple if you have a scanner at home.  However, Kay’s painting was much larger than this, so we needed to use an outside service.  In this case, her dad took it to Samy’s Camera.  For $40 they took several photos of the painting that they then pieced together.  They provided both the jpg and tiff files to download from their server.  This was the result:

 

 

Samy’s Camera has several locations, including Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Culver City, and Santa Ana.

If you are live in the greater San Diego area, I’d suggest using Giant Photo Service.

 

2. PRINT ON HIGH QUALITY PHOTO PAPER OR CANVAS

The same place that scans your photo may be able to print it on high quality photo paper or canvas.  However, my absolutely favorite printing service is Mpix.  Their colors are outstanding and their prices can’t be beat.  They have frequent 10%-25% discounts.  In fact, the first time I used their services, I Googled for a discount code and found one here that gave 10% off on first-time orders.  That was just enough to cover shipping :)

The way the cropping worked out, a 16″x20″  print turned out to be the best fit.  The color print was only $15.99; but, I splurged and printed Kay’s painting on canvas for an additional $37.25. Within a week, it was delivered all packaged up safely in a big box.

* You can use either a jpg or tiff file with Mpix.

 

3. FRAME IT UP!

Most of the time, any standard frame that compliments the painting will do.  Since I had ordered an odd dimension, my options were rather limited.   I decided to splurge and had it custom framed at Aaron Brothers.

 (Sorry, I could just not straighten out my photo worth my life!  I blame the power outage yesterday, even thought it really has nothing to do with my photo-taking skills. ;)

As you can see, there are really two frames – orange and white.

 

Fortunately, Aaron Brothers was having their Buy One, Get One For 1 Penny sale and it was actually a great deal at $500.  Kidding!  It was only $300.  I find it helps to ease sticker shock if you tell your husband how much more it could have been.  Totally worked.  Okay, kind of worked.

 

A FEW NOTES:

Make sure your kid signs the front of the painting or drawing.  I realized all too late that, like most art done at school, Kay’s name and classroom number were on the back.  It would be kind of neat to have her 7-year-old signature on the bottom corner of the print

If you are going to print the original piece of artwork, have your kid start out with a paper size that is conventional. That way you can have lots of options when it comes to buying frames instead of purchasing a custom frame.  If you enlarge the art, be aware that choosing a somewhat random size may necessitate a custom frame.

Think about printing their work on cards or a calendar.  Mpix has several card and calendar services.  If your parents and in-laws are anything like mine, they love getting something made by their grandkids.

Take a photo of your child with their framed piece of artwork.  It’s a fun and sentimental keepsake.  They grow up so darn fast and all!

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