cheap and easy

Go ahead and call me cheap and easy. I can take it.

I've had this photo from our trip to California edited and stowed away for months now. The plan was to print it large to hang somewhere in the house. I love this area of the state and this particular picture just speaks to all the good things that people think of California.

San Luis Reservoir • Pacheco Pass
Finally a few days ago, I opened it back up and did something with it. I still plan to do something "more" with it but until some definitive idea makes it's presence known, this project will suffice.

I've been ordering my project life photo prints (and sometimes journaling cards as well) from Walgreens because it's convenient and cheap and they regularly have sales. The other day, I placed a really small order and wanted to beef it up a bit...that's where this project came in.

Basically, I took the above image and divided it up into 16 component pieces - a 4x4 grid that is incredibly easy to create.

To start, your image must be proportional to a 4x6" image. My edited and cropped image is 3260x2174 px. Not large enough to produce 300 dpi 4x6" crops but large enough that the prints didn't suffer much quality-wise.

Next, I opened a new 6x4" canvas and dragged the new layer to the photo. Obviously, at this point, it's much larger than what you need.

From this point, I tried to create a quick video to give you the gist of the process. The sound is funky and useless (I'd just turn it off altogether) but basically, I'm duplicating and resizing to create the grid. To create a duplicate, hold the alt key while you click and drag on the image. To select multiple layers for duplication, hold the shift key while you click on each image. To line up the grid images, hold your shift key to choose the layers then use the align tool.

Once the grid is positioned, make sure your background image layer is selected and while holding the ctrl key, click the thumbnail image for the top left grid box. Image>Crop, hide the grid box and save the resulting photo. Ctrl + Z to undo your crop and then repeat the process for each of the grid pieces.

The individual photos don't look like much (and your photo developer will probably think you're deranged) but as a grouping, they're pretty, right? 
Out of the envelope.
Temporary hanging spot until I figure out where I want them.
My helper...never far away when the camera is out.
total cost = $1.37

Tutorials are not my forte but if you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them!


  1. LOVE it! I've been wanting to do something similar with metal panels but it definitely costs more than $1.37 so your way is sounding very appealing ;)

  2. that's awesome! it looks SO cool!

    you are brilliant.
    what a genius idea.
    i love big photos but always balk at the cost.
    you're my hero!

  4. I second Gabby. You are my hero.

    And she's getting so grown up, E! Beautiful!

  5. such a gorgeous photo! i think you should make it even bigger... just sayin'. ;)



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