Blowing Up Images on Canvas: Your Thoughts??

Ok, so I wanna have a little fun in my dining room... When I saw the gnarled tree print (below) that Nina Griscom had blown-up onto a canvas, I was in love & wanted to try it out for myself.

I also LOVE the massive size of the hawk print in Victoria Pearson's home (House Beautiful) below.

With these 2 houses in mind, I started searching for images. I've always loved The Little Owl by Albretch Durer (below). (And of course, the Hawk got me thinking birds... And I would actually go nutty for an exact copy of Nina Griscom's tree in a larger size to be honest.)

But then, checking out morel of his work, there were so many others I loved!! A lot of them were of really dark subject matter and they were so beautiful, but my husband & I both love the one below.... Blown up to say 6 or 7 feet tall, it would be sort of like a modern tapestry.

I found a bunch of companies that do giclee canvas transfers on custom size super-large canvases but they're really expensive. I'll give Kinko's a shot. Does anyone have any other ideas?? We're still loving the idea & considering the splurge but here's my next worry: Obviously when you enlarge something so big, it loses quality. It gets pretty pixelly. Below is an image of a preview of what it would look like 6 feet tall:

Kind of reminds me of comic books... So what are your thoughts?? Still doable??? Or are we crazy??? I think it would be fine at a distance and most likely still really interesting up close--- but will it look too poppy???

Here's the (hopefully!!) dining room table:

And below is the the massive canvas would in. (The shelf will be gone of course--- it's needed in the storage room.) And also, I'm moving (ok, my husband's moving) the chandelier to the entryway. I want some sparkle in the dining room & have a huge tall entryway that needs some spicing up.

For furniture in the adjoining living room, I've got the green velvet sofa and the two matching reverse- toile green/white chairs. I'm planning on doing parsons chairs with white slipcovers & some type of green fabric for the top part of the chairs.

ok, I need some honesty on this blown up canvas... I can't gaurantee I'll listen but I think the truth will help. thanks.


***UPDATE**** Thank you SO MUCH for your ideas & thoughts!!!! Quality was my biggest worry about this project too. We tested the blowup out on paper & loved it (even though it is pixelly- it reminds us of the fibers in a tapestry & it looks really cool... If you're considering doing this, have a portion of the image blown-up to the size it will be (on regular paper) and see if you're ok with the quality.)
****** new update: Kinkos doesn't do enlargements this big... I went here: I'm having it printed onto fabric with an adhesive backing that sticks right to the wall. It will have to be done in 2 pieces because of the size but I think I can make that work!


Lynne said...

If you can find some way of enlarging them without sacrificing quality, then it's worth the price because you'll never be happy with a lesser quality. It will always niggle.
If you can't find a way, then wait until you (a) find one already the size you want, or (b) see if you can find something else that size that you like just as much. Sometimes the waiting makes the find all the more rewarding :-)

The Antiques Diva™ said...

I think its a fun quirky idea and I give it 2 thumbs up! Have you seen the printed photos on glass? A friend of mine (an artist/photographer in Amsterdam) recently had a gallery opening and all her work was displayed in this technique and it's to die for. I'm actually thinking of having pics from a recent black and white gala night done this way to hang on one wall of my office! Out of curiousity what company for giclee canvas did you decided upon?
By the way, just stumbled upon your blog from La Dolce Vita site and love it!!!
Toma (aka, The Antiques Diva)

Velvet and Linen said...

I love this idea, Lauren. I'm just not sure how the Kinkos version is going to look. Have you tried finding something on Etsy or another art site?


Izzy said...

check this out

You can blow them up poster size and possibly more I would try kinkos 1st. Good luck! Great Idea

Maria Killam said...

Hi Lauren,
Well certainly if it works without sacrificing the quality I think it's definitely a great idea! Inexpensive but creative ways of creating art is something I'm always interested in for big walls for my clients that's for sure!

Michelle said...

My local art store does this for a small price...any framer can help you out. Don't get the black edging though, match it to the picture.

I like it...I think it can look amazing! I also think it's about hte subject manner.

Love the table!!


Anonymous said...

Try your local blueprint company. Ours in Austin does prints and mounts besides blueprints. I was just ther and some some great blown up architectural drawings.

Eileen said...

I love your choice and hope it can all work out for you! I'm no help in the 'blow-up' department though. And I like the idea of putting a little sparkle with that picture.
I would say leave the other beauty you already have there if you were going with the owl picture (I'm partial to owls), I think the two are perfect together (so you know what I'd be doing!).

I love that your final choice is black and white, very elegant, otherwise I think I'd be in fear that it would be almost too Disney looking.

Have a great time picking and choosing! That's always so much fun!

Jacquelyn said...

We've thought about doing the same way! I hope it works out nicely for you.

Anonymous said...

I am very interested in what you are going to attempt. I want to do something similar...blow up(very big) post cards and can labels from my small home town and to post or frame or dry mount them in some way on my garage walls. Grey walls, very large black and white prints... tomato red door and steps (one label is for canned tomatoes circa 1920), darker grey shelves and floor. I think the "blowing up" is going to be less of a problem than the mounting part...which is very expensive in the USA. In Canada dry mounting is common and inexpensive but unknown in Virginia. Can't wait to see how you fare.

Anonymous said...

I have had lots of things blown up at kinko's and they will tell you right away if it will look ok. I also know of someone here in Seattle, but it is more expensive. Let me know if you need their number.

Cindy @ haleys cottage

ljjasper said...

Looks pretty seriously pixilated.... moreso than I would want. Also I would want to give the print a slight sepia tint rather than strictly b & w. Someone with photoshop could put the image through a filter that would help eliminate the pixilation.

High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

I love the idea of it! I'm just trying to visual it that big and figure out how the pixels would love all over.

Hmm..who much cheaper is it going to kinkos. Would they print it on canvas or can you get it printed on paper and then sort of decoupage it on to canvas?

I also have a company emailed me a while back wanting to a printing give-away, but I never got around to it.

Anyway long story even longer. I'll check my inbox and find the info so you can get a quote.

Windlost said...

Lauren, too weird. I have thought about doing blow ups like this many times, but never followed up on the research. So thanks for gettign the ball rolling!

The even weirder part is that I was just looking at Albrecht Durer's famous rabbit picture the other day on and thinking it would look nice in my house!

Good luck, keep us posted.

xo Terri

Jenn said...

I love your idea of blowing up images onto canvas. Large pieces of art have greater impact in the space. The wall is perfect for a dramatic art piece. I have had some of my own photography enlarged on canvas with a company called CanvasPop. Check out what they can do at

Hilary Villareal said...

Lauren, I think your idea is great and will look fantastic in your space. I actually work for a company that creates such canvases. We can work from a photo/image that you provide us ( or we have over 20,000 high resolution images to choose from ( We can review any image that you have in mind and talk with you personally about it. Just check us out and give us a call if you have questions, 800.801.6312, we are more than happy to help you with this project.
And just a little fyi, I noticed that you mentioned you have an interior design company...we actually have a professional reseller program that you may qualify for. You can read more about this at:

Good luck and hope to hear from you!


Anonymous said...

Lauren, did you do it? Do you have pictures? I have a tall wall, that is completely empty (stairway) and thought this a great idea. Any chance you'd update this post? Thanks!