Budget-Friendly “Framed” Poster Prints

When my fiancé and I moved into our first apartment together earlier this year, we debated how to decorate our informal dining room. We wanted it to be a fun, casual space, so we decided to print out a collection of movie posters. I worried that it would look like a college dorm room, but once posters are framed, they look more mature. Our tiny decorating budget did not include framing, so we faked it by printing the frames directly on the prints.

In my university years, I lived in many dorms and apartments with different ladies, and we all had different tastes in art and posters. This led to a bizarre mix of stuff on the walls. Thankfully, my fiancé and I have similar tastes in movies, so we were able to come up with a list of movies that we’d love to immortalize on our walls.

I curated the massive list of potential posters down to a select few with colour cohesion in mind; curating was key for making this poster wall look intentional instead of just a random collection slapped up onto the wall. I chose posters with an orange tone to match my orange curtains. (When my curtains are closed, I get an epic orange glow with pink undertones.) The final poster collection? Blade Runner. Pulp Fiction. V for Vendetta. The Big Lebowski. A Scanner Darkly. All great movies with great posters.

How to Create the Fake Poster Frame and Mat in Photoshop

If you are using a size other than 13″x19″ paper, you will have to adjust these measurements.

  1. I cropped all my images down to 10″x16″ in Photoshop.
  2. To create the mat, I selected white as the background colour then adjusted the canvas size to 11″x17″ using the Image menu. This made a half-inch white border around all sides of the image.
  3. To create the frame, I chose black as the background colour then increased the canvas size to 13″x19″ to match my paper size. This creates a 1″ black border around the edge.

I printed these posters at home using my Canon Pixma Pro and 13″x19″ photo paper with a full bleed, but if you don’t have a large-format printer, you can always take your prints to a copy shop and have them print them for you, as long as they don’t mind that you are printing copyrighted material.

Attaching Posters to the Wall

Maybe I’m still a dorm room decorator at heart; I attached my posters to the wall using blue sticky wall-safe adhesive. Note: not all wall-safe adhesive is actually wall safe (don’t ask me how I know, sigh). Sometimes a chip of paint likes to come along for the ride after removing the adhesive from the wall. Since the posters are large, I use a lot of sticky adhesive; in the summer months, the humidity likes to tamper with the adhesive’s quality and may cause your posters slip off the wall. I’ve also used rolled masking tape in the past for a temporary adhesive.

I’d love to hear your tips for attaching posters to the wall as well.

Tips for Finding High-Quality Movie Posters

A quick search on Google will lead you to find many awesome movie posters, but a lot of them are much too small for adequate print quality. While there are many sites that charge you for HQ versions, I simply used refined my Google Image search using the parameter “Larger than X” to choose larger file sizes from the menu at the left-hand side of the screen. Somebody out there has usually shared an HQ version, especially if it’s a popular movie.

Good luck on the hunt!

What movie posters would you love to put up on your wall?

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