Introduction: Poster Larger Than Life- Promoting Books and Reading

Take a digital image and make it larger than life.
This instructable will focus on promoting reading with local "celebrities" looking over the top of a book.

You could spend $150 for a full size one. CHEAP is the main theme here, empowering the school librarian, teacher or parent on a budget. Prints are made on standard 8.5 x 11 paper then mounted on a 20" by 30" piece of foamboard.
Overall cost is about $10 and one hour of work.

Most readers will certainly be able to find other applications such as wedding, birthday parties, advertising, and more.

This technique is almost the same as the "flat daddy" project supporting our military, but much more affordable. Their pictures are certainly higher quality. Similar results can be achieved by printing a 20" x 30" size print at an online picture site, or costco. Usually around $25 for the picture with shipping. Of course this also require more advance planning.

On to the project...

Step 1: Select an Image to Make Larger Than Life

Decide what picture you want to make larger than life.

Who?- Pose your librarian, principal, supt, public librarian, Mayor, etc. Having a similar pose for all individuals will make it look like you know what you are doing; like an ad campaign. Great individual shots are always fun.

What?- A plain backdrop works best.

Having the book so the spine lines up with the right shoulder of the subject is ideal. Also consider the subject matter of the book. Are you targeting picture books, or chapter books? Fiction or non-fiction.

Planning ahead- Files need not be larger than 1 mb, generally 1024 x 768 will produce adequate results.

Step 2: Print Picture on Standard Size Paper

Having basic photediting skills helps. Most important is being able to crop close to the 20x30 ratio.

Free and Easy Editing for Standard Paper
Choose picture on your computer.
Set your image to 2 pages across for a posterboard 20" by 30"

More Advanced- Photoediting
Perhaps you already know how to have your image print across multiple pages.

If you can afford photo paper, then you will have slightly better results. If your paper has no margins, you might save some time too.

Step 3: Ready to Glue

Trim any white border edges straight. Using a papercutter is recommended.

Cover work area with newspaper.
Arrange the pieces around the white board. Set to the side.

Mark the center of the foamboard with a light pencil line.

Read and follow the directions of the glue you are planning to use. A glue stick or other liquid generally leads to bleed through, so a spray is recommended. The spray requires good ventilation, and planning so that pieces can be applied quickly.
Craft Bond (by Elmers) was used by the author.

Tip: I prefer to spray the whole board and once and work super quick. This is preferable because when the board is flipped there is no glue to stick to the table and mar the picture.

Step 4: Wait for Glue to Dry

Wait for the glue to dry, following manufacturor recommendations.

Adding weights (books of course) from the back will help promote adhesion. Make sure surface does not have any glue which might might cause picture to stick and rip off. If this happens, these can be repaired by reprinting sections as needed.

Step 5: Trim and Admire

Trim the edges using a SHARP xacto knife.

These foamboards fit VERY nicely in the book display channels instructable by edmondslibrarian.

Good luck promoting reading!
This year we are excited to offer these to a local book store in conjunction with a "Read in the Window" event in which citizens are invited to be "model readers."

Bonus step to follow:
trim the edge of head as a silouette version

Step 6: Trim for a Profile or Sillouette

The posters look more life-like if the head is trimmed.

Make sure the glue is dry. Usually at least one hour.

Set the poster/foam board on top of a cuttable surface such as cardboard.
Trim following the profile of people's heads.

TIP: ANGLE the cut so that less of the white foamboard shows. This means tapering the edge leaving the photgraph side wider than the back. See picture.
Tip: Cut from the back to finish cuts so that all edges are smooth.

Step 7: Ta-Dah! Finished

Enjoy your creation.
Most readers will think of a purpose other than promoting reading. Go for it!
In my case, there is no way I could have hoped to bring together my Principal, Superintendent, Mayor, Bookshop Owner, Public Children's Librarian and all the Elementary School Librarians at the same time. With this project, we all stand together for reading.
Happy Birthday Dr Seuss!
This is also a good way to make a "fathead" or a big head.  It's also possible to honor those who can't be with you such as military service members of the family, perhaps on Veterans day.