Introduction: Megaposter Curtain - As Big As You Like It!

This is how to make a real big "poster" from any picture you like.Just everyone who saw mine was amazed :D So this seems to be really cool ^^

2 meters wide (6.56 foot), 1.6 meters tall (5.25 foot).

I use metric standard for the measurements, but here is a calculator if you want inch or yard or something:

Let's go, make some kewl stuff for your wall!

Step 1: What You Need

needed things:
- a picture of choice (the more megapixel, the better)
- a good picture editing tool (photoshop, paint shop pro, illustrator, or something that provides slicing an image into little pieces - usually used for weblayouts)
- your favorite photo printing service
- some meters of clock-chains (I think, I used about 20 meters)
- some eyehooks (if they'r really called so - I needed exactly 242)
- a can of spraying adhesive (no, you won't need the whole can)
- nails (I needed 12)
- a hammer (for the nails)
- a drilling machine
- a sandpaper sponge (or something this way)
- two flat pairs of pliers
- a foil pen (like edding - mhh smells good)
- something to measure
- much time

helpful things:
- a metal sheet as drilling stencil (you will love it when drilling 242 holes)
- a vacuum cleaner (for removing the wood dust from the wooden plates)
- a stable bar (as long as the poster will be wide - better longer)
- twelfe key rings (the bar should go through them)
- a second or third person (the bar, the key rings and the person will be needed to bring this huge thing on your wall)

Step 2: Preparing the Picture

I just wanted some beach feeling in my room, so I chose this beach picture. unfortunately it's not one of my own photos. but, who cares? ;)

First you need to blow up the image, too bad I can't remember how big I made it.

So I decided to make it 11 by 11 single pictures -> now you only have to calculate how big it should be:

recommended resolution for 15cm x 10cm prints is approx. 800 x 1200 Pixel
800*11 = 8800 pixel
1200*11 = 13200 pixel

Now you know the dimensions you need - I did this with only 512MB RAM, this is a hard way, but RAM wasn't as cheap as now in 2005 when I did this ;)

OK - It's big now! But loss of quality.
If you ever looked very close to a big poster, you might have seen the technique they use: halftone printing.
Let's do this with our huge picture now - apply a raster-filter. If your software doesn't have one, just google for a plugin.

I applied the filter on a duplicated layer of the picture and overlayed it with about 50%. Don't make the rasters too big or too small. It's much faster to test it with a small part from your picture, as 8800x13200 will take much RAM and CPU power.

After applying the rasterfilter, you have to slice the whole thing into pieces. (121 in this case)
I used Paint Shop Pro 7 or 8 for this.
There it is: German(Englisch) Datei(File) -> Exportieren(Export) -> Bildunterteilung(Image separation ,I think)
then click 'Tools -> Raster'
click at the preview area and enter 11 for columns and rows
save as...

now you're done with this part

Step 3: Order Prints

This is where your favorite printservice comes into play.

There are now 121 pictures waiting to be printed on glossy or matte paper. (I preferred glossy prints)

It's essential that you order them before going to making the wood plates, because the size of the prints might not be exact what you ordered.

Be sure to not activate the image optimization your service offers! I made this mistake, so you can see color separations in the sky section when palm leafs are in the image. And better don't choose 'crop to fit'. If you get white boarders then, don't care - you can cut them away if needed.

I ordered prints in 15cm format, what means 15cm wide and as high as needed.
This ended up in 15cm * 11,4cm prints - We'll need this size in the wood part of this instructable.

...waitin' for the prints...

YAY! Here they are - time for the first laying out. Puzzletime! Mostly they are in the same order, as the files were, or there is the filename printed on the backside - this helps much to get the sky in the right order. Otherwise this would be very hard.

Got the picture correctly? Then write numbers on the back of your prints.
Just like:
1x1 ; 1x2 ; 1x3 ; ...
2x1 ; 2x2 ; 2x3 ; ...
and so on... not really difficult, right?!

done so far

Step 4: The Wood Plates

Get the exact dimensions of your prints - mine were 150mm x 114mm.

Go to your local wood dealer.

I decided to buy a multiplex with 10mm thickness - this was too thick, because the whole thing gets really heavy at end.
5mm would also work and is cheaper, too.

I only had to pay the material, the cutting was free-service.
I think the cutting-guy hated me after I ordered 121 of these small plates ;) at least I would have hated me.

Step 5: Preparing the Plates

drilling action!

OK, we need a little hole for the hooks at the left and right side of the plates.
If you don't drill the holes, the wood may spread by getting the hooks in, if you get them in at all.

I stapled the plates and measured the middle of the shorter side, then draw a pencil line along the staple there on both short sides. (goes much faster than mark each plate severally)

I drilled about 5 plates and decided then to make a stencil.

For the stencil I used a sheet metal laying around and a CD case. I cracked the case so that I got a nice arrester - then I drilled a hole in the metal sheet and fixed it in the right position on the CD-case-part with superglue. This worked fine for about 100 plates (200 drills), then it broke ;)

make them nice and smooth

After that I used a sandpaper-sponge to smooth the edges and faces.
To get the plates free from dust, I rubbed them on my carpet and used the vacuum cleaner. (don't let your mother see you doing this)

Still don't turn in the hooks - this will follow after the next step.

Step 6: Prints on Plates

Write the numbers from the pictures at one side of the plates.

Then use the spraying adhesive to get the prints on the plates (read on the can, how to use the glue)
Be sure to not mix up the numbers, and don't glue the print on the side where you noted the numbers ;)

Do only spray a few plates at once, otherwise the glue will dry until you get all the prints on.

Press the prints on the plates until the glue is dry.

If you would have put in the hooks before this, they would get sticky now.
Now you can start turning in the hooks, be sure that they're all in the same position.
The pliers may help you getting them in.

Step 7: Chains

Since this step, I wear a pair of this chains around my neck - for two years now :D

back to subject: The chains should be one which links can be opened with two pairs of pliers.
Lay out the plates in order you like to have on your wall later. Then lay a chain between each column and at the two outer sides.
Open 242 chain links now and use them to connect the chains with the hooks. Be sure to count the links between each hook, so they all will have the same distance.

wow, this is much work

Step 8: Get It Nailed

Measure your wall to get the nails in the right position to hang on the upper ends of the chains.

The nails are in - get it up the wall - this gets tricky.

Attach a key ring to each upper chain link, then put the long bar through the key rings.
Now you can lift up the whole thing, but first call one to help you getting it on the wall.

You hold it there on the wall, and the other person puts the chain links on the nails.
Then just remove the key rings an your done!