DIY Oversized Engineering Prints

Hi, friends!

I'm in Pittsburgh this week helping my Dad after his hip surgery, which thankfully went really well!! Thank you so much to those off you who have checked in with me! It's been so nice being able to visit my parents considering we live so far away and its rare I can help them out when they need it like this.

But I promised this post last week and wanted to share how easy this little project is! It took me about 15 minutes to assemble and hang these engineering prints after I got all of the supplies together, it's that easy.


Oh that couch. So ugly but so comfortable.

Supplies + Cost 


2 Engineering Prints (I used 24x36") = $8
2 Foam Trifold Poster Boards (purchased at Hobby Lobby with 40% off coupons) = $12 total
Spray Adhesive (Owned)
Credit Card (for smoothing out the picture on the poster board)
Tape (to hold the image in place on your poster board while you attach it)
Staple Gun + Staples (Owned)
4 Anchor Wire Hooks (Owned, but you can find these cheap in any craft store or Lowes)
Twine (Owned)
4 (1/2" x 2" x 3') Wood Boards cut to 25" in length = $8
Wood Stain (We used Minwax Special Walnut first, then Minwax Classic Grey)

My total ended up being around $28 since we already had some of these supplies, which is much cheaper than any large frames we would have found!

Choosing and Ordering your Engineering Prints 

I first came across engineering prints after seeing this Chris Loves Julia tutorial and immediately thought it would work perfectly with images from our family photo session when Rowan was six months old. You really want to use images that have a solid, lighter colored background for these photos.

The second photo of Rowan you can see a little bit of our couch but it's not too distracting so thats the main thing you want to keep in mind when you decide between which photos to use.


Pro tip: Use your favorite photo editing software to make your images black and white, instead of using Staple's black and white option. That way you have control over the contrast and can darken the blacks as much as you want to really make their eyes or outfit pop!

After your images are prepped, head on over to Staples' website and decide what size you want. I went with 24x36, which worked perfectly with the poster board I'll tell you about later. The pictures print out on thin paper and will look a little grainy when you look up close, but from far away its not noticeable and for the price, its perfect!

Purchase and Stain Wood Trim


I found these 1/2" x 2" x 3' wood boards at Lowes, which were the perfect size for this project. You can have Lowes cut them to size or convince your husband to cut and stain them for you like I did! They also have 2 foot boards which require zero resizing, but you won't have the overhang on the sides of the posters like I do.

For our boards, my husband cut them to 25" in length so they hang over the posters about a half inch on each side. He then put a coat of Special Walnut stain on them, wiped it off immediately, and then did the same with the Classic Grey stain. I love the rustic, light colored wood that it created!

Assemble


Cut the folded ends of the trifold poster board off. I used an exacto knife for this but anything will do.

Line up your pictures on your poster board and tape one end to the board to keep it in place. Then generously spray the adhesive to the poster board in about 3-4" sections, slowly using the credit card to smooth out the image. Repeat until the image is completely adhered to the poster board.

Next, screw 2 hooks to the top of two of the wood pieces and attach your twine.

Then turn the poster board over and line up your wood pieces on each end. Staple the poster to the wood in the center, then work your way out stapling a few more times on each side.


You're done! Just hang them and admire the giant, larger than life size version of your cute kid's faces. Let me know if you have any questions, I'd love to see your finished product if you make these!!


Playroom Updates

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Lorena Canals in exchange for product. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own! Thank you so much for supporting the brands that make Home Sweet Ruby possible! 

First I wanted to thank you all SO, so much for the sweet messages about our sweet baby boy last week!! Between the gender announcement and the little kicks I'm starting to feel, this has been such a good week over here!

Since sharing our Lorena Canals machine washable rug (yep, you read that right!) on Instagram stories, I've had so many questions about it. I figured a little peek into our playroom was in order so you can see it in action.

We love spending time in this space with Rowan and the thought of having two boys playing with the menagerie of trains, random plastic golf clubs, and dinosaurs here makes me so excited!


Our playroom is in our upstairs loft space so it really helps to keep the mess from view of our guests downstairs, but I love using bins to store all of Rowan's toys. Super easy cleanup.

Top it off with the softest Lorena Canals Bereber Beige rug, we've been able to make it a really cozy space for him!

And as you can tell he's really into trains right now! Between crawling around the room pushing his trains on the track, coloring pictures, and reading book after book on this rug, its so much softer than our carpet and easily checks all of our boxes!


All Lorena Canals rugs can be put rug into a regular washing machine (even the largest 4'8" x 6' 7" size) so this is a major win in my book! Whenever my toddler inevitably spills his juice or crushes cookies into the rug, off this baby goes into the washer and dryer! And in case you're wondering, yes I've tested it and it washed up so well you would never even know!

It's also eco-friendly so it contains no VOCs and only uses natural dyes.

I'm actually debating moving it into his big boy room eventually because the design can work pretty much anywhere!


I also love the alphabet print and ruler for measuring his height that we just added to the space. Although for some reason he hates being measured so I've had to mark his measurements based on what they tell us at his doctor appointments. High maintenance kid over here!

And in full transparency... this space is never this clean. In fact, in true toddler fashion R promptly took every single book off of the shelf and left them for mama to "read later."


On the opposite side of the room we have a couch with some cute engineering prints above. Will share those later this week! I'm hoping to replace the couch eventually.. it's not the prettiest but it serves its purpose.

Make sure to check out more of the Lorena Canals washable rugs! I'm also eying this adorable tassel cushion and cozy tassel blanket for a little reading corner in Rowan's future big boy room!

You can shop some of my other favorite additions to the room below!


Lemon Blueberry Cake... Good for the Mama Soul

Two plus years and two babes later (okay one is still cooking), I did something I haven't done since my pre-baby days.


I baked a cake from scratch. 

To most this would not be a big deal, but baking from scratch was a common occurrence in those days where I had this thing called free time. 

I do have free time now, but painting with Rowan or taking him to the aquarium are much, much higher on the priority list. And occasionally cleaning the wreck that is our living room will get the nod before baking anything, even a boxed cake mix. 

But just this once, on a rare three-day weekend, I baked a lemon blueberry cake. I probably should have been napping while both of the boys napped. But this recipe was calling me.

Not only was it delicious (my toddler would have eaten the whole thing if I let him), but it was like a part of me came back. I doubt that part of me will make another appearance any time soon, especially with another on the way, but it just hit me how important it is to find time for mama. So if you haven't done it yet, bake that cake from scratch, go to yoga, get a massage in the peace and quiet, or whatever it is you used to do pre-baby. 

Anyway, back to this recipe. I've always been a sucker for lemon blueberry anything. This cake reminded me of a cross between a muffin flavor with cake texture. I topped it with some store-bought frosting (couldn't ask too much of myself that day, right?) and it was such a perfect treat for summer! 


Lemon Blueberry Cake Recipe
Adapted from The Cake Blog

3 cups cake flour + 2 tablespoons of cake flour, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3/4 cup milk (I used 2% and it came out great)
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups blueberries (I used fresh and mashed them a little because I'm weird and like the flavor more than the texture)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and lightly flour cake pans. Sift together 3 cups cake flour, baking powder and salt.

Stir together milk and lemon juice in a measuring cup or small bowl. Let it sit to the side for a bit while it curdles. It will look gross but it'll be okay, I promise!

Beat butter and sugar on medium-high until pale and fluffy (about 4 minutes). Add eggs one at a time mixing on low after each egg.

Add vanilla extract and lemon zest (I just chopped up the rind of a lemon into very small pieces). Now add a third of the flour mixture, mix, then add half of the milk mixture. and mix. Repeat, ending with the last third of the flour.

Mash your blueberries slightly and then fold slowly into batter. Divide batter between cake pans and cook for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and cake it slightly browned on top.

To layer, I like to use a bread knife once the cakes have each cooled to level off the top (super professional, right?). Then I use this frosting knife set to spread the frosting on, including a very thin crumb coat on the entire cake once assembled. Let cool in the fridge, then apply thicker coat of frosting and serve!


Okay now I want to hear from you mamas, what is it that you would do if you had a few free hours?! Anything in particular or nothing at all?
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