How to Blow Up Old Negatives and Slides into Murals
For the longest time, film cameras were the only way to take pictures. 35 mm cameras were developed in the 1930s, and film stayed the industry standard until the advent of the portable digital camera. This means there are roughly 70 years worth of film photos out there! Tucked away in the attics of homes, in those old, dusty boxes set aside for "future projects" are where the old pictures are stored. Not just old pictures, but also old film negatives and slides!
Darbie Brady was renovating part of her house, and she found an old image negative taken in New Orleans! She loved the image, and wanted it to be featured in the renovation, but didn't know what to do with it. Eventually, she sent the negative film strip to Limitless Walls! We tried to figure out exactly how to turn this old negative into a mural. Ultimately, we determined the piece of equipment that we needed to digitize this mural. The closest location that had this image digitizer? The public library!
One of our employees went over to the library and scanned the negative, saving it as a usable digital file. We were able to able to turn this small negative into a full wall mural for her renovation project! What do you think of the results?
I Have Old Slides and Negatives. How Can I Upload Them?
Walgreens or Walmart
It depends on what you're trying to do. All Walgreens locations still have their 35 mm film readers, and some locations have various equipment for scanning other formats. Call your closest stores to ask what options they have! Typically, once they've digitized your negatives, they will put it on a Photo CD with digital files of all your images. Unfortunately, you will not get your negatives back if you choose this option.
There are companies online who specialize in digitizing old film. At varying price points for shipping, image, resolution, and order size, finding the right service can be difficult. This PCWorld article will outline the pros and cons of various online film digitizing services.
Doing It Yourself
If you have a whole backlog of negatives and slides, using Walgreens, Walmart, or online service may not be cost-effective. Consider purchasing a home film scanner. These are great for digitizing old negatives and slides quickly but may not have the quality level needed for a large print. If you're trying to get digital files printed in traditional sizes, this product would be great for you, but if you're trying to print something extremely large, using a professional service is still the best way to go. Contact us if you have any questions about the quality of your scan!
Public libraries store lots of information on microfilm, and such have microfilm readers. Often, these readers have scanning functions to digitize the file. That's what we did! Call your local public library and ask around to see if this is a service they provide. Figure out what kind of film you want to digitize, as that information will be helpful to them in determining the possibility.
What Do I Do With My Digital File?
Our custom murals are very large images made from very small images. Dots per inch (DPI) is the physical equivalent of digital pixels per inch (PPI), traditionally used in reference to printing and printing quality. You may see both terms used interchangeably.
Since we are scanning in a physical recipe, we are dealing with DPI. To blow up the mural, we need an image scanned at a MINIMUM of 300 DPI, with higher numbers preferred. Scan your photo IN COLOR.
Once you’re ready to upload your image, go to our custom mural page.
How Much Will It Cost?
We split our pricing into two levels—one for smaller murals and one for larger murals. There is no difference in cost between different images, only between different materials.
NOTE: We are nearly always running sales, so prices may likely be lower than square-footage costs calculated here.
For murals LARGER than 35 square feet (cost per square foot)
- Peel-and-stick fabric - $7.99
- Paste-required vinyl (normal and embossed) - $8.25
- Prepasted paper - $7
- Peel-and-stick canvas - $10
- No-adhesive, paste-required canvas - $9
For murals SMALLER than 35 square feet (cost per square foot)
- Peel-and-stick fabric - $10
- Paste-required vinyl (normal and embossed) - $10
- Prepasted paper - $10
- Peel-and-stick canvas - $13
- No-adhesive, paste-required canvas - $12
When Will I Get My Mural?
Since we print all of our murals on-demand, each order will take 4-6 business days to process and print. We offer free ground shipping, which will take 1-6 days, depending on your proximity to our facility in King, North Carolina.
Contact us with more questions or information!