DIY: Turn Phone Photos into Mural-Sized Prints!

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

What’s on every phoneographer’s wishlist? A phone with resolution to rival your DSLR’s!

What you may not have known is that you have all of the photo power you need with the phone in your hand.

Couple your phone with a scanner, pump up the res and BAM, giant print!

Phoneography is evolving far past Facebook default photos. It’s a legitimate art form.

Here’s a guide to turn your phone photos into prints big enough to blanket gallery walls.

Phone + Scanner = Infinite Resolution!

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Why go big?

Not all phoneographers print their images and even fewer make colossal prints.

You can’t deny the tingly feeling you get the first time you see your favorite photo stand as tall as you. And if you’ve never experienced it, now’s the time!

What You’ll Need


  • A phone camera
  • A flatbed scanner
  • A printer
  • Photo paper (we like matte)
  • A computer
  • Any photo editing program

Step 1: Take a High-Res Phone Photo

paper-sm Start by investigating whether or not the app you are using has a “highest quality” setting.

For example, Hipstamatic’s quality settings are the three yellow circles to the left of the lens, the uppermost, largest circle represents the highest resolution photo setting.

The highest resolution on Hipstamatic is 2448 x 2488 (1936 x 1936 on an iPhone 4S).

Step 2: Upload to nearest computer

paper-sm Upload your photo to a computer.

If you email it to yourself, always choose “actual size.” This will give you the highest resolution image- every pixel counts.

Step 3: Edit and Re-sample

paint-sm Open the image in your favorite editing program and take care of all of your desired edits.

Change the resolution to 360 dpi. The highest quality images from Hipstamatic are 5.378 x 5.378 at 360 resolution and folks, that’s not very substantial.

Step 4: Print teeny image

paint-smPrint out the mini photo on decent matte paper, you will not get glare on a matte surface paper.

Beware of using a textured paper as well these scanners pick up every last little detail.

Press scan and shield your eyes from the beam of abounding light.

Step 5: Scan teeny image

paint-smThis is where the magic happens, put your tiny image in the scanner and set your resolution to 360. That’s the resolution that’s optimal printing.

Set your height and width according to just how big you dare to go. The awesome thing about scanning is that you get to choose. A decently big size is 16″ x 20″.

Set your bit depth to 48 bit color for color images and 16 bit grayscale for black and white.

Step 6: Fix those Blemishes

paint-smOnce again bring your image into your favorite editing program and remove that pesky dust.

The Photoshop healing brush works wonders and the dust and scratches filter works well when isolating small areas with similar tonalities.

Sharpen it a little and add a bit of contrast, to account for what may have been lost during the scanning process.

Step 7: Print the thing

paint-smYou’re ready to print! If your printer can’t print as big as you’d like to go, try your local photo lab.

Prepare to be amazed.

Take it Further


Until the beloved day when the iPhone 5 comes out, here are some other ways you can take your prints to the next level:

  • Combine multiple frames into one grandiose image, like Jason Willis does in his Gridstamatic technique (above)!
  • Make an iPhone Wall Mural. Help out a boring bare wall with one or more massive prints!
  • Try an interpolator, like Perfect Resize. They’re amazing at enlarging digital images without sacrificing quality.