Even if you don't consider yourself an artist, you can show off your DIY chops and impress your friends with a homemade wall mural. Your Canon PIXMA printer and some photo paper can tackle the task with ease, allowing you to create murals based on images, perky patterns, or even your favorite song lyrics. Whichever mural style you choose, both the project and the end product promise plenty of fun.
1. Super-Size Your Favorite Photos
Upload your photo into an online tool that enlarges images so they fit across multiple sheets of paper (you can find plenty with a quick Google search). It turns the images into a series of dots, like old newspaper photos. Select your printer paper and desired mural size, and adjust the color and dot size until the image looks the way you'd like. Once your image is processed, print each of its pieces and assemble them on the wall using the guidelines on each printed sheet. Use poster putty or removable adhesive strips to hang the pages. If desired, tape all the pages together like a poster (from the back side first).
2. Warholian Wonders
Create a Warhol-inspired pop art mural by printing the same image in multiple colors. The image can be anything: a car, a disposable coffee cup, or even your phone.
Enlarge one image so it takes up most of the paper, and then colorize it in an image-editing program such as Adobe Photoshop. Repeat the process with new colors as many times as needed to cover the space. For instance, if you need three rows and four columns of paper to cover the designated area, you will need 12 image variations.
3. Chic Chevrons
Give an entire wall - or even just one corner - an instant update with a chevron mural. Print a pre-tinted chevron pattern from a template, using the same color repeatedly over the wall, or adjust the tint slightly from page to page to give the mural an ombre or fade effect.
If you aren't a big fan of chevrons, try diagonal stripes, swirls, or any other repeating pattern to decorate your wall space. Print a test page first and temporarily tape it on the wall with painter's tape to ensure the pattern is large enough for your liking. Enlarge it with image-editing software, if necessary.
4. Creatively Shaped Collages
Turn a collection of digital images into a collage of any shape you like for a truly unique mural. Download and run the free Shape Collage software, drag the photos you'd like to collage into the software, select the size of the paper and the shape you'd like to create and the software will create a printable file. To enlarge the shape collage so it prints over multiple sheets of paper, run it through an online image enlarger or edit the print settings for multiple pages in Microsoft Paint or your favorite image editing program.
5. Words of Wisdom (or Your Favorite Lyrics)
Turn your favorite words, inspirational sayings, book passages, or song lyrics into fun, funky word clouds for your wall. Type the words into Wordle, select colors you like (or even black and white), and print the word cloud the program creates. Cut out individual words from the word cloud and arrange them on the wall in any shape you like, such as a tree, a bird or even a series of clouds. Print as many word groups as needed to complete the task. (You could also do this without using Wordle by printing a series of words in any font, size and color you like.)
6. Textured Trees
Create textured, mosaic-style murals of trees by printing close-ups of bark, branches and leaves. Sketch a basic tree outline on the wall in chalk and cut the paper texture prints into repeating shapes, such as circles, rectangles, or diamonds. Use poster putty to place the textured pieces one by one over the tree area, overlapping each piece slightly. Add the branches and leaves in the same manner, rearranging the paper pieces as necessary.
Use the same technique to create murals for a child's room, using textured prints to create dragons, sea monsters, or other scaly creatures.
7. Candy Confetti Mural
Add your own twist to a confetti mural design by printing and cutting out colorful enlarged images of candies. Images of gumdrops, peppermints, chocolates, and licorice add mouth-watering color to a wall. Arrange the images in random fashion or in a band or wave of color across the wall for a playful effect. If your sweet tooth leans a more natural direction, use fruit images instead for an equally colorful, delicious design. You can also use Asian-inspired "kawaii" food images for a cute way to update the walls in a child or tween's room.