A while back a World War I era government poster was featured on the website The Kitchn. (Click here to check it out.) A company was offering it for sale for $9.99+shipping. Being the librarian that I am, I figured that image was probably available from the Library of Congress for free…and it totally was.
So what’s the tiny project?
1. Go to loc.gov and search for something you love (maps, town photos, posters, etc.) Each image will tell you if there are known copyright restrictions. (Lots of images from the late 19th century and early 20th century are ok to use) Here’s the link straight to the image in the poster pictured above.
WARNING: this can quickly turn into a huge time-suck (and not a tiny project at all) so watch out – I may have spent 2 hours looking at WPA posters one day.
2. Download the image. Possibly crop it (you can use a program like Photoshop or a free program like Gimp or Picasa) Art major hubby suggested I save it as a .tif file but I bet you could opt for a jpeg instead.
3. Find a printer. Drop that file on a flash drive, head over to your local print or copy shop (on a campus, in a strip mall, whatever. I went to Staples because they are open at weird times when I’m doing projects like this.) They might even be willing to crop the thing for you…call ahead to check.
4. Have them print you out some awesome art on the cheap. This cost me all of two dollars and forty-three cents + about 15 minutes in the store. Yup, $2.43.
5. Hang it on the fridge and love it forever (or until you get your two dollars and forty-three cents worth out of it.)
p.s. If you start looking, you’ll find various people who sell images like this on Ebay, Zazzle, Amazon, etc. Depending on your life/budget/tech skills, It might be worth your time to buy their version OR you might be able to save a bundle DIY-ing it. The next image for which I am saving up? A “yard long” panorama photo of our dusty ol’ town of Chickasha, Okla.