Not Martha

embarrassingly named but cool, and free

I finally got around to using the Rasterbator to put an image at the top of our stairs:

Except for a few places where my printer confused the color brown for the color green (or is possibly running low on ink) I like it. But next time I’m going much, much bigger.

The Rasterbator is a free program that takes a high quality digital image, blows it up as big as you’d like, and gives it to you as a PDF file broken up over a number of pages. You print and trim the pages then hang them up. The program allows you to control how large the final image is, how large the dot size is, and whether or not to print out cut lines for each page. There is an online version you can use, as well as a downloadable one that does not have size or resolution limits. The Rasterbator has been around for a while and I’ve seen it mentioned in magazines like Readymade and Blueprint, but it only recently started doing color images.

The first image I tried out was of Mount Rainier during an impressive sunset from this picture:

But I didn’t put it up, it was easy to tell it wouldn’t nearly as well as faces. Faces are so instantly recognizable that they make for a much better large, slightly blurry image. And it’s a lot of fun to see a really large picture of yourself.

Here is the detail of a few pages so you can see how the dots look up close:

I trimmed all the pages just inside the cut lines, and I stuck it to my wall using the wonderful, removable, repositionable Scotch Clear Mounting Squares, I used one square for corners where pages meet. These will make it easy to put up a new image whenever I’d like.

update: The very next day I put up a new version of the image which is larger, go see it.

· comments [22] · 08-9-2007 · categories:the home ·

22 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Melissa // Aug 9, 2007 at 5:52 am

    This is crazy cool. Cannot wait to try it out. I think it would be fantastic for baby pictures!

  • 2 Danielle! // Aug 9, 2007 at 5:52 am

    Oh my goodness thank you so much for posting this. I’ve been looking for something to put on a that will be big enough because we have a LOT of wall. A lot of orange wall! This will be perfect. Thanks again!

  • 3 patricia // Aug 9, 2007 at 6:06 am

    fun!! great idea.

  • 4 Shea // Aug 9, 2007 at 6:24 am

    Very cute pic of the two of you. I did something similar for my son’s room – he’s heavy into hot wheels so there is now a humongous pic of a car above his bed.

  • 5 lindsay // Aug 9, 2007 at 9:14 am

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I look forward to reading your posts and trying your projects each time I log on. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • 6 Stewf // Aug 9, 2007 at 10:26 am


  • 7 joy // Aug 9, 2007 at 11:51 am

    I wonder how this would work if you sent the pieces to like sam’s club photo or costco…hmmmmmm, cheap art

  • 8 manda // Aug 9, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    I think I’ll try this out. I love the idea of printing out my own giant sized pictures.

  • 9 shakespearedave // Aug 9, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    my walls shall shortly be covered. ceiling is unfortunately out of reach. will be making a stopoff for scotch tape (and scotch) on the way home.

    lotsa great stuff here. will undoubtedly dream of giant cupcakes tonight – hi to scott!

    dave of cleveland

  • 10 Lindsay // Aug 9, 2007 at 5:40 pm

    I love the Rasterbator. I have a big wall hanging I made from there. I liked it so much I made a second one. The only thing I haven’t quite figured out a remedy for is the fact that the paper always seems to start curling (I guess due to the mass quantities of ink on there) really quickly. Thicker/fancier paper (I just used the standard stuff) might work better, I suppose?

  • 11 CraftyElf // Aug 9, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    Wow, that’s great! How “removable” do you think the Scotch Clear Mounting Squares are? Am renting and would like to try this…

  • 12 megan // Aug 9, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    Lindsay – I agree, I have bought thicker printer paper in the past (it was called Presentation Paper, 32 lb.) which would work out great if I decide to make an image I want to last for a while.

    CraftyElf – You know that rubbery glue that is used to hold fake credit cards to the paper in credit card junk mail, on envelopes to the backs of magazines? The Scotch clear mounting squares are very similar in consistency to that. It’s a stretchy, rubbery sticky substance that is easy to pull off of walls and paper (we just took a poster down today and the mounting squares came off just fine). I do not know if it will leave a stain of any kind if left up for a long time.

  • 13 paola // Aug 9, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    That is the COOLEST thing. Great pic too.. Might try with some B/W shots of the Minx for her toyroom…

  • 14 paola // Aug 9, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    Great pic of Mt Rainier too…

  • 15 CraftyElf // Aug 9, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    Thanks, Megan! Will give them a try.

  • 16 megan // Aug 9, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    Paola – A very large picture of the Minx would be awesome! Have you ever seen the large portrait of his daughter that Kevin Smith had commissioned? I cannot find the article that shows the entire picture but you can see part of it here:

    It struck me as something that would be really cool for a kid to see.

  • 17 FAIRFAX // Aug 9, 2007 at 7:00 pm This one makes posters without the dots. It’s a real ink hog though. I love Rasterbator, too!

  • 18 Vincci // Aug 9, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    Ooh rasterbator! I’ve had it as one of my bookmarks for a while and am still debating what photo I want to blow up so I can put it on that huge chunk of wall behind my bed.

  • 19 Guro // Aug 10, 2007 at 2:09 am

    Wow, what a great result! Thank you so much for the link. I have to try this :O)

  • 20 Patience // Aug 10, 2007 at 6:46 am

    Wow, what a cool idea! What a great tool! I am constantly amazed by the cool stuff that can be found on the web!

  • 21 megan // Aug 10, 2007 at 7:58 am

    Paola – Also see this one over at Bluelines.

  • 22 Funny Stories, Rasterbator, Middle Name Meme, Other Stuff that Catches My Eye « Musings of a Home Engineer // Aug 17, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    […] here is the Rasterbator pictures found from  here ’The Not Martha site’ […]

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