Enlarging a Photo and Printing it at Home (PC)

Resizing your Photo or Drawing and Printing it at Home. A Solution!

Have you wondered about enlarging a picture to print on multiple pages at home?

The Problem – Printing a Large Photo on a Home Printer

One of the big issues when teaching a portraits workshop is finding a way for students to easily resize and print their photos.

I have suggested a variety of options such as Block Poster (not really accurate enough for what we want to do), taking the photo to a printing shop or Staples. Or using a program such as Rapid Resizer.

I resize photos all the time for my portraits and use Rapid Resizer to enlarge and print them.  This is a great program and I will continue to use it. 

But I wanted to find a simpler, cost-effective solution for my students!

The Solution – MS Paint

Recently I was at a Fibre Art Network Conference and had a wonderful time catching up with other members. A big part of the conference is sharing information. 

Terry Aske mentioned that she uses a program called Microsoft Paint for enlarging and printing her patterns. Paint is a program that comes pre-installed on Windows computers.

Eureka! Problem solved!

Terry was kind enough to send me the instructions that she gives to her students. I have taken them and added detail and photos to make it super easy to follow along.


Step by Step Instructions – for Enlarging a Photo in Paint and Printing it on your Own Printer

The program Paint is found under:

 Start Menu: All Programs: Accessories in Windows 2007
Windows 2010 – it is under Accessories in 2010

The icon looks like this:

Paint palette and paint brush

  1. Open your photo in Paint by clicking on the file icon arrow in the upper left and choosing “Open”.







  2. Browse to where your photo is on your computer, select the photo and then click “Open”.

  3. Open “Properties” by clicking on the file icon (in the upper left corner) and selecting “Properties” to see the current size of your photo













4. Click on the circle next to “Inches“. It will be black when you click on it.

5.  Note the size of the photo shown in the boxes. The key measurement for portraits is the height. Changing the height will resize the rest of the photo.

Close Properties.

Paint - properties

Properties screen



The Process for Resizing your Photo

6. Determine what size you want your full-size photo or drawing and thus how much you need to enlarge the photo (percentage). The current size of your photo is 100%.

So if your photo is now 6” H and you want it 18” H, you would set the percentage increase at 300% (18 divided by 6 =3) and 3 x 100, so the photo would be enlarged by 300%.


7. Next, click the file icon again and select “Print” – “Page Setup”. 












8. Check that you have set the “Orientation” for the direction you want – either Portrait or Landscape.










The orientation for the above photo is “portrait”. Note the box on the left showing the orientation.

9. Find “Scaling” in the lower right and then click on “Adjust to” and enter the percentage for enlarging. Click OK.

Choose “Adjust To”












10. Click on the file icon and select “Print” – “Print Preview”












11. Look at the enlarged photo or drawing and check that it isn’t too pixelated to use. You can also see how many pages will print by counting the pages that you view (click on the down arrow repeatedly).








12. To print: select “Print” and choose the size of paper that you want to use (letter or legal). You can usually find this setting under “Preferences” and then click on Print.









Assembling the Photo

13. Lay out the printed pages and number them in the order that you want them.

14. Trim the borders, allowing some overlap for the adjacent page(s) and tape them together in order.

I have presented here a simple way to enlarge and print your photos or patterns at home on your own printer. I would love to hear what you think about this idea and what solutions you may have found.  Leave a reply below!

I look forward to hearing from you!

If you would like to get a PDF of these instructions (for a PC) so that you can have it handy when resizing your photos, you can get it here.

16 thoughts on “Enlarging a Photo and Printing it at Home (PC)

  1. Judy Weiss

    Hi Val: I finally got to see this post. I have been using Photoshop Elements to resize and print my photo, but it is cumbersome and time consuming to do. I will give this a try. One thing I have done that makes life a bit simpler is to print my photos on the paper side of freezer paper. Then I can trim them and iron the sheets together– no tape that will melt under an iron. Also, if I need to use the pattern for cutting shapes, I can do so without having to trace it again. I cut my own sheets of freezer paper for printing, though you may be able to find precuts somewhere. I should also note that this only works with an ink jet printer. If you use a laser on freezer paper, you’ll melt the plastic side and ruin your printer.


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  3. Karen Hvid

    Hi Valerie. Since joining your course Facial Expressions, I have used MS Paint for enlarging my photos. It works for me, though I find it a little difficult to know what exact size will come out. I look on the screen how many A4 sheets will come out and figure it out from that. I wish I could type that I want the pattern to be f.i. 75 x 75 cm, but I cannot see, I can do it that way.

    1. Valerie Wilson Post author

      Karen – You first need to know the size of your original photo and how much you want to enlarge it. If you are doing a portrait and the head is 3″ (7.5cm) high in the original photo and you want a picture where the head is 9″ (22.5 cm) high, then you want to increase the photo by 300%.

      Or if your original photo is 15 cm x 15 cm and you want it to be 75 cm x 75cm you will enlarge it by 500% (75 divided by 15 =5 or 500%).

      1. In MS Paint when you are ready to print, go to File – Print– and click on Page Setup. Look for “Scaling” at the bottom right of the window. Choose “Adjust to” then you can put in whatever percentage that you would like your picture enlarged. Click OK.
      2. Go to File – Print Preview to see how it will print. The arrows at the top left let you scroll through the pages.

      Let me know if this helps.


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