Rasterbation (No, It’s Not What You Think It Is …)

Get your mind out of the gutter!  Sheesh …

I’m going to tell you about a program that allows you to blow up ANY picture or photo you have to enormous-size dimensions for you to hang pretty much any darn place you please.

The Rasterbator.

Rasterbating is also called “tiled printing” – The program breaks up an image you submit into tiles that are the size of regular printer paper.  Once you print all of these tiles onto individual pieces of paper, you can hang them in order to create a massive version of the image you submitted – Cool, huh?

If you’re still a little lost, I’m going to walk you through the rasterbating process:

What You Will Need:

  • Computer (with internet connection)
  • Image (this tutorial describes how to rasterbate a picture file from your computer, they also have an option where you can load one from the internet too if you prefer that)
  • Measuring Tape (or just have an idea of the size of the wall you plan on hanging your rasterbated creation)
  • Printer (with ink)
  • Printer Paper
  • Tape or Sticky Tack (something to hang the pieces of paper when you are ready to display your printed image)


1.  Choose an image you would like to use to decorate your home, office, wherever.  For this tutorial, I will be using this delightful photo taken by my boyfriend Jim:

2.  Measure the wall on which you plan to hang your image (you don’t want to get too excited and print your image too large).

3.  Click here to access The Rasterbator (you can use the program online, so you don’t even have to worry about downloading unwanted stuff to your computer!**Note: The Rasterbator website has been having problems. (of course, right after Craftgawker was kind enough to accept my post) Please keep checking back if you are interested in creating your own poster.  I apologize for the inconvenience.**

4.  Click “Rasterbate Online”.

5.  Select “Upload image from your computer” and click “Next”.

6.  Click “Browse” find your image file and double click on it, then click “Next”.

7.  At this screen you can crop your image (I did a little bit to remove the excess white around the actual image) and adjust it to the size you would like.  The size will be based on how much room you have to work with on your wall, obviously.  The grid you see in the background represent the sheets of paper that will be printed containing each section of your tiled image.  Scroll down to the bottom to view the dimensions of your finished poster.

8.  It’ll ask you to confirm the dimensions of your poster and tell you how many pieces of paper you will need (get them ready!).

9.  Now you can set some options for your poster concerning borders, dot size and color.  The page actually is very self-explanatory so just read the description of each option to determine which works best for your poster.  Once you have selected your desired settings, click “Rasterbate!”

10.  The rasterbation and download process should not take long, but be patient if it does (it takes time to break up your image into zillions of little dots organized for your viewing pleasure!).  When it asks you, choose to save the file to your desktop (your screen may look a little different than mine – Don’t panic!  I use Linux instead of Mac or PC so the windows will appear differently, but the commands are the same).

11.  Once downloaded, check your desktop for the .pdf file of your image.

12.  Now, simply open the file and print!  Your image will be broken up over several pages and will look like this up close:

13.  Time to hang your awesome, gigantic poster!  I find it helpful to lay out the entire image in order on a flat surface while I’m putting up the poster, that way you can really visualize where everything goes (and you get a sneak peek of your new home decor!).  By the way, when you print the image the pages are in order starting at the top, left corner of the picture, just lay them out accordingly.  Use the tape or tack to hang each tile or piece of paper in order (you can use a level here if you have mild OCD, like me).

14.  Enjoy your new, FREE and unique poster!

If you have any questions, just ask me by commenting!!



  1. hey, do you have a link to a version i can download? I dont have internet access at my home at the moment, but I’m having trouble finding a working rasterbator program! :) thanks.

    • It’s the website – Keep checking back to see if it’s working again – Unfortunately, I don’t have any control over the Rasterbator website so we just have to wait until they fix whatever bug is causing it to freak out.

      Sorry about this :(

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