Black and white photos of rescue cats on mantel.

Last week North Carolina was drenched with hurricane rains. Normally, my go-to on dreary days is a snuggle with a steaming cup of coffee and a good book. On that day I surprised myself and opted for a photo editing session on I have been planning to create and frame kitty portraits of our three felines for ages, but life kept getting in the way. Or so I was telling myself.

My goal was to seek out the best quality photo that I have of each kitty and convert it to black and white. I wanted to frame the photos with black frames and white mattes to coordinate with the wacky cow print chairs and black painted chest in our master bedroom.

And, of course, each picture needed to exude the kitty’s unique personality. Rusty Boy, the young ginger, is a sweet and loving rascal. Gracie Lee, the big green-eyed calico, is a precious lap kitty. Buggy Buggerson is 16 and a feisty heinz 57 shorthair.

As a goofy cat lover, I have a zillion photos. It took longer to find the pictures that it did to do the entire project.

Here are the photos I started with:

As you can see, I needed to artfully crop and convert each photo to black and white. Then, delete the background and convert it to solid black. In Buggy’s case, I also flipped her photo to face left.

What do you think of my precious fur babies?

I am so pleased with how my rainy day project turned out. Especially the way the photos on the mantel relate to the ones in the hallway display.

I have not been compensated by PicMonkey or Amazon, so in this post I’m just sharing the efficient way to achieve the graphic photo effect I wanted.

Here is the detailed tutorial from Picmonkey if you want to do it:

Note that though most design and editing functions on PicMonkey are free, there is an upgrade fee for this. If you have a product website or sell on sites like Etsy, this is a true time-saver to get those gorgeous pure white backgrounds. I discovered you can also make them colors and wild designs!

I ordered my frames from Amazon here. I used 11″ x 14″ frames with 5″ x 7″ mattes that I found in my studio.

I printed the 5′ x 7′ photos using the free QuickPhoto app, at CVS. I was concerned the quality might not be the best, but I was happy.


Is this a project you would take on? If not, and you would like to convert treasured pet images, I would be happy to do it for you for a small fee. Just email me at Be sure to include the final image size desired and the photo. Your picture must be really good quality for the best effect. You will receive a file by email that you can have printed.

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