Print any photo as a polaroid: free template!

When my brother Joe came up with this simple method to print any photo as a Polaroid for the backdrop of our Showcase stand, I knew you’d love to get your hands on the free template. So, I’ve invited him to do his first guest post here and share the DIY – over to you bro…

Print any digital photo as a polaroid free template from Decorators Notebook blog

Hi, Joe here!

If you love Polaroid format pictures as much as I do, you’ve generally got two options: buy a bargain Polaroid camera then shed tears over the cost of the film, or shell out almost as much on send-away Instagram printing.

Now, I print my DSLR photographs for the princely sum of 10p each at my local Asda, so the above options just didn’t add up for me. So instead, I decided to have a go at designing a Photoshop template that meant I could print any digital photo I liked as a Polaroid – and it worked!

Print any digital photo as a polaroid free template from Decorators Notebook blog

Turn any digital photo into a Polaroid print

Your photos as jpegs

Photoshop (or if you want almost the same thing for free, I recommend GNU GIMP)

 

1. Download my free Polaroid template PNG image and open in Photoshop or GIMP
2. Drag in your photograph as a layer* and re-order the layers so your photo is behind the Polaroid template
3. Select your photograph layer and use the re-size and move tools so that the desired section of the image appears in the square portion of the Polaroid template. It’s likely that your photo will be huge compared to the template, but just shrink it down to size**
4. Save or export image as a JPEG
5. Put the pictures on a memory stick and take to your local photo processing place or use your home printer
6. Use a guillotine or craft knife to trim the bottom white portion from the photo, leaving a thicker border at the base than the sides

*Need help with layers? Watch this YouTube video for Photoshop or this one for GIMP.

**The template size is 12×8 inches which will automatically be scaled down to 6×4″ by the photo processor but allows the file to be a higher resolution to start with. If you chose to print it in a different ratio, the Polaroid image will no longer be square.

I really hope you like it – I’ll be on hand in the comments section to answer any questions!

- Joe

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Print any digital photo as a polaroid free template from Decorators Notebook blog

{Photographs, tutorial and template © Decorator’s Notebook}

Comments

  1. Katie says

    As its printed as a 6″x4″ photo, does it mean the photos are much bigger than the usual 3.5″x4.2″ polaroid prints?
    Thanks for the template, much needed!

    • Joe - Decorator's Notebook says

      Hi Katie,

      The width will be 4″ as opposed to 3.5″ so they will come out as slightly larger than a modern Polaroid. However the older pull-apart Polaroid format is 4″x5″ which is what you’ll get from this template once the bottom inch is trimmed.

      Enjoy!

  2. girlwiththesilverlocket says

    I thought this was a really clever, cost effective idea! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while, so thank you!

  3. says

    Worked a treat – I squared down some photos, added the G’MIC SX-70 Polaroid filters before pulling the image into the template. Looks great but lacks the shadow vignetting of the pola frame. Still, a great and cheap way to add a lot of retro charm to your pictures.

    • Joe - Decorator's Notebook says

      Thanks Stephen,

      I’m glad you liked it. Deliberately held back from a heavy vignette as I personally don’t think it works for every photo you might want to put in there.

      Would love to see any results if you can tweet us a pic! @decoratorsnotes

      Joe

  4. Nisha says

    This looks amazing! I was wondering where you get them printed though? On Asda’s website it looks like the smallest they do it 6″x4″. Or do you just trim an inch off the bottom afterwards? Thanks

  5. Rosey says

    Hello! I just wanted to say thank you for putting this post up – I’ve used it for some photographs and it looks really great!! :)

  6. Dee says

    Hi, i love this idea so much and would love to use this for my friends wedding. However i was wondering if you happened to have any landscape polaroid versions? some of my pictures don’t work with the normal format. Or do you know anywhere i can find a template like that?

    thanks so much!

    • says

      Hi Dee – thanks for your comment. I’m afraid I haven’t seen polaroid photos produced in a landscape format. I think part of the charm is the proportions of the square frame and cropping the images to fit However if you download GIMP you could try playing around with the frame in the template we’ve provided. Good luck!

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