18 September, 2012


I love Polaroids. There is something cool about the square format and the white paper frame around the shot.  I love the vintage feel of the pictures and how fun are those messed up colours! To me this is the perfect format for documenting vacations or taking fast snap shots on the go.  So back in the beginning of August I decided that Polaroid images would be perfect for my August journal. The only problem was I did not have a Polaroid camera.

Even if you do not own an instant camera you can fake the Polaroid effect on your pictures. What makes Polaroids unique are their format and their colour rendering. To give your digital shot a Polaroid effect you can use Photoshop actions or an online program.  Here are some of my favorites:
  • Rollip - I really like their vintage effects  
  • Fotoflexer - fun advanced online image editing tool
  • Photoshop actions by RawImage - the best I've found
Here is a comparison of the same shot with different effects.

Now it's time to add the signature white frame to the image.  I find that even an unedited photo looks fun with the paper frame.  And did you know that Polaroid had more than one format?  Here they are: 2 old Polaroids (top) and one new FujiFilm instant shot. 

Since I wanted my shots to look like 3 1/2 x 4 1/4 Polaroids the first thing I tried was making a white 3 1/2 x 4 1/4 frame.  The trick worked but I would have to trim my original photo and this interfered with the shot's composition.
So I made a bigger frame keeping proportions of the original Polaroid:

Here are a couple of examples of cropping with the white frame.

And here you have it:
  • Edit your image to get fun colours
  • Use white think paper to cut out a frame
  • Glue the frame to the image and cut the bottom part of the picture
  • Your Polaroid is ready!

These frames would also work great with Instagram images printed as 4x4 squares.
Enjoy your new Polaroids and let me know if you have any questions.


P.S. If you want to make a digital Polaroids try Poladroid project- a super cute program that will turn your image into a Polaroid colours, frame and all.


  1. Well, that seemed so easy... But I think I should find a great camera first and find more resources to use. How did you learn all these, btw?
    Eidine Lubbs

    1. Hi Eidine,

      it is really quite easy and you do not need to use a great camera for your shots. In fact, I find that slightly "imperfect" images, you know those that have a bit of grain or messed up colours, make very interesting Polaroids.

      As for learning all of this; I looked around, used some of the programs, and then came up with a way to make those fake Polaroid frames.