Let’s Make Polaroids

Let's Make Polaroids

Hello hello hello!!  Today I am taking you through the steps necessary to make polaroids in the comfort of your home.  You will need a picture file on your computer desktop, Adobe Photoshop (I own CS6), photo paper (I use Red River UltraPro Satin, 8.5 x 11), and a printer with the capability to print photographs.  I know I am most likely not the first person to come up with this idea, but this particular process was developed during my time in college.  This digital art project is perfect for days when there is not much else to do.  Why not get those creative juices flowing?!  Let’s get started!

***Note: Click any of the images to make them bigger.

Step 1. Open Adobe Photoshop.

Step One

Step 2. Drag the picture into Adobe Photoshop.

Step Two

Step Three

Step 3. Use the Crop Tool to crop the image into a square (4 x 4, 8 x 8, 16 x 16, etc).  As long as the width and heighth are the same dimensions, you are good to go.  For best results, keep the image at its native resolution (72); do not increase it!

Step Four

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Step Six

Step 4. Check the bit depth.  Do not make any changes!

Step Nine

Step 5. Make sure the color profile is set to Adobe RGB (1998).

Step Ten

Step Eleven

Step 5. Create a new canvas, and set the width to 3.5 inches and the heighth to 4.25 inches.  You can make the resolution 72 to match the image, but I went ahead and made it 300.  Set the bit depth according to the image.  In this case, the image’s bit depth is 8.  Make sure the color profile is Adobe RGB (1998).

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Step 8. Using the Move Tool, press down your mouse over the picture, drag it to the blank canvas, and release.

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Step 9. Press Command Quotation Mark/Apostrophe.  A grid should appear over the entire image.  Use the Move Tool to make the picture bigger.  According to the grid, there should be one square of space on the top and sides; there should be four squares of space on the bottom.  You now have a recognizable polaroid format.

Step Seventeen

Step Eighteen

Step 11. Press Command Quotation Mark/Apostrophe to get rid of the gird.

Step Nineteen

Step 12. This step is optional.  My image has a light background therefore I am placing a thin, black stroke (size 2) around the outer perimeter to make it pop against the white canvas.  If your image has a dark background, a stroke is not necessary.

Step Twenty

Step Twenty-One

Step Twenty-Two

Step 13. Save your polaroid as a Photoshop file (.psd).  I labeled my image “Winnie the Pooh Polaroid_Layers.”  This is the file I will come back to if I want to make any adjustments or changes.

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Step Twenty-Four

Step 14. Flatten the layers and save the image as a JPEG (.jpg).  I labeled my polaroid “Winnie the Pooh Polaroid.”

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Step Twenty-Nine

Step 15. If you plan on posting your polaroid on the internet, save an alternate JPEG with an sRGB IEC61966-2.1 color profile.  I labeled my polaroid “Winnie the Pooh Polaroid_Online.”

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Step Thirty-One

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Step Thirty-Five

***If you are not interested in printing your polaroid, skip the following steps.

Step 16. Create a new canvas.  Make the width 8.5 inches and the heighth 11 inches.  The resolution should be 300, the bit depth 8, and the color profile Adobe RGB (1998).  I labeled my canvas “Winnie the Pooh Polaroid_Print.”

Step Thirty-Six

Step Thirty-Seven

Step 17. Using the Move Tool, press down your mouse over the polaroid, drag it to the blank canvas, and release.  Make sure the polaroid is flattened before moving it.

Step Thirty-Eight

Step Thirty-Nine

Step Forty

Step 17. Add a thin, black stroke (size 2) around the picture.  This will make it easier to cut out the polaroid once it is printed.

Step Forty-One

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Step 18. I use 8.5 x 11 paper because I can print four polaroids at once.  If you are doing the same, repeat steps 16 and 17 for every polaroid.

Step Forty-Four

Step 19. In the Print dialog box, choose your printer, layout (vertical, located on the left), Color Handling (Photoshop Manages Colors), and Printer Profile (name of the paper you are using).  If you are unfamiliar with how printer profiles work, you can look it up online or contact me for further help.

How To Use ICC Color Printer Profiles For Inkjet Printers: http://www.redrivercatalog.com/profiles/how-to-use-icc-color-printer-profiles.html

Step Forty-Six

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Step Forty-Nine

Step Fifty

*** The Final Results! ***


Pile of Polaroids

Click the following link to watch me go through the process: https://youtu.be/nlcewD0t3yE

I hope you have enjoyed this project.  It is a great way to display cellphone pictures, collages, and quotes you are inspired by.  For even more flair and personalization, add text in Photoshop or with a sharpie.

Say cheese! :D

– Lauren Michele <3

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