20 June 2011

Tutorial: DIY Mini Polaroid Prints

When I watched the video for today's prompt this morning for Natalie Malik's free online art journaling class, In The Sun, I knew instantly what I wanted to do: polaroid pictures! I know that I have an actual old school polaroid camera under my desk, but I wanted to use my Polaroid POGO printer to make mini polaroids. So tiny! So cute! I haven't done my page for today yet, but I'm so excited by my mini-project that I wanted to share right away.

To make your own DIY polaroid prints without a polaroid camera, you will need:
  • photo prints of images you like [Note: If you don't have a POGO like I do, you could get one-hour prints at your local photo shop very cheap. Or you could just use images from a magazine cut to size... why not?]
  • 3x5 blank white index cards, or any white card stock {You could just plain white printer paper, sure, but using card stock gives the mini polaroids a bit of heft like a real polaroid would have.}
  • glue (if you aren't using a POGO)
  • ruler
  • scissors or exacto knife

Choose the prints you want to use for your mini polaroids. Remember that you will be cropping the image into a square shape, so try to choose images based on what will look good in a square shape.

If you are using a POGO print, you just have to crop one-inch from the longest side of the print. You can see that for some images, I just cut an inch off the side; for others, I trimmed a little from each side. I have a metal ruler that is two inches wide, so I used that as a cutting guide. You could also draw guidelines with a pencil.

If you are using a larger size print, you can make a square by cropping the long size to the same length as the shortest side. (I know, duh, right?) Or you could make a square viewfinder in a plain piece of card stock (just cut with an exacto knife) and use that to find the best part of your image to crop. This would work well for finding an image in a magazine, too.

For the POGO, you'll affix your square using the sticker back. For another print or magazine, use a glue stick or your choose of adhesive. After making this first two prints, I realized I'd have less cutting if I placed the image in the corner instead of towards the middle. I was able to make two mini prints from each index card. Trim to size. I just eyeballed this. Basically, the bottom is about a third the height of the image, give or take. Then you'll have a thinner border at the sides and top. If you wanted this really precise, I'm sure you could find the exact dimensions online, but I didn't care if it was exactly right.

Enjoy your cute DIY polaroid prints! You'll be seeing mine soon in an art journal spread. I'll link it here whenever it's done. Have fun!


  1. What a fun tutorial! I am happy to find another way to "play with" my Pogo printer. I had in mind a spread with some summer photos; I will definitely look into incorporating Polaroid-style prints! Thanks for this. And I look forward to seeing your page too!

  2. This is great, Moira! May I add this tutorial to the prompt post? :)

  3. Too cute!! Now I want a POGO, and I'm not even sure what the heck that is! Off to Google it...

  4. Love this idea, must try it out!

  5. This really has me thinking


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