How to Make Instagram Photostrips

I am obsessed with Instagram. I just can't get enough of the iPhone app. It's so much fun to take pictures and add fun little filters and effects. I like how it's also a mini-social network.

Well, I love the app so much that I didn't want my favorite pictures trapped inside my iPhone for the rest of eternity. Don't they deserve to see the light of day, too?

I read in some magazine a while back about how you can turn your Instagram pictures into a miniature book. I thought that was cute, yes. But how realistic and practical is a tiny book? Eh, I'll pass. Over break, though, I was reading all these websites with Instagram tips and tricks and stumbled on some cool resources. (For instance: cat Instagrams!)

And then when I spotted my next project:


I have been obsessed with the charming quality of photostrips for a long time. I even more than a year ago. Now, if it were up to me, I'd have one of the booths in the living room of my house. How. Cool. Would. That. Be.?

Well, you can turn your Instagrams (and, frankly, any pictures you have) into super cute and, more importantly, tangible photostrips.

Here's how:

I first picked out which Instagrams I was going to use. I tried to make each strip have a "theme," but I think that random ones would look cute too. I was planning on making three strips, with four pictures each. I made a folder on my desktop just so that I could get to it easier!

(I know, one is missing from the folder, ha ha... not sure where it disappeared to!)

In Photoshop, I made a "template" for the Photostrip. I made the file 1.5 inches wide by 6 inches tall. Because not every Instagram used the same filter (and subsequently the same frame), I also went ahead and made skinny strips of white for the borders. If the pictures look blurry (they shouldn't), double check that you have a high enough DPI on the original file!

Can you see the white borders? I based the size off of one of the original Instagram frames. And just duplicated the shape so it maintained the same width.

Once I had the template for the border, I just placed four of the Instagrams onto the file. I arranged each so it was under the border, and made sure the photos were displayed in an interesting order.

Using regular (non-Instagram) photos is also an option! Just crop your pictures as a square, and play around with various filters if you still want an "Instagram" effect.

I repeated that process for the other strips and kept re-saving them. I would just delete the pictures from before, add the new ones, and then click Save As.

Once all three strips were created, I made a new file. This time, I made it 4.5 inches by 6. I added all the other files into this one, so I could be more efficient in the printing. (You can definitely fit a lot more than three strips per page... I just wasn't sure how the project was going to turn out, and thought three was a safe number. Print landscape and add as many as you wish!)

I saved this file as a JPG, and took it to Kinko's to be printed. However, I recommend saving as a PDF, so that you can print it with crop marks. I chose the glossy cardstock paper, and simply printed on an 8.5 by 11 sheet.

Here are the strips on one sheet.

Now, I struggled because I wanted to make sure I left a properly sized border around the outsides. It was a little tricky, and I was super OCD with the ruler.

But then I realized that if I lined up the edge of the photo with the CLEAR finger protector thing, it would leave the absolute perfect border of white. I don't know if you can see that in the picture, but it's worth zooming in to see. (There is the edge of the plastic, and then the edge of the metal. The gap between the two edges creates the border.)

The next step is to just cut right down the middle of the edges to separate the strips. Again, a little tricky, but just takes some patience and proper alignment.

And there you go! Fun photostrips from your Instagrams!

What can you do with the photostrips?

  • Give away at parties
  • Use as bookmarks
  • Hang on the wall
  • Write love notes on the back
  • Make for presents


PS: For more examples of Instagram pictures, check out the original blog post, where I added an update!

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