Instagram “Faux-laroid” Magnetic Photos

I love using Instagram!

On our last vacation, I drove myself (and the rest of the family) crazy taking photos with my Canon, and then again with my iPhone so I could post the pictures instantly to Instagram. Juggling two cameras was not my best idea, but I sure love having both sets of photos.

I had a lot of great shots in Instagram, and I love the old-school look the filters add to my pictures.

You know what else is old-school? Polaroid pictures.

So I figured out how to combine the two…Instagram, and Polaroids, to make some pretty cool (if I do say so myself) fridge magnets.

Now before you tune out, because you do not use Instagram, I am also going to show you how you can get the same look, using the photos you have already taken!

Here is what you will need to make your own photo magnets.

  • Photo Editing software (I am using Photoshop. You will need to adjust for your software.)
  • Photo printing (either home printer or photo lab)
  • Adhesive back 4×6 Magnet Sheets

Let’s get started!

(I need to add in a disclaimer here. I am not an expert at photo editing, but, if you have any questions with this process, please leave me a comment, and I will try to hook you up with an answer. )

Open Photoshop. Select a photo from your Instagram picture folder.

When you open your Instagram photo, it will already be square. If you do not have Instagram, I will show you how to easily re-create the look of an Instagram photo a bit later.

You will need to re-size your photo. In the upper left-hand corner, click on “Image” and then click on “Image Size” in the drop-down menu.

Then change the image resolution from the default size of 72 pixels/inch to 300 pixels/inch and…

…then change the image size to 3.5″ x 3.5″.

Next, from the top left hand corner select “File” and then “New.”

A menu box will open. From the new menu box, click on the arrow next to “Custom” and click on “Photo.”

After you click on “Photo” you will be able to select a preset size for your new canvas.

Choose 4×6 portrait.

A new image should appear on your screen. A blank 4×6 canvas.

Then, up in the upper left hand corner, there is a tool that looks like compass arrows. It is a move tool. Click on that.

Then you will need to click on your chosen photo–click on your mouse and hold the button down, “dragging”  the image onto your new canvas.

The new canvas is 4″ wide. The image was cropped to 3.5″ wide. This will create a white border like the ones on a Polaroid. It is okay if your image is not centered, you can “drag” it until it is even. You will want to leave an even  1/4″ border side to side, and matching at the top. The bottom will have the remaining white space on the canvas. It will get trimmed down later.

Then you will need to merge both images into one image. Right now, the computer thinks the canvas (white background) and your dragged image are separate.

Go up to the left hand corner, select “Layer,”

then “Flatten Image.”

Are you still with me? Well, CONGRATULATIONS!

You have yourself a finished “Faux-laroid”!

You just need to save it.

Go to the top left hand corner, select “File” and then “Save As” in the drop down menu.

It will then give you an option of naming your photo, so you can find it again. I find it helpful to save my photos that I am going to print immediately for a project on my computer desktop. Easier to find that way.

Now,  if you do not have Instagram images to work with, I am going to show you an option for re-creating the look.

You will want to select a photo from one of your folders.

Most likely your photo will be a 4×6.

You are going to want to crop it into a square, and re-size it.

From the upper left hand tool bar, select the cropping tool.

When you click on the tool, up at the top of the screen there will be a menu. You can choose the size, and the resolution (pixels) of the crop.

Click on the appropriate boxes and make your crop size 3.5″ x 3.5″, and the resolution 300 pixels/inch.

Then use the tool to crop your photo.

This photo is now the right size to repeat the above steps to add it to a new canvas.

However, if you would like to add an “Old School” filter to your photo, to match those in Instagram, you are in luck!

I found a super talented guy, Daniel Box who created some Photoshop actions to match the Instagram filters.

With his permission, I am including the link here.

Best part? The actions are totally free!

You can download them here:

(click here—>)Daniel Box Instagram Photoshop Actions

You can find awesome tutorials on easily installing and using actions in Photoshop online, in interest of time, I am not going to walk you through it here.

We have “Faux-laroids” to make!

Run the desired action, and then follow the above steps to add your filtered image to a new canvas.

Here is my photo post-action:

The action added the 70’s look, and the vignette border.

After you save your completed images, print them using your home printer, or a photo lab.

Open up your magnet sheets!

Trim your photos to 4.5″ lengthwise, trimming at the bottom (white) portion of the photo.

Then trim your adhesive backed magnets to 4.5″ as well.

(You can save the extra portion of the magnet sheet for another project!)

Then, simply peel off the protective film, and adhere your photo to the magnet sheet.

It was easiest for me to line up the photo at the top of the magnet, and then flatten it down.

I did not get all of mine straight.

It is okay. Here, you can see a little over-hang of the magnet.

If your fridge is black, it will never show.

If your fridge is white like mine, and it bugs you (like it bugged me) to have a little black edge show, then trim the edges with scissors.

The magnet sheets cut really easily!

Repeat until you run out of photos or magnet sheets.

Let me know if you try your own “Faux-laroids!”

About Shaunte

Shaunte is a 30-something, chocolate-loving, SAHM from Utah. She has been scrapbooking since 1997, the dreaded era of photos cropped with deco scissors. Since then, her work has evolved into a clean, linear, photo-focused style. Her favorite subjects to scrap are her husband and five kids (never a lack for subject material there).


  1. Thank you for this awesome tutorial. I repinned you on pinterest, and I’ve been going through some items for last minute ideas. I did these super early this Christmas morning.

    I was sadly out of photo paper, but happened to find an unopened box of photo magnet paper, which was WOW! Photo on one side, magnet already on the back! I posted the finished items on my blog. I made a little gift box for them, too! It was such fun.

    Thank you for your instructions. Your site page for the instructions was posted on my blog, so others can find their way here, and duplicate this fantastic project.

    Keep up the good work.


  2. April Derrick says:

    Wow – this is too cool Shaunte!! Awesome tutorial and I can’t wait to make some for my fridge!!

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