17 October 2012

How To: Make a Canvas Photoboard with Polaroid Photos

This has to be one of the best ways I've found to display photos. I love how easy it is to change the photos from time to time, and I love the fun of arranging and rearranging and choosing the photos to display.

canvas photoboard polaroid photos

Each new visitor to our kitchen always stops and admires, and often asks how it was created. So now you need to wonder no more lovely people, because here are all the instructions for you to create your very own.

Creating the photoboard
Firstly, I need to give credit to the lovely Sarah over at FaerySarah who has kindly given me the link to her original instructions on how to make the actual photoboard itself. So rather than reinvent the wheel for you all by giving you a long list of instructions myself, just head over here and print off these fantastic instructions, or alternatively click on this photo below and print off.

canvas photoboard polaroid photos

The basics are that you'll need at least one 24 inch x 36 inch photoboard (Warehouse Stationery or Spotlight are good places to get these), a set of mini wooden pegs, glue, a ruler and a pencil as well as your printed photos. The hardest part of making the board is probably getting the pegs aligned right!

Creating the photos
Towards the end of Sarah's instructions, there are some specific instructions on how to create the polaroid look with your pictures - but these instructions are fairly specific to using Photoshop. I realise that not everyone has access to Photoshop, and with the recent enhancements to Picasa, it's now very possible to recreate the Lomo effect and Vignetting that makes a Polaroid pic so unique with this application alone. So hopefully you'll be familiar with Picasa, but if not it's a free photo package that you can download here.

1. Open Picasa, and select the photo that you wish to use. Crop it to a square photo.

canvas photoboard polaroid photos

2. Click on the tab with the paintbrush and green icon (4th from left). Apply the Lomo effect (or any other effect like Cross Process or 1960's if you prefer) and then use the sliders to adjust the vibrancy of the effect.

canvas photoboard polaroid photos

3. Then click on the last icon and add the Vignette effect, again adjusting the sliders to get the level of effect you want.

canvas photoboard polaroid photos

4. Then click on File, and Save your picture as another filename (so you keep the original intact).

5. Go back to the main library page and then select your picture plus one beside it (you need more than one to start with to create the collage in the next step).

canvas photoboard polaroid photos


6. Click on the middle icon directly above the pictures (to the right of the green play button). Alternatively on the menu bar, click on Create/Picture Collage.

7. Make sure that that Collage type selected is Picture Pile. Then from the Page Format drop-down select 4 x 6. If you don't have a 4 x 6 option, select from the 'Add Custom Aspect Ratio' and add in 4 x 6 here. Take the tick off Draw Shadows as well.

canvas photoboard polaroid photos

8. Select the photo that you don't wish to keep, and click on Remove. You will then just be left with the photo you wish to turn into a polaroid.

9. Click on the photo and use the hand to rotate, move and resize the picture to the middle of the screen, ensuring it is as centred as possible.

canvas photoboard polaroid photos

10. Click on Create Collage. Your photo is now ready to print.

canvas photo board polaroid photos

11. You may wish to add a text caption underneath your pictures, like in this example.

canvas photoboard polaroid photos

12. To add a caption, open your saved picture. Click on the 1st tab (spanner) and select the Text button. Use a favourite font and add some text underneath the picture and click on apply. I use Donny's Hand for my photoboard pictures, you can download it here.

canvas photo board polaroid photos

13. Then click on File, Export Picture to Folder and save the picture at its original size.

canvas photo board polaroid photos

14. Repeat with each picture you wish to use on the board. If you want to create the same sized board as mine, you'll need 28 pictures.

15. Once you've printed your pictures out in 4 x 6 standard photo size (you could use Snapfish or another online service for printing), you need to crop the bottom of the photo. I did this by measuring and drawing a line 11cm from the top of the picture and then cropping the remainder off - you may wish to check whether this length looks right on your own pictures though to incorporate text if you've added captions.

And lastly, enjoy sitting down and arranging all your photos to your heart's content.

If you want any further instructions or assistance, please leave me a comment and I'll be happy to help!


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