Shake It Like a Polaroid Picture

In the spirit of finals week and the beckoning of summer vacation, this DIY instructs how to generate your own “Polaroids”, without Polaroid film. I fondly remember printing Polaroids and shaking them with glee as a child. Now, the sale of Polaroid film has been discontinued, and they’ve become a nostalgic memory of the past, like 5-inch floppy disks and good television. Luckily, computer programs now allow us to create Polaroid facsimiles.

Polaroids can be used as simple decorations when placed on their own or as wall pieces when displayed in a group. I’ve created a larger display in the shape of a heart using my collection of Polaroids, as seen here.

In addition, by creating your own “Polaroids”, versus printing them instantly, you can choose exactly which photo you’d like to convert into this format, thus guaranteeing that you have a picture-perfect Polaroid. Furthermore, this allows you to retain a digital copy of the Polaroid.

I used the program Poladroid. The program is incredibly easy to use: once downloaded, simply drag and drop the photos your photos. Then just wait for it to “develop”; you can also speed this process up by “shaking” the photo with your mouse.  Then, view and save! The program also allows you to change how much you want the photo to be “processed.” You can add a blurring effect and a striping effect to mimic the look of real Polaroids. In addition, you may choose how strong of a vignetting effect there is. I personally prefer the lite vignette option, as it preserves the color of the original photo, but the strong vignette option is true to the color of an actual Polaroid.

Before & After:

1) Lite vignette:


2) Strong vignette:


Once you’ve edited your “Polaroids” to your heart’s desire, the final step is to print them out and display them. You can print them as normal digital photographs either at home or in store. The trick is to size down the image before printing it to ensure that the full white border is captured for that genuine “Polaroid” look.

I will definitely be creating more of these over the summer and adding to my wall of memories. Enjoy!


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