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Create an Instagram Polaroid in Photoshop

52Wish you could turn your Instagram photos into polaroids? Wish no more, we will show you how.

This Photoshop tutorial will show you how you can replicate instagram filters in Photoshop as well as how to add a polaroid frame to your photographs, having them print ready in less than 5 minutes by utilizing Photoshop Action files!

Step 1

Open up the photograph of your choice in Photoshop. The dimensions of your image aren’t critical at this point since you will be able to scale/crop it after creating the polaroid frame. We will be using this lovely photo of Rihanna.

Step 2

Download the Photoshop Action files that are required for this tutorial: Free Instagram Photoshop Actions & Polaroid Photoshop Action. If you have never used Photoshop Action files in the past, this may be a good time to read What is a Photoshop Action and How to Use Photoshop Actions. Install both Photoshop Actions.

Step 3

Apply the desired Instagram the filter. You can choose from the following effects: Brannan, Earlybird, Inkwell, Lomo-fi, Lord Kelvin, Nashville, Sutro, Walden, & X Pro II. I’ll be using the Earlybird effect. Make sure your photograph is the only Layer in your file (it should be named “Background”). Select it in the Layers window so that it is highlighted blue.


Now over in the Actions window we select the desired Instagram Filter and press the play button.


Hands off for a few seconds as the Action file does its work. We are left with following result:


Since in our case the photograph we used was bright to begin with, I am going to adjust the brightness & contrast of the image. You can do so by going to Image > Adjustments > Brightness & Contrast. Play around with the sliders to get the desired level of contrast and brightness for your photograph.


Step 4

Save a copy of your image at this point by going to File > Save for Web.


Choose any format you wish, I will be saving it at as a JPEG file.

Step 5


Open up the file you saved in Step 4. This will be the base image to which we will apply the Polaroid Photoshop Action you downloaded in Step 2.

Step 6

Just like in Step 3, the photograph (with the instagram filter applied) should be only Layer in your file (named “Background”). Select it in the Layers window so that it is highlighted blue. In the Actions window choose “Vivid 600” and hit play.


Let the action run and the first prompt you will get is one asking if you would like the polaroid frame/border. Click “Continue” to proceed.


The next prompt will be the Outer Glow Layer Styles window. This glow is created on the inner edge of the polaroid frame to add some depth to the photograph. Move the Opacity slider to the right to increase the glow or to the left to decrease the glow. I use an opacity of 50%.


The third and final prompt is to inform you that the action is complete and you may scale the photograph. Hit “Continue” and you can now grab one of the corners of the photograph and scale the image to fit within the polaroid frame as desired. Hold down the Shift key while dragging the corners in order to maintain the aspect ratio of the image. Hit the Enter key when you are done scaling.



Step 7


That’s it! You are now ready to print your image. There are several ways to do this, we recommend the methods outlined in Printing from Photoshop.

Step 8

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