If you’re anything like me, you probably love Instagram. I have hundreds of pictures that I’ve posted and a lot of them are from when I’ve been traveling. I thought it would be fun to print some of them up and get them hung up in my house, but I didn’t want cheap looking prints from my printer just taped up on the wall. I wanted something that looked nice and put together. Something that I could frame.
Looking around online and I found that there were tons of options for getting Instagram prints on anything from posters to coasters. I really wanted a poster sized print that I could frame but the cheapest one I could find was $25. It also didn’t include shipping and there were few options to customize it.
So I instead set out to make my own using PicMonkey. And I want to throw it out there that I am not a DIY blogger, so this is just me playing around with free software. I really like the end result that I got and I spent a ton of time working on the measurements to make sure that things came out right and didn’t end up getting cropped when I went to print the poster. I thought I’d share with all of you the process I figured out!
0 – Download all of your Instagram pictures
If you don’t already have the square pictures on your computer, you can download all of your Instagram pictures using Instaport. Or you can connect your phone to your computer and pull them off that way if you still have all of them stored on your phone. Just make sure you get the square images that Instagram creates, not the original sized ones.
1 – Creating the PicMonkey collages
Since PicMonkey won’t let you create an image larger than 3400 pixels in either height or width, I made two collages and then later combined them into one file in order to make sure that the image quality was good enough for printing onto a poster. You could probably print a decent looking poster even sticking to PicMonkey’s pixel limits, but I wanted to make sure that the images came out as clear as possible, so I opted for making a larger image file to get the best results.
Step 1: Create a new collage using PicMonkey.
Note: Do not add any pictures to the collage until you’ve resized the image and created the right number of spots. They sometimes mess things up if they’re plugged into spots too early.
Step 2: Create a 5×5 square collage (it’s in the Square Deal section)
Step 3: Re-size the picture to 3400 x 2124.
Note: It took quite a bit of experimenting to figure out the best ratio to make the finished image the right proportions that would print correctly at a place like Costco without them wanting to trim parts of it off. These are the best measurements I found.
Step 4: Remove two rows of squares by clicking on the X’s in the upper right corner of each spot in that row. You should now have a 5×3 collage (5 wide and 3 down).
Step 5: Add your pictures. PicMonkey has the option to randomly place them for you, or you can manually put each one where you want it. I let PicMonkey randomly do it, and then I swapped a couple here and there.
Step 6: Save your image using the highest resolution option. This file is one half (either the top or bottom) of your poster.
Repeat steps 1-6 again to make the other half of your collage (or you can just clear all the images out of the one that you already have open and re-fill it with the next 15 pictures).
At this point you should have two files on your computer, one for the top half and one for the bottom half.
2 – Combining the two pieces
I used Paint (a standard program on Windows) to combine the two. You can use any image editing app that you have on your computer, but Paint is free so I figured I’d go with it for this.
In Paint you’ll notice that it shows you the size of your picture in the bottom bar. What we’re going to do is double the height of the picture so that we can add the bottom half to the top half. I find it easier to edit when I zoom out so that I can see the whole thing.
Step 1 – Open one of the files in Paint. Drag the bottom of the picture down so that it’s twice the height it was before. The size of the image should be 3400 x 4248.
Step 2 – Open the other image (the bottom half) in a separate instance of Paint and copy it to the clipboard. (Use Ctrl+A to select the entire image and then Ctrl+C to copy it to your clipboard)
Step 3 – Back in the first image, paste (Ctrl+V) the image that you currently have on your clipboard. It will initially get placed on top of your other collage, but while it’s still highlighted, very carefully move it down into position. Once you click elsewhere you won’t be able to move it around. If that happens, just undo (Ctrl+Z) and paste again.
Step 4 – Save your completed image. (Choose Save As if you don’t want to overwrite your original top image)
3 – Print!
You should now have a 3400 x 4248 image ready for printing on a 16×20 poster. My local Costco does them for $6, or you can search around for printing deals going on from other places like Walgreens, Walmart etc.
I found a frame on clearance at a local craft store and used it to frame my new poster. I’m really excited to have my Instagram pictures on display so that they’re not just lost in the history of Instagram and never seen again. And I particularly love seeing all of the places I’ve traveled in one frame! I might start a tradition of doing a new frame of prints every year.
I haven’t had time to hang this one in the hallway yet, and the lighting isn’t great for taking pictures there anyway, so I went ahead and took a quick picture in the guest bedroom:
I did attempt to make one with 5 rows across and 8 rows down but they ended up not coming out perfectly square. I also decided that I like how the pictures look when each picture is a bit larger. You can see the comparison here (the posters are both 16×20 but the one on the right is obviously in a thicker frame).
I spent enough time playing with the collage sizes and had multiple mis-haps before I finally got it right, so I wanted to share it with everyone with the hopes that it would save someone the same headache!
Have you ever turned your Instagram images into any other creations? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear about it!