Tutorial: Instagram Photostrips

I am obsessed with Instagram.  I just can’t get enough of the iPhone app.  It’s so much fun to take pictures and add fun little filters and effects.  I like how it’s also a mini-social network.
Well, I love the app so much that I didn’t want my favorite pictures trapped inside my iPhone for the rest of eternity.  Don’t they deserve to see the light of day too?!?!?
I read in some magazine a while back about how you can turn your Instagram pictures into a miniature book.  I thought that was cute, yes.  But how realistic and practical is a tiny book?  Eh, I’ll pass.  Over break, though, I was reading all these websites with Instagram tips and tricks and stumbled on some cool resources.  (For instance, cat Instagrams!)
And then when I spotted my next project:
I have been obsessed with the charming quality of Photostrips for a long time.  I even posted my favorite strips more than a year ago.  Now, if it were up to me, I’d have one of the booths in the living room of my house.  How. Cool. Would. That. Be.?
Well, you can turn your Instagrams (and, frankly, any pictures you have) into super cute and, more importantly, tangible photostrips.
Here’s how:
I first picked out which Instagrams I was going to use.  I tried to make each strip have a “theme,” but I think that random ones would look cute too.  I was planning on making three strips, with four pictures each.  I made a folder on my desktop just so that I could get to it easier!
(I know, one is missing from the folder haha… not sure where it disappeared to!)
In Photoshop, I made a “template” for the Photostrip.  I made the file 1.5 inches by 6 inches.  Because not every Instagram used the same filter (and subsequently frame), I also went ahead and made skinny strips of white for the borders.
Can you see the white borders?  I based the size off of one of the original Instagram frames.  And just duplicated the shape so it maintained the same width.
Once I had the template for the border, I just placed four of the Instagrams onto the file.  I arranged each so it was under the border and in an interesting order.
I repeated that process for the other strips and kept re-saving them.  I would just delete the pictures from before, add the new ones, and then click Save As.  Once all three strips were created, I made a new file.  This time, I made it 4.5 inches by 6.  I added all the other files into this one to I could be more efficient in the printing.  (You can definitely fit a lot more than three strips per page… I just wasn’t sure how the project was going to turn out and thought three was a safe number.  Print landscape and add as many as you wish!)
I saved this file as a JPG and took it to Kinkos to be printed.  However, I recommend saving as a PDF so that you can print it with crop marks!  I chose the glossy cardstock paper and simply printed on an 8.5 by 11 sheet.

Here are the strips on one sheet.  Now, I struggled because I wanted to make sure I left a proper sized border around the outsides.  It was a little tricky and I was super OCD with the ruler.

But then I realized that if I lined up the edge of the photo with the CLEAR finger protector thing, it would leave the absolute perfect border of white.  I don’t know if you can see that in the picture, but it’s worth zooming in to see!  (There is the edge of the plastic and then the edge of the metal.  The gap between the two edges creates the border.)

The next step is to just cut right down the middle of the edges to separate the strips.  Again, a little tricky, but just takes some patience and proper alignment!

And there you go!  Fun photostrips from your Instagrams!
What can you do with the photostrips?
Give away at parties
Use as bookmarks
Hang on the wall
Write love notes on the back
Make for presents
This got quite the buzz going on Pinterest!  Let me try to answer some of the questions that have come up:
  You can use any picture, not just Instagrams!  Crop the photo into a square and play around with filters in Photoshop so it has a vintage-y feel!
If pictures are blurry, you might not have a high enough DPI.  Adjust the setting when you create a new file!
Be friendly with the Kinko’s people and you might get a discount 😉  Printing b&w is cheaper, and looks pretty cute and more traditional.
My sister, upon seeing the original photostrips, requested that I make her a bunch!  Also shown, photostrips of our Snow Bunnies collection.  We sent them as “thank yous” to our great aunts who send a few each Christmas.

I took all the Instagrams I had of books and made an official Book Book Mark 😉
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Jennifer L. Duncan

I saw these on your Instagram the other day and I've been dying to see how you made them! This is such a fun DIY and I cannot wait to try it! Thanks, Carly 🙂


Oh I love this so much! I have so many instagram photos that I would love to print! I'm going to have to try soon! First things first, getting photoshop for my Mac!


great idea!!! i love instagram and sometimes don't use it bc I didn't know how to do photostrips, so would use photobooth instead…but now I will use instagram more!!!


I love this idea. Thank you for sharing! Gotta miss the photo strip machines. My daughter and I like to stop at the photo booths when we can find one. Just like my mother and me – always making the funny faces. 😉


By the way, where did you find this background? It is the same pattern as the fabric we used as a vignette backdrop for wedding pictures! Love it!


That looks awesome! Could probably take it to a regular photo printer too… Printing multiple little squares would save on photo printing!

Public DataWeb

brilliant idea – i used to absolutely LOVE it when my friends and I used to go to the photobooths! We used to have such a laugh and loved being able to pass the photos around to other people – the mini prints are so cute! Thanks for sharing and reminding me of a fab idea that I'm about to try this second! X


I made them this afternoon and they turned out adorably! My only issue is that the pictures ended up being a bit blurry, probably because they were shrunk to such a small size. how did you get the photos from instagram into your computer? I uploaded mine to my computer from my iphone and the images seemed a bit larger than an instagram photo (even though they had been downloaded from instagram) and ended up being 612×612 pixels, which is much larger than 1.5×1.5 inches.

Advice on how you got the images small without pixelating them?


Love this! And btw, you can have a photobooth in the palm of your hand. Incredibooth is for iPhone and I think it's got some connection to instagram. Have fun.

Doc Pop

These look great. Have you seen our Postagram app? It allows you to print and ship your Instagram or cell phone photos as physical postcards for just $.99 each. Here's a link to the app

If you'd like some credits to play around with, you can email me at and I'll set you up. Thanks!


I would really appreciate it if you could share your photoshop template. If I tried to make one I would probably end up throwing my computer out the window. And then how would I read your blog?


No Iphone so I will def. have to play around with my photo programs and see how this can be copied. No computer skills here but where there is a will there is a way and having the basis of reading your tut is a great start! Thank you!!

Emma Brague

Quick question: I think I have the same version of photoshop as you do, but when I drop in the pictures, they are only black and white, even if they were in color…any ideas?


Such a fun and great idea! I love photostrips and love instagram, so, this just works perfectly! Lovely blog too!

Liesl 🙂


I wonder if you need to add the white borders? If you didn't add them, and just left a blank space between the photos, would the space between print out white or black? I *think* it would print out white anyway … though, black would look pretty good too …


You can do the same thing on picasa (free download from google) if you don't have photoshop. Just pick the pictures you want, make a collage, and print.


Um, I've not heard of Kinko's, and you made the whole Photoshop look butt-kickingly easy, and I don't have Photoshop (or Photoship, thanks spellchecker) but I appreciated the tutorial 😉

Michelle L.

Could you also email me ( the template? I stumbled upon this on pinterest and I think it is just adorable 🙂

Thank you!

Late Mommy

I'm kind of new to Photoshop. Could I make a template that is wall sized, save it to a jump drive then have Kinkos print it?

Winelady Cooks

This is a great idea. I have Photoshop for 2 years and I still can't figure it out. For all you gals out there who need a photo program to do this try Photoscape — it's a free download that does not expire.

It's easy, but it takes a little time to get used to — but here's how to get a template — click on the tab that says "Combine" and on the right side column click on 'down' which will create a photostrip for you. You can add as many photos as you want.

To begin be sure you choose editor to find where your photos are 'living' and then just drag the photo you want to the center of the page, and continue on.

Hope this helps.


Seriously, you are awesome! That would have taken me all night to figure out and thanks to your program I am already printing great photostrips. Thanks!!

Justine Fowler

If you want the tutorial on how to make the template follow this link and scroll to the middle of the page- a lady has posted a video and it was very very helpful. It was so helpful that I was able to make my photostrips without using photoshop (used a rip-off version) and without using instragram photos (cropped my own pics from my digital camera on my computer into squares).

Hope this helps!