DIY, short for "do it yourself", is a weekly column where I roll up my sleeves and go over everything and anything from field-stripped and fixing your out-of-warranty iPhone or iPad to fun projects you can do with apps, family, and friends.
Post lots of photos on Instagram? Ever think how cool it would be to turn all of your different photos into an awesome in-real-life collage to hang in your home? I recently decided I wanted to do just that with some of our vacation photos. After a quick web search, however, I realized the selection of free templates to choose from is rather dismal. That's when I decided to make my own customizable template. Follow along for cool, free downloadable templates and complete step by step instructions to get your Instagram collage up on your wall in no time!
What you need to create a printable Instagram collage
To get started on an Instagram collage you'll need an image editor. That can be Photoshop if you have it, or one of the less-expensive apps available on the App Store.
Next you'll need to pull the photos you want out of Instagram. You might be able to find them scattered around in your Photos app, but you can save time by using an awesome service called Instaport. It lets you easily download photos from your Instagram archive by choosing a date range or specific hashtags.
If you're comfortable enough with an image editor, you can add more rows and duplicate squares to suit any size. Each square inside the template is 2x2 but you can tweak that as well.
How to create a wall collage using Instagram photos
In the steps below I'll be using Photoshop to make my collage. Other image editors and templates may work differently but the general steps will be the same. Just don't get too close to the edges of the document so it doesn't get cut off during printing.
Open each of your Instagram photos in your image editor of choice and size them to 2 inches by 2 inches as this is the size of each square in the template.
Repeat this for each photo you want to use and save them in an easy to access place.
Open one of the Photoshop templates you downloaded above.
Drag the newly resized photos one by one into the template and replace each blue square with one photo.
Repeat this process for each photo until all the blue squares have been replaced with your own photos.
If you ever run into a time where a blue square shows up on top of your photo, just drag the photo layer to the top of the layers panel. Remember that image editors work as a series of layers so anything towards the top will show up on top of anything towards the bottom and so on.
Save your collage as either a .jpg or .png.
How to print and frame your Instagram wall collage
The best way to print Instagram collages is by submitting them to a photo service. Our local Meijer grocery store has a photo lab that is relatively inexpensive for prints and typically gets the done the same day. Costco or Walgreens are also popular options. If you don't have a local service, you can use an online one that will mail you back the prints.
Framing comes down to personal preference. I like to choose frames that have a little matting around the edges to give collages more depth. If you're looking for ideas, Amazon has a decent selection of frames to fit any budget and style.
My collage cost around $30, including printing and the frame I found locally. That's a great price for something unique and personal that really livens up our walls.