DIY Polaroid Travel Board… without a Polaroid!

diy polaroid board title

Yes, Polaroids are incredibly expensive, and yes, the film seems even more expensive after you’ve purchased the camera. So thankfully, this tutorial does not require you to own a Polaroid camera or film! You can easily make your own faux-Polaroids to create a cute travel board 🙂

I spent much of 2015 traveling, and along the way I ended up with many pictures of a special travel companion – an origami squirrel given to me before I left. I’ve always felt somewhat narcissistic taking pictures of myself in front of famous monuments, so I decided that I would remember the wonderful places I’d been by taking pictures of my little purple squirrel instead. With some simple photo editing, I was able to transform my iPhone pictures into cute polaroids without the cost and stress of trying to take the “perfect” shot. They whole project took half a day, and was a fun way of reminiscing on my 2015 travels!

materials for corkboard

Ready to create your faux-Polaroid board? 😀

The first thing you’ll need to do is edit your photos. I printed my photos as 4”x 6” photos from CVS for 14 cents each, but needed them to be 1.5”x2”. I used Gimp to edit, which you can download for free here.photo editing step

  1. Create a white canvas that is 4”x6” with 300px/in
  2. Scale your photograph so that it is 1.5”x2” with 300px/in
  3. Copy your photograph onto the white canvas and export

Once you have your pictures printed, you can move on to compiling the corkboard!

corkboard directions

  1. Add a white border. I added a 1/4 inch on the top, right, and left, and 3/4 inch on the bottom so I could write a description. I measured out the distance, and then marked with a pencil.
  2. Cut out the Polaroids. Cut along the border, making sure to keep your cuts as smooth and even as possible.
  3. Write the description with a Sharpie. I put the date and place of the picture.
  4. Arrange and pin the photos on your corkboard, and you’re done!

This photo board is both a commemoration of traveling in the 2015, a promise for my squirrel to see more of the world in 2016, and a gift to the person who made me the squirrel before I set off on my adventures. I hope it also encourages you to take pictures of moments in your life that bring you joy, and compile them into a cute collection without having to shell out for an actual Polaroid.

My little squirrel has been to Italy, the Netherlands, Paris, China, and Mexico, and is now tucked away safely back home in the United States…. I wonder where else he’ll be traveling this year? 🙂

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DIY-spiration: Art

Every once and a while, I see something so beautifully made that it absolutely takes my breath away… And then I came to Europe, and at this point I can pretty much no longer breathe. These past few weeks have been like a walk through my art history textbook. Before studying abroad, I had an idea of what art was (or as much as I could glean from high school art history class), but now I feel as though I am living in a world where beautiful works are a given and art is a part of life.

This past weekend I took a trip to Paris and hit three museums – the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, and Musee l’Orangerie. I felt as though I embarked on a journey that took me through the change and growth of art throughout human history. Even though I know hundreds of thousands of people have traipsed through these same museums and have gawked at the same paintings, I still felt like the works were speaking to me individually. It was an incredible experience and gave me beautiful ideas for creating and sewing. I wanted to share some of my favorite works with you guys 🙂

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Monet’s waterlilies were a calm pool of nature in the middle of my tourist-attraction filled day. It made me want to embroider delicate flower and blossoms while sitting in a lovely Italian garden!

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Though I’m usually not a huge fan of portraiture, Renoir’s paintings made me stop because of the detailing of the clothing! Probably not the best reason for appreciating fine art, but I was struck by how the dresses were airy and light yet substantial at the same time. Maybe that’s the power of impressionism! I know the next dress I make will have to be modeled after one of these paintings.

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And my all time favorite work of the day was Canova’s Cupid and Psyche. It honestly gave me no specific DIY inspiration, but it fill me with a feeling of overwhelming tenderness and love ❤

What I felt most as I explored these museums was the love of the artists and the strength behind their works. Whether it was tranquility, desperation, love, or sadness, each work invoked such deep feelings. I think we all have an urge to create, to share something unique with those around us. I can only hope that anything I make is able to convey even a fraction of what I saw in these great works of art!

DIY-spiration: Chocolate, Chocolate

Whenever I create a sewing/DIY project, I always begin with a theme in mind. Sometimes, its complex and serious; I want to express certain emotions, capture a certain moment, or design something for a specific person. Other times, it’s a little more lighthearted – cats, a , or… chocolate! chocobeer

During a recent trip to Siena, we stumbled on a little chocolate-themed shop. But it was more than just a store of chocolate bars and bonbons; there were also a variety of chocolate gadgets just full of DIY inspiration! And what really struck me was the passion behind the inspiration. Clearly, the shop owner simply loved chocolate and wanted to share his passion with the world. dessert decors signs

What I love about sewing and DIY in general is that you can use it to express your love for anything at all. No matter how simple, any idea can be transformed into a creative project, as long as it makes you feel excited. If there could be a whole shop filled with creations centered only a chocolate, then aren’t the possibilities endless?chocoroll box