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How to Create Your Own Instagallery


Remember our homemade magnetic chalkboard? Well, it turns out that it didn’t erase well. I’m not sure if it was because I used chalkboard markers instead of regular chalk, or something to do with the surface—chalkboard paint over sheet metal—but whatever the cause, I had to use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (God’s gift to mothers) to clean it. That made me nervous: I didn’t want to rub away the chalkboard layer on top.

So … it hung completely blank in our kitchen for a few weeks as I pondered what to do with it. If you’re a regular reader here, you’ll know that my obsession with love of Instagram—and therefore my body of Instagram photos—grows daily. The kids love scrolling through them on my phone or computer and I do, too.

One day I had a lightbulb moment: print our Instagram photos and use magnets to attach them to our magnetic board!

I printed the pictures on Red River Paper 8 1/2″ x 11″ UltraPro Satin photo paper. Six 3.25″ square photos fit on each page. This isn’t necessarily the perfect size, but it’s close. The paper has a great texture and holds up to lots of handling.


Obviously I needed several magnets. I didn’t want them too big or too different or too distracting, so I decided to make my own: rounded squares with the Instagram logo (yes, I really am obsessed). Here’s the part where things got interesting. If you want to tackle a similar project, let me offer you some advice so you can avoid my mistakes.

A Magnet Malfunction is not as embarrassing or socially unacceptable as a Wardrobe Malfunction, but it can certainly mess. you. up. on this project.

My husband works in printing so I asked if he could score me some magnetic sheets. They’re flat with white paper on top and a magnet surface on bottom, perfect for printing rows of those refrigerator magnets with contact info for your local pizza delivery service. I printed a sheet of 1″ square Instagram logos; glued them to the top of the magnetic sheet; cut them out with their cute little rounded corners; and tried to hang the photos.

The magnets were fine by themselves but too wimpy to hold up one picture, much less two as I’d intended. I didn’t want to start over, so I glued the wimpy magnets on top of stronger magnetic sheets. They’re a little thick now, but they work.

Word to the wise: make sure your magnets are strong enough. 
(Updated: I’ve now found 1″ magnetic squares with peel and stick backing at office supply stores. Perfect!)

You can download my Instagram logo template here.




Some of the photos are still hanging in strips of three, although I’ll eventually cut them all out separately so they’ll be easier to move and switch out. I would love to see square photo paper so I can print them in singles.

What do you think?

[The Evolution of Our Instagallery—how we continue to use and update it.]

{Disclosure: Red River Paper link is an affiliate link.}

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{ 45 comments… add one }

  • patti June 16, 2011, 2:31 pm

    Love this!!!

  • Dawn June 16, 2011, 2:47 pm

    Thanks, Patti—I do, too!

  • Donetta June 16, 2011, 3:01 pm

    I love this!! What a cool idea! So pretty! :)

  • Dawn June 16, 2011, 5:49 pm

    It was really fun, too, except for the magnet issues. :)

  • melissa stover June 16, 2011, 5:32 pm

    this is so cute!

  • MarshaMarshaMarsha June 16, 2011, 6:40 pm

    what a great idea! thanks for sharing your tips. i don’t like wimpy magnets either.

  • Meghan June 16, 2011, 7:07 pm

    LOVE it! You are one creative girl! I might need to steal this idea. xoxox


  • Tamara June 16, 2011, 8:23 pm

    I love love love this idea! So cute. Have you heard of mighties magnets ( I love them. Those would totally do the trick (but they aren’t as cute as your Instagram ones either.)

  • Dawn June 16, 2011, 9:00 pm

    Tamara, I think those are the magnets I was looking at at first on Amazon! I was afraid I’d lose them, and some of the reviews said they were scary strong. :)

  • Dawn June 16, 2011, 9:01 pm

    Meghan, steal away!

  • Dawn June 16, 2011, 9:01 pm

    Marsha, you “pinned” me! What a thrill! :)

  • Ann Voskamp June 16, 2011, 9:41 pm

    You inspire me everyday, friend! Just. beautiful. !!!
    (I really have to try to get the hang of that Instagram :) How do you do what you do??!!! :)

  • Dawn June 16, 2011, 10:30 pm

    Ann, we’ll just say that this project was born out of a combination of wanting to do something with the huge, blank magnetic chalkboard hanging in my kitchen and the thrill my kids get out of seeing all these photos in print (I do, too). :)

  • Helen June 17, 2011, 1:39 pm

    It’s an awesome idea. Actually before I read your post, I printed some of my Instagram pictures and planned to make it a collage wall decoration.

    What you did totally give me another idea what to do with the other pictures :)

    Thanks for sharing!

  • sprittibee June 17, 2011, 3:01 pm

    Instagram should be paying you for your advertising. ;) I’m in total love. xoxoxo You rock.

  • Stacie @ The Divine Miss Mommy June 18, 2011, 4:02 pm

    Dawn this is so cool!!!

  • Angela Alderman June 23, 2011, 4:08 pm

    I love this! I am so going to do it! I am obsessed with Instagram too, it is fabulous!
    Thanks for sharing how to do this!

  • Kristi June 25, 2011, 2:53 pm

    Love, love, love this!! Can’t wait to try it for myself. Thanks for the generosity in sharing all the tips!!

  • Mela Kamin July 8, 2011, 1:56 am

    Super idea – I can’t wait to give this a shot! I too have a not-quite-fully-erasable chalkboard surface that I’ve put in storage. Maybe I can bring it back out & give it an overhaul.

  • Dawn July 13, 2011, 6:08 pm

    Mela, I think mine was doomed for storage until I had this idea. I was so bummed that it didn’t erase well. Now it’s all covered in photos!

  • Crafty Mummy August 7, 2011, 8:18 pm

    That is such a clever idea – love the Instagram magnets! You could use any little icons from the web for magnets really. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Crafty Mummy´s last [post] ..Lovely Sponsor: LaCrafts & Market Night

  • Stacey August 26, 2011, 12:45 pm

    I will do this. I will do this. I will do this.

    {such a cute idea!}
    Stacey´s last [post] ..Steve Jobs, Me and Being Fresh Out of Amazing

  • Dawn August 26, 2011, 12:51 pm

    You can do it, Stacey! I need to print some fresh pics for mine. :)

  • SoulandGrace August 28, 2011, 8:14 pm

    So I just downloaded the Instagram App on my phone and have become instantly obsessed! I can’t wait to make an art piece like you have made. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Amy at The Red Chair Blog August 29, 2011, 10:02 pm

    Fantastic! What a cool idea!

  • jennifer September 4, 2011, 2:46 pm

    I do not have an iphone but do have a droid, does anyone know a simmilar app for us? Would love to try this

  • Dawn September 4, 2011, 4:10 pm

    I think picplz is a similar droid app.

  • Dinushi September 25, 2011, 9:41 pm

    I am so inspired! thanks for sharing!

  • Dianne September 26, 2011, 11:32 pm

    I love this!! I totally want to do it. Great inspiration, Dawn. Thanks for sharing! :-)

  • joy October 31, 2011, 1:57 pm

    thanks for sharing, i love pictures and this idea is so great! thanks again and keep on shining! btw saw this on pinterest

  • Mindy November 23, 2011, 11:28 am

    found you through laura winslow’s blog……thanks so much for sharing & for the template. cannot wait to make them!
    there is an iphone app (postal pix) that will print the square photos!

  • marissa December 15, 2011, 1:52 am

    this is beautiful! I’d love it if you would add them to my What We Wore and Made link party over at

  • Jessica December 18, 2011, 8:18 am

    I LOVE THIS!!! I am waiting as quietly as I can for Droid to come out with instagram. This will be a must when it does! :)

  • Cassie December 18, 2011, 8:59 pm

    This is a fabulous idea!! Thanks for sharing!! =)

  • jeanne winters December 18, 2011, 9:05 pm

    Fun!!! And wanted to give a shout out thank you for including my “Everything is Beautiful” canvas in your photo!! :-)

    • Dawn December 19, 2011, 10:30 am

      Jeanne, it’s moved to a darker wall where it stands out more, but we love your canvas! :)

  • Dawn December 19, 2011, 10:36 am

    Jeanne, it’s moved to a darker wall where it stands out more, but we love your canvas! :)

  • Thea January 6, 2012, 12:43 pm

    This is just awesome. My jaw just dropped. Hahaha. And the best part is, you shared how to do it. TFS!

  • ModParent January 28, 2012, 1:31 am

    wow, that’s beautiful. we’re thinking of doing something similar in our hallway for our family. Thanks for the ideas and inspiration!

  • Deeken March 7, 2012, 4:35 am

    Wow cool idea. Saw this on pintrest. I have bookmarked your site and will be returning . Thank you for this site it’s very interesting

  • amber May 17, 2012, 9:35 am

    beautiful! i love it! For those who don’t have a printer at home, there is a PostalPix app that will print your selected IG photos also. Good quality, too.

    • Dawn May 17, 2012, 9:06 pm

      Amber, I need to try that. I’ve used Postagram, but never PostalPix.

  • beth willis miller June 24, 2012, 8:52 am

    I love your website and this post…just wanted to share these Strategies for Identifying and Developing Imagination in Children from my blog post…

    Fluency, Flexibility, Originality, and Elaboration are the four primary strategies for developing and improving creative thinking or imagination.

    Fluency is the ability to think of many answers to a question, to list many possible solutions to a problem, or to generate a number of responses. Fluency is being able to think of lots of plans or ideas. You are fluent when you can:
    Think of a long list of reasons for not cleaning your room.
    Make a very long list of games to play at a party.
    List many uncommon uses for a common thing, like a shoelace.

    Flexibility is the ability to change your way of thinking about a problem or situation. It is the ability to think of alternative ideas and to adapt to different situations. You are flexible when you can:
    Think of indoor games to play when your birthday party has been rained out.
    Think of another way to reach the top shelf when you can’t find the stepladder.
    Invent an interesting way to wash the kitchen floor.

    Originality is the ability to think of fresh or unusual designs, ideas, responses, or styles. People who are original are independent and creative in their thoughts and actions. They create things that are new, different, or unique. You are original when you can:
    Suggest a unique name for your new baby sister.
    Devise a tool that will help you hold a pencil while your broken arm is in a cast.
    Design a get-well card for a sick friend and write your own message inside.

    Elaboration is the process of expanding an idea by adding detail. To elaborate, you must understand the original idea and see a way to clarify or improve it by adding specific details. You are elaborating when you add to, enlarge, enrich, or expand descriptions, designs, drawings, explanations, instructions, reports or stories. You are using elaboration when you can:
    Add extra details to a community map so that a friend can find your house more easily.
    Tell more about a character in a story so that a reader can identify with him or her.
    Explain the instructions for a game in greater detail than was used by the manufacturer of the game.
    beth willis miller´s last [post] ..Co-Author of Under His Wings Workbook with Sherrie Eldridge!

  • Danyat November 28, 2012, 3:18 pm

    Nice idea works great for me, I’m also print my instagram via onlinesocialprint to cut magnets and stikeres, place them everywhere :)))

  • laura@printing-instagram September 18, 2013, 9:42 pm

    Hey, My name is Laura and I blog about tips for displaying printed Instagram photos. I have been doing lots of looking around to find unique ideas and I just want to let you know I love this idea! I love seeing the crafty ideas that people create to display their Instagram photos! thank you for the inspiration and thank you for sharing. I really hope this idea inspires people to print their Instagram photos!
    laura@printing-instagram´s last [post] ..Free Your Instagram Photos And Scrapbook The Story

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