How to Create Your Own Instagallery

by Dawn Camp on June 16, 2011

in Camera Phoneography,DIY

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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.

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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.

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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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