Pictures of places and people look great when they’ve been modified to look like they’ve been taken with a Polaroid camera (with the borders around the edges). Here’s how you can create a cool Polaroid effect for your images:

  • Create a new document in Photoshop – 600 x 600 pixels.
  • Choose a colour for your background (preferably white).
  • Use the Rectangle tool on the left hand side of the page to draw the Polaroid border. Simply draw a rectangle in the document by dragging the box down. Fill it with white.
  • Select the move tool and move the image into the white border. If the image is too wide for the Polaroid border, click on Edit, then Free Transform, and with both Alt and Shift selected, select the corner of the picture and move it inwards.
  • The image will now be placed within the white borders (leave more white space at the bottom of the picture in case you want to insert a caption later). You’ll notice that the picture lacks some depth, in order to correct this, you’ll need to add a slight stroke or a border to your image.
  • On the left hand side of the page, right-click on the image Layer and select the Stroke box at the bottom of the Style menu. The default is often a red colour – change that black and reduce the size to 1 pixel and bring the capacity down to 50%.
  • You will notice that the picture still looks a bit flat, so check the Gradient Overlay box in the Styles menu. The default colour is black to white (you can change this by clicking on the middle of the bar and changing it to an offset white). The “Stops” on each side of the bar should also be changed to white.
  • Apply a Drop Shadow by selecting this box in the Styles menu. By default, the shadow has its cast on the right and bottom sides of the image. Change the angle to 60 degrees and increase the size to 15 pixels (you can play around with these numbers, depending on what your picture looks like).
  • The final step is to add a stroke to the picture. Select Stroke in the Styles menu (once again, the default colour will be red, change that to black) and bring the capacity down to 30%.
  • In order to add text underneath the photo, select the Type tool and draw a box. Using a font that resembles handwriting is a great idea for a picture that looks like a Polaroid!
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