Giant Polaroid Picture DIY with Text

Giant Polaroid Picture Decoration DIY

Giant Polaroid Picture Decoration DIY

My son turned 16 recently (how on earth did that happen?). To mark the event, I made this Giant Polaroid Picture Decorations DIY. I selected one picture from each of his 16 years and decorated the kitchen with him for his birthday morning.

Giant Polaroid Picture DIY with Text

Obviously these don’t need to be for a birthday – the same principles can be used for any photographs.  However I particularly loved this for my sons birthday, as it was an excuse to trawl through all of the photos from the last 16 years.


  • Digital Photographs (scan or photograph printed copies if necessary)
  • Printer & A4 printer paper/card
  • White tac or other temporary wall fixings to attach to wall


The first thing to do is identify source photos.  As someone who photographs and videos practically everything that happens in our house,  assumed this task would be easy.  Originally I wanted a full face looking at camera shot of each year around his birthday.  Sadly I hadn’t had the foresight 16 years ago and every year after to get a full front face shot.  So I just selected a cute picture each year.

Again, this proved more difficult than I predicted – my son went through a (stroppy) camera shy phase where he didn’t want his picture taken.  Luckily I managed to find at least one I was happy with for each year.

Digitise the images.

Luckily all my photos are on my computer, so I already had digital images that I can play around with.  Where the images aren’t digital, you can scan them in if your printer allows this, or have them scanned at a copy shop.  Select the highest resolution possible for scanning.  As a last resort, you can take a digital picture of the printed photo with a good camera or camera phone.  The resulting image is likely to be a bit grainy, but as polaroid style is an old fashioned medium, you will probably get away with it.

Once you have selected your photos, crop them to a square, and remove the colour.  Making them black and white is optional, but it gives a nice uniform look, and also significantly reduces printing costs!

giant polaroid decorations


Polaroid frame vectors are available all over the internet, in varying degrees of distressing etc.  You could download one of these as a background, but I kept mine as simple as possible, and just used the white card as the polaroid frame.

The original polaroid frames were taller than they were wide, at 3.5inches wide by 4.2inches high.  The print/photo size for these original frames was 3.1 inches square.

Using A4 to print, and applying the same dimensions, the dimensions for the frame should be 21cm wide (the full width of the paper), and 25.2cm high (ie 4.5cm should be trimmed from the bottom).  The picture inside should be 18.6cm square, and should be placed 1.2cm from the top, centred horizontally, so each side also has a border of 1.2cm.   This diagram should make it clearer.

polaroid template

I’ve provided the dimensions in case anyone wants to be precise, but anywhere near these ratios will look right. It is important that the top margin and side margins are the same, that the photo is square, and that you leave a hefty margin below the picture.

I printed mine out on white A4 printable card (though good quality printer paper would work as well).  Repeat for as many pictures as needed.  We took 15 years, and displayed in a 5 x 3 grid, and accessorised with some gold lettering and numbers.

DIY giant polaroid decorations on a wallAnd added some gold wrapped gifts.16th birthday decorations

Then served with breakfast waffles with strawberries and a gold 16 topper.

DIY Gold cake topper on waffles Chocolate milk is our favourite birthday morning beverage….because you’re never too old for chocolate milk.  Sadly you are too old to want to feature on your mums blog, so no actual pictures of the birthday boy.

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