I’ve had an Instax mini Polaroid-style camera for years now and I’ve loved that instant gratification that comes from having a physical printed-out photo! There’s something magical about those 30 seconds when the film is developing before your eyes.
For a long time, we kept an Instax camera in a big bowl on our entry console in NYC. We would take photos more often that way – when friends come over for a visit or when we were headed out for a fun adventure. (I’ve found this seller usually has the best price on film.) We had hundreds of photos from those years and sadly we lost almost all of them during the move a few years ago when a couple of boxes got thrown away accidentally. My heart breaks if I think too much about it.
We’ve been building up our collection again, more slowly this time. Turns out photos are way more fun to take with New York as the backdrop! Who knew? It really is such a fun little camera though. It comes in handy all the time. We actually used it a ton at Heather’s wedding reception! I bought a hand bound paper album on Etsy and let the guest take photos if they wanted while they were signing the guest book in the receiving line. By the end of the night Heather and Stephen had a huge scrapbook of photos and notes from friends and family that they keep on their coffee table at home now.
For our own family photos, I have been reluctant to put the polaroids in another album. I have mild PTSD about losing all of them, but I also wanted to be able to see the photos more often so I framed a few for the walls of our new guest bathroom. I was inspired by Rita Konig’s apartment and this Instagrammer’s home.
I picked up a couple of simple white frames from Target but I wanted the polaroids to be mounted on a linen board instead of just paper. I think the textural background adds so much! I used the provided mat as a template to cut out a piece of cardboard to fit perfectly inside the frame. I reused the cardboard packaging that came with the frame, but you can use any box you have handy.
Then I cut some white linen fabric a few inches wider than the cardboard, notched out the corners and folded and taped the fabric down on the backside of the cardboard. You want the fabric to be as tight and wrinkle-free as possible. You might even want to iron the linen before starting to help out the process, though the wrinkles will release over time.
You can lay out your polaroids in a grid pattern like I did, or you could do something a little more loose and artistic, like this piece in Michelle Adam’s old apartment.
I used this removable double-sided tape to mount the polaroids on the linen board. That way I can still put the photos in an album down the road at some point if I feel like switching things up. We already have about 30 more photos now from our vacations this summer so that switch up might happen sooner than later!
What’s your favorite creative way to display family photos?