How to Create a Polaroid Photo in Canva

Polaroid photos are making a major comeback thanks to social media and apps like Instagram. The nostalgic, vintage look of Polaroid pictures is perfect for capturing memories and special moments. While original Polaroid cameras and film can be hard to find and expensive, you can easily create a Polaroid photo effect using the online design tool Canva.

What is a Polaroid Photo?

A Polaroid photo is an instant picture that develops shortly after being taken by a Polaroid camera. The photos come out with wide white borders and often have a vintage, faded look. Some key features of a Polaroid photo include:

  • White border – The thick white framing is iconic to the Polaroid aesthetic.
  • Vintage look – Slight fading and mutes colors give the photo an aged, nostalgic style.
  • Instant photo – Polaroid pictures develop within minutes of being snapped.
  • Small size – Traditional Polaroid photos are small, square-shaped prints.

Why Create a Polaroid in Canva?

While you can still buy Polaroid cameras and film, it can be expensive and inconvenient compared to digital photography. However, you can mimic the charming Polaroid look using Canva’s templates and editing tools with these benefits:

  • It’s free to use Canva’s basic features
  • Add Polaroid frames and borders with just a click
  • Customize photos with vintage filters and effects
  • Easily add text overlays and captions
  • Save your designs to post online or print out

With Canva, anyone can create a Polaroid-style photo in minutes!

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Polaroid in Canva

Follow these simple steps to turn any photo into a Polaroid using Canva:

1. Select a Template

  • Go to and click “Templates
  • Search for “Polaroid
  • Browse the Polaroid templates and select one to use

2. Upload a Photo

  • Click the “Uploads” tab on the left sidebar
  • Select “Upload media” and choose a photo from your computer
  • Drag and drop the photo onto the Polaroid template

3. Adjust and Edit the Photo

  • Crop or resize the photo to fit the template as needed
  • Use the “Effects” tab to add a vintage filter like black & white or sepia
  • Adjust brightness, contrast, saturation etc.

4. Add a Polaroid Border

  • Click the “Elements” tab on the left sidebar
  • Search for “Polaroid frame” and select a white border
  • Layer the frame over your photo by dragging and dropping

5. Include Text Overlays

  • Click the “Text” tab on the left sidebar
  • Add custom titles, captions or timestamps
  • Play around with fun fonts and colors

6. Finalize Your Polaroid

  • Tweak any last details like layering and alignments
  • Click on “Share” then “Download” button to save your creation!

And that’s it – you’ve turned a regular photo into a beautiful Polaroid masterpiece with Canva!

Canva Features to Enhance Your Polaroid

Canva offers all the tools you need to customize your Polaroid design:

  • Photo Filters – Add vintage effects like black & white, sepia and faded filters.
  • Color Overlay – Tint your photo any color with a transparent color overlay.
  • Drop Shadow – Apply a drop shadow to your Polaroid frame for dimension.
  • Crop and Rotate Tools – Adjust the angle, orientation and zoom of your photo.
  • Photo Editor – Use options like sharpness, vignette, blur and more.
  • Grids – Enable a grid to perfectly position elements and frames.
  • Photo Resizing – Fit your photo flawlessly inside the Polaroid template.

With Canva’s user-friendly editor, you have full creative control to design the perfect retro-style Polaroid.

Polaroid Ideas and Examples

Polaroids make great profile pictures, holiday cards, wall art, and more. Here are some examples of how you can use Canva Polaroid templates:

  • Profile Pictures – Create a cute Polaroid face pic for your social media profiles.
  • Birthday Parties – Design custom Polaroids with the guest of honor’s photo and birthday greetings.
  • Weddings – Print out Polaroid save-the-dates, invitations, or thank you cards.
  • Vacations – Capture travel memories with Polaroids of landscapes and landmarks.
  • Holiday Cards – Send loved ones festive Polaroid holiday cards.
  • Wall Art – Print a collection of Polaroids of family and friends for a gallery wall.

With Canva, let your creativity run wild designing fun and personalized Polaroid creations!

Tips for Making Great Polaroids in Canva

Follow these pro tips when designing your own Canva Polaroids:

  • Use high-quality photos for best results. Avoid pixelated images.
  • Stick to simple background designs that don’t detract from the photo.
  • Add fun captions or titles in handwritten-style fonts.
  • Layer frames slightly askew over the photo for a natural look.
  • Customize the colors of frames and borders if desired.
  • Save your Polaroids in square dimensions for social media.
  • Print on photo paper or lightly textured cardstock.

Don’t be afraid to experiment until you achieve the perfect nostalgic Polaroid aesthetic!

Express Your Creativity with Canva Polaroids

Relive the magic of instant photography with Canva’s simple design tools. Whether you’re a beginner or pro designer, you can create stunning Polaroid images in minutes.

So find your favorite photos, add a touch of vintage flair, include fun text overlays, and craft shareable Canva Polaroids your friends will fawn over.

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Last modified: November 16, 2023

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