Turn Your Instant Photos into Reusable Notes, To-Do Lists, and more!

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

We love instant photos. They’ve always been fun to make, fun to share with friends, and pretty darn nice to look at.

Now they can be functional too!

We’re going to show you how to make your Polaroid or Instax photos into erasable noteboards that you can use to make your lists, reminders, and other notes so much fun that you’ll almost forget you’re getting work done!

Read on to find out how…

How to Make Instant Photos into Reusable Noteboards

Why it’s cool:

We love when photos can help us keep our lives organized, fun, and nice to look at.

This project happily does all three- replacing boring paper notes and lists with beautiful photos you’ll look forward to using every day.

Plus: it’s easy to make, change, re-arrange, and sure to be a huge hit with your friends! (We’ve never had so many compliments on our fridge!)

What You’ll Need:

  • An instant camera and film to make new prints or
  • Instant prints you already have. (The old style peel-apart kind won’t work here, though. You’ll want to use packet films like Polaroid 600, SX-70, Spectra, or Fuji Instax film.)
  • Scissors
  • A fine-tip dry erase marker
  • Magnetic Tape (you can find it at craft or office stores)

Step 1: Using the photos you already have

To make sure they look just right, you’ll want to choose prints that are simple and bright with a lot of open space to write on.

Photos of the sky, colorful carpets, walls, or minimal landscapes all work perfectly for this project.

Extra blurry and over-exposed photos make great photo-noteboards, so don’t throw away your mistakes! We think they’re perfect for this project.

Step 2: Make some new photos, too!

Want to know the secret to making super colorful, abstract pics that work great for photo noteboards?

It’s simple…just get closer!

You want to make a pic that’s out of focus and bright, so you’ll have to break the rules a bit – don’t attach your closeup filter for this one.

Hold your camera about 4-12 inches from your subject and snap away! You can play around with the exposure settings and distance to get the exact shot you want. You’ll want to try to it looking simple so your written notes will look fabulous in the final step.

Fun subjects to try when shooting with this method:

  • Paintings, drawings, or even other photographs or posters
  • Colorful painted walls or floors
  • Clothes with funky colors or patterns, bedsheets, curtains
  • Toys or board games
  • Anything else with lots of color

Step 3: Magnetize!

Grab your magnetic tape and scissors.

For each print, cut two strips of magnet about a half-inch wide and two inches long.

Attach them to the back of the print, and voila! Instant photo magnet you can stick anywhere. (The magnets come with adhesive on the backing already, but if your magnets won’t stay sticky on their own, use some regular clear tape to make ’em behave.)

Using magnets makes it super simple to use, re-use, and re-arrange your prints anytime.

Step 4: Write, Erase, & Re-Write

The best part! As long as you use a dry erase (whiteboard) marker, you can write and erase on the photo surface of your print. You’ll want to give yourself plenty of room to write, so use the finest tip dry erase marker you can find.

Erase using something small like a tissue or cotton swab, or use the trusty method we learned in grade school and wipe it off with your fingers!

Be careful not to draw on the edges of the print, or use prints with scratches on the surface – that’ll make the marker harder to erase. (If you do accidentally, try a damp cloth.)

Step 5: Attach!

Using magnets makes it super simple to use and re-use your prints wherever you want, and you can take them down for writing, erasing, and re-arranging anytime.

Once your photos are magnetized, get creative! You’ll be surprised how many surfaces are magnetic: your locker, fridge, car door, appliances…the possibilities are endless!

If you find a sweet spot to stick your instant photo magnet that we don’t know about, send us a pic! We’d love to see them in action.

Take It Further:

  • Try another method for attaching such as tape, velcro dots, or fotoclips and stick your photo-noteboards to even more stuff!
  • Make the best. calendar. ever. using our perpetual photo-calendar tutorial.
  • Snap a photo of your favorite board game and use it as a score board while you play.
  • Use them to pass notes back and forth with your friends (but don’t tell your teacher we told you that!)
  • Photograph friends holding blank signs or speech bubbles, then fill ’em in with different captions.
  • Tape one to your desk or monitor at work for a great way to keep up with your daily reminders.
  • Photograph something to represent each day of the week and make a re-usable weekly planner that’s never a drag to look at!