5 Reasons You Need to Print Your Photos Again

Don't let those precious memories get lost in your phone's camera roll.

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Confession time: I've taken thousands and thousands of photos in the past few years, but I only have a handful of those images printed out for posterity. Instead of framing those beloved pictures of my family, friends and places I've visited, they sit forgotten — some in my Dropbox, some in my Google Drive, some on my old iPhone that I haven't turned on in years.

Sure, I've shared the best of the best on my Instagram account, but it's not like I go back and look through my old posts all that often. I rarely revisit the memories I've captured since I stopped printing out photos, which was at least eight years ago.

But I've decided it's time to bring physical photos back into my life, and in honor of May being National Photography Month, I'm sharing why you should, too.

1: They help you feel the love.

Gallery Wall With Black-and-White Photos

Gallery Wall With Black-and-White Photos

In a living room where space is at a premium, there may not be enough tabletop surface to add framed photos or treasured objects. To inject personality into a living room without taking up valuable tabletop space, consider a gallery wall grouping. Here, a tall wall features nine oversized black-and-white prints of the family with a steel console placed below to anchor the space. When adding a console table to a living room, stick with a maximum depth of 18 inches to keep from impeding traffic flow.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

Decorating your home with images of the people you care about is one of the easiest ways to feel loved on a daily basis. There's a reason you'll find family photos on so many walls and mantles.

2: They can feel like a free vacation.

Master Bedroom Sitting Area With a Gallery Wall and Turquoise Chair

Master Bedroom Sitting Area With a Gallery Wall and Turquoise Chair

For a simple and affordable gallery wall, a series of photos from the homeowner's travels were cropped to show just the graphic details. When the black-and-white photos are paired with affordable white frames, the result is striking. The turquoise chair was a splurge, but it is paired with an antique silver plant stand for a budget-friendly side table.

Filling your walls with beautiful images from your travels instantly adds worldly flair to your home and can help you escape the daily grind if you need a quick daydream.

3: They're a perfect mood booster.

Cabinet With Instagram Backing

Cabinet With Instagram Backing

These hidden Instagrams will brighten your day every time you open a cabinet! Just print out a grid of all of your favorite images and affix it inside your cabinets, behind the shelving.

Photo by: Chelsea Foy

Chelsea Foy

If you're feeling down in the dumps or under the weather, reliving some of your favorite happy memories can help put a smile back on your face (especially if you don't have to search through your computer to find a few photos).

4: There are endless ways to display them.

Ampersand Wall Art Made With Instagram Photos

Ampersand Wall Art Made With Instagram Photos

Across from this contemporary dining table, Instagram photos form the shape of an ampersand, creating a unique and personalized piece of art.

Printing out photos doesn't mean you have to frame them and hang them all in a straight row; there are plenty of other fun ways to show off your favorites. You can turn them into coasters or even arrange them into a stylish shape, like an ampersand or arrow.

5: The lifespan of your favorite images will greatly improve.

Traditional Stairway Features Black and White Gallery Wall

Traditional Stairway Features Black and White Gallery Wall

A gallery wall of black and white family photos enhances this traditional stairwell. White wainscoting against gray walls creates a neutral background while the geometric pattern on the stair runner keeps the space feeling warm and inviting.

RS_Designer-Jill-Wolff_h
From: Jill Wolff

Photo by: Jill Wolff

Jill Wolff

These days, the lifespan of digital photos is pretty minuscule; you take a picture and share it on social media where your connections spend a day or two liking it and commenting on it, then it all but disappears into your phone's camera roll. Having physical copies, especially ones that are displayed around your house, means those images can live on for years and maybe even generations if you pass them down to your kids or grandkids.

New Ways to Decorate With Instagram Photos

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Tape Them Up

A bit of washi tape and an empty, glassless picture frame come together to make a cool, unexpected Instagram collage.

Tape Them Up

Washi tape leaves no residue on the wall and is easily repositionable, so it's a snap to add new photo prints to your collection.

Clip Them On

Tie a length of baker’s twine between two tacks on the wall. Use mini clothespin clips to attach your favorite photos!

Clip Them On

For a glam touch, try spray painting the clothespins gold before clipping up your photos.

Make a Grid

These hidden Instagrams will brighten your day every time you open a cabinet!

Make a Grid

Just print out a grid of all of your favorite images and affix it inside your cabinets, behind the shelving.  

Photo By: Chelsea Foy

Celebrate With Bunting

Print your favorite Instagrams onto cardstock and cut them into bunting flags perfect for a birthday celebration.

Celebrate With Bunting

Attach twine to the back with tape, then hang them up to decorate for a party. Send the guest of honor home with a banner full of fun memories.

Go Modern With a Wall Hanging

A brass rod and some twine are all you need to make a modern display for a few of your prized Instagram images.

Go Modern With a Wall Hanging

Hang the photos at different lengths from the rod, and use twine to create a simple hanger for the top.  

Photo By: Chelsea Foy

Make a Flipbook

Punch holes in a stack of Instagrams and connect them with binder rings to create a flipbook. This is a great addition to your coffee table, or a perfect gift for your favorite travel companion.

Make a Flipbook

To embellish the flipbook, stamp a message on the front.

Map Them Out

Affix a map of your city or a favorite travel destination to a corkboard. Then, print out mini Instagram photos from your favorite destinations.

Map Them Out

Affix the photos to the map as a visual reminder of favorite adventures.

Transfer to Planters

This fun packing tape image transfer method is perfect for adding your Instagram photos to little flower pots!

Transfer to Planters

Take a laser-printed Instagram photo and firmly cover it with packing tape, leaving a tape border around the edges of the image. Submerge the tape in water for a few minutes. 

Photo By: Chelsea Foy

Transfer to Planters

Using your fingertips, gently roll the wet paper away from the back of the tape until it feels smooth. The ink will remain on the tape, and the paper will wash away. Let dry completely. When the tape becomes sticky again, just stick your image to the front of your succulent pots! 

Photo By: Chelsea Foy

Make a Calendar

Personalize a calendar by taping photos on birthdays and holidays. Or, fill every day with one of your favorite pictures.

Make a Calendar

Download our free calendar template to get started.

Mesmerize With a Mobile

Don’t leave little ones out of the fun! Instagram photos make a sweet and simple mobile for a nursery.

Photo By: Chelsea Foy

Mesmerize With a Mobile

Use a flat wreath form and spray paint it for a pop of color. Hang your photos using twine, and suspend the mobile from the ceiling! 

Photo By: Chelsea Foy

Spell It Out

Create a giant letter or symbol on the wall with lots of tiny memories.

Spell It Out

Attach a small bit of wall putty to each Instagram and watch as your letter takes shape. This one is perfect for decorating on a small budget!

Make a Faux Polaroid Magnet

If you find yourself longing for the good old days of Polaroid film, whip up a few simple clay magnets.

Make a Faux Polaroid Magnet

Trade your Instagram photos in and out of the faux Polaroid frames and put your favorite snaps on display. Get the how-to instructions here.

Round 'em Up

Take all of your favorite Instagram photos and feature them in one place with a modern wreath.

Photo By: Chelsea Foy

Round 'em Up

Just layer, glue together and hang on a wall or door to enjoy your favorite memories. 

Photo By: Chelsea Foy

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