Instagram Coasters DIY Part 1: Organizing Photos and Ordering Fabric

Today, we’re going to cover the “technology” part of the DIY: dealing with your Instagram images and ordering your fabric.

Preparing your Images

1. Download your Instagram photos

You can do this in a few different ways. Some of you may already regularly download your Instagram photos from your phone, but if you’re lazy like me you never plug your smartphone, you need another option.

Instaport is a great, free service that will let you download your Instagram photos in a matter of minutes – head over there, link up your Instagram account, and in about 5 minutes (depending on how many photos you have!) you should be all set.

Extract the .zip to wherever you like, and we’re ready to go.

2. Figure out which ones you want to use!

I have well over 300 images taken in Instagram – a lot to go through and edit down to 28! Here’s what I did:

  • Open Google Picasa and navigate to your folder of downloaded Instagram images
  • Scroll through your images and select the ones you’re interested in using by clicking on them
  • On the right hand side under “Tags”, type in “Coaster” and click the plus sign to tag these images with the word “Coaster”
    • Pro tip: You can hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard and click on multiple images and then tag them all at once, so you don’t have to tag “Coaster” every time

  • Once you have at least 28 images selected, type “Coaster” into the search dialog box at the top of your screen (above the tagging window) to see everything you’ve tagged
  • If you selected more than 28, start editing your collection by removing tags from images you don’t want to use until you get down to 28

3. Assemble them into a grid 4 photos tall and 7 photos wide

Here is the real miracle of Picasa, guys: almost instant perfectly formatted photo collages.

  • Refresh your search for “Coaster” so that the 28 images you want are displayed on your screen
  • Select all of these images (Edit > Select All)
  • Click on the “Create Photo Collage” button

Picasa, if you’ve never used it before, is going to make some random scattered collage thing – which is cool and all, but we need everything neatly arranged in a grid to create our fabric.

  • Select “Grid” as your collage type
  • Set “Grid Spacing” to none
  • Under “Page Format”, choose “Add Custom Aspect Ratio”
  • Each of my Instagram images is 612 x 612 pixels. We need to make a grid that is 7 pictures wide and 4 pictures tall, so set the Dimension here to 4284 x 2448 and give it a name like “Instagram Grid”

  • You should have a perfectly arranged grid of photos, 7 wide and 4 tall! Click “Create Collage” to render and save your image
  • Picasa automatically saves your image to Images/Picasa/Collages – use File > Save As if you’d like to make another copy somewhere else.


Ordering your Custom Fabric

This part is much easier, I promise!

Once you log into Spoonflower, just click Create > Custom Fabric to start. Select your file and click the “Upload File” button.

I used the Heavy Cotton Twill for my coasters, but I imagine the Linen Cotten Canvas would also work well (and is a few dollars cheaper). I do not recommend any of the other lighter-weight fabrics for these coasters, but they might be really great for other projects!

Make sure you select a Fat Quarter size – you will not need a full yard. If you’re only making 4 coasters, here you can select a Test Swatch instead.

This next bit is really important! Change your DPI from 150 pixels per inch to 255 pixels per inch; this will make your images almost exactly 4 inches square. Spoonflower displays a little ruler on your image so you can check to make sure your images are near the 4 inch mark. If you miss this step, you’ll end up with each Instagram image being printed at about 6.5 inches each – way too big for this project!

Eagle-eyed readers will note that I actually only used 20 images, not 28! This means two columns of my original file are duplicated on my fabric. I wanted some extras in case I screwed up, but I ended up not needing them at all.

Click “Add to Cart” and go ahead and checkout. Now comes the really hard part: waiting for your fabric to be delivered! Assuming you don’t choose a rush option, this can take 1.5 – 2 weeks normally.

Rather than wait that long, I’m going to pick back up with Part 2: Assembly tomorrow – that way you can make sure you have everything you need ready to go before your fabric arrives.