More fun with Instagrams

Cathy ZielskeFree Downloads, Scrapbooking43 Comments
A few months ago I picked up the most adorable gray 4 x 4 album from We R Memory Keepers. I had seen a cool project my good friend Ali Edwards had done, and I thought, “I want to make something, too, but for the love of Martha Stewart I have no idea what!”

Then it—right along with my girlish, crafting enthusiasm—sat on my shelf for, well… a few months.

Until this past Monday. First, a little backstory…

I’ve been trying to be more intentional with my Instagram feed of late. Now that doesn’t mean taking dreamy photos of my Pottery Barn lifestyle. It does mean taking quasi-dreamy photos of my Old Navy lifestyle. To that end, I’ve been trying to share pictures that I really like. Not just photos I take out of my butt. Right? Right.

And the results have been good. I have a lot of photos that I really, really like. Especially ones of that girl named Aidan who is soon to be flying the coop for college town. So I decided to get them off of my phone and into a project.

Hello Four by Four Album Project.

The idea is simple. Combine a handful of photos and journal cards. Get the photos from your Instagram feed and watch happy scrap magic ensue. Here’s the album thus far.

The process has been pretty straightforward. I plug my iPhone into my computer and import all my photos, which includes the stuff I post to Instagram, into my iPhoto library. I pick the photos, drop them into the templates, add a handful of journal pages, and print. I put four images per page printing the photos onto photo paper and the journaling onto my favorite white Bazzill card stock. I add an outline to each photo and journal card to simplify the trimming process.

You could also just order 4 x 4 prints from a place like Persnickety Prints, who specialize in printing square Instagram photos.

I am kind of in insta-love with this album so far. I plan to fill it up to capacity—a nice thick little chunk of Instagram goodness with a handful of stories mixed in. A super simple way to have more fun with Instagrams.

If you like the idea and think, “Hey! I want to do one!” by all means do, and please download this free spine PSD file so you can customize the spine of your mini album.

Just clip in your own photo, print onto photo paper and you’re good to go! Download the spine file by clicking this link:


Here’s to more fun with Instagrams. Questions? Comments? Let me know!

NEW TO USING DIGITAL TEMPLATES? Check out this post to learn more. It includes a free digital template download plus a 20-minute video tutorial on how to use it. It gives you a basic overview of how to use digital templates.



Today, I’m honored to be a guest on Elise Gets Crafty, the weekly podcast of Elise Blaha Cripe. Today we talk about getting real in the online world. Check it out if you have time!

Cathy ZielskeMore fun with Instagrams

43 Comments on “More fun with Instagrams”

  1. #1

    I love this album! Also, I am curious about the printing pictures on card stock.

    Do you use any of the instagram filters? I am not getting great results with Valencia. Just wondering if it’s the filter I choose, bad photography, or maybe Walgreens printing is not great.

  2. #2
    Cathy Zielske

    You can print photos onto card stock if you like. It just gives it a different feel. One of the things I’ve been doing is NOT using any of the IG filters, but rather, just using the new tools. Add a little brightness, add a little contrast, add a little vignette.

    That, and I started using VSCO cam about a month ago, and I’ll use that and then import into IG. Find that post here:

  3. #3
    Virginia Bell

    I now know what I will put together for my daughter 16th birthday gift. Thanks for sharing all your great ideas.

  4. #5

    I am a relative newcomer to Intagram but have become ‘freaky’ about it. I love it. I’ve even got my ‘social media shy’ husband asking “are you going to Instagram that?” The best part? I’ve captured more of our everyday life than ever before. I love your album idea. Saving this idea to do in the fall when my youngest flies the coop for university.
    Always inspiring, that’s what you are. Thank you.

  5. #6

    I LOVE this album! I took one of your classes a year or so ago and I miss your wonderful projects. I’m going to try this on this summer. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. #7

    i fell in love with the insta-album idea, too. i got the gold one (oooohhh, SHINY) for a summer ’14 project … no matter how mundane, there will be at least a picture per week for the whole summer 🙂

  7. #8

    Awesome Cathy…I love your Old Navy style. I’ve started collecting your templates but still in the process of learning PS and using PSD files. I had upped my IG use because I’m a sneaky mom and used it to check up on my girl and her friends, but now I’m liking it more and more. I also use VSCO Cam instead of the IG filters. What I’d like to do is make an album from my husbands IG photos, because the are awesome, but I have no idea how to snag them without him knowing (to surprise him, not to be sneaky) Anyone know of a way?

    1. #8.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Hmmm. Not sure. Maybe you could go view them on Instagram on the web and right click to download the images? Although they might be too low res. Hmmmm. Hard to say for sure! Maybe go view them at a place like Statigram?

      1. #8.1.1

        Thanks I will check these out. I suppose if it just isn’t doable I can ask him for his favorites, but so not as fun.

        1. #

          Whoohee! It worked…and I guess Statigram is now called Iconosquare…but the download was easy right into iPhoto… no the resolution is probably not the best but these are only going 4×4 so not worried. AND I saw the albums and accessories at a local craft store last night. This will be a cool christmas present. (Notice how I gave myself 5 months there…)

  8. #9

    That little album is soooo cool! I’ve got to make one. Thanks for the Spine File and the inspiration!

  9. #10
    Tracy Bush

    Oh! Thank you so much! I have a stash of older 4 x 4 albums from my earlier scrapbooking days, and I’m on overload with my iPhone photos. This project will be GREAT!

  10. #12

    I just wanted you to know that I have sent some of my Instagram photos off to be printed, and can’t wait to receive them so I can make use of my 4×4 gold album that has been sitting in my scrap closet being hoarded. 🙂 You have inspired me to dust it off and make a “you and me” album with photos of me and my daughter. Thank you!

  11. #13

    This is perfect! Instagram is a platform where you post a photo and it’s gone in a day or two because there are already a ton of newer photos. The way you document it in this mini is just perfect. That makes me think about doing the same. Maybe an everyday project to document a month of my life or one photo per week and you have 52 pages at the end of the year. The possibilities are huge.
    Thank you for this inspiration.

  12. #14

    Love the pic/journal layout/combo. Thank you for the free template & inspiration. I have 2 empty mini albums waiting to be filled!

  13. #15

    What a rockin’ great simple idea! I love it! So much that I had to get a couple of those 4×4 albums! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  14. #16
    Suzy Gray

    I love this! Your clean style is perfect for smaller format. I’ve only seen the clear heart binder wrmk did with Teresa Collins and though I liked size wasn’t fan of the gold heart. I adore this one and will be adding it to my cart online. They make the best albums

    Great job with your new website and defining brand. I’ve been a fan forever & lazy about posting comment on blogs since so many don’t work with iPhone. Best wishes and thanks for inspiring with your creativity

    1. #16.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Hey Suzy, great to have you leave a comment. I think it’s easy to do on iPhone, yes?

  15. #17

    Here’s a stupid question- can I use the four by four album template if I do not have any version of Photo Shop?

    This is the cutest, coolest album ever. Love it!

    1. #17.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Whitney, unfortunately, no as this is a template set that works with Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. 🙁 But you could still order an album and get some four by four prints done! 🙂

      1. #17.1.1

        Thanks, Cathy. It’s like you know me. I ordered an album today. Too bad you don’t get commission! FYI if you order from ShopWeR, the promo code Polkadot gets you 20% off the order, as not only am I lacking PS, but also Amazon prime!

  16. #18

    Super cute and inspiring, Cathie. I love the photo on the left of the journaling and I love the simple line box around the journaling. On another note, you always seem real with a fun sense of humor. Thanks for seeming reachable from a fan base perspective. You even responded to someone’s comments (above) which is awesome. Love your style and products!

    1. #18.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Thank YOU Betty for leaving a comment. I read every comment. I don’t always reply to every one, but I try to get to as many as I can. I appreciate my readers and want you to know your two cents matters here. 🙂

  17. #19

    Cathy – still loving the new style of your website!

    I loved when Ali set up one of these albums too, I really like the size of 4×4 photos or even collages made at that size with the picstitch app.

    Your album is precious and I love what you noted about taking photos of drinks as I wonder some times what it is I enjoy about them but I think you said it perfectly.

    So much room for adventure in going to school for Aidan and it will all work out, just a lot of growth for everyone involved that can sometimes be scary! Here’s to documenting those moments!

    I so love instagram – seeing photos from around the world is just awesome!

    1. #19.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Yep. I love following people in places who see things I may never see. It’s pretty cool how social media can do that.

  18. #20

    This is so good! I’m doing an alphabet photo project at the moment and was planning to turn it into a photo book but this has given me an alternative option, with a more home made feel, whilst still looking great and will probably work out cheaper too. Thanks 🙂

  19. #21
    Deb @ PaperTurtle

    Ok – first of all, I LOVE this little album! Love the clean design and the journaling paired up with the Instagrams. I totally want to copy you and make my own.

    Secondly, I just finished listening to the podcast you did with Elise and I loved it. Thanks so much for your honestly and being totally real – always! So many of the things you said about blogging – about your trolls (ha!), about people who are judgmental, focusing on negative comments – are things I’ve dealt with on my own blog. You made some great points and I took notes! Thanks, Cathy. I really appreciate you!

    1. #21.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Hey Deb, thanks! It was cool to talk to Elise, having never talked to her before. That chick is for real!

  20. #23
    Abby P

    Long-time follower and totally LOVING your new site! An Instagram tip: install DropBox (yeah, you turned me on to THAT one, Cathy) on cell and computer. To get photos into DropBox, just open DB, select Camera Upload. Your photos upload and are saved so you can go back when you’re ready to puruse and make an album.

  21. #24

    Cathy, loved your album so much and it came at such a great time. I’m in my RV at the OR coast and brought with me my small Selfy printer and a 4×4 blue We R Memory Keepers album. I’ve been taking more photos for instagram to fill this album and now I have purchased your template and can fill it and print at home.

    I have a question about your printing. Do you print the instagram photos which are 640×640 or do you use the version that is saved in your camera roll and has a higher resolution?

    I have not printed the instagram exported(640×640) yet. I just noticed that when I drag them onto your 4×4 template they are small, about 2×2 small. I was wondering, before I fill a whole album with them, if making them fit into the 4×4 would print ok. They look ok on screen but we all know that images that look ok on screen can be deceiving.

    I have a tip for automagically getting your instagrams in your dropbox every day.
    Have you ever heard of IFTTT? IF This Than That. IFTTT creates ‘recipes’ or ‘actions’.
    They have what they call channels where the recipes work on. Channels can be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Evernote, email etc.
    One of the recipes they have created is: if I post a photo to Instagram also post it in my dropbox.
    So every time I post a photo it’s automagically added to my dropbox.
    You need to give the recipe permission to do so but the process is really straightforward.
    I also have a recipe that post my photo from Instagram automagically to Twitter. There is also a recipe that does the same for people who use Google Drive.

    Another great recipe is that it lets you create a file with all your social media. Than it will send you a message each month with a link telling you it’s time to check your security at your social media accounts. You know all those apps that want you to sign in with FB or Twitter and that you later never use again? Well you can now delete them every month with IFTTT. Real handy. It’s an open source project, meaning it depends on the collaboration f the community. All kinds of developers submit a great variety of recipes and I find them real useful. It works for iOS and Android and other operating systems. It’s addicting 😉

    1. #24.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Christine, I use the higher res saved image on my camera. Never heard of IFTTT. Sounds cool!

  22. #25

    I too purchased one of these a few months ago. Couldn’t resist something so adorable that didn’t also require me to feed it, clean up after it, take it for shots. Took my son to New York City a couple if weeks ago as a graduation gift. Really did not want a giant 12×12 vacation album. This was perfect. Ordered up square pics from Persnikity and it was good to go.

  23. #26

    Wow, I love how simple yet effective this album this is. I have been toying with getting photo elements lately, are there any recommendations, tips you could give me?

    1. #26.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Sarah, it’s a great program! I would definitely recommend taking a basics class to understand how it all works. Scrapaneers is one of my sponsors and has a great intro class.

      Here’s one good one to try:

      Beyond that, I have a very basic video and free template that could get you started. Find that here:×4-card-file-a-video-tutorial.html

  24. #28

    Hi Cathy,

    wondering if you remember exactly what filter you used on your 2×2 combo page? It definitely looks like VSCO and I have the app as well and LOVE it. I just can’t seem to get that exact/approximate final result :/. It looks wonderful!

    1. #28.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Oh Chantal, man… I have no idea. Honestly. I’m sorry. VSCO is the most confusing app on the planet, and yes, I likely used it on that coffee shot, but there are so many settings, and then I play with each one. I’m sorry. I suck! 🙂

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