How to Print Phone & Instagram Pics {for Project Life}

Welcome back to Project Life week here at My Sister’s Suitcase! It’s Day 3, (click here for Day 1 and Day 2) and I’m SO excited to share this little tip with you today. It’s super easy and is going to save me a TON of time in my goal of catching up (and keeping up) on Project Life!
It’s all about the smart phones these days. I’d say 90% of my Project Life pictures are taken with my iPhone. {And so this post is geared toward iPhone users.} I’m guessing a lot of you are the same! It’s just so convenient because you always have your phone with you – great for catching those spontaneous moments and getting them in your Project Life Album.
I get my pictures printed at Costco. I think they have the best quality for the price, and they often run a 9-cent print coupon, which is a great time to get caught up on printing pictures. Well, guess what? Costco just came out with an APP (for iPhone & Droid) that includes their PHOTO CENTER! Can I get a WOO-HOO?
The two apps I’ll be using in this tutorial are PicFrame and Costco. There are plenty of collage-type apps similar to PicFrame, this is just the one I prefer. (It’s .99 and Costco is free.) If you’re on an iPhone, simply type in those names in the App Store search.
**edited to add: The current version of the Costco App for Droid does not contain the Photo Center. Since it is a very new app, I’m guessing that will be available soon. However, other stores such as Walgreens also have photo printing apps that are similar. Droid users may want to try that.**
The standard Design A Pages (which is what I would suggest getting a big pack of) have 4 – 3×4 pockets going through the middle of the page. This is designed to perfectly fit the cute journaling cards that come in your Core Kit. But I love putting pictures in these pockets, too! This is perfect for that 8th pocket (if you’re doing 7 days of journaling) or for weeks when you have more pictures than stories!
In the past, I have had to plug in my phone, upload the pictures, then use iPhoto and Photoshop to put 2 3×4 prints on one 4×6 canvas, and then save to upload to Costco. Whew! I’m exhausted just reading that! Not anymore…
Here’s how to do it on your phone.
{1} Open your PicFram App. Select size 3:2 (equivalent to 4 x 6) and the frame shown.
{2} Tap the blank rectangles and add your 2 pictures.
{3} Select the “style” button and adjust the width of the white borders down to zero if you prefer borderless.
{4}Under “Share” select “Save” to add to your phone’s camera roll. Now you are ready to upload to Costco! (See next example for step-by-step in the Costco App)
Seriously, that was SO much easier than what I normally would do! Yippee!
For all those lovely instagram pictures, Becky has just released some perfectly-sized “plastics” for your Project Life Album!
Here are the 2 options. Design I(for Instagram)
I just got mine in the mail last weekend and I’m so excited to have plastics that fit my instagram pictures! The pockets are 4 inches square.
Here’s how to get them printed right from your phone! 
{1} Open your PicFram App. Select size 3:2 (equivalent to 4 x 6) and the frame shown.
{2} Here’s what the next screen will show.
{3} Tap the biggest rectangle to add a picture and select the instagram picture from your camera roll.
{4} Using your finger, slide the right edge of the picture’s frame until it looks like this = 200/100. This is how you get your 4 x 4 size! (Yee-haw! Wasn’t that easy!)
{5} Now you can leave as-is or stick a couple more picture in the other 2 squares for some itty-bitty instagrams! (You might as well, right?)
{6}Adjust width to get borderless. For these plastics I would recommend no borders, but if your instagram photo already has a border that will still work!
{7} All done!
{8} Under “Share” select “save” to add to your phone’s camera roll.
{1} Now open up your Costco app and click on Photo Center on the 2nd page, This is so exciting! Am I a nerd or what?
{2} Sign in with your regular Photo Center account or create a new one if you don’t have one (you will need your Costco membership number.)
{3} You can now choose photos from your Costco Albums or your phone’s camera roll.
{4} Go to your camera roll and find your picture, hit upload and then go to your cart when you’re all done to check out!
The checkout process is awesome – you can search for the nearest Costco using GPS! We totally did that while visiting my in-laws in Florida last year – got pictures printed for them from our visit before we left!
Then, just pick up your pictures like you normally would at your nearest Costco! Here’s how mine turned out.
It was a perfect fit in the new Design I pages. Ah! I am so excited about how much time this will save and how easy it will be to get my instagram pics in my album.
For more information on all of Becky’s new products, check this post out on her blog: New Products
Want to get your hands on all this great Project Life stuff? Check out our Amazon Store with direct links to all the products I’ve mentioned in this series!
Thanks for hangin’ in there! Happy photo printing!
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  1. says

    Thanks for the great tips — but I’m bummed! The Android app doesn’t allow you the option of re-sizing the frame like your example with 3 pictures shows….grrrrr

    • says

      It’s 13 months later, and I just checked and it does say that the frames are fully adjustable on the Droid now. If you already have the app you might’ve realized this by now, but thought I’d let you know! :)

  2. says

    What a great tutorial! I had just about given up trying to figure out how to have Instagram pics printed (I use Walgreens). So simple using PicFrame on my iPhone. I did run into one difference though – when I tried adjusting the size of the frame, mine came up 200/82 (not 200/100). I noticed that it looks like a little bit of the pic will be cut off but much better than before. Guess I’ll just have to play a little bit! Thanks so much! Now if someone could just tell me how to manipulate my Camera + pics so parts don’t get cut off, I would be a thrilled mama!

    • says

      Jess – Yes, Walgrrens has an app that works about the same way. So easy – love it! I use it when I only have iPhone pics to order or already have the pics from my camera loaded to an album in the Walgreens site.

    • says

      Don’t know if this would be worth it for you…would depend on how far the nearest Costco is, but Costco ships their photos for free (except enlargements). Our Costco is 40 min away so I do still retain our membership for occasional trips, but for pictures I just have them shipped to me! Win win! :)

  3. says

    Like Jamie, I just realized that with the Android version I can’t resize the frames for the instagram photos…I was so excited to try this! Oh well…

  4. says

    This was super helpful! Like a few others, I have a Droid and you can’t resize the photo frame app but even still you can put two of the photos on there so you can print the 3x4s. So helpful!! Thanks again!

  5. says

    I just got an iPhone and realize that I’ve not been using my camera nearly as much. This will definately help me to be able to print out what I’ve been doing! Thanks for a very easy tutorial!

  6. says

    LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! This will save me so much time, and I can edit while I am waiting (for kids, bank, store, etc.) I don’t have an iPhone yet, but I can do most of this on my iPod – just have to be connected to WiFi to upload!! So happy – I also love to use Costco, I love being able to pick up my prints the same day.

  7. says

    Thanks. Love this tip. I already had PicFrame and wasn’t using it. I print at home and have and HP wireless printer. I have the HP printer app install on my iPhone. Under Share, I select Other Apps and then choose the HP PrinterControl app and the photo collage loads into that app and I can then send it to print directly to my printer.

  8. says

    I cannot get the photo center on my android through costco either, but I was curious and searched for Sams Club. Sam’s does have a photo center that does the same thing and it works on androids! Hope this helps some of you!

  9. says

    Thanks so much for this, i am having real trouble in learning to use my PS as in i can not find the time to actually sit and learn..
    Do you know how to change the sizes to 3×3 as i feel the 4×4 is sometimes to big

    thanks so so much

  10. says

    Thank you SO much for sharing an iPhone/Instagram/Project Life tutorial that doesn’t assume the reader already has limitless Photoshop knowledge and a top-of-the-line in home printer. I’m doing PL for the first time this year, and just because of how my life is, I know that 95% of my photos will be taken with my phone. Your system is the perfect way for me to get those photos off my phone and in a format/size that will work perfectly with PL!

  11. says

    Thanks so much, this was an awesome tip. I have one question for you, I’ve noticed that when I have images with borders (one of the great things to play with in photo editing apps!) that the borders get cropped off when I either print the images on my Epson Picturemate or when I have them printed at Costco using their upload app. Has anyone else had this issue and how did you solve it?

    • says

      I just found this post via a Google search and thought I’d answer your question even though I’m 8 months late. :) I have an Epson Picturemate, too, and I just add a white border to the prints that have a border/frame on them. It’s kind of annoying, but it’s less annoying to me than having part of my border/frame cut off.

  12. says

    I am LOVING this idea! Thank you so much for sharing! I found you via Studio5 site. I have been doing same all this time! Connect the phone to my Mac, etc. NO time for all that! Love Costco prints too! A handful of times I used PostalPix too. Wasn’t a fan of waiting for prints to arrive. They also didn’t come back crisp/clear like on my phone. Have your IG 4×4 come back crisp?

  13. says

    Thank you SO much for sharing this! I had NO idea you could change the frame sizes on PicFrame, so this totally blew my mind! Had a photo emergency for an assignment, and we don’t have Costco, but now I know our Walgreens is 24 hours && they are SO nice to work with eeeek PUMPED. xoxo

    • says

      Hey Valerie, another app that prints instagram photos is Printicular. All you do is send your chosen Instagram photos to your nearest Walgreen’s and go pick them up in an hour!

  14. says

    so you should totally get some royalties from PicFrame! 😉 I have an Android and I just bought it and made my life so much easier for Project Life. Thanks again! :)

  15. says

    Fabulous Tutorial!! I’m posting a link to Two Peas In a Bucket since we were just discussing this the other day.

    Also, for those who asked, I think I figured out why the 200/100 ratio was off for some of us. I got the same results as others (200/82) until I adjusted the width to zero under “style” options. Here are the steps I used to get the 200/100 ratio: 1) select 3:2 ratio and pick frame as shown in the tutorial; 2) add photos; 3) click on “style” and move width toggle to the far left so there is no border; 4) go back to “adjust” and move edge of left photo until you get the 200/100 ratio as shown in tutorial.

    I’d imagine the photos would be slightly off if you printed with a 200/82 ratio with the border present (when I adjusted with the border present at the 200/82 ratio, then took the border off under “style” and went back to check what the ratio would be, it was 210/90).

    As far as I can tell, the correct ratio to get a true 4×4 photo using the default borders is 187/89 (if you want borders).

  16. says

    I found the link to your blog and Project Life tips from Pinterest today and I am so glad I did! You have revolutionized Project Life for me! I had NO idea there was an app like PicFrame and now combined with the Costco app, life just got a lot easier to document :)
    Thank you!

  17. says

    I’d imagine the photos would be slightly off if you printed with a 200/82 ratio with the border present (when I adjusted with the border present at the 200/82 ratio, then took the border off under “style” and went back to check what the ratio would be,driveway motion detector

  18. says

    I usually don’t comment on blogs but I just wanted to say . . . what a life saver!! I just found your blog and these instructions by searching on Pinterest. Thank you so much for the wonderful tutorial!!! I just sent my order in and will be picking up my prints in a little while. I can’t wait to work on my Simple Stories album!

  19. says

    Ok, so I loaded the Costco app and went in and uploaded the pics from my phone but I can not seem to find anywhere to format them in different sizes: only the standard ones. So did I misread this and find that only standard prints can be printed via android????

  20. says

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!! This changes EVERYTHING for me. Best $0.99 I’ve paid in a while!

    I was spending waaay too long in PSE creating horizontal 4x6s with vertical photos to get the 3x4s I wanted. And now, not only can I get my instagrams to print as 4×6 (saving me TONS of money instead of ordering the $1/ea 4×4 photos), I can create collages with ADORABLE LABELS on them!! I’m obviously very VERY excited about this. I’ve made 4 in the past 10 minutes. :)

    You are a rock star! As I said to my SIL when I just texted her about this – it’s a total #gamechanger.

  21. says

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I spent hours trying to upload my pictures onto a template in Photoshop. What a total pain! I was going to order some 3X4 prints from another website at $.19 cents each with a $5 shipping charge. You just saved me a whole bunch! PicFrame is awesome! Kudos to you for a wonderful step by step tutorial. I didn’t realize this could be so easy! Have a great night!

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  23. says

    This has been a true life saver for my project life album! Thank you so much for posting this tutorial. I did have one question though. Do you know what the ratio would be to do the same Instagram set up on an iPad? I would love to be able to edit my picture on the bigger screen but I’ve realized the ratios are different. If you could help, I would be very appreciative.

  24. says

    This has been a true life saver for my project life album! Thank you so much for posting this tutorial. I did have one question though. Do you know what the ratio would be to do the same Instagram set up on an iPad? I would love to be able to edit my picture on the bigger screen but I’ve realized the ratios are different. If you could help, I would be very appreciative.


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