Real Polaroid transfers provide a very unique effect, most notably around the edges of the photo. As Polaroid film stock either disappears or stops being produced entirely methods like this will be the only way to duplicate the effect.
I was recently working on a shoot where the editing was leading me down a path that made the photo look a little "grungy" and I thought a polaroid border would suit it well. I knew at one time there was some nice soul who had posted up a psd template that was an actual scan of a blank polaroid transfer so I started looking. After 2hrs and many stock photo sites that were selling exactly what I was looking for I decided what kind of photographer/graphic designer/photoshop fiend would I be if I simply purchased this file. Luckily I stumbed across a post that mentioned using ink and some watercolour paper, that's all I needed to read and I was off to find the box with my drawing stuff.
This process is quite simple, there are probably a multitude of ways to do this and I encourage you to tailor this process to your own style.
- 1 or more sheets of watercolour paper - others may work but watercolour paper has a nice texture
- Ink of some sort. I used fountain pen ink but you could probably use all sorts of other stuff like food colouring or maybe even fabric dye just make sure it is dark. Get creative. It doesn't have to be black, we can fix that in photoshop.
- 1 or more popsicle sticks - again other stuff could work, just get someting with a flat edge that you can use to transfer the ink.
- Scanner - If you don't have one see if you can scan documents to file using the copier at work. If all else fails I don't think Office Depot or Staples charge that much for this service.
- Image editing software that supports layers. Photoshop is preferred but GIMP (which is free) will work too. This tutorial however will be citing photoshop tools/commands only.