Play with Polaroids to make your own Polaroid Lift. Experiment with your coloured Polaroid pictures to create playful textured images.

Resource by Eva Louisa Jonas.

Step 1: You will need...

  • Watercolour paper or card (any size of card that is bigger than your Polaroid)
  • Colour Polaroid image
  • Scissors
  • Tray (anything from a large glass to a plastic tray. Make sure the depth is 6cm or more)
  • Brush (two or three different sizes)

Step 2: As well as…

  • Kettle
  • Plastic jug

Step 3: Cut the white area of the Polaroid off

Cut the white area of the Polaroid off your image so you are just left with your image and no frame.

Step 4: Peel off the back from your Polaroid

Peel off the back from your Polaroid image. You will be left with the coloured image on the plastic.

Step 5: Place your image in the tray face down

Place your image in the tray face down and pour over your lukewarm water. (Mix the water in your plastic jug, the temperature should be comfortable to touch).

The colour of the water may change a bit at this point.

Step 6: Brush water onto your Polaroid

Using your brush, swish the water on top of the Polaroid. Agitating the image, push water underneath the pockets that are starting to appear. This is separating the emulsion (the image) from the plastic.

Step 7: Remove the plastic

Use the brush to gently agitate the emulsion away from the plastic. Once this is done, remove the plastic from the water.

Top tip – top up your hot water if it’s getting cold. This process works best this way.

Step 8: This is your emulsion

Allow the emulsion (the thin plasticky image left in the tray) to sit for 5 seconds.

Step 9: Putting the emulsion onto the paper

Add your paper into the tray and use your brush strokes to brush the image onto the paper. You may have to try a few times until it is flat.

Step 10: Taking your paper and emulsion out of the water

When you are happy with how it is placed on the paper, hold the corner of the emulsion and the paper and take it out of the water.

Step 11: Your Polaroid Lift

Your Polaroid Lift is now ready to dry somewhere flat overnight.


Share your photos with us! Send us your photos by email or DM us on instagram @photoworks_uk and add the hashtag #polaroidlift

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