Create a Polaroid effect in Photoshop

Here is a step by step guide to creating a Polaroid effect action in Photoshop, no more waiting two minutes with the picture under your arm to keep it warm, but with the press of a button it is done for you instatnly.  But first we have to set it up. Click on the picture to enlarge the step by step guide.


Open an image into Photoshop.  With your Action Pallette open click the 'New Action' button and name the action 'Polaroid'.

Step 2

Now duplicate the image. Go to  Layers>duplicate layer and press 'ok' when the text box appears.

In the layers pallette set the blending to 'soft light'

Step 3

Go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color and select a 'dark blue'.

The image will now appear dark blue as above. We now need to set the blending to 'Exclusion'

It should now look like this.
Step 4
Now go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels and slide the black slider to the right a little, just enough to increase the intensity but not too much that you start losing detail.

Step 5.
Now add another Color Fill layer. Go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color and choose a light orange.
Set the blending to 'soft light' and the 'opacity' slider at the right side of the blending menu to about 75%.
Step 6.
Repeat the above and choose a light pink, remembering to set the blending to 'soft light' agai.  The opacity however is set to 50% this time.
Step 7.
Now do another Color Fill Layer. Go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color and select a dark blue, leave the opacity as it is but set the blending to 'exclusion'.
Step 8
In the layers pallette scrolled down to the bottom and click on the original image so it is highlighted in 'blue'  Next make a duplicate layer of the original.
Grab hold of this layer and drag it all the way up to the top so it becomes the first layer.

Now set the blending to 'soft light'

Step 9
Lastly press the 'stop' button in the 'Actions' pallette.  This will prevent any more information been recorded.
Then flatten your image. Layers>flatten image and save the image as a separate file.
You now have an action you can use time and time again.  just simply load an image into photoshop, highlight the 'Polaroid' in Actions and simply press the 'play' button.  Hey presto an instant Polaroid effect.
 To add to the effect you may wish to crop your image to a square format and extend your canvas to create the white surround. Have fun!