DIY Number Photo Collage

Confession: I’m an insta-addict! I know I’m not the only one here, but sometimes I feel like I might be annoying even my most loyal Instagram followers. I’m sure they don’t mind my occasional photos of baked goods or pretty San Diego views… but the multiple daily photos of my toddler might bring some to hit the unfollow button. I used to be more self conscious about my addiction, but I’ve decided that I really don’t care anymore. I will admit that I used to post photos and then delete them immediately just so I could save the shots with the awesome filters without anyone knowing that I took photos of my kid and “edited” them in Instagram like it was my job. But I gave that up and surrendered to the fact that I can’t help it… the girl is cute! And I love knowing that these early years of her life are being well documented.


At the beginning of 2012 I committed to a photo a day project with (surprise!) my little girl as the subject. Instagram became my tool of choice to share my photographic journey with my friends and family. Somewhere along the way my Grandma even joined Instagram so she could follow me. The end result of the project was a book containing all 366 photos, and its amazing to see my daughter’s growth and development unfold through those images.  My daily photo became a happy habit, so it was a no brainer for me to continue it into 2013.

(Disclaimer: These kid pics are on my personal account. I assure you that if you follow my a la Mo instagram account (here) that I will refrain from filling your photo stream with my child’s face.)

Even though I made the 2012 album, I still hadn’t printed any of my Instagram pics. While planning the decor for my little girl’s second birthday party I came accross an idea on Pinterest (a whole different addiction story) about making a number photo collage for a birthday or anniversary.  That was just the excuse that I needed to print out some of my Project 365 Instagram photos!  I found several online printers that now offer photo prints in the square Instagram format. As it turns out, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the printer that I used, but Mom*Tog has a great write up about several printing options. She also has some great tips about Project 365 if you’re interested.


Now, of course you can make a number photo collage with any size photos and they certainly don’t have to be Instagram prints. But I was going for a more organized (less organic) look for my collage. So I actually charted out the shape of a number 2 and calculated how many 3×3 prints it would take to complete. I love how it turned out, so I thought I would share the process with you. This free file is available to download and includes numbers 0-9 charted out for you to duplicate with square 3×3 photos on your wall! I hope you get to use this project for your next birthday or anniversary party and love the results.


Download the free template here:

Number Template

Here are some helpful tips for creating your number photo collage:

  • The templates were designed based on using square 3×3 photo prints… the perfect size for all of your Instagram photos!
  • You will need blank wall space (or a large sheet of paper or poster board) of at least 45 inches high and 27 inches wide to properly display your single-digit number.
  • You should place the photos side by side so that they are touching. The spaces in the template were used to aid in visualizing each row.
  • I recommend using double stick tape to adhere the photos onto your chosen surface. If attaching them to the wall, consider using “permanent” double stick tape. Just be sure to test it out on a discreet part of your wall before trying it out in a more obvious area. Removable double stick tape might be best if using poster board or another paper surface.
  • After your event, place your photos onto pages of an album as you take them off of the wall.


  1. Hey, My name is Laura and I blog about tips for displaying printed Instagram photos. I have been doing lots of looking around to find unique ideas and I just want to let you know I love this idea! I love seeing the crafty ideas that people create to display their Instagram photos! thank you for the inspiration and thank you for sharing. I really hope this idea inspires people to print their Instagram photos!

    • I’m glad you liked my idea Laura! I’m always looking for ways to use my MANY Instagram photos so I’ll go check out your blog. Maybe some of your readers would find my free templates helpful too…

  2. Hi :) I plan on doing this for my son’s 4th birthday- how would that look? I’m so DIY stupid and there’s nothing online like yours with the number four. I love this concept but don’t know what the shape should be- I am working on the size of the photos now, just unsure of how many I would need and the layout. Looking forward to hearing from you so I can share the outcome with you! Thanks a million :) Lynne

    • Hi Lynne,

      There is a downloadable file in this post that lays out what the 4 will look like on your wall and tells you how many photos you’ll need. The template is for square instagram photos, so if you are printing a different size photo you’ll have to adjust. But you can definitely do it!

  3. The Collage looks great! I would like to make this for my daughters 2nd birthday party at the end of April, however, I don’t have the room to make it that large. Can you help me prepare a template using a smaller size picture, ie 2 inches instead of 3. Thank you so very much for your advice, I really would love to do this for her.
    Have a great day!

    • Hi Kim! I’m sorry for the delay… You can go ahead and use the same template for any size square photos. So if you want to use 2 inch photos, the number will still look the same. You’ll just have to do the math to find out how much smaller it would be. Good luck!

  4. Is there a way to make these smaller? I need a 90 for my moms birthday. Thank you

    • Hi Sheryl! Without starting from scratch, the simplest way to make it smaller would be to use a smaller photo to create the same shapes. For example, using a 2″ square photo would cut the size down by a third. You can also play with deleting rows if you want. Good luck!

  5. I know this was a post a while back now but I absolutely love this idea for an 18th present for my best friend. Do you think it would work with less photos so smaller sizes? For example I’d like it in a photo frame with maybe 50 photos. Would it be possible?

  6. Thank you for this idea I just did number 1 for my daughter bday I wish I saw your site when my son turn 1.. I use a tiny square prints using my Instagram photo.. It’s come out super cute not to big..

    Ps: I will be using your patern


  7. Hi there, Iv googled everywhere for some advice on how to make one of these! So ahppy i have found it :-) Thank you so much, I am doing it for a 21st. I was wondering if you could help me, I would like to do exactly this but on something that has a hard back so eg cardboard cut out in the size and shape then the pictures glued on? That way it would take less time to do on the suprise 21st and could be kept? What are your thoughts?

    Many Thanks

  8. Do you know where I can get the prints printed in 3×3 size?

  9. Hey thsnks on that.. 21 BTW! I’ll be sure to blog this. AFTER the birthday celebration all day today!
    Thank you

  10. Thank you so much.You are amazing.

  11. Lori Meyers says:

    I really want to do this for my sons 2nd birthday!! If I use 4×4 prints do you have a template for that??
    Thank you!

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