How to Print a Picture for a Locket

If you plan to wear a locket on a necklace, you might want to keep a picture of a friend, loved one or beloved pet inside. Naturally, you'll need to print a photo that fits inside your locket with the subject still recognizable. To do so, you'll need to scale your photo down, crop it appropriately and print it on high-quality paper. If you prefer, have it professionally printed in person or with an online service.

How to Print a Picture for a Locket
Image Credit: Dimitri Otis/Photodisc/GettyImages

Scaling and Cropping Locket Pictures

A locket is a charm usually worn on a necklace that you can open to reveal a compartment. It's common to put photos of a loved one inside. If you want to design locket photo prints, start by finding a high-quality photo of the subject. Take a new photo if you need to. Likely your photo will be larger than your locket, so you'll need to scale and crop it to the appropriate size.

Look at any information that came with your locket to see how large its compartment is, or measure it with a ruler or tape measure if you aren't sure. Then, open your photo in a photo-editing program on your phone, tablet or computer. You can use a program that comes with your phone or computer, like Microsoft Paint or Apple Preview, or use a specialized program such as Adobe Photoshop or Gimp.

Using whatever program you choose, scale your photo down so there's a portion of the photo that depicts the intended subject's face and whatever else you want to include that will fit within the locket. Make sure to scale the photo proportionally so that the ratio of its height to its width stays unchanged, or it will look odd and distorted when you print it out. Many photo-editing software programs will let you automatically lock one dimension when you change another. If yours doesn't, you can adjust the dimensions proportionally.

Then, use your photo-editing program to crop out any portions of the photo you don't want in your locket. Keep the initial copy of your photo so you'll have it to keep, and save the new version.

Printing Locket Pictures

Once your photo is scaled and cropped, load your printer with good quality photo paper and print the image. The paper will likely be larger than the image, so cut the image down to the appropriate size. If you have a paper cutter, use that. Otherwise, take a ruler and a pencil and mark the edges of the portion of the paper you want and then carefully trim it with scissors or a knife. Take care not to cut the actual photo, yourself or anything else.

Put the picture into the locket to verify fit and that it looks the way you want.

Dealing With Specially-Shaped Lockets

If your locket isn't square or rectangular, the process becomes more complicated. Many lockets are round, oval or heart-shaped.

You'll still want to scale and crop your photo to a rectangular shape and print it, but once you print it, you'll need to further trim it to the shape of your locket. You can make a paper template for your photo based on the shape of your locket to help you trim the photo with scissors or a knife. Make one by cutting a piece of cardboard or paper to the dimensions of the inside of your locket or see if your locket manufacturer provides a printable outline for one online. If so, you can print it out and cut it out with scissors and a knife.

You can hold the template up to your computer screen with your photo shown in its printable size to see what portion will appear in your necklace and to verify that it will look good in the locket. Then, when you print the photo, lightly trace the template onto it and carefully cut it with a knife or scissor. Then insert it in the locket to check the fit.

Using Commercial Services

If you don't want to print or trim the photo yourself, you can have the photos commercially printed. Use an online tool that allows you to specify the photo size you want, visit a store near you with photo printing or go to a commercial photo studio. Some may even offer to trim the photo to the right size for your locket for a fee.

Some locket manufacturers even offer tools, like Locket Studio by Marathon for that brand of locket, to help you craft photos that meet your needs.