It seems diy photo booths are all the rage these days. But have you noticed that most of the tutorials out there aren’t all that easy or affordable?
For my 9-yo daughter’s Broadway themed birthday party, I was determined to figure out how to make a diy photo booth without a lot of money or effort. I think I succeeded.
My method was really easy and affordable, and we were thrilled with how it all turned out.
After a little research, I came up with a plan for creating a diy photo booth that met our particular needs – i.e., one that could withstand the acrobatics of 10 tween-aged girls!
Here’s how I’ve organized this diy photo booth tutorial:
The Required Materials
- Step 1: Location in your home / party venue.
- Step 2: DIY backdrop material.
- Step 3: Photo booth decor.
- Step 4: Photo booth props.
- Step 5: Photo booth rules.
- Step 6: Photography – camera, lighting, etc.
- Step 7: Photo viewing / sharing.
Here’s what I used (the important stuff, anyway):
- Backdrop material: 3 cute plastic tablecloths from the Dollar Store!
- Props: a basket of masks, mustaches, hats, etc.
- Camera: my Nikon DSLR mounted on a tripod, with a shutter release remote. (I’ll explain!)
- Photo booth decor – string lights, cardboard chandelier, etc.
- Poster board for the ‘Photo Booth Rules’
- A bench for sitting.
The Process: Part 1
Step 1: Choose a location in your home / party venue.
A lot of tutorials show you how to actually make a physical photo booth. But since this busy mama ain’t got no time for that, I decided to just use a location in our home that mimicked a photo booth set up.
Our basement mudroom is a long and narrow space, so we decided to set up the photo booth there. You can get a sense of it in the following photo. (Sorry about the fuzzy shot!)
You will also want to consider natural lighting when picking the right spot in your home / party venue.
Lighting was definitely the biggest disadvantage in our location (i.e., the basement). However, keeping the tween party confined to the basement far outweighed my need for perfect photos!
If you don’t have a long narrow space like this, you could easily just set up a backdrop (without covering the sides) on any wall in your home. Just make it wide enough that you don’t get any wall in the shot, or move your tripod in closer.
(Covering the side walls here just decreased the chances of getting empty walls in the pictures.)
Step 2: The DIY Backdrop Material
I wanted do the backdrop as inexpensively as possible since it was just for a child’s birthday party.
I opted to make it from 3 large (9ft) plastic table cloths. They cost a grand total of $6. Gotta love it.
I doubled them over so that you couldn’t see through them, and attached them to the ceiling using painter’s tape to make it easy to take it down without ruining the paint.
They worked perfectly fine, however the plastic did cast a bit of glare in the photos, so if you have a bigger budget (say, for a wedding), I’d definitely recommend using fabric table cloths instead.
Step 3: Photo Booth Decor
Depending on the theme of the party, you might also want to decorate the space a little. I hung a cardboard chandelier from the ceiling, and strung some lights (which also served as additional lighting). I also hung Broadway musical posters since the birthday party had a Broadway theme.
Step 4: The Props
You’ll need a stash of photo booth props that party-goers can have fun with.
Since our daughter has been amassing a collection of costumes since she was little, it wasn’t hard to find a bunch of great stuff around the house.
But also purchased a few at the Dollar Store and Michaels, and I couldn’t resist making some mustaches-on-a-stick.
I organized everything on a little table so that you could find a prop you liked without too much searching.
If you don’t have a stash of costumes hanging around, no need to worry. There are literally a tonne of places to find printable, free diy photo booth props on the Internet.
All you have to do is search Google using “free diy photo booth props” or “free photo booth printable props”. Just to get you started, here are few cute ones…
- Summer photo booth props
- Photo booth props for wedding or party
- Eye glasses photo booth props
- Moustaches photo booth props
Step 5: The Rules
I wanted the diy photo booth to be fun. But let’s face it, I wanted my camera equipment in one piece after the party.
As well, I didn’t want any of the girls feeling left out.
So I put together a few photo booth rules for the ‘rule-follower’-types, and hoped they’d help sheriff the others, lol.
I’d highly recommend doing the same thing!
OK, so now your diy photo booth is simply gorgeous.
But what about the photos, right?.Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!