Hi friends! Thanks so much for checking out my blog post about DIYing your own photo props! As a calligrapher, I am constantly taking product flat-lay photos, and here are a few of the tips and tricks I've learned along the way!
Backdrops: First things first, you'll need a cute backdrop to lay your items on. Here are a few of my favorites:
-DIY Plaster Canvas: This is such an easy DIY! Head to the dollar store and pick up a piece of foam core, plaster, and a plaster spreader. All you need to do is spread around the plaster on the board! Don't make it too smooth because you'll want the texture. Bonus tip: use a plastic fork to add more texture to your board!
-Marble Contact Paper: Did you make the plaster board? Kill two birds with one stone and put marble contact paper on the back! Super easy and makes for the perfect backdrop for almost any theme you want! Just be sure to apply slowly and smooth out any air bubbles that may pop up.
-Painted Canvas Drop Cloth: Need something a little more on-the-go and transportable? Get a drop cloth and cut about a 3'x3' piece off. (I always have fabric drop cloths on hand for miscellaneous crafting!) Choose any paint color you want and sponge it directly on the fabric! Again, you're going for texture, so nothing too crazy since it's a backdrop. Let your products be the main focus! Bonus: You can also make these double-sided! Perfect for wedding photographers!
How to Add Texture: Here are a few ideas to add dimension!
-Dyed Cheesecloth: Again, a super easy one! Cheesecloth is usually sold in white, so just add dye to achieve whatever color you desire! I personally use Rit Dye when I need to change the color of something, and it hasn't failed me yet!
-Raw Edge Cloth Napkins: I kept seeing this trend around Pinterest, but refused to pay $10 for a cloth napkin, so I made some for myself! They quickly became one of my favorite photo props! I made them in so many colors and I love to use them when I host dinners or events. All you need for this DIY is fabric scissors, Rit Dye, and some flour sacks. If you want a step by step tutorial, I've used the same method on drop cloth fabric! Click here to read.
-Resin Styling Blocks: Want to "elevate" your photos? (LOL) A lot of photographers use acrylic styling blocks, which can be found all over Etsy. In my opinion, they are verrrryyyy pricey, so I made my own with resin instead of acrylic, and a few silicone ice-cube molds. Read the full tutorial here.
Best Styling Props:
-Wooden Beads: You can shop for wooden bead garland, but it can set you back a little bit. I made mine with wood beads (obvi) & yarn! In retrospect, I should have used something with a little elastic to it, but it works! I also used the yarn to make tassels at the end, so no matter what part of the piece I'm photographing, it's always cute!
This may be specific to stationers who work on tablescapes & table settings, but I spray painted plastic silverware from the dollar store and I am in love with the results! I used oil-rubbed bronze spray paint and it came out a pretty matte black finish. Obsessed and it looks so high end!
-Dried Orange/Grapefruit Slices:
This is SO easy and perfect for a summer flat-lay photo!
(Or if you have an orange that you don't want to eat LOL.) Just slice your fruit about 1/8" thick and bake for 4-6 hours at 175 degrees. That's it!
Here are a few honorable mentions that don't require any DIY!
There you have it folks! I hope this post will help you with your photography in the future! Also, I totally encourage you to shop around for the best deals, but if you use a few of the links provided, I do make a small commission, at no extra cost to you! If you share your diy photo props to social media, be sure to tag me so I can see! @tinycraftsbybay
Happy Crafting friends!