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DIY Photo Booth

Models can't have all the fun. Whether it's a wedding, birthday, or annual New Year's Eve bash, a DIY photo booth is a stylish way to strut your stuff and capture your party's special moments. So crank some tunes and get creating -- our three easy-peasy steps will score you a photo op to remember.

Step 1: Nab the Right Camera

To shake it like a Polaroid picture, you'll need the right camera. We recommend one of two kinds:

Instant Print Camera

Try a modern version of the vintage Polaroid. They're super simple to work and are perfect for making tangible take-homes right on the spot. Just make sure you're well-stocked on photo paper.

Digital Point and Shoot Camera

With large memory cards and easy adjustable settings, digital cameras let you snap like a pro. They also make for minimal editing and fast social sharing later. Don't forget to create a custom party hashtag!

PS: Place a spotlight (like your living room lamp) next to the camera to give your models a flattering glow. Tripods and wireless remotes are helpful but not totally necessary. Find them cheap online. 

Step 2: Create a Fun Backdrop

Plain walls and personal embellishments are all you need for a cute booth backdrop. A safe size to stick to: 5 feet high by 10 feet wide. Whether you're a hip minimalist or lover of all things colorful, here are some sweet backdrop ideas to get you started:  

  • paper banners or bows
  • paper chains
  • balloons
  • streamers
  • chalkboard
  • newspaper pages
  • shower curtain, sheet, or quilt
  • string lights
  • dyed coffee filters
  • paper or pinned flowers
  • sponge-painted canvas

More cheap party tricks!

Quiz: What's Your Party Personality?

Step 3: Stock Up on Props

Let's be honest -- no photo booth is complete without a goofy mustache. Set up a "Pick Your Prop" table with fun items guests can pose with. To narrow down options, stick to a specific theme or era. Thrifty finds we love:

  • fake mustaches
  • feather boas
  • nerdy glasses
  • glittery masks
  • large painted frames
  • custom-message chalkboards
  • hats

Photo Booth Tip: Take action shots to the next level with homemade confetti poppers. To make, fill empty push pops with a mix of small scraps. Use colorful cut paper of all kinds -- think patterned, tissue, and wrapping. Hole punchers and decorative scissors help create an assortment of cool shapes.

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