Around the turn of the seasons and during the holidays there are photography “minis” popping up all over. Your social media newsfeed fills up with swoon-worthy pictures featuring elaborate photo shoot props. These photography sessions are adorable, creative, and often PRICEY. Believe it or not, these photo shoot props are easy to make and can be dressed up with stuff you probably have around your house. Here is how to DIY photo shoot props for your kids so that you can have precious photos for next to nothing!
DIY Photo Shoot Props: Materials
Not all projects require heavy-duty tools. Luckily, your DIY photo shoot props can be made with minimal tools and supplies. Grab these materials at your local hardware store or possibly out of your DIY scrap pile. Your gonna need…
- 3 – 2x4x8 boards
- 3 – 1x6x8 boards
- 1 – 1x2x8 boards
- 1 – 1x4x6 boards
- Drill bits
- Compound miter saw (anything that can make a cut will work and some home improvement stores will cut the lumber for you for a small fee).
- 2 – 4-inch long bolts
- 2 – washers
- 2 – nuts
- A box of 3-inch wood screws
Read More: 25 Must Have Tools For Homeowners
DIY Photo Shoot Props: Assembly
Step 1: To begin making the frame of the DIY photo shoot prop, use the tape measure and mark the 2x4x8 at 39.25 inches. Cut the board using the compound miter saw. Repeat this step once more. Now you have 2 (of the 4 needed) boards to make the frame.
Step 2: Use the tape measure and mark the next 2x4x8 board at 31 inches. Cut the board at this mark. Repeat this step in order to get the last board needed for the frame.
Step 3: Make the frame. Lay the 39.25-inch pieces horizontal and then place the 31-inch pieces vertically between the 39.25-inch boards at the top and bottom. To complete the frame, use the drill and eight screws to secure all the boards together.
Step 4: Next, grab the 1x6x8 boards and measure 41 inches. Cut the board at 41 inches and repeat this step four more times, giving you a total of five wood planks for your DIY photo shoot prop.
Step 5: Now that you have finished building the 2×4 frame from steps 1-3 and have cut the 5 wood planks, you are ready to construct the front of the DIY photo shoot prop by securing the wood planks. Lay the constructed 2×4 frame flat and arrange four (of the five) wood planks on the front. By laying the wood planks on the 2×4 frame it allows you to play with the spacing between them to see what you like before securing them into place. When you are happy with your spacing, use 16 wood screws to secure the wood planks to the 2×4’s.
HINT: Predrill the holes using a drill bit. This will decrease your chances of splitting the plank boards and make it easier to drill the screws into the DIY photo shoot props.
Step 6: The remaining (5th) plank board will be used to create the ledge on top of your stand. Set the newly constructed frame upright and secure the top board with 3-inch wood screws. This step will take about 6-7 wood screws. Adding a ledge to your photo shoot prop gives you plenty of room to display your decorations for your seasonal or themed photo shoot. Pumpkins, flowers, and lemons now have a place to be displayed front and center.
Step 7: It’s time to give this photo shoot prop a leg to stand on. Two to be exact. Grab the last 2x4x8 and cut at 40 inches with the compound miter saw. Repeat this step to get the second leg to your photo shoot prop. These legs are important for stabilizing and securing the stand.
Step 8: Use a drill bit to make a hole through the exterior 2×4 on each side of the frame, as well as, each leg that you just cut in step 7.
Hint: Be sure to drill a hole for the bolt to go through. This allows the 2×4 leg to swing freely.
Step 9: Insert the bolt through the hole on the exterior 2×4. Add the washer and nut to the bolt. Next, repeat these procedures on the other leg. Tighten as needed when using the DIY photoshoot prop for pictures.
Hint: A wrench will be needed to tighten the bolts on the legs when you set up the stand to take your fabulous photos. Be sure to keep a wrench handy.
Read More: 7 Basic Photography Rules
Step 10: Now its time to make the overhead sign. Use the 1x2x8 board and measure/cut at 39 inches. Repeat this step so that you have 2-39 inch boards. These are to hold up the overhead sign.
Step 11: Use the 1x4x6 board to make the overhead sign. Measure the board and cut at 42 inches.
Step 12: Lay the 42-inch 1×4 board flat. Place the 39-inch 1×2 boards on top of each end of the 42-inch 1×4 board. Drill 2 wood screws into the 39-inch 1×2 on each side.
Step 13: Finally, take the completed overhead sign that was built in steps 10-12 and secure it to the DIY photo shoot prop. Drill 2 wood screws directly into the backside of the 2×4 board on the structure on each side.
HINT: To disconnect the overhead sign from the DIY photoshoot prop take out the screws on the back of the main structure. Then you can take this beauty on the road to your favorite landscape.
Step 14: Feel free to paint and decorate your newly assembled DIY photo shoot prop to your liking.
Read More: Daily Moms Guide To Photography
Congratulations! You have yourself a DIY photo shoot prop. Now is the fun part! Decorating DIY photo shoot props doesn’t have to be expensive or labor-intensive. Simply pick out your theme and use decor from your house, garage, attic, or even a friend’s house. Just know that cute pics of their kids is a fair trade-off.
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Photo Credits: Amanda Armstrong