Set up a DIY photo booth for your party. Have loads of props. Have loads of fun!

Who doesn’t love the idea of dressing up a little?

Add a photo opportunity and you have the perfect recipe for laughter. Plus you get a whole load of fantastic photo memories. It will bring your party alive!

Maybe it’s the disco party for your teen, a birthday party with friends, or a family reunion at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Whatever your event – just give it a go. The effect a photo booth has on people is quite unique.

You can also have fun before the event using your creativity to put together something really unique. Especially good if you have kids helping.


For the Photos

  • A camera with a self timer (you can also use a smartphone)
  • Or an Instant camera that prints out immediately
  • A tripod or stand for the camera
  • Your guest can also use their own camera and phones.

The Booth Backdrop

You can choose what suit you from this list:

  • A white sheet
  • Colorful tablecloth cloth
  • Blanket or curtain
  • A blackboard or white board on a stand, with chalk, pens
  • A tinsel shimmer curtain
  • Ribbons
  • Bunting
  • Streamers and decorations
  • Balloons
  • Party banners
  • Cut out words and party messages

Optional Photo Booth Extras

You don’t have to have these, but it adds to the fun!

  • Large picture frames (up to a metre tall)
  • Cardboard boxes – to stack, and cut out
  • Chairs, high stools or a sofa
  • A desk

A Box of Props

Any of these ideas:

  • Sunglasses, glasses
  • Hats
  • Colorful scarves, boas
  • Novelty moustaches, beards
  • Wigs
  • Musical instruments
  • Jewelry, necklaces
  • Sports kit and racquet
  • Venetian masks
  • Fancy dress items
  • A microphone
  • Inflatable guitars
  • Large lollipops
  • A fake flower, a rose
  • Bow tie
  • Large badges
  • Bunny ears
  • Party poppers, streamers
  • Balloons
  • Inflatable toys
  • Cuddly toys
  • Flags
  • Fans
  • Lips and cut outs on sticks – to make
  • Card to write messages on, with pens (Sharpies are good)


  • Fairy lights
  • Chinese lanterns to hang
  • Uplighters
  • Spotlights
  • A household lamp
  • Proper camera lighting if that’s available


1 Find A Suitable Space
Ideally us a space slightly away from the main party.
It means the photo booth won’t get in the way too much.
It’s also better for shyer people who don’t like the limelight.
You can “rope off” the area if you want, to designate the photo booth space.

2 Set Up Your Backdrop
This is the main part to have ready.
Use the kit shown above.
Pin up your backdrop to the wall.
Decorate liberally with streamers, balloons, and fun party décor.

3 Set Up The Booth
Put out chairs, or a nice sofa.
Have some large picture frames available for people to hold up.
Or set up a photo booth frame, made from large cardboard or packing boxes. Decorate!
You can also have a desk, with the frame or boxes arranged on top of it at the front.

4 Prepare Lights
Find some lighting from around your home.
The more lights you have the better.
You can use uplighters, table lamps, or specialist photo lighting.
For a party touch, try fairy lights, hung on the booth or on the backdrop.

5 Set Up Your Camera
It’s best use a digital camera, mounted on a tripod I you have one.
Or find a surface to place the camera on.
People may also use their own smartphones and cameras.

6 Test
Try out the camera on self timer – this is a great way to do the shots as it builds the tension for people as it counts down.
Test out the lighting and decide if you need to use flash on the camera.

7 Get All Your Props Together
Go find all the props you want.
Put out a props box, filled with all the props you choose.

8 Make Some Stick Props
It’s super fun to make cardboard cut out mousaches, lips, glasses, on sticks.
Get some stiff card, and stick on some photos (try Google images), or get your kids to draw and paint.
Cut out.
Get some short sticks (kebab sticks work well, or short bamboo is good – try the garden centre).
Glue on the cardboard cut outs.
Kids really enjoy this part!
Stand these in glass jars ready for the shoot.


When your guest arrive, let them loose on the photo booth.
Show them all the props.
Let them write out messages.

Lights, Camera, Action!
Show them how to use the camera.
Switch on the lights, a bit of music to relax, and get started!
Or they can use their own camera.
Encourage people to record video messages too.

Watch the laughter and fun – enjoy!


  • You may have very active kids running around, so do a quick check to make sure everything is secure. Nothing that will be dangerous.
  • Try doing some videos as well

Here are some great Youtubes showing DIY photo booths in action: