When I suggested to Jane about going all out with the planning for her birthday, the one concept that immediately came rushing to our minds was none other than… the photobooth!
I’ve participated in all kinds of photobooths but I personally think that the most fun type of photobooths are those that use paper props on a stick. They add another kind of cuteness and fun to the photobooth that real props really cannot do justice to. And since the props are mostly made out of paper, ideas are practically endless, and it is so much more cost effective too.
Jane had asked all her friends to come dressed in florals and to accompany that theme, I decided to do a photobooth backdrop using “vintage” paper flowers with circle garlands. The paper flowers were easy and fun to make. Many of the tutorials I saw online used paper from vintage novels to make these flowers and I couldn’t believe my eyes, and still cannot today, that these vintage flower garlands cost a whopping SGD450 on etsy. Yes, its for 12 garlands, but still. In any case, I wasn’t going to tear up any novels despite the number of them filling up the bookshelves and instead, I used pages from Jane’s “O” level assessment books. You see, Jane had completed her “O” levels last year and has now moved on to junior college but since she has not seen her secondary school classmates for a while, she decided to celebrate this year’s birthday with them. Despite it being more than 4 months since her exams ended, she still had her assessment books and hence, we decided to recycle her Biology textbook to make these flowers. It turned out pretty nice since she chose the assessment book with a nicer font and it was quite funny because when you look closely, you can see her highlights and notes.
The paper flowers are really easy to make and I made reference to a blog post by Krista Sew Inspired. Instead of using hot glue, I just used Elmer’s Craft Bond glue and stuck it to places where I felt needed gluing. I later then strung the flowers together using a thread and needle. They get tangled really easily so it is important to hang it up immediately when done.
The circle garlands were made using leftover metallic cream paper from my sister’s wedding cards. I used my silhouette cameo to cut out circles that were 3.5cm in diameter and put them through the sewing machine. It was my first time doing garlands despite the garland craze, I must say that I was a little intimidated by the thought of sewing through paper! It turned out to be extremely easy in the end – all I did was to adjust my sewing machine to sew larger stitches than usual (it’s really just trial and error to see what kind of stitches work better), put the foot down and with my left hand guiding the thread on the other side (pulling slightly) and with my right hand, feeding the circle paper into the machine. Do make sure to check that your bobbin has enough thread otherwise you’ll have to start over just to get the right length.
You probably noticed that the photobooth was placed at 2 different places and no, I did not do 2 photobooths! I had originally intended for the photobooth to be outside since i felt that the brown fence really made the garland stand out. Plus, photos taken outside with natural sunlight is always that much nicer! Unfortunately, the sky turned dark and it started pouring so quickly we had to dismantle everything and bring it inside. It was so sad and although we had to put the backdrop against a white wall, I guess it wasn’t so bad.
As for the photobooth props, there’re so many free printables online these days it really doesn’t make sense to design your own :P I looked at quite a number of free printables and really like this one from kensie kate. It had a good number of moustaches, spectacles and lips which are the 3 most important photobooth props. Instead of cutting the props out by hand, I used the trace and cut feature in silhouette studio and got the silhouette to do all the work for me. All I did was to glue barbecue sticks onto the side.
My family, especially my mom (haha!), had so much fun with the photobooth and experimenting with all the different props and poses. I don’t think we’ve every (willingly) taken so many photos in our lives. And of course, Joy had to be part of it!