Tuesday, August 24, 2010

One Year Old in a Flash - Photo Props

For Liv's first birthday party, my guest list ranged from age 7 months to 68 years... I was looking for a way to engage them all and make it a celebration worth remembering.  Personal photo sessions with a professional photographer not only fit the bill and the theme, but also provided a thoughtful way for me to give guests a really meaningful favor.  I wanted the photo sessions to be more fun than the high pressure "everyone wear the same color & smile sweetly into the camera" type of family portraits.  Since an open bar is frowned upon at a one year old's party, I knew I'd have to get creative in order for people to loosen up and have fun in front of the camera. I came up with whimsical mustaches & mouths on sticks, umbrellas to match the color scheme, empty picture frames, and my favorite, chalkboard thought bubbles.  Here's how it all came together:

Mustache & Mouth sticks - I had to reign myself in on this one... there are so many directions you could go with this!  I went with mustaches and mouths, but you could also do eye glasses, eyebrows, maybe even hair styles or hats.  I mentioned in my last post that my Dad does graphic design, well he also happens to be accommodating when it comes to my hair brained ideas.   He created the mustaches and mouths for me, but you could also use clip art that you find and/or buy on the web, or even just draw  the graphics you want (how hard could it be to draw a mustache?!).  I printed mine on card stock, cut them out, and hotglued them to little wooden dowels that came in packs of 20 at Michaels.  I made enough to use for the photo sessions and extras as the favors for the kids at the party.  For the favors, I punched two holes in the 3" round tags Beyond Designs designed for me and threaded the dowels through.

Umbrellas - I bought a pack of 6 child size umbrellas from Oriental Trading & just painted a couple of them with fabric paint... easy peasy and they added a nice pop of color to the white background photography.

Empty Picture Frames - Well that about explains it... I picked up two framed pictures at Goodwill, removed the glass and all the insides and spray painted them in the colors of the party.
guess whose Mommy is pregnant with a boy?!

Chalkboard Thought Bubbles - We had so much fun with these & they were a relatively quick project to make!  I started with adhesive backed chalkboard vinyl that I ordered from Uppercase Living (that's a link to Gina's UL site... she's a consultant & is really great to work with!) and some mat board.  My Doug drew the thought bubble shapes on the mat board, then we applied the vinyl to the other side & cut them out with a sharp pair of scissors.  Because I used white mat board (I had it on hand from a picture framing project I did forever ago) the white cut edges didn't look great, so I colored the edges with a black sharpie to make them blend in and give it a finished look.  These needed thicker dowels than the mustaches to support their weight, but a few lines of hotglue was still enough to keep them solid... just be sure that you glue several inches of the dowel onto the back of the board so that it doesn't get top heavy and bend.

Now all you need is a fabulous photographer & a little creativity!  This was so much fun, I think mustaches on sticks and chalkboard thought bubbles will make an appearance in all our family portraits!

Photographs by Elemental Image


Taylor said...

Love the thought bubbles on a stick! And too funny about 12 months to plan the next party. That's so me! I'm lucky because my kids have birthdays in July and December so it's only 6 months in between and I'm always planning one or the other!

Kustom Kreations by Elisha Akram said...

I totally love your thought bubbles... I must try this project very soon! Fantastic idea... thanks for the inspiration!

lewmew said...

Love love love this and may borrow it for my wedding reception!!!!!!!!!!

Lissa (The Wedding Bistro at Bellenza) said...

Great photo booth ideas -- easily doable and certain to create unforgettable pics! Thanks!

 The Morris Family said...

Can you direct me to where I can download the whimsical mustaches and mouths to use for a party????? Did you purchase them on line somewhere?? Can u email me please??


Sam Brightwell said...

Wow - these look great. I'm heading off to find some of this chalkboard vinyl stuff straight away. I was only asking my fella if you could still get blackboard paint recently, as I wanted to paint a huge blackboard wall for my son to use as part of our home-schooling stuff, but I don't think you can get the paint anymore.

Unknown said...

love these ideas! How did you do the cupcake toppers??

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