Monday, January 30, 2017

DIY Oversized Photo Booth Strip

As a kid growing up in upstate New York one of our favorite things was to go to the local midway during the summer and add to our collection of photo booth strips. I still have many of them spanning several years in a scrap book and get all sorts of nostalgic when I look at them.

I'd wanted to bring this retro part of my childhood into my house and decided to accomplish that by
making oversized photo booth strips as part of my wall decor. I wanted something low-cost, light to hang and easily changeable. To make my photo strips to the scale of the area at the top of my stairs I thought four 11"x14" black and white photos would work best. You could use smaller or larger photos depending on the size of the area you plan to place them.

I started by going to Lowes and buying a 4' x 8' 1/4" birch plywood. I had the folks at Lowes do my cuts for me. See the outline below. I was able to make three photo strips from one piece of the plywood.
Once I had my three 60"x13" cuts I sanded the edges to make sure they were nice and smooth. Then I painted the outer edges black. I used some left over chalk board paint I had, but any cheap black paint (even spray paint) would work. You only have to paint the edges because the photos will cover up the middle. You can paint the whole thing if you want, but I like short cuts.. 

Next I got my kids ready with their funniest smiles and favorite toys and props and took their pictures in front of a curtain. I made sure I took the picture from the same distance each time so that there would be continuity just like in a real photo booth. 

I used this template in Photoshop to create a small black border around each photo created in gray scale. You can use the template I used here for Photoshop, or you can also add the border in most photo ordering software. I purchased my photos from NationsPhotoLab, and right now (2/3/17) their 11"x14" are on sale for $2.10 each. That's the best price I've been able to find for these photos. Free shipping when you spend over $50. 

I mounted the photos on the board using painter's tape and started about 2 inches down from the top. Once I had the photos exactly where I wanted them I noted my measurement so I could re-create it on my other two boards. 

Last I used large picture Command mounting strips (holds up to 16lbs) at the top and bottom of my photo strips.