Tag Archives: budget

How to Make Your Own Photo Booth

I constructed a homemade photo booth for  my housewarming party last weekend with the help of my roommate’s girlfriend Doni.

It was a smashing success so I wanted to veer from food for the day to share how to make your own totally fun, yet budget friendly, homemade photo booth!

Supplies Needed

  • 48 Inch Dowel Rod (or shower tension rod) ($2-$4, available at Walmart, Target, Home Depot)
  • Pair of Curtains ($5-$10, available at Walmart, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond)
  • Ribbon for tie-backs ($2-$4, available at Walmart, Michael’s)
  • 2 medium Command adhesive hooks ($6-$8, available at Walmart, Target, Michael’s)
  • Tripod (or stand for camera)
  • 2 chalkboard signs (see instructions below on how to make your own)

Optional Props

  • Word or phrase signs
  • Large Empty Frame
  • Neck-wear (beads, leis, ties, boas)
  • Headwear (hats, glasses, tiaras)
  • Hand-wear (gloves)
  • “Action” Props (plastic sword, pom-poms)

Start assembling the actual photo booth wall by placing the Command hooks on the wall. These are great for this kind of project because they do not leave any damage on the wall after the party.

Next, place the curtain on to the dowel or tension rod, then simply place the tension rod in the command hooks.

Next, tie each curtain panel in the middle with the ribbon.

Now it’s time to prepare the props.

I loved having the large empty frame for people to hold and pose in.  If you would like one too, it’s very simple to do-it-yourself!

I purchased the frame at a thrift store for $3.99 and then purchased a can of spray paint at Michael’s for $6.99.

I spray painted the frame with two layers of paint then allowed to dry.  The next morning I sanded the frame down to give it more of an antique look. The final result…

Homemade photo booth, make your own photobooth, pictures, images, party, empty picture frame, girls, feather boa

A super fun way to “frame yourself” in the photo booth!

Next up on the do-it-yourself portion of the photo booth were the chalkboards.

I purchased two silver trays and a tray stand from the dollar store for.. $1 each (obvi!) then found an old Ikea magnetic board (still available at Ikea for $12.99) and used chalkboard spray paint ($3.99 at Walmart or $6.99 at Michaels) to turn all of these items into chalkboards.

I used one of the silver trays as an “instructional board” in which Doni came up with this very cute rhyme!

I used the other tray as a “write your own message board”, in which my fellow Oklahoma girl Tess started it off  right with Boomer Sooner!

write your own message, chalk board, do it yourself, chalk, photo booth

I used the Ikea magnetic board to add our “Instagram Hashtag Message” which was inspired by Pinterest.

This is a great way to see everyone’s images from the photo booth as they upload them onto Instagram (or Twitter) using the unique hashtag you create for your party.

I personally used the hashtag throughout the day and into the night to catch all of the housewarming party action!

photo booth, photobooth, housewarming party, san diego, instagramNow, on to those fun, crazy, silly props!

Doni snatched up almost half of the props at a Goodwill Thrift Store for about $10.  The rest, as much as I am embarrassed to admit, actually came from my closet, ha ha.

Headwear is a must!

hats, kitten ears, cowboy hats, glasses, oversized glasses, devil horns, halo, feathersHeadwear Options

  • Oversized Glasses
  • Cowboy Hats
  • Top hats
  • Feather Flapper Hats
  • Tiaras
  • Kitten Ears
  • Devil Horns
  • Angel Halos
  • Funny noses/moustaches

There also must be neck-wear involved!

ties, boas, leis, beadsNeck-Wear Options

  • Mardi Gras Beads
  • Leis
  • Funky Ties
  • Feather Boas

What to do with your hands you ask?

gloves, plastic sword, pom-pomsHand-Wear/Hand-Held Object Options

  • Gloves
  • Pom-poms
  • Plastic Swords
  • Plastic Tomahawk (because, why not?)

If you would like your guests to send a message in their image using a word or phrase, make your own signs!

Simply write whatever you would like on black construction paper using a silver sharpie, then cut it into a cute shape and tape it onto a large popsicle stick.

I did allow my male roommates to input on these, so don’t judge me for all of them, I am definitely not “Banned from Disneyland” (that would be like the worst thing ever!)  I will, however, take all the credit for “Fear the Beard” and “I’m Here for the Food”

Homemade photo booth, make your own photobooth, pictures, images, partyThe total cost of the homemade photo booth will vary depending on what supplies you already have and how many props you want to add but can be easily made for as little as $20!

And, let’s be honest, you can’t put a price on all this fun!

Homemade photo booth, make your own photobooth, pictures, images, party, girls, instagramFeel free to Tweet me or Facebook me with any questions about making a photo booth for your next party!

5 Ways to Summer Travel on a Budget

When I got the crazy idea to move everything I own into storage and take off on a “summer blogging tour”, I never realized the #1 question I would be asked is “How can you afford to do this?”

While at first I was a little caught off guard by the nosiness of people, I then realized that people were just curious how I was able to visit 3 countries and multiple states on a very limited budget.  And when I say limited, I mean less than most people make in a month!

My theory has always been experiences and relationships over money and possessions. For me, traveling on a budget and making sacrifices along the way is well worth the experiences I encounter and the relationships I make.

I will warn you that this is not super plush traveling on a budget.  This is like sleeping on couches, cooking for friends, spending days volunteering instead of trips to amusement parks and giving up things like shopping, kind of budget.

These are my 5 Ways to Summer Travel on a Budget:

1. Cash in those Frequent Flier Miles.  Try to fly the same airline for work or vacation throughout the year, that way you will start accumulating enough points to earn free flights.

No, this is not a road trip, I’m flying, train riding, subway taking or bussing it everywhere I go.  I do not own a car that would make it from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, so I can most definitely tell you it wouldn’t make it from Los Angeles to Canada!

I also love that mass transportation allows you to meet new and interesting people.  It would be a little difficult to strike up a conversation with someone new when sitting in a car by yourself!

2. Trade in your Debit Card for an American Express. An American Express is not a credit card, but rather a bank card in which you must pay off the balance each month. By using this instead of my debit card each month I’ve been able to earn hundreds of dollars in gift cards to restaurants, airlines, hotels and more in the past year!

I recommend this to all my friends because it will give you the points that lead to free stuff for your travels without getting you into debt!

 3. Call in your couch crashing favors for the year. This summer there’s no hotel, motel or Holiday Inn for the LLB, rather couches, air mattresses and twin beds at the parents house.

Hotels are an extremely expensive part of travel.  At over $100 a night (and well over that in some places) my entire summer travel budget would be used up in about 2 weeks if I were staying in hotels!

I am very fortunate to meet people who live all over the country and are willing to let me “crash their house” for a couple of days. But, the great thing with social media is that almost anyone can do the same! By putting out a simple status update, “does someone have a place I can crash in Boston for a couple of days?” may get a response from a second cousin or an old friend that you could stay with and take the opportunity to catch up with while you’re in town! That’s what I like to call a “Budget Travel BONUS!”

 4. Trade in a day at a theme park for a day of volunteering. It may not seem like the “fun” option, but in the end I promise you will remember that day you volunteered to help build a home in New Orleans or helped serve food to the homeless in NYC, over the memory of riding a couple of roller coasters and eating some funnel cakes and corn dogs.

 5. Cook dinner for the friends you are staying with instead of eating out.  This is a great way to save money and say “thank you” to your gracious hosts!

Some of my favorite budget friendly meals that can easily serve 4-6 and take less than an hour to make are:

Happy Travels Y’all!!!