Capture the last moments of the year in style.

Every New Year’s Party Needs an Instagram-Worthy Moment—Here’s How to DIY a Photo Booth
Courtesy of Oh My Darling Party Co.

A well-known New Year’s Eve tradition involves pulling out your top hat and year-shaped sunglasses to capture those final moments with a celebratory photo. But a phone selfie of friends and family doesn’t always cut it. Instead of posing in front of half-eaten dishes and empty drinks, impress your guests this year with a DIY photo backdrop. 

Adding a photo backdrop to your New Year Eve’s bash instantly creates an entertainment station. The best part? As the night goes on and the spirits flow, your photo booth will become a whole new area to congregate for guests. Funny photos and endless Champagne make a great combination. (It’s also a great excuse to finally get that family photo you’ve been wanting.)

All this DIY requires is a bit of space and a few props. You can use your wall as a backdrop, or we’ve got some ideas for creating your own. Props can span furniture, handmade garlands, and more. (Though we’re partial to this dried citrus garland tutorial from Los Angeles floral designer Whit McClure. This prop would look just as good in the background of your photos as it does on that mantel.)

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So, grab your friends and family and gather around a well-designed DIY photo backdrop this New Year’s Eve. Below are some tips for creating your own at home.

Claiming Your Space

First, you’ll want to designate a space within your party setup as the photo backdrop area. Think of it as a blank canvas. White walls are great but starting with a color background adds dimension. Better yet, use your wall to your advantage. If your home is hugged by brownstone, just use that!

Make sure the space you designate as a photo backdrop area is large enough to fit several people within one frame. Taking a few test shots should do the trick.

Pick a Backdrop

If you aren’t using your interior as a backdrop, you’ll want to craft your own. This can be done by gathering materials from local craft stores or photo kits sold on Etsy. Let your creativity show through your backdrop. If this was the year you finally discovered your green thumb, celebrate it by hanging garlands of dried citrus. Or incorporate a unique backdrop that highlights a special place.

For a splash of color, grab rolls of ribbon, some lace, and a string. Cut the string to be at least 5 feet across (or more if your photo booth space is larger) with excess room for hanging. From there, wrap the ends of the ribbon on the strings and hot glue each strand down, switching colors with each one you hang. You can swap out your colors according to the season or party theme.

If you’re cutting it close on time, head to Etsy. Many shops have a variety of backdrops or backdrop kits that could match your vibe. If you’re looking for glitz and glamour, order a sequin wall from BlushBloomsDecor. The sequins come in different colors ranging from rose gold to iridescent silver. The wall is a show-stopper and the perfect accessory for a New Year’s Eve photo backdrop.

Sequin Backdrop

Courtesy of Blush Blooms Decor

Keeping up with the sparkle, you can buy a fringe backdrop from OhMyDarlingPartyCo. Even though the backdrop appears to have various depths of gold, bronze, and silver, it comes in one piece with a plastic backing that is easily hung.

Courtesy of Oh My Darling Party Co.

On the spherical side, you can pick up a paper circle garland from EfavormartBoutique. This alternative has the same effect as the fringe backdrop but is a softer element that will blend into your background.

Courtesy of KHallberg Design

Accessorize Your Booth

Now that you’ve got your backdrop it’s time to add design elements. To leave your guest with a scent and a smile, you can accessorize with plants. Place potted plants in the corner on flower stands or wood blocks to add dimension to your setup. String them along the corner on a garland to look like vines running through the frame.

Keep it simple by adding picture frames to the frame (yes, you read that correctly)! Grab vintage frames from your local craft or thrift store, and place them in the upper corners of your setup. You can combine the frames with your flora and fauna elements to create a down-to-earth vibe.

Add supportive elements like a bench or chair. This way, larger groups can fit in the frame. “Pop a gorgeous upholstered piece in there as well, and give guests a place to perch while they make memories,” Morgan Montgomery of vintage rental company Paisley & Jade previously told us.

You can take your booth to the next level by adding a large structure. This gold arch from EfavormartBoutique will transport your guests with its mesmerizing design. You can create your own twist by adding balloons and flowers of your choice. EfavormartBoutique also offers a wooden arch in a hexagon shape that offers a bohemian-type feel.

Courtesy of Efavormart Boutique

Final Touches: Props!

Don’t forget the props. These decorative elements are a fun way to make your photobooth interactive. From funny sunglasses to costume hats, save some time and money by using accessories you already have at home. You can pick up a pair of scissors and cut out cardboard mustaches and more. All that’s left to do is snap a pic and capture the excitement of the new year.

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