Photo booths always seem to add an extra touch of fun to any party, right? It is always entertaining to see party guests wearing ridiculous costumes, holding up crazy props, and just looking downright silly, all in the name of fun! Unfortunately, the cost to rent a photo booth, at least in my neck of the woods, can run anywhere from $500 to well over $1000, depending on how long you rent it and what options you choose with it. Well, I really wanted to have a photo booth at my daughter’s 7th Trolls-themed birthday party, but there was no way I was paying that kind of money for a child’s birthday party! So, I found a way to create a DIY photo booth for a fraction of the cost of a rental. And even better, once you purchase the initial equipment, you have it available for all future events. Score!
The photo booth was a life-saver at my daughter’s party, as rain forced us to move our outdoor party into our workshop, which really limited the party activities. We did have a bounce house that we squeezed into the shop, but surprisingly the kids spent more time with the photo booth and creating frames for the photo booth pictures than they spent in the bounce house, so it was definitely a hit! Here is how I created the photo booth:
DIY Photo Booth Supplies:
|Canon Selphy Color Photo Printer||Canon Color Ink and 108 Sheet 4 x 6 Paper||Tripod|
|Cell Phone Tripod Adapter & Bluetooth Remote Control||iPhone or Android Phone and power cord|
|Use whichever you already have|
DIY Photo Booth Setup
First, gather all the materials and place them in the location for the photo booth. You’ll need an Android phone or an iPhone (or a tablet, but you’ll need to purchase a different tripod adapter) for the photo booth. I would recommend using an old phone that you are no longer using (especially if used at a children’s birthday party where there is a chance the phone could get knocked over or damaged). We had an old iPhone 5s on hand that we were no longer using and no longer had a cell plan for.
First, attach the cell phone adapter to the tripod.
Next, load the printer with photo paper, plug it in and turn it on. Turn on the cell phone as well.
Connect the phone to the printer through a Direct Connection (the printer acts as an access point so you can directly connect your phone to it). Here are the instructions for connecting an iPhone to the printer (for an Android phone, you would follow the same procedure, but may have different menu selections for the Wi-Fi):
Once the printer is on, click on the “wireless” button
The connection options will appear on the printer screen, choose “Direct Connection” and click the “OK” button.
The printer will then display the password needed to connect the phone to the printer.
Now, on the phone, go to the Wi-Fi settings, select the printer as the Wi-Fi network to connect to, and enter the password for the printer. Here are the instructions for connecting an iPhone to the printer:
Click on “Settings”, and then select “Wi-Fi”.
Under “Choose a Network”, select the printer (CP1200).
At the prompt, enter the passcode shown on the printer screen and press “Join”
The printer screen should now say “Direct Connection” at the top.
Now, connect the bluetooth remote to the cell phone. Hold down the button on the remote until the light blinks to turn it on. Go into “Settings”, then “Bluetooth” and select the remote to connect to.
Next, open the camera app on the phone, and press the button on the remote, the phone should then take a picture.
Next, you will want to turn off the “Auto Lock” function on the phone (otherwise the phone will keep locking during the party and you’ll have to keep unlocking it with your password). To do this on the iPhone, go into “Settings” and select “Display and Brightness”.
Next, select the Auto Lock option.
Select “Never” and exit the Settings menu.
Now, place the phone into the adapter, with the screen facing towards the photo booth (this will allow guests to make sure they are in the camera range before taking a photo. Open the camera app and select the option to use the front camera. You’ll also want to make sure the phone is plugged into a power source as keeping the screen on for he entirety of the party will quickly drain the battery!
For the photo booth background, I used three rectangular plastic table covers from Walmart that were $0.97 each. Since our party was a Trolls party, I had a blue and pink background (for Poppy and Branch). I hung some balloons towards the top of the table covers to give it even more of a party-feel, and also added in some sparkly pink party decor flowers I purchased from Hobby Lobby. Lastly, I added in a Trolls cardboard standup. But it doesn’t cost a lot to create a nice and colorful photo booth background! Here’s a pic from the party with a view of the photo booth background:
I set the tripod about 6 feet in front of the photo booth background, and then right next to the tripod, I placed a table where I set the printer, the remote, and the photo props.
I then let kids loose with the photo booth! With the camera remote, they were easily able to take a ton of pics of themselves. Because the kids were still fairly young, I did have to help them print the photos. But for older kids or adults, you could easily have the print instructions on the table next to the printer.
Here is how to print the pics using an iPhone:
Once you take a picture, click on the small square image of the photo at the bottom of the screen in the camera app.
Select the image you want to print.
Once you have found the image you want, press the “Send to” symbol in the top menu options above the picture:
Ensure the picture you want to print is selected (it will have a blue check mark at the bottom right of the photo), and then click “Next”.
A menu option will then pop up. Scroll up to reveal the options at the bottom.
Once the bottom menu options are visible, scroll to the left until you view the option to “print”.
Press the “Print” option.
In the “Printer Options” menu, make sure the Canon Selphy is listed as the printer, and select “Print” in the upper right corner.
After a few seconds, the screen on the printer will display “Busy”.
As the printer begins printing, the screen will display “Now Printing” and will show the color being added to the photo (the photo goes through the printer four times as the colors are being added to the photo paper).
The photo will then exit the printer once all colors have been added.
Tear off the white perforated ends of the photo and your picture is ready! Your guests can now take home fun memories from your event! To help keep the kids entertained and to make their pics extra special, I purchased a pack of Peel & Stick Foam Collage Frames for the kids to decorate and put their photo in.
The photo booth was definitely a hit, and for around $150 I now have all the materials to have a photo booth at future events! Here are a few more pics of the photo booth fun!
Have you found creative way to build a DIY photo booth? If so, I’d love to hear how you did it in the comments!