32 Homemade DIY Photography Props (Cheap & Easy!)

Some items you already have in your house can be used as great DIY photography props, while others you'll need to make. Either way, here's how to do it.

If you’re looking for homemade DIY photography props, you’ve come to the right place.

Props can really level up your photographs.

However, not everyone has the budget nor the storage space to buy new props for each photo session.

So, in this article, I’ll show you how to use everyday objects as props.

I’ve also included some easy-to-do versatile props you can make at home.

If you’re ready to get started, let’s get crafty!

What Can I Use for DIY Photo Props?

Whether you add light bulbs over your model’s head to indicate an idea or use the wedding vows underneath the rings in your wedding photos, props are part of your creative vision.

Here’s a list of prop ideas to inspire you so that your pictures are always meaningful and beautiful.

1. Christmas decorations 

Christmas wreath

Credit: Cottonbro Studio

You can use tons of DIY photography props to create a holiday atmosphere. The perfect prop is the Christmas tree with some presents underneath.

However, you can also decorate with wreaths, Christmas lights, mistletoe, or any other red and green ornament. You can buy them or make them yourself using items like fabric, felt and ribbon.

2. Chairs

Little girl on chair

Credit: Anna Shvets

Chairs are some of the most versatile photography props out there. They come in different colors, sizes, and styles.

If you’re doing a portrait, the model can sit or lean on one. Also, they can sit on the floor next to a chair and use it to rest their arms.

You can use chairs as photography props in interior photography, commercial photography, and basically any photoshoot.

To be more creative, you can use other types of furniture such as a sofa, a bed, or a bathtub.

3. Cushions

Baby on cushion

Credit: алёна-артёмкина

Cushions are great photography props. They’re especially useful for baby photos or pet photography.

That said, they’re also a great way to add a pop of color to the furniture in a real estate photo or a lifestyle shoot.

4. Fairy lights 

Cat with lights

Credit: Marcus Pinho

Fairy lights are a must-have in any photographer’s arsenal of prop ideas. They give you a lot of creative freedom because of all the ways you can use them.

They can be the primary light source, you can use them to build different DIY props, or hang them in the background to create bokeh.

5. Paper mache 


Paper mache (or papier machè) is a crafting technique where you bind pieces of thick paper or fabric with glue to build objects.

The above video shows how to make an egg as a DIY photography prop for a newborn. However, there are tons of ideas you can do with paper mache.

You can use this technique to DIY photography props for all sorts of photos without spending too much money.

6. Stuffed animals 

Boy with bear

Credit: Pixabay

Stuffed animals are the cutest photography props when taking portraits of babies and toddlers. You can ask the family to bring the child’s plush toy, or you can use one from your prop collection.

7. Balloons 

girl and balloons

Credit: Amponsah Nii Davidson

Balloons are super versatile photography props. You can use regular balloons in different colors or get different shapes.

You can also find numbers, letters, champagne bottles, and more. You can choose the ones that better fit your specific vision for your photos.

8. Fake butterflies

Model with butterflies

Credit: Cihan Oğuzmetin

You can buy fake butterflies at any craft store. If you don’t find them, they are incredibly easy to make with colored paper and a hot glue gun.

They’re perfect photography props for fantasy photo shoots, for example.

9. Flower crowns


Flowers are very useful as photo props. You can use them to decorate the setting of your shoot or have your model hold them as a bouquet.

You can also use them to create DIY photography props such as flower crowns. You can use fresh or artificial flowers and customize them to all types of photos just by using a different color palette.

10. Hats 

Model wearing hat

Credit: Rodnae Productions

Hats are perfectly suitable as photo props – not just as part of the wardrobe. You can use them as decoration, to give your model something to have in their hands, etc.

11. An umbrella 

Umbrella with fairy lights

Credit: Matheus Bertelli

Umbrellas can be fun and colorful photography props. I’m sure you’ll find many ideas to use in your images, whether open or closed, hanging from the ceiling or down on the ground.

Adding lights to an umbrella is another way to turn it into a stunning photography prop.

12. A stool 

Girl with sweater

Credit: владими васильев

Stools are very useful photography props, especially in portrait photography. The model can sit on one, but they can also use it to put their feet up and give a standing pose more movement.

13. A ladder 

Boy on stepladder

Credit: Ivan Samkov

A step ladder can be an interesting prop if used in a creative way. You can have your model use it with different poses, or you can decorate it and use it as part of the scene.

14. A mirror 

Mirror in garden

Credit: Mental Health-America MHA

Mirrors are fantastic photography props. You can get super creative using reflections – just be careful you or your camera don’t accidentally show up in the photo (unless that’s part of your creative concept).

15. Teepee 


If you’re looking for a DIY idea, a teepee photo is a must-have for a family or baby photo shoot.

Teepees (or tipis) are easy to make with materials found in craft stores. They won’t cost you too much money, and they look fantastic.

You’ll need a soft blanket or fabric and three wooden poles. To put it together, you can use hot glue or sew it with thread and a needle.

16. Vintage luggage 

Man with twine and luggage

Credit: Moose Photos

If it matches the overall mood of the photo, you can use vintage luggage as a prop. It can be a trunk that serves as a bench or a small cosmetic bag for your model to hold. They’re also beautiful for still-life photos or building a set.

17. Mugs 

Puppy in cup

Credit: Pixabay

Mugs can be more than food photography props. Since they come in many sizes, designs, and colors, they can be a creative addition to other types of photos.

18. Baskets 

Kitten in basket

Credit: Vadim B

Baskets are perfect photography props. You can cover it with faux fur to make it soft and pose a baby or puppy.

You can also fill them with fresh produce for a seasonal food photo shoot. To reuse it in multiple shots without making it evident that it’s the same, you can use spray paint to change its color.

19. Toilet paper 


I know it may sound weird, but you can do many DIY photography props with toilet paper rolls and a few materials you can find in a craft or hardware store.

The above video shows how to make a flower decoration built with spray-painted toilet rolls. However, there are so many DIY props you can do that you’ll find it difficult to choose.

For a product photoshoot, you can use spray paint and cardboard to make stands and pedestals. You can also use the tissue to make flowers or even craft a basket.

20. Bags 

Woman with shopping bags

Credit: Tim Douglas

Many ideas involve using bags as photography props. For example, you can use colorful shopping bags for your model to carry while strolling down a big avenue, creating a fashionable and urban photo shoot.

Another option for DIY photography props using bags is to use a whicker bag to hold a puppy or a kitten. You can also use paper bags to hold fruits or vegetables during a food photo shoot.

You can find many online tutorials on how to upcycle paper grocery bags into baskets or bowls using spray paint and glue. You can also use hot glue to attach birds or flowers to them.

21. Cotton clouds 

Cotton clouds

Credit: Monstera

You’ll love cotton clouds if you’re looking for creative ideas for DIY photography props.

You can create fake clouds using cotton balls and pillow stuffing. Simply use spray-on adhesive to create a cluster using the pillow stuffing.

Then, shred some cotton balls and start layering them on top until your cloud looks fluffy.

If you want to add some color, you can use spray paint or mix alcohol with food coloring and spray it on. Now, you can glue the clouds to a blue backdrop.

22. Disco balls 

Boy with disco balls

Credit: Koolshooters

Disco balls make for fun photography props. They easily create a party mood, plus you can use them for cool light effects.

23. Confetti

Throwing confetti

Credit: Designecologist

As soon as you see confetti, you know something fun is happening. So, if you want a festive mood, confetti poppers are great photography props.

You can also hire a confetti cannon if you want to go big, or simply sprinkle some around if you prefer something mild – for a toddler’s photoshoot, for example.

24. Bean bag 

Yellow beanbag

Credit: Zaid Mohammed

Bean bags are great photo props – they create a casual atmosphere in the room. They’re also perfect for a baby photoshoot because you can gently pose the baby on them.

If you like to sew, you can make different covers to change colors, patterns and textures and use them as DIY photography props on multiple photoshoots.

25. Grapevine wreaths


Grapevine wreaths are made from natural materials and are perfect to create a rustic look. They’re also easy and inexpensive.

Consider decorating them with different flowers or leaves depending on the season or the color palette used in your photoshoot.

26. Chalkboard backgrounds 

Woman with glasses arms folded

Credit Max Fischer

Chalkboard backgrounds are accessible and reusable DIY photography props. You can use them to create a fun flat lay or as a background for a portrait.

Simply erase the whole thing and repaint it for new ideas. You can find portable chalkboard backgrounds that you can roll. You can also buy chalkboard paint and use it on a wall in your studio or cardboard if you need a rigid surface.

27. Flower seat 


This is one of the most beautiful DIY photography props you can get for a boho-style photoshoot. You can use it for children, adults, pets, and other portrait sessions.

The metal base is a log holder, but using another object as a round base is possible. You can buy this online or at a home decor store. First, you can wrap it with twine or regular tape. Otherwise, it can be spray painted.

Then, you can glue flowers and other decorations to it. You can also add cardboard as a seating prop.

28. Watering can

Girl watering garden

Credit: Rodnae Productions

Watering cans are excellent photography props for a cute outdoor photo session or a lifestyle one.

You can also use them as a vase to hold flowers and use them as a prop in a still-life photo. For example, if painted white, you can use it for a wedding composition with a nature or boho look.

29. Flowers in a milk bath

Milk bath model

Credit: Victoria Akvarel

Use flowers as props if you’re doing a milk bath photo session. First, you need to prepare the milk bath – you can use milk powder to avoid unnecessary waste.

Then, get your model in the bath. Now, think about the colors and composition and start adding the flowers.

You can use artificial ones, but you need to waterproof them with Scotchgard. Another tip is to glue something that floats underneath each flower so they don’t sink.

30. Hand fans

Model with fans

Credit: Victoria Akvarel

Hand fans are fun and versatile photo props. These give your model something to hold, so the hands don’t feel awkward.

They can also be playful because the model can open them and cover parts of the face or hold them forward to create depth.

They come in all sizes and colors, so you can color-coordinate them with the wardrobe and the backdrop.

Also, think about them as DIY photography props. For example, you can glue them together and build a fun background full of texture and color.

31. Books

Lying on grass with books

Credit: Marcelo Chagas

Books are also excellent props for all sorts of photos. Giving your model books to read not only gives them something to do, but can also add to the mood of your photo shoot or give it context.

For example, you can choose a book for a prop that completely defies the stereotype presented by the model, or a book that suggests something about who they are and what they’re doing.

Books can also be a part of a still-life scene or a flat-lay photo.

You can also get more creative and take a levitation photo. Another clever idea is to add some light in the open book to make it look as if it was magical for a fantasy scene.

32. Frame

Model with frame

Credit: Pedro Dias

For most people, frames are the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about DIY photography props. They are versatile because you can find them in many styles, colors and sizes. You can also build them or upcycle them.

Some ideas with frames are the multi-generation portrait or using the portrait as a passage to “another dimension” – if you have some Photoshop skills.

Otherwise, you can simply ask your model to hold it and frame their face with it or hang many of them in the background as decoration.

How Can I Make a PhotoBooth Prop at Home?

Handheld masks

Credit: PxHere

There are many things you can use as photo booth props. However, the most common are the signs and masks with a stick so people can hold them up while taking photos.

If you want to do these DIY photography props, you just need to follow these simple steps.

  • Find the shapes, drawings, and photos you want to use.
  • Print them on heavy-duty cardstock paper. If you can’t find it, use the thickest one that you can find. You can go to any local printer if your home printer can’t handle thick paper. It’s important that it’s matt and opaque, so it doesn’t create glare in your photos.
  • Cut the shape that you want.
  • Use spray glue to paste the prints onto the foam board. This step is optional but will make your DIY photography props more durable.
  • Cut the shape on the foam board with an X-Acto knife or Stanley knife.
  • You can leave them like this, but you can also tape a wood stick to the back so people can hold them without covering them with their fingers.

Make sure you follow all the appropriate safety precautions while using the X-Acto knife and wear a mask while spraying the glue.

What Are Some Creative Props for Product Photography?

Product photo props

Credit: Beaudec

  • Knitted Items: Scarves, mittens, or hats add warmth to winter shots.
  • Wooden Letter Blocks: Spell out names or messages for personal touch.
  • Seasonal Decorations: Pumpkins, wreaths, or handmade ornaments for festive photos.
  • Baking Session Props: Cookies, cakes, and all the baking tools for a culinary-themed shoot.
  • Book Arrangements: Create a literary atmosphere with old books and manuscripts.
  • Candles and Lanterns: Perfect for romantic or mystical shots.

A bottle of perfume, sunglasses and a book on a bed.

  • Vintage Luggage: Travel-themed photos get an upgrade with old suitcases.
  • Handcrafted Jewelry: Unique jewelry can add sparkle and character to portraits.
  • Garden Tools and Flowers: Ideal for a spring or gardening-themed shoot.
  • Musical Instruments: For the music lovers, guitars, pianos, or other instruments can enhance your photos.
  • Smoke Bombs: For that dramatic and colorful effect.
  • Bubble Machines: Great for children’s or playful adult sessions.

A woman blowing soap bubbles in a laundry room.

  • Reflectors: Enhance natural light and add glow.
  • Themed Costumes: Whether it’s Halloween or a historical shoot, costumes can make it more authentic.
  • Food Items: From colorful macarons to fresh fruits, food can be visually stunning.
  • Furniture: Chairs, tables, or antique pieces can add sophistication.
  • Umbrellas: Different shapes, sizes, and colors can set the mood.
  • Fake Snow: Create a winter wonderland, regardless of the season.
  • Mannequins: For fashion or abstract photography.
  • Professional Backdrops: Available in various themes and colors for quick setup.
  • Pet Props: Whether DIY, homemade, or purchased pet costumes and accessories are fun.

A camera, a magnifying glass, a compass and a magnifying glass.

  • Seasonal Combo: Mix purchased items with handmade seasonal decorations.
  • Children’s Fantasy Shoot: Costumes, fairy wings, or DIY magic wands.
  • Wedding Themes: A combination of handmade, DIY, and purchased props for that special day.
  • Adventure Shoot: Camping gear, maps, compasses, and more for the adventurous at heart.
  • Fitness Props: Yoga mats, dumbbells, or homemade fitness drinks.
  • Spa Day: Face masks, homemade scrubs, and fluffy towels.
  • Tea Party: Vintage teacups, purchased pastries, and hand-knitted doilies.
  • Automotive Shoot: From model cars to actual vintage vehicles.
  • Beach Day: Beach balls, DIY sandcastles, or even surfboards.

You can also make your own DIY photo lightbox to take your product photography to the next level.

Tips on Selecting and Using Props

A lamp on a table in a room.

Choosing the right props and knowing how to use them can make or break a shoot. Here are some guidelines:

  • Match the Theme: Ensure that the props align with the theme of the photoshoot.
  • Consider the Subject: The props should complement the subject and not overpower them.
  • Quality Matters: Whether making or buying, ensure that the props are of good quality, as shabby props can reduce the overall aesthetics.
  • Practice Before the Shoot: Spend time understanding how each prop can be utilized effectively in the shoot.
  • Store Them Properly: Organize props efficiently so that they can be reused in the future.

FAQs about homemade DIY photography props

What can I use for photo props?

  • Props can include accessories, signs, simple furniture, household items, or themed objects.
  • The choice of props depends on the style and purpose of the photo shoot.

How to make your own props for a photo booth?

  • Choose a theme and use materials such as cardboard, paper, or foam to create shapes and designs.
  • Add embellishments like glitter or sequins to make them more eye-catching.
  • Attach the props to sticks or handles for easy handling in front of the photo booth.

How do you make baby photoshoot props?

  • Creating a mini chalkboard or sign, using a cozy blanket or quilt, making a simple headband or bow, or using a basket or crate.
  • Keep safety in mind when selecting and using props with babies and always have someone to assist and support them during the photo shoot.

How do you arrange props in photography?

  • Use props of varying sizes and shapes to create a balanced composition.
  • Consider the color scheme and overall mood of the photo when selecting props.
  • Use props to create a sense of depth and perspective.
  • Avoid clutter by using only a few carefully selected props that enhance the overall theme or concept of the photo.
8 Tools for Photographers

Check out these 8 essential tools to help you succeed as a professional photographer.

Includes limited-time discounts.

Learn more here
Shotkit Writer & Camera Gear Reviewer

Ana Mireles is a Mexican researcher that specializes in photography and communications for the arts and culture sector.

Leave a Comment



Enter your email to be sent
today's Welcome Gift:
19 Photography Tools

🔥 Popular NOW:

Shotkit may earn a commission on affiliate links. Learn more.