October 11, 2012

Personalized Photo Name Props for Kids

(What do you think of this photo editing effect? Its called daguerrotype on PicMonkey)
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My little Bean Sprout has been invited to a friend's birthday party this week. The guest list is on the larger side, so the parents have requested "no gifts please" to avoid toy overload. Being mindful of their wishes but still wanting to celebrate the occasion, I decided to make a personalize photo prop for the child. Plus, I've been looking for an excuse to try one of the awesome ideas on my overhead projector project inspiration list.  (You can still do this even if you don't own a projector; read {this} post for step-by-step instructions on how to enlarge an image by hand, using the grid technique.)

If you read a lot of blogs (or Pinterest) you are probably aware of the popularity of photo props. There are a lot of clever ideas designed to match any party theme or occasion. However, my favorite photo props are children's personalized photo props. I love the personalized nature of props depicting a child's name or age. For this gift, I chose to her first name, but this would also be a cute project for a Thank-you or Christmas photo greeting card with a kid holding the words, Merry Christmas, Thanks, or HoHoHo. 

Want to make one? Here's how.

 Step 1:  Create a homemade transparency sheet by using a plastic page protector and a dry-erase marker to trace a printing of your words of choice. (This font is called Marcelle Script.)

Step 2:  Place the page protector tracing onto the overhead and project enlarged image onto foam core board. Use a pencil to outline the shadow.

Step 3:  Use the pencil guide to outline text with a permanent marker.

Step 4: Cut out with craft knife. I found this worked best by using small, puncture-like cuts first and then going back around with a regular slicing motion. Knowing that the inside of the foam core would be white, I chose to also leave a white shadow around the text and cut a few millimeters outside the ink line.

After the initial cut, your edges may be slightly jagged. If desired, you can smooth out the edges by doing a second cut around the perimeter with your blade angled slightly down and inwardly - leaving the top surface intact but smoothing out any irregularities of the foam board's middle layer.

Step 5: Attempting to get a good photograph with a curious two year old proved to be the most difficult step :-)

Happy Birthday Sweet Olivia! I hope your mommy has better luck photographing you with your name prop than I did with my little girl.

Again, thank you Off Beat Bride, for your project inspiration!

Linking up: Love and Laundry, Live Laugh Rowe, Bear Rabbit Bear, Happy Hour Projects, My Repurposed Life, Design, Dining and Diapers, Positively Splendid, Sugar Bee Crafts


  1. That is ridiculously neat! Did you find the edges after cutting to be rough? I tried cutting foam board once, and it was a disaster. I was thinking about maybe glueing some thing ribbon around the whole thing to hide the edge. Also, thank you for your comment on my blog - yes, that's me and hubs in the background :-) We will take it one day at a time, chirpy or not!

    1. Thanks! After the first cutting the edges were irregular - but not really rough. Still, I chose to tidy it up for a cleaner appearance by doing a second cut around the perimeter with my blade angled down and inwardly (leaving the top layer intact, but smoothing out the cut edge of the middle substance and making the bottom "footprint" is slightly smaller than the top). Although your ribbon suggestion is a good idea too.

  2. Very very cool! I'll have to get my mom to do this at her school!

  3. LOVE IT! Now I need to get my hands on a projector :) Thanks for linking up to LLR! Hugs, Kelly

  4. I love it! That turned out SO cool. You did an amazing job and it will definitely make for a lot of adorable pictures. Happy birthday to your adorable little girl.

    1. Just realized, it wasn't for your adorable little girl. This is a GREAT gift to give for a birthday party. I'd take this over gifts any day.

  5. how fun! I'm sure you'll be making one for your sweet girl!