Making Photo Booth Props: Outreach at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County, Day 3
As promised, today is day 3 in discussing our outreach modules at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County and we will be discussing making our own photo booth props for our portable photo booth that I shared with you yesterday.
Why make your own props? Well, I figured since we are a Teen MakerSpace, it only made sense to make our own. So we did. With the help of various teens. And I’m not going to lie, it was AWESOME!
We made 20 props total with the help of about 10 teens and 3 Teen MakerSpace staff. It was more expensive then buying pre-made props, but it was a great community activity and the teens got to give us input on what props they wanted to make and be involved with the process every step of the way. It takes about $50.00 in supplies and 2 days to make 20 props.
- A computer and printer (we used this to make templates and to print off emojis)
- Foam core poster board
- A box knife
- A hot glue gun and many, many glue sticks
- Dowel rods
- Acrylic paint
- Paper towels
We tried a lot of different supplies, and some worked well while others were a complete fail. For example, we initially bought these cute pinwheel sticks at the craft store:
Although super cute, they did not hold up to the amount of use our props got so DO NOT USE them.
Use dowel rods, they are sturdy and hold up over the long term. You can spray paint them in bulk if you want something other than a natural finish.
We also experimented with various types of glue. A tot glue gun definitely worked the best.
For this type of an activity, you want to use acrylic paint. You can usually buy bulk packs at craft stores or buy individual colors for about .50 cents a bottle. If you know what props you want to make ahead of time, you can plan accordingly.
Making Our Props
We knew we wanted to make MakerSpace themed props for this outreach activity. This meant things like gears, science related symbols and more. In addition, our teens insisted that they wanted emojis.
To make the emoji props, teens simply blew the emoji up to the right size on a computer, printed them off, cut them out, and glued them to a piece of foam core. They then cut the foam core to shape and size and glued them to a stick. Amazingly simple.
To make our other props, for example the gears, we printed off a template which we then traced directly onto the foam core and cut out. We used paint to add features and give them dimension. We then simply glued them to a stick. Here’s a look at some of the props that we made.
In addition, I happen to be incredibly lucky because I have two artistically talented Teen MakerSpace Assistants. For example, this is Morgan. She drew and painted this Einstein prop free hand.
We are currently working on Star Wars themed props for Star Wars Reads Day. I made these Yoda ears all by myself using first a template and then some paint. It looks like Yoda, right?
We are also working on making emoji pumpkin props inspired by this Michael’s activity I saw at a recent event.
There wasn’t a lot of technology involved in this Teen MakerSpace activity, but a great time was had by all and I consider it a HUGE success. Because we have the photo booth, we will continue to make various themed props with our teens when appropriate.
Tomorrow, I am going to share with you Desiree’s technique for making chalkboard speech bubble photo booth props.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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