A little over a month ago, I wrote a post about some inexpensive flatlay backdrop options. Basically I shared all the different backgrounds I’ve used throughout my blog photography, as well as places you can purchase such backgrounds. Today I thought I’d write a sort of follow-up to that post, but discuss inexpensive blog props instead of backgrounds.
As I’ve worked on improving my blog photography these past few months, the thing that’s been the most challenging by far has been finding blog props. While I like to mix things up in my compositions and use a variety of different items, it’s definitely not the easiest thing to do. Cute and quality blog props can be pretty expensive. And unless you’ve got a limitless budget (wouldn’t that be the dream), you’ve got to learn to work with what’s at your disposal. From a lot (and I do mean a lot) of trial and error, I’ve discovered some good ways to diversify your flatlays for relatively little cost. These tips have been really great help to me, so I hope they can do the same for you.
I love doing these budget-friendly types of posts because I feel like a lot of us are in the same spot when it comes to blog spending. Since blogging is a hobby rather than a job for most of us, it can be hard to justify big purchases, especially on blog props. I’m always excited when I find items that look great and don’t cost much, so I like sharing these finds whenever I can.
Treat nothing like trash
This first (and most obvious) one won’t cost you any money that you haven’t already spent. And, if you’re a bit of a makeup hoarder like me, it should be pretty simple. After you’ve finished off a tube of mascara or a bottle of foundation, think before you throw it away. If something has pretty packaging, you should consider keeping it as a blog prop. Even if you’re not explicitly reviewing the product, you can still use it to fill up the open space in a composition. Plus, if the packaging contains colors that are similar to those of another item you’re discussing on your blog, it can look really uniform and clean. Don’t throw products out unless you’re 100% sure you can’t incorporate them in a photo.
Buy secondhand magazines
One thing I frequently do is purchase magazines from resale book shops rather than brand new copies. While magazines aren’t extremely expensive, the cost of them in the long-run certainly can add up, especially if you like to buy new ones each month. By buying magazines at resale book shops, I save myself a few dollars and have a lot wider of a selection. Most of the magazine copies that are sold in grocery stores are newer additions, which is convenient if that’s what you’re looking for. But most of the time, I’m on the hunt for magazines that pair well with other blog props. Since the color of the magazine is much more important to me than the issue number, I’m much happier with what I find at resale stores.
Consider fabrics and textures
Another thing I’ve been especially focused on doing recently is incorporating different textures into my flatlays. I love the look of fuzzy and raised textures, especially against marble background, which is what I tend to use. The easiest way to achieve a fuzzy texture is to use a blanket. I have a fuzzy, light blue blanket that I love adding to the corners of my flatlays to give them that variation in texture. I think it’s a fun way to change things up and it uses something that you’re likely to have at home, which is also a plus. Besides, if you don’t have a good blanket to use, clothing works as well. I’ve added printed shirts and sweaters to flatlays before and enjoyed the look of them.
Remember table confetti
At one to two dollars a bag, table confetti is one of cheapest ways to spruce up a flatlay composition. Table confetti is so great because it’s such a quick way to fill up large, empty spaces. For example, when I was shooting the pictures for my recent brow products post, I felt like my featured image was extremely dull and plain. To fix it, I sprinkled a handful of confetti all across the composition, which really made the flatlay for me. It took a matter of seconds and didn’t cost more than a couple of dollars. Plus, I’ll be able to use this confetti in many blog photos in the future.
Make use of your electronics
Some particularly easy flatlay fillers that I use are my laptop and IPhone. Obviously these aren’t technically inexpensive items, but if you’ve already got them, it’s a good way to find another use for them. In particular, I like to angle my laptop in the corner of my flatlays. It has a clean and sleek look to it, which is something I’m always trying to achieve. Also, depending on how I angle my laptop, I can get it to fill either big or small spaces. My phone has been a useful blog prop as well, mostly if a composition needs just a little extra something. It’s an especially interesting blog prop if you own a cool case.
Overall, while blog props can be expensive, I definitely think it’s possible to get great results by making the most out of the things you have around you. A lot of the things that I use in my flatlay compositions come from my house. It’s all about creating inspiration from what you already have. You don’t need to spend lots of money in order to take photos that you’re happy with. Sometimes the best thing to do is use your creativity to make something out of nothing. It’s amazing how many household items you can find use for in blog photography.
What are some of your favorite inexpensive blog props?