Photo Fun: Using Pictures in Your Party Décor

Studio 5 Party, Holiday and Ideas Contributor Alisa Bangerter shows us how.

Invitations and Other Cards:

• Invitations and thank you notes are always fun when a photo is incorporated in a creative way. Maybe a photo of a person holding a sign that says: “You’re invited…” or “Thank You!”

• Photos of humorous or other items can be made into fun invitations, gift card or thank you notes. Look around and you might be amazed at what you could use in a photograph or look through photos you have already taken and place fun captions with them.

• Tie a photo to an item that would coordinate with your theme and us it as an invitation.

Gift Wrap:

• Use photos as the actual gift wrap or as part of the tag or gift card.

• Photos also are great when placed on the front of gift bags or gift boxes as the main embellishment. This really can add personalization to a gift.

• Make a gift tag using a photo and die cut it or punch it into a creative shape.

• Wrapping paper can be made easily by scanning photos (make a collage), printing on lightweight paper and then piecing the paper together to make sheets of wrap.

• Here is a website that offers wrapping paper made with your photos:

General Party Décor:

• Photos can add a lot of fun to a party. Gather humorous photos of guests and use in your décor. These make great conversation starters.

• Hang photos from ribbons from the ceiling. Make them just above head level.

• String wire, ribbon or string along walls and clip on photos as you would a clothesline.

• Change out larger frames in your home with large photographs (These can be printed or enlarged photo copies to reduce cost).

• Have posters made form photographs and place on walls. Coordinate these posters to a theme and use photo editing software to create some fun items. These posters could be used as favors.

• Enlarged photos can be mounted to canvas boards and hung from wires for a classic clean “retail” look.

• A timeline of photos along a wall would be a great décor piece for a birthday party, grad party or other milestone themed party.

• Large photos would be fun if placed outside lining a walkway, on a door or hanging from trees.

• Contact your local copy center and ask about enlarging a photo into a life-size character. A life-size photo of someone would make great décor piece for a party as well as a fun photo opportunity for creative favors.

Table Décor:

• Use photos to create custom table runners. Simply stitch together copies of actual photographs or transfer photos to fabric. A custom tablecloth could also be made with photo transfers.

• Glue photos on paper placemats or print your own on cardstock. 12″ x 12″ pieces of cardstock work great as placemats and are disposable.

• “Photo-fetti,” which is confetti made of tiny photographs is a great accent sprinkled down a center of a table. Make your own by printing sheets of tiny photographs (use your photo editing software to print tiny proof sheets) and then punching them into shapes. An option is to have it made for you and here is a link to check out the possibilities:

• Photos make great place cards. Use photographs of guests instead of names. Each guest must find their photo to find where they will sit. Place photos in small frames at each place setting or make your own using cardstock. Whimsical photos cut out in creative shapes also make fun place cards for a casual or family party. These can make great conversation pieces as well.

• A photo place card could also be tied to a napkin and double as a napkin ring.

• Use photos to decorate serving pieces. Spray a photograph with spray adhesive and place under a clear plate or a large clear serving platter. The photograph can be easily removed and the dish washed easily.

• Photos can be placed in tiny metal frame charms or mini tags made from them and tied to glasses or stemware to use as identifiers during a party.

• Photos can be printed onto sticker paper (available at office supply stores) and photo stickers used to decorate napkins, plastic cups, etc.

• Photos make great centerpieces. Photographs can be simply placed in small frames down the center of a table. An inexpensive option would be to print photos and place on both sides of a folded piece of cardstock and place down a table.

• To make a centerpiece photo holder, simply take a 2″ x 4″ piece of pine wood the length of your table (or whatever size board you wish to use). Paint, stain and or distress the wood to match your décor. Drill numerous holes down the top of the wood and insert soft wire. Bend the wire into curls at the top of each piece. Make some short and some tall. Insert photos in the curled part of the wire.

• Photos can be used to wrap vases or decoupaged onto containers to hold flowers or other items.

• Photographs printed onto transparencies (check ink to make sure it won’t run when wet – avoid inkjet) can be immersed in water and make very fun centerpieces when placed in clear containers.

Decorate Food Items:

• Use photos to decorate food. Many bakeries can take a photo you bring them and put it onto a cake or cookies. It is usually printed, using food coloring onto a thin edible wafer or sugar paper that is adhered to a cake or cookies. There are also places online that cookies can be ordered from using your photos.

• M&M Mars company allows you to have your photos printed on M&M candies:

• Darling photo cupcake picks can be made by punching small photos into shapes, adhering to a toothpick and adding a ribbon if desired.

• Photos can be made into food wraps by printing photos onto thin vellum like papers. Use these wrap around sandwiches, candies, breads, etc. This would be fun to go along with a theme party.

• Fun photos can also be used on picks as part of food markers.

Favors and Miscellaneous:

• Photos can be used in many different ways to create personalized favors. For example: a beach photo would make a nice tag, cover of a notebook, food wrap etc. for a beach themed party. A photo of a new baby might be nice used on a favor for a baby shower. Be creative!

• To make a photo soap favor: cut out a photo the size of the top of a bar of soap. Place a thin layer of melted paraffin on top of soap. Place photo in melted paraffin. Dip top of soap in paraffin to coat photo. Let dry. Wrap in net or cellophane or just use in your bathroom for guests. The photo encased in the paraffin will stay until the soap is gone.

• A company that will make your digital photograph into a rubber stamp is: A photo stamp would be fun to use to stamp on napkins, cards, tags, tissue paper, etc. These would make great favors!

• A website where you can create many custom photo items and gifts from postage, to cards to ties to shoes:

• Need to purchase images of a specific item or theme. Go to: for lots of great shots available for purchase for a small fee and downloadable.

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