Instructables
Picture of School Portrait Costume
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In need of an easy, quick, and funny costume? Get old-school and make yourself into a school portrait. In just an afternoon, and with the help of a thrift shop / clothes hidden in the back of your closet, you get a second chance at elementary school. 

Plus, you'll gain respect on the playground this year after your mom springs the extra $4 for a laser background....
 
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Step 1: Print background

I've saved you the hard work with photoshop, and have attached the pre-sliced images of this rad laser background. I used a 24x32 sheet of corrugated plastic, so this is sized to fit with a little bit of wiggle room. Cardboard would also work fine as a backing. 

Simply print out these 12 images and lay them out to find where they go. Be sure to print each 100% to scale (see my screenshot for reference), without letting your printer re-size to fit the page. Chop and glue each piece to each other first. Then, once satisfied with your paper sheet, carefully use spray adhesive to attach to your backing. 

**note: there's a little bit of overlap with these images, but not much. Be sure to work meticulously so your pieces all line up. 

Step 2: Assemble

Picture of Assemble
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While holding up the freshly mounted backdrop behind you, have a friend mark where your shoulders and armpits are. 

Align each of those dots, and carefully cut a set of holes around each. I used zip-ties to make little loops. Then, between these two loops, I tied some yarn that matched my shirt, so I was wearing the sign like a backpack. 

Feel like adding some braces to the mix? Jeannie Mai show you how: 

And you're done! Trim any edges, throw on your retro gear, and rock out in your costume! Celebrating your success with a pudding cup: optional, but encouraged. 
SparkySolar2 months ago

very good ideas

emilyshore1 year ago
I love this project!! I want to make it for my friend's bachelorette party - we'll be bringing back our late 80's early 90's middle school look!! Thanks for posting!
HollyMann2 years ago
You look so cute! Miss those 80s..fun time growing up in...
poofrabbit2 years ago
This is the funniest costume!! It made me think of Glamor Shots, lol...well done!
pokiespout2 years ago
This is great! Oh, but Mr. Devoid, I have to say that there was ONE OTHER OPTION for school portrait backgrounds... and that was pitch black, with a spooky profile of your own face gazing heavenward.
My family started School Pictures, Inc. in the 40's and it was the first and largest school picture company. The shot you are describing is called a "reflection" and I took thousands of them! Twice the work and it was really awful when the person blinked on the second shot. Got to start all over. I remember the laser background well. This is great!
That's fantastic! I never had one of that style myself, and I recall being quite jealous of those who did in the early eighties. It seemed so classy then!
yeah, that's a pretty awesome idea.
YES!!! I am SO doing it but with the profile silhouette background!!! Bahahahahahaaaa
sempei132 years ago
Wow, I dated her in college. Maybe not, but a girl who wore her hair just like that; I never saw the laser background, though.

Great costume; reminds me of the late 80s and early 90s.
SQLGuru2 years ago
I love the idea, but a simpler way to do the background would have been to use wrapping paper.......the size should minimize cutting, too.
Did you by any chance post a photo up on Jezebel or Gawker? I'm pretty sure I saw a photo there haha
amandaggogo2 years ago
Such a funny costume! I love this idea!!
This is AMAZING. One of the best costume ideas I've seen in a long time.
Love this!
Beergnome2 years ago
Is it strange that I know how to do that background effect with an actual Airbrush?
Treknology2 years ago
I think this is clever and cheeky.
That is awesome! In fact, my parents have a picture of my from my junior year with that exact background! And that was from '90. Oh, memories...
dimdiode2 years ago
not being negative, as such (at least I hope you don't think I'm being mean,) but - wouldn't this be easier with green screen & do the laser background in the computer?

Just askin'
She didn't make a school portrait, she made herself into a walking school portrait, which is why you couldn't green screen it. I missed that at first glance, too (I think I was distracted by the old glasses that looked all too familiar).
I'm thinking you've missed the point that this is a costume to wear, rather than a setup to take the photo :)
You're missing the point. This is the costume, she is a walking and talking school picture. She didn't do this to take a picture of herself.
First thing that came to my mind was the new music video "Let's Go" by Matt and Kim. Love the Costume!
kderevan2 years ago
P.S. Excellent pose--you have to pause and do that hand-to-chin shot every few steps.
kderevan2 years ago
Oh my! I am way too old to have had the laser background option, but I love it anyway. Our backgrounds were mottled blue cheesy fabric--and not Photoshopped in, since Photoshop hadn't been invented yet.

I hate dressing in costumes, but this one actually appeals to me!
kmpres2 years ago
I must have played hooky that day.  I never heard of the neon laser school picture background, but then, when I was in high school, the PDP8/i was the King of the Hill.  
PDP8/i .... Wow I used to own one of them. It was the old Japan Airlines bookings computer which I bought for a couple of hundred pounds. Used to keep it in the bedroom even though it was in a 6ft rack as I had a VERY understanding GF at the time.

Sorry about the detour here .... Just a stroll down memory lane.
Nick705872 years ago
Oh that brings back memories. My senior pictures had the same neon laser background or neon star burst....and that was in 98!!! Awesome costume.
mikeasaurus2 years ago
This is my favourite costume this year!
depotdevoid2 years ago
That is amazing and brilliant! I was just telling my daughter that back in my day we only had two options for school picture backgrounds: regular and NEON LASER!
canida2 years ago
Oh no, i remember having my school portrait taken on that background!
Brilliant idea.
wold6302 years ago
Love it! My son just got his school pictures back and I can attest that the cheesiness hasn't gone away since I was in school. Great costume!
LOL takes me right back to my school years!
Oh my lord, so much more awesome than I ever imagined. :O