Intro: Photo Booth Strip Costume
Lots of people treasure photo booth strips from happy, goofy times. Cardboard is a forgiving and plentiful medium, and this costume had a great wow factor without too much work. I was inspired by a woman I found online (who now I see has an Instrucables page for her costume!) but I didn't want to work that hard.
THE STRIP: I based the strip size on print-outs on 11x17 paper. This size is standard in the U.S. and all copy shops carry it. In order for the photos to bleed and not have a white border, I decided the photos would be 10x16 inches. I got a large piece of cardboard for free from a big-box, home store. Then I placed one 10x16 sheet on the cardboard and with a pencil I sketched a one-inch border on all sides. I moved the sheet down and repeated the one-inch border for a total of four photos. Then with a box cutter and metal ruler, I cut the strip out of the large piece of cardboard. I also cut out a hole in the place of the second photo so that my face could show through.
THE CURTAIN: I had a small, cheap fashion backpack (like a purse) and I cut the front of it off so that the straps and the back of the backpack were all that was left. (See photo.) I bought some red fabric and stitched a simple hem so that I could run some heavy gauge wire through it. I shaped the wire in an upside-down U. The curtain hung from the wire (I used rubber bands to secure the curtain in place so it wouldn’t slip down the wire) and the ends of the wire were attached to the backpack using twist ties from garbage bags that I stuck through the backpack. I knew that I would have to wear a jacket that night to keep the backpack from showing and to keep the wire upright.
THE PHOTOS: I decided what I would wear that night. I put on my backpack with the curtain, and had my husband take some photos. I ran those out on a color printer on 11x17 paper. I cut the photos to 10x16 and glued them down on the cardboard.
HOLDING IT UP: I had planned to simply hold it. Then my ten-year-old daughter said, “The fact that you have to hold it is a flaw in the design.” She was right. So I took more of the same heavy gauge wire and since cardboard is made of several layers, I inserted the wire into the cardboard frame and bent it around the back of the strip and then inserted it in the other side. It was like a wire loop. This worked great! Cardboard is so light, that it was no problem to hold the strip this way. People are so nice on Halloween in my town at our parade, and they appreciate a little effort. Lots of people greeted this costume enthusiastically, and that made me happy.