May 19

Photobooth Cardboard Cutouts

Today I’m doing a campaign with Shutterfly on how to create cardboard cutouts for a photobooth. I remember wooden versions of these at county fairs growing up and they make me feel a little bit nostalgic. Depending on your party you could recreate these in just about any theme. Think: Cowboys for a western theme. Aliens and Astronauts for a space theme. The whole process is pretty simple but it does take about an hour or so to make each character. Here is how we made them.

Large Pieces of Cardboard (refrigerator boxes work great for this.)
Projector (we borrowed one from a friend)
Acrylic Paint and Paint Brushes

Step 1. Once you’ve decided on the characters you want to make you can draw them yourself or download ours below.

Step 2. Project the images with a projector onto the wall. Prop up the cardboard so the image lands on it and then trace it out. If you are making them for kids you’ll want to make them shorter so move the projection so it gets smaller.

Step 3. Paint the cardboard in colors and once its dry outline it with black paint for a cartoon-y effect.

Step 4. Cut out characters with sharp knife like a box cutter.

Et voila! The cutouts will be all ready for your guests to mix and match the characters for the perfect party photo op.

Click below to download some characters to trace.

Thank you to Aubrey Trinnaman for the photography and Alexis Birkmeyer for her master tracing skills and for pulling it all together.

All photos by Aubrey Trinnaman for Oh Happy Day

This content series is brought to you by Shutterfly. Make your photo book just the way you want with the all New Custom Path.


  • Jenny says:

    I love this. I am doing a cowboy party next week and this will be perfect.

  • charmingly ordinary says:

    Oh, wow. I think you win big points as the hostess/mommy/etc. with one of these! Would also be fun for a wedding photo booth, me thinks!

  • Mariela says:

    Amazing, that's so cool. My son birthday is next week so this could be fun. Have a nice day!

  • says:

    Great idea! Most people would click away, however, after learning they need a projector and really, how many people's friends even own one anymore, but don't despair!

    I've discovered that the local library is a wonderful a/v rental resource. I rented one from them the last time I needed one.

  • The Perfect Model says:

    Next Birthday for sure… if the world doesn't ends tomorrow…



  • r8chel says:

    What a great idea!! I love it!

  • Taylor Sterling says:

    you are so talented! I love these. So fun!

  • Trista says:

    How did you make them stand up? We tried to do something like that at our church Fall festival, but I couldn't make the flimsy cardboard stand up straight.

  • Sharon says:

    is that liz as the ballerina? haha

  • jordan says:

    @Trista People can just hold them up. Have a table nearby that they can be propped against in between uses.

  • jordan says:

    We fixed the technical difficulty guys. :) hehe

  • Anonymous says:

    haha too cute!


  • ROK says:

    What about the camera part….and printing? I guess shutterfly wants you to print there, but do you like a tripod? I always want to have them print immediately for guests to take home.

    p.s., for kids I just print the image at kinkos etc. Not to bad as long as you back it yourself (glue on cardboard).

  • Lynda G. says:

    How awesome! I just love these crafty ideas! I made one of your photobooth headpieces the other day to make everyone giggle at work! (Although I needed to cut it out better, it did the job!) THANK YOU! :D
    You can see me wearing it here:

  • Katrina says:

    WOW! What a great kid's party idea! I love the ballerina best of all

  • Drea says:

    Adding you to my blog roll, i love it! :)

  • LindyK says:

    These are so beautiful! I love your site.

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