Whether you are looking to improve your blog or Instagram photography, or you are a flat-lay extraordinaire, finding the right props for your photographs can be a bit of a drag.
If you’re anything like me, the photo comes after the blog post ideas, and I need to search frantically for something that’s relatable enough to not be entirely generic and not look exactly the same as every other blogger’s latest pic.
To make life that little bit easier, I thought I would share a list of some of the places I would recommend to get great flat lay props – from adorable stationary to cute homewares and a few miscellaneous bits thrown in, too. Hopefully it’ll inspire you when you next go out shopping!
Little stationary bits such a pretty papers and postcards always bring a little bit of personality to a flat lay. They can form their very own theme, or can help to add variety to other themes such as beauty or technology products.
As you may have noticed, most of my flat lays used here on the blog are stationary driven, purely because I am a bit of a stationary nerd. The postcard above is from Paperchase, and can usually be found stuck to my wall in front of my desk for that often needed motivation. Paperchase have loads of great blogger-friendly postcards with motivational quotes and whatnot that you may often seen floating around – but that’s no reason to sniff at them.
The Happy Days and Awesome sticky tabs are by Happy Jackson – if you’ve never heard of their products, they are so adorable and have the best slogans on them.
The flowery paper was actually gifted to me as part of a competition prize a little while ago so I’m not sure where it was from, but nice papers can be found in most stationary shops – plus you could also print off your own if you found a design you liked online (remember to credit where you can, though).
A few more places to consider:
Artbox – if you are of the Kawaii disposition, Artbox is a lovely little shop in Covent Garden that sells the cutest products. They have all sorts of bits and pieces including notebooks, papers and much more. I personally love flat lays that don’t take themselves too seriously, so a notebook covered in pandas, and a sushi shaped eraser will always win for me over a marble tray.
Wilkinsons – Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that Wilkos have really upped their game when it comes to their stationary ranges. Whether you’re looking for something monochrome to tie into a strong theme, or some pastels to add some variety, their collections are really good value.
As I live with my parents at the moment, my homeware collection is pretty limited. One thing I seem to have tonnes of is coasters. The owl shaped coaster above is actually from The Range and I’m sure it only cost me a few pounds for the set. They are wooden and come in a plain wooden case, looking pretty smart considering the price tag.
Other propular (geddit?) ideas for homewares include mugs, picture frames and trays. I tend to opt for more cutesy and unique homewares, but others may lean towards a more “professional” look with higher-end products. If you want a more luxurious look then here’s a couple of places to try:
Anthropologie – from fancy ass candles to vases, Anthropologie is not entirely insane with its prices. Naturally, you’ll probably only want to indulge if you’re likely to use the prop for its “normal” purpose around your home, but they really do make lovely background pieces and flat lay fodder.
Laura Ashley – For pretty patterns as a finishing touch to your photos, Laura Ashley is a great choice. Again, not at the cheapest end of the scale, but they can definitely add a touch of class to your shots.
Often used miscellaneous items include nail varnishes (pictured is Barry M’s Speedy Quick Dry in ‘Personal Best’), flowers and whatever the hell else you can find around you.
Finding smaller items to help create a ‘busier’ looking photo, or to balance a particular colour scheme or item theme can be the hardest part. You want to select things that look natural, but also create a bit of variation. You have to work with your creativity with this one, and try a few different things until something sticks.
Whilst out and about shopping, take a look around at what items might help to tie a shoot together. If you’re particularly organised, you could take a few snaps of your flat lay so far and then take that along with you to truly picture how that final piece is going to bring it together. I’ll put my hands up and say I’ve never done this, as my flat lays tend to be complete spontaneity, but you might want to give this a go!
What blog props do you use, and where do you tend to buy them from?
None of the links within this post are in any way sponsored or affiliate. I simply included them to (hopefully) be useful!