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What if I told you that you are already in possession of some of the best flat lay props? Yes, the elements of a good flat lay are everyday items that are probably just lying around in your space. Don’t believe me? Look around your living space…do you see clothes, electronic devices, stationery and magazines?
I’m gonna go ahead and assume your answer is yes, because darling, these are some of the things you need to make the most out of your flat lays.
A good flat lay can not only make your blog/ social media page a sight to see, but it can also bring you good income by showcasing your product in all its glory. With that in mind, building a go-to flat lay prop collection is an investment that you need to consider, like yesterday. And no, it does not have to cost you an arm and a leg.
Without further ado, I round up 20 of the best, and more importantly, affordable flat lay props to help you tell a beautiful story, from right inside your home.
20 Best (Affordable) Flat Lay Props
The first thing that determines the success of a flat lay, well apart from good lighting, is the background. Now as I mentioned earlier, you can use the backgrounds available in your home— I’m talking bed/white sheet, fluffy rug, kitchen counter or a table. These are obviously the free options available to you, and sometimes the ones you should use, depending on the type of flat lay you are going for. However, the downside of depending on just these is that sometimes your background is not as clear, white or smooth as you want it. In that case a vinyl backdrop paper or a marble adhesive paper is just what you need.
If you are one of those people who can make a sick cup of coffee (you know the ones I’m talking about), then you better not let all that goodness go undocumented. Place these next to a notebook/laptop to communicate grind, or on the bed next to a book for that hygge vibe.
Have you ever owned a pen so beautiful that you ended up keeping it long after it ran out of ink? Well, one way to prevent it from being branded “clutter” is using it as a flat lay prop.
- Journals/ notepads
Of course, keep your used journals closed/blurred when photographing them. If you are like me, aesthetics are something you don’t overlook when it comes to purchasing journals and notepads. This is because beautiful journals make invaluable flat lay props— sometimes the only things you need to add to these are office supplies and a plant.
- Flowers/ plants
Sometime back, in what I like to call my flat lay obsession phase, I found myself buying flowers a lot. This is because flowers and greenery add life to a flat lay. The bad news is that this can get wasteful and expensive real quick, especially during certain seasons. The good news, however, is that flowers don’t need to be alive to add life to your flat lays. Invest in pretty life-like fake flowers and/or succulents (real or fake). These will save you money in the long run
- Electronic devices
To add a twist to your flat lays, use the very equipment as flat lay props. Your headphones/earphones, keyboard, camera lens and phone also count as props. I especially like flat lays that show a story within a story— for instance, making images on a screen part of the flat lay.
Nice scented candles will surely leave your home smelling fresh, and although they can’t do the same for your flat lays, they will come in handy when you want to fill negative spaces or add a little serenity.
I’ll tell you a little secret: most of the food that you see in flat lays is originally prepared for photography purposes. This tells you that food is one flat lay prop that should not be undermined. You Don’t always have to go out of our way to achieve this though, you could always just use your everyday servings for the craft.
Needless to say, outfit flat lays may be the most common type of flat lay there is. With endless textures and styling options, shoes and clothes give any flat lay a personality.
What I love most about jewelry is the fact that you can use them in any kind of flat lay without them looking out of place. Sometimes even something as small as a ring or a subtle chain does the trick.
- Printed quotes/ Letter boards
Think of this as putting your caption inside your flat lay. Awesome, right? Letter boards are a great investment if you plan on doing this from time to time.
- Books/ magazines
Books and magazines, opened or closed, could be used to add/complement detail in your flat lays. I especially love using particular magazine pages that match my flat lay. For books, go for ones with simple, monochromatic covers.
For an instant pop of color, use makeup and makeup equipment as flat lay props. Take care of your products to keep them flat lay friendly. Play around with the angles and layouts by leaving some makeup open and only showing some partly.
Accessories like sunglasses, hair ties and watches can not only be used to “accessorize,” but also to fill in empty spaces in your flat lays.
- Holiday décor
You may be of the belief that holiday decorations should be put away after the holidays. Well, I am here to debunk that for you; to prolong their usage and kind of give them a multitasking ability, go ahead and use holiday décor to make a flat lay fiesta.
Like holiday décor, you can use confetti to add a little sparkle to your flat lays.
- Office supplies
Like journals and notepads, you might want to pay attention to aesthetics when purchasing everyday use items like staplers, paper scissors, paper clips and pins— as they make really beautiful flat lay props. I especially love gold-coated office supplies for this purpose.
- Handbags/ wallets
Handbags, wallets and other kind of bags (including makeup bags), are a great way to not only add color to your flat lays, but also contribute to the picture’s dimension.
- Trays/ coasters
Kitchen utensils are no exception when it comes to flat lay props. Trays, coasters and certain flat plates are great for holding things like makeup, jewelry, without forgetting the purpose for which they were intended: food, especially snacks like cakes and cookies.
Make the most out of your next trip to the beach by bringing home with you marvelous flat lay props in the name of sea shells. If that is not feasible for you, you could always purchase them at a convenient price.
Feel free to suggest more affordable props, that I might have missed, down below.
You might also like: Tips for Flat Lay Photography