20 Best (Affordable) Flat Lay Props

flat lay props

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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

  1. Background

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.

 

  1. Coffee/tea

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.

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  1. Stationery

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.

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  1. 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.

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  1. 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

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  1. 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.

flat lay props

flat lay props

 

  1. Candles

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.

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  1. Food

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.

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  1. Clothes/shoes

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.

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  1. Jewelry

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.

flat lay props

 

  1. Printed quotes

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.

flat lay props

 

  1. 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.

 

 

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Little Black Book | Amazon

 

  1. Makeup

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.

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  1. Accessories

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.

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  1. 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.

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  1. Confetti

Like holiday décor, you can use confetti to add a little sparkle to your flat lays.

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  1. 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.

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  1. 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.

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  1. 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.

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flat lay props

 

  1. Seashells

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.

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Feel free to suggest more affordable props, that I might have missed, down below.

You might also like: Tips for Flat Lay Photography

 

34 Responses

    • Marion

      Awesome! So glad to hear that. I did the post so as to also inspire myself into getting back into the craft from time to time. My camera must be so dusty 😀

    • Marion

      Thank you as well for clicking through…
      I’d love to take credit for all the photos in this post, but on this one, mine are just the tips 😀

  1. Sarah

    These all are amazing ideas and the pictures are stunning!! What lighting do you use?

    • Marion

      Thank you for the read… although in this particular post I’ll have to credit stock photography

    • Marion

      Thank you so much for giving this your time, and for your kind words. I like to think I do too 😊 but for this particular post I credit stock photography.

  2. Deborah Kos

    I like all the flat lay props. I’ve used flowers a lot in the past. I’ve also done some food. I really need to try and experiment with more flat lay ideas like yours. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us.

  3. Lauren

    i love these ideas, im primarily a bookstagrammer so books are a common use anyway but ive had to think outside of that to what can be props! ive considered a few of these, yet others are new to me! 🙂 ty

  4. Sarah Mark

    There are so many great ideas in here. I would never think to use holiday decorations but reusing the lights is such a good idea, also the confetti. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Tiffany

    Wow, these are great. I have to admit I was a little perplexed with the title at first, I’ve never heard the term flat lay prop… and I’m a photographer lol. Since I take all of my own pictures to use for my blog I have been thinking I need to revamp, this has inspired me!

    • Marion

      Haha! Well, now you know. That’s great. I’d like to see your photos. I appreciate you giving this post your time

  6. Teresa

    Reading through this I went like “Yes, yes ,yes, yeeess!!” 😀 I love taking flat lay photographs and inventing different layouts for them. I usually struggle most to find a good background, and often end up using the only options I have at home: the white coffee table in the living room and the white couch in the bedroom. They work though.

    • Marion

      Great to hear! I’d love to see your flat lays. I also struggled with backgrounds for quite a while.
      Thank you for engaging 😊

  7. Nancy

    I am all about the flatlay life!!! There are so many different options. Over the years, I tried to look for some nice everyday props for my flatlays. THOSE MARBLE ROLLIES MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE!! I even bought a marble slab from Ross. Thanks for sharing this comprehensive list!!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

  8. Emily

    This was such a good list! I’m all for using what you have, but sometimes I need suggestions on what to buy to really make a good flat lay! I’ve been using stock photos for my blog, just to make it look more professional, but I’d love to up my flat lay skills! Thanks for all of the great suggestions!!

    Emily | http://www.thatweirdgirllife.com

    • Marion

      Thank you. Stock photography are quite a gem, and to be honest, I don’t think I’m gonna stop using them anytime soon. Sometimes you just don’t have the time to go through all the photography stages… But this list comes in handy for when you do or just want to tell your own story.
      Thank you for clicking through 😊

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