Highlights Along the Way
Family Travel, Treats, Tips, & Traditions

DIY Photo Props for Birthday Parties

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DIY movie theater cutouts

This year Olaf from Disney’s Frozen came to our daughter’s birthday party! Well, sort of.  We have a little tradition born out of our tight budget that we have used at more birthdays than not over the years.  So many of our friends have a special costumed character come to their kid’s birthday party and boy is that cute!  Sadly, we can’t afford to have fancy schmancy extras like that – honestly, we don’t throw the best parties. But we have found this fun and inexpensive trick to be quite the crowd pleaser.  WeDIY Photo Props for Birthday Parties, and they are always super cute!

We don’t have a costumed character to take pictures with, but we make a really fun cardboard cut out of our kid’s current favorite character and our guests can all take a picture with him.  In the past we have emailed pictures after the party – this year we printed right from our Samsung Galaxy Camera to our printer on HP photo paper – it was so easy, and it was a really fun addition to our little goody bags for our guests.

In years past Lumpy, Mater & Lightning McQueen (just to name a few) have made a special appearance!)

Lumpy Birthday Party

“Lumpy” from Winnie the Pooh was my daughter’s favorite character when she was two (talk about somewhat obscure right?) – so naturally he had to come for pictures!  Here is Lumpy with Brother when he was only 1 1/2 – for real – where does the time go?!

Mater Lightning McQueen Birthday Party

When our son turned three he wanted Mater & Lightning McQueen to stop by – so Daddy whipped up these two!

Well. with Frozen being the Disney hit this year, it was Olaf who stopped by for pictures with family and friends.  This was so easy and you can seriously make it from home!  The hubs used this Olaf “Do you want to build a Snowman?” Printable and simply printed it larger – it is an awesome high resolution image and perfectly legal to print at whatever size works for you!  * Harry is a designer and a bit of a perfectionist at times – so you may notice he went in and airbrushed shadows in photoshop on our Olaf…. yours may print out a wee bit differently, but it will still be super duper cute – I promise!* We spray mounted our print out onto foam core (a discard from a student project that would have been thrown out otherwise!) – made a makeshift stand with scrap wood and viola!  DIY Photo Props for Birthday Parties are kinda the cutest thing ever!  We have always used ours for pictures at our party and then passed down our DIY photo props for birthday parties to a friend to use at their party.  Yes, you can buy these sorts of things, but making them is really fun and not at all expensive!

So how is that for a #DisneySide ?


“Say ‘Warm Hugs’ Guys!”

So if the above seems a little ambitious – the good folks at Amazon will send you your own Olaf Stand up for just under $40 – which if we factor paper, ink, and time into it – Amazon might have a better deal going 😉

diy cardboard cutout

Until Next Time ~ Kate
Categories:  Crafts, Disney, Disney Movies, DIY
  1. Manuel A says:

    Great idea. I’m curious how much this cost you, Kate.

    • Kate says:

      Hi Manuel – it literally only was ink & paper – we used foam core that was from an old school project that was going to be thrown out. We used scrap wood from our latest house project as a base to keep it standing up – that was it – the printable is free on our site =) – if you do not have an oversized printer I believe you could have it printed at Kinkos or something like that =)

  2. Cindi says:

    Great idea! I absolutely love this & will probably “borrow” the idea soon.

  3. Kristene Hanson says:

    Oh my goodness this is so adorable. My little girl is loving frozen. I may have to make this just to put in the playroom lol. This is amazing 😀

  4. Dinah G says:

    So cute!

  5. Sherida says:

    Very cute! What fun ideas!

  6. Tamara R. says:

    That Olaf is absolutely adorable!

  7. Kat says:

    What size did your husband print out Olaf at?

    • Kate Hamernik says:

      Im sorry Kat, I don’t know the exact size and we have already passed it down to a friend for their party – he just enlarged to the size of the foam core we already had. It is a great high res image so it should work great at just about any size you want =)

  8. Brandi says:

    Did you print it from home ot got to a place like office depot and have it done. This is so awesome I would love to know the steps

    • Kate Hamernik says:

      Hi Brandi ~ we printed from home but we have some professional equipment – but Office Dept / kinkos / etc should be able to help you out =)

      • Maggie says:

        Kinkos or Office Depot says it is copyrighted and will not print for you. STINKS 🙁

        • Kate Hamernik says:

          They are wrong – it is not copyrighted – it is allowed for use as a free printable and can be printed anywhere – i would ask to speak with a manager and show them it is a free share printable (Disney is 100% OK with folks printing it) – but that is not the first time I have heard someone is being cautious at a print shop; they are just doing their job but they are allowed to print it =)

  9. […] full size and click to print. These images are high resolution and you can even make an awesome oversized Olaf Cardboard cutouts for birthday parties! […]

  10. ione fernandez says:

    Hi, we ate actually trying to do it on our own but can I get the specific size use for printout?? Thank so much

    • Kate Hamernik says:

      We don’t have him anymore but we think he was about 48inches from the bottom of his feet to the top of his little hairs (the biggest we could get out of the oversized printer we had access too =))

  11. Jennifer says:


    I would like to know what you used to cut around the character? to cut the foam core?

    Thank you

  12. Sandra says:

    Hi Kate,
    I just love this idea and want to incorporate this at my soon to be, 2 year old daughters birthday party. What is foam core and can I pick that up at any craft store? I’m not familiar with it and not sure how I will pull this project off but willing to try 🙂

    Thank you for sharing!

    • Kate Hamernik says:

      Hi Sandra =) You can ask maybe at your local craft store if they have foam core – I bet they have it =)

  13. Carol says:

    Hi Kate,
    I was wondering if the whole picture of Olaf came out in one paper or did you had to use pages of paper and put them together sort of like a puzzle ?

  14. Valencia says:

    I need to no if u can make me olaf card board for my daughter birthday party

  15. Jerry says:

    Great idea, I know you can also get them at cardboardcutouts.com.

  16. Sarah Sobocinski says:

    Cool idea!

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