A photo guest book is a great idea for weddings, graduations, retirements, baby showers, and more!
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I just finished putting together a photo guest book table for our graduation party. There are many ways to approach it so I thought I’d share how we pulled ours together. At the end of this post, I’ll embed a YouTube video with video about our photo guest book.
For those of you that don’t know how a photo guest book works, there are 4 fun steps that your party guests will complete at your party while “signing” your photo guest book.
1. Snap it.
Your guests will use an instant camera to capture a picture of themselves at the party. We only had one camera at our graduation party table, but often events such as weddings have multiple cameras at the photo guest book table.
Here is a camera similar to the one we used to give you an idea of pricing on Amazon. These are easy to use and affordable.
It is best to station someone at this table for a few reasons. First, the table attendant can take pictures of your guests since selfies aren’t as easy with these cameras. Also, with cameras and film on the table, it’s best to have someone there to watch them for safe keeping.
2. Shake it.
After taking the photo, your guests will shake the picture to help develop it. In just a few minutes, the picture begins to become clear.
3. Stick it!
Once the picture has developed, your guest will stick it into a guest book. You can provide double sided tape runners or some designed Washi tapes like the ones you see in the bucket above. This bucket includes this set of great gold patterned Washi tapes.
The bucket of Washi tape options shown above and scissors were at my photo guest book table.
4. Sign it!
Your guest can sign your guest book and write a note next to the picture they’ve taken. These notes can be about past memories, future wishes, tips and advice, etc.
I recommend having a container of fine-tip markers at your table. Since my paper was black, I used metallic markers similar to these Sharpie metallic markers on Amazon.
Guest Book Options
You have some options for the guest book you use at your event. Below, I’ll share the guest book that I created, along with three options available on Amazon. I’ll start by listing the Amazon options below:
My DIY Photo Guest Book
Supplies I used:
- 3 ring burlap album from Hobby Lobby (this line is regular promoted at 50% off).
- Black Card stock – I ended up buying a 200 sheet value pack (was regularly around $16, but promoted at 50% off)
- Ribbon for embellishing the album
- Decorative burlap flowers for embellishing the album
- 3-hole punch
- glue gun and glue sticks
Filling the 3-ring Photo Album
I chose a 3-ring album because of the simple flexibility. 3-hole punching card stock only took a few minutes. Being able to use the card stock for pages also made my album very economical. I filled my album with black card stock pages because I love how metallic markers look on black paper. You could insert white card stock or another color if preferred.
Embellishing the album cover
I used two ribbons, one wider than the other, so that I could layer them. I used the wider one to plan ribbon placement.
I started gluing the ribbon onto the cover on the inside of the album, starting with the wider piece of ribbon.
I then glued the narrow ribbon on top of the wide ribbon.
I wrapped it around the front of the album, gluing the ribbon down a little bit at a time. Once the front was glued down, I wrapped it back around to the inside, matched it up to the other ribbon, and glued it down.
When gluing ribbon to the album, be sure to pull tightly so that there aren’t wrinkles in the ribbon. Here is the pic of my album (still without our photo in the center).
I used a hot glue gun to attach the burlap flowers. I only used a few of these and will use the remaining for other projects.
Decorating the album pages
I did a few things to help guide our guests with the photo guest book.
First, I quickly made dots and other marks along the half page mark on each of the pages to encourage guests to take a full half of the page to write a note. I want this album to be a keepsake so want to encourage writing.
Second, I made some markings for a photo. It will take a few minutes for the picture to dry and most guests won’t tape it in until it is dry. By providing marks, our guests can write their notes while they’re waiting for the photo to develop/dry.
I also like this because I alternated the markings for the photos so that they will lay out very nicely in the book. Our guests don’t have to follow it, but it helps take the guess-work out of it.
Third, I recommend completing a few pages as examples before your party begins. Have mom, dad, and a couple of good friends write theirs early. This will help people understand how it works.
And that’s it! A photo guest book is a great way to capture photos and memories from guests attending your big event.
Planning a graduation? See my other graduation posts:
- Photo Booth Backdrop Ideas
- Cotton Candy Station
- S’mores bar
- Graduation Senior Table Photo Poster
- Graduation Party Centerpiece (with pom poms and pictures)
- Graduation Photo Guest Book
- Graduation Card Box
- Graduation Centerpiece in galvanized tin
- Graduation Centerpiece in mason jar with pom poms
- Graduation senior board
- How to make a popcorn bar
- Frame Luminary
- How to make a Popcorn Bar
- Graduation Party Signs
- Senior Table Photo Poster