15 Bookstagram Prop Ideas (+ Bonus Background Ideas!)

30/05/2018 Blogging, Discussions, Reading 16

15 Bookstagram Prop Ideas (+ Bonus Background Ideas!)

So recently I’ve been on Instagram a lot more, and I’ve been really enjoying getting more creative with my photos, and seeing what other people are doing.

One thing that seems to make or break a good bookstagram photo is the props used, whether you use lots, or a select few (I’m pretty minimalist with mine, but some people have tonnes of props in their photos!). So I thought I’d do a quick list of some prop ideas that I’ve either seen, or used myself, in case you’re looking for some new ideas for your photos!

Of course, you don’t need to go out and spend tonnes of money on bookstagram props: a lot of these are the types of things you might have lying about anyway, or can buy really cheaply. So get creative!

But first, let’s talk about the very foundations of a bookstagram photo: the background.

Bookstagram background ideas:

  • Coloured card

For simple, colourful backgrounds, large pieces of coloured card are a great investment. They’re fairly cheap to buy from most craft stores, and can be used over and over again if stored carefully (I have mine tucked down the back of my desk, so they’re kept flat against the wall!).

  • Mount board

Mount board is also a great idea for a background you can use over and over again, as it’s even thicker and more durable than card. I bought a huge piece of white mount board as a background for my blog photos when I started blogging nearly four years ago, and I’m still using it now!

  • Wallpaper samples

If you have any offcuts of wallpaper, it can make for a great photo background. Or if you’re cheeky like me, you could get the free wallpaper samples from the DIY shop and use those!

  • Craft paper

If you want cute patterned backgrounds, then craft paper (the kind used in card-making and scrap booking) is a good option, as there’s a huge variety available.

  • Glittery paper 

I like a bit of sparkle, so glitter card it a personal favourite of mine!

  • Wrapping paper

Gift wrap is easy to come by, and comes in a huge array of colours and patterns. The only problem is that it crinkles and tears easy…but it is pretty inexpensive!

  • Bedding/and or blankets

Most people have some sort of patterned bedding so why not create a Bookstagram image on your duvet?

  • Old book pages

I’ve seen so many people create backgrounds from old book pages, and I love it as an idea!

  • The great outdoors!

I’ve seen loads of bookstagram pictures that people have taken out in their gardens, or under trees, or on the grass, and I really love the idea! I’ve never done it myself however, since the English weather is generally so bad, there’s no way I’d expose my poor books to it (and no one wants to see a soggy book anyway!)!

The background can often dictate whether or not you’ll want a lot of props. If you’re background is pretty busy already, you’ll probably want to keep the set up pretty simple.

But onto the prop ideas!

15 Bookstagram prop ideas:

  • Sequins 

I love sprinkling a few sequins around my photo settings for some added sparkle. It’s also great for filling in any empty spaces.

  • Fabric/scarves/clothing

I often use different scraps of fabric, scarves or even items of clothing to bring some texture to my photographs (one of my favourite photographs I’ve taken had the sleeve of my jacket in it!). You can rumple them up, stretch them flat, and overlap them to make your photos more interesting and three-dimensional.

If you have any bookish themed clothing you could also feature it in a bookstagram post. For example, I have multiple Hogwarts house t-shirts from Primark, that I may feature sometime!

  • Jewellery

Jewellery is a great way to add interest to a photo, so if you have any particularly striking necklaces or rings, you could scatter them around.

  • Flowers

Flowers are a staple Instagram prop, but you could mix it up with a few different types, or with colours that contrast with your background. Personally I have a selection of fake flowers, so that I can use them over and over.

  • Plush toys 

Plush toys are a great way to add some cuteness to your bookstagram photos. And added points if they’re book-related (I’ve seen some really cute Hedwig toys!)!

  • Bookmarks 

Bookmarks make a nice touch to a bookstagram image, and most bookworms have a few lying about the house anyway (unless you’re like I used to be, and simply use old receipts and scraps of paper to mark your page!).

  • Bookish merchandise

Bookish merch is great to either accessorise your photos with, or to use as a focus (seen as they’re book related!). Whether it’s a nice bag, pair of socks, candle or phone case, you can show off your collection on Instagram!

  • Figurines/Funko pops

I don’t personally own any (yet!) but Funko pops have become a huge thing, and I often see them used as props on Instagram. Especially if you’re someone who collects them, it can be a nice way to show off your collection!

  • Craft embellishments 

You can get a huge assortment of craft embellishments to brighten up your photos from any kind of craft store. Examples of the kind of stuff I’m talking about includes beads, charms, bows, buttons, stickers etc.

  • Food/drink

Lots of people use their cups of tea or coffee in their bookstagram images, or even food items like cupcakes etc. Personally I’ve included a picture of my tub of pick n’ mix in one of my recent Instagram images!

  • Confetti

I’ve been meaning to give this one a try for myself sometime…I think some colourful confetti would be a cute and interesting way to jazz up a photo set-up (especially for summer!).

  • Candles

Candles are another staple of bookstagram, although I can’t say I’ve ever used them myself. The simple and slightly stupid reason…I am horrendous at striking matches. They seriously never light for me, so how would I light the candles (other than borrowing my brother’s lighter)?

I have seen some lovely book themed candles featured on people’s instagram accounts though, and I really like it!

  • Glasses or sunglasses

I’ve used my glasses in blog photos before, and really love the connection it is has with reading. And now summer is on the horizon, sunglasses would make a for a great summer photo!

  • Bags

I really like the whole ‘books spilling out of a bag’ thing that I’ve seen on Instagram recently, so I may try and do that myself sometime. Also if you have any book themed bags, you could show them off in an Instagram photo! Personally I have a Harry Potter themed tote, a bookworm tote, and a couple of Penguin Classics totes.

  • Ornaments/cute homeware

Most people have some kind of decorative ornaments or other assorted homeware about their house that they could use to create interest in a photo. Personally I have a few pretty glass bottles and decorative stones and things that I’ve included in photos.

So what props do you use in your bookstagram (or blog) photos? Have you got any more suggestions, or cool things you’ve seen?

16 Responses to “15 Bookstagram Prop Ideas (+ Bonus Background Ideas!)”

  1. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer

    Hi Laura! Love your ideas! Different cards are a great idea… I actually have some stashed around that I could use. And I love Funkos… I actually don’t have any yet either but I’m so dying to get a couple to use in instagram.

    PS. It would be great if you had some share buttons. ❤️

    • Laura

      I’m definitely hoping to get some Funkos soon…they’re so cute! I like all the Harry Potter ones, and there’s a huge Treebeard one that I’ve had my eye on…
      And thanks for the feedback! You’re totally right that I need share buttons. I’ve never actually noticed I didn’t have any 🙂

  2. Kristina

    Oh! I love that post, thank you!!

    If you’re also a gamer, id say add controllers, game merch.. i did used my 8-bit mastersword on one of my pictures for my blog ahahha add something a bit unique. Or if you are obsessed of a certain thing (dachshund items for me .. funko pop, painting, clothes, jewelry.. anything I can lay my hands on ?)

    • Laura

      I’m glad you liked the post! 🙂
      And that’s a great idea to add in things like game controls and game merch! I’ve been meaning to use my Nintendo DS in an Instagram pic for a while, but mostly because I want to show off my mermaid house on Animal Crossing!
      I’m kind of obsessed with unicorns personally, so I may have to include some of my unicorn patterned bedding and unicorn cuddly toys in future photos 🙂

  3. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    These are awesome ideas!! I love the wallpaper one especially. I umm may have bought flooring samples to do a similar thing, and then gotten them stuck on my bedroom carpet? Oooops. I need to remember these, I am always drawing a blank especially when it comes to the prop part!

    • Laura

      Haha, oh no! Flooring samples is a great idea for a background though, so I may have to do that too (although I’ll try and not get them stuck to the carpet!) 🙂

  4. Angela @ Books of a Shy Girl

    Loved this post! I usually use blankets for my bookstagram, but sometimes I also take pictures outside. My props are very few: flowers, mugs and other books. But I will try some of the props you suggested like sequins!

    • Laura

      Blankets are a great idea, because they usually have a nice, fluffy texture. I just bought a nice patterned one over winter, so I’ll have to use that sometime. I’ve never done any outdoor bookstagram photos personally, so I’ll have to give that a go too.
      I hope you’ve found some good prop ideas here! 🙂

  5. Elley @ Elley the Book Otter

    Loving these suggestions! <3 My first bookstagram photo used a fancy knit scarf as the background, and my next few had the skirts of old bridesmaids dresses as the background. (Which is nice, because while I won't actually ever wear them again, at least I'm getting SOME use out of them!!) I also like to pick up pretty floral patterned sheets from Goodwill or the thrift store for use as backdrops. 🙂

    • Laura

      That is a great use for an old bridesmaids dress, seen as it’s something you won’t wear again! 🙂
      And getting floral sheets and things from thrift shops is a great idea too.

  6. Malka @ Paper Procrastinators

    I love this post! Having recently started a Bookstragram, any and all inspiration is super useful! I’ve been having so much fun looking around my room and figuring out how to incorporate knick-knacks into my photos.

    • Laura

      Best of luck with your Bookstagram! I’m glad you’re enjoying doing it. It’s so funny all the random little things you can find about the place to add to your photos 🙂

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