How to Style Flat Lays on a BudgetThis post contains affiliate links so if you purchase items through a link in this blog post I will receive a small amount of compensation, however, all thoughts and reviews are my own.  I would not use affiliate links for anything I haven’t tried myself.

Creating and Styling Awesome Flat Lays on a Budget is easier than it looks.  Also, to me, finding a bargain is so much fun, much better than paying full price for something.  Not to mention there are so many budget friendly and creative ways that you can style your flat lay photos and I don’t want to keep these to myself.  I’ve tried everything I’m about to share with you and use these all the time!


Depending on your brand and what you want people to see and remember about your brand, your business, you really want to consider what props you’re using. For example, a blog that is something about children, you would not want to use the props I use because mine are all desk or office related so that just would not make any sense and people would be confused.

Also when you are choosing make sure the items are in the same color schemes because that will make a great flat lay. And remember spray paint can be your best friend because you can change the color of many of items for approximately $4-$6 for a can of spray paint.   DISCLAIMER: Please make sure you are using this outside or in a very well ventilated area.


YOUR OWN HOME – Several of my props are items that I already owned. If you look around your house, I’m quite certain that you can find many little chachkies lying around. Wow I love the word chachkie and never thought I’d have a chance to use it in my blog!!

Depending on what type of blog you have, you can possibly use food.  I just made these brownies for my sweetheart so decided to use them for this flat lay.  Milk chocolate brownie with walnuts and a cold glass of milk!

GARAGE SALES/YARD SALES – One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right? It’s worth a try if it is yard sale season meaning not freezing cold like it is right now in PA!!

THRIFT STORES – This is probably one of my favorite places to find props. They’re cheap and even if they’re not the right color, remember the spray paint baby!! This is the way to make cohesive photos on a budget.


thrift store props


Spray Painted Flat Lay Props

DOLLAR STORES – I have found some really great notebooks, pens, pencils and coffee mugs at Dollar Stores.  They are a really great place to find props.

LIGHTING – It’s always best to use natural lighting because artificial lighting can cast harsh shadows on your photos or it can make them look grayish or yellowish so open the blinds and let that natural light in. Obviously, you then have certain times that you can take photos because you don’t want direct sunlight either because that also will cast shadows so you need an early morning or late afternoon time to take photos.

lighting source

DIY REFLECTOR – If you want to play around with lighting but do not want to pay the money for a real reflector, you can try by making an aluminum foil reflector. They’re cheap and easy to make and most of all they fill light for harsh shadows.

If you want to purchase a real reflector they sell them on Amazon. Here is the link and they’re really good ones and not overly expensive.

POSTER or FOAM BOARD – This can be purchased just about anywhere. I’ve purchased it at Walmart, Dollar General or your local craft store like Michael’s. Foam board is thicker and more sturdy than poster board so if you’re using poster board as a background you’re going to have to attach it to something more study like a piece of foam board or a wall.

They can be purchased on Amazon also if you’re looking for poster board in a variety of colors in one pack, they have it. Here’s the link to the white foam board.

Keep in mind that you’ll need one for laying on the flat surface to display your props on and then another if you need the same color for a standing background.  I normally always use both the same color.

You can also use white for your light reflector.  They normally work pretty well. Again, this all depends on how you’re lighting is when you are taking the photos.

BACKGROUND – Foam Board is the background I use for most of my photos and they turn out looking great. I mainly use white and sometimes black but you can use any color you’d like.

I’d love to hear what you use for props and backgrounds for your blog. Leave me a comment and a link to your blog, I’d love to check out your posts!!