DIY Photo Booth & Small Bites for New Year’s Eve
The holidays are upon us, and sometimes they can be exhausting, so if you’re planning to stay home this New Year’s Eve, you can still host a simple but elegant gathering to celebrate the beginning of 2016. A straightforward selection of small bites like smoked salmon, charcuterie, bread, and cheese will keep you mostly out of the kitchen; and a DIY photo booth backdrop will keep your guests entertained — all you need is a poster board, some tissue paper, tape, and a selfie stick! (Keep reading for a full tutorial.)
For New Year’s Eve, sometimes less is more, and keeping guests moving and socializing versus sitting down for a formal dinner allows the vibe to be light-hearted and just fun. So as long as there’s music, entertainment, small bites and libations, your evening is set up for a good time.
Since we’re planning to serve appetizers, we weren’t too concerned about specific pairings since La Crema’s wines pair really well with a wide selection of food anyway. We’re serving the Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as well as the Monterey Pinot Gris, with the following bites:
- Smoked salmon with goat cheese, capers, lemon, and dill
- Salami and pepperoni with smoked gouda and brie
- Olives, roasted red peppers, pepperoncini, and marinated mushrooms
- Toast and gluten-free crackers for any of the above
Now on to the fun part — making the photo booth backdrop is a little time-consuming, but actually pretty simple:
- One large poster/project display board (the kind used for science fairs)
- 40-50 sheets of tissue paper in whatever colors you like (I used metallics, but I think jewel tones would be really pretty as well)
- Scotch tape
- Lay the poster board on a flat surface.
- Cut tissue paper into squares. You can cut the sheets in half and stack them to make it quicker and easier.
- Take each square of tissue paper and pinch it in the middle. Use a small piece of tape to secure it. (See images below.)
- Secure a bunched up piece of tissue paper to the poster board. Repeat until the poster board is covered.
- To use, set the backdrop up in a well-lit place that you can easily stand in front of — we used our kitchen’s bar, but you could also prop it up on two chairs. Just make sure you have enough space to pose and easily crop out any white space.
Once you have everything set up, make sure to have some fun props like mustaches on sticks, hats, oversized glasses, wigs, whatever you like, collected near the photo booth backdrop so your guests can use them in their picture.
The last, but probably most important, piece for this set up is the camera! We’re opting for a selfie stick to use with our iPhone because it’s cost effective and lets guests have fun with angles and positions. You can of course get a full tripod-DSLR-timer setup, but it is a bit more expensive if you don’t already have all the gear, or a handy photographer friend.
Happy holidays, and best wishes for a joyful and healthy new year!
Photos by Rémy Thurston.