Photo Booth Backdrop and Props for SXSW

by Leslie on March 12, 2012

I’m back home in Brooklyn after a great week in Austin. I was able to see friends and family, spend lots of time with my adorable niece and nephew, and work on a fun project for South by Southwest. My sister’s Austin-based public relations agency, INK PR, sponsored the panelists green room at SXSW Interactive this year. They hired the very cool company, Smilebooth, to provide a photo booth and me to make the background and props for it.

I came up with the idea to make the backdrop look like a giant computer circuit board with a Texas in the middle so it had a tech theme for SXSW Interactive while also celebrating the festival’s location, Austin. Inspired by Jessica Decker’s amazing giant cross stitches, I decided to stitch thick yarn into fabric along with painted washers to make the circuit board. Y’all know how much I love a good craft project, but I have to admit that 99% of the time I get in over my head. I don’t yet have the ability to realistically estimate how much time and effort it will take to create the ideas I dream up. I think of an idea, get excited, and the next thing I know I’m sewing yarn into an 8 ft by 8 ft piece of duck cloth at 3am every night for 2 weeks. 8 ft x 8 ft is bigger than you think! It was a bit labor intensive, but I love the way it turned out. Totally worth the effort – I’ll never learn.

For props I made a combination of hand drawn props that I painted and glued to foam core, pillow props that I sewed and stuffed, and chalkboard word bubbles using chalkboard contact paper attached to foam core. The taco had to be my favorite.

I was only at SXSW for the first day to set-up, but the green room looked great and I had a blast. I even got to see Grace Bonney of Design Sponge speak on the future of lifestyle media. Thanks to all the girls at INK PR for this incredible opportunity!

My sister and I testing it out. Kari’s got a case of the crazy eyes in this one!

The extremely clever Jessica Warren of INK PR made the hilarious speaker tip cards pictured above.

The lovely ladies of INK!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Louise March 12, 2012 at 10:33 am



Kari March 15, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Thank you a million times over! Hey I like that group shot you have at the end – will you send to me?


Haley March 16, 2012 at 8:16 pm

OH MY FREAK – Les, you are a genius! I can’t believe you made this with your bare hands. Ridiculous! I really need an ounce of the creativity that you lovely ladies have… xo


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