Birthday parties are great ways to celebrate extraordinary people! From singing to gifts, there are many ways to honor the guest of honor. And what better way to highlight all their achievements than through a display of pictures? Photos allow friends and family to remember and enjoy the special moments in a person’s life. A well-put-together display can not only bring back fond memories but can also be used to share those precious moments with other people.
So how can the party planner best display photos at a birthday party? The best ways to display photos at a birthday party include always offering a clear view of the pictures and matching the formality and theme of the party.
That being said, depending on the age of the person, the formality of the party, and the photos the planner wishes to use, there are lots of appropriate and fun ways to show off those treasured memories!
Below is a list of 19 great ways to display pictures at a birthday party.
For Any Birthday Party
The following photo displaying methods are suitable for any type of birthday party, no matter who it’s for:
- In the Shape of a Number
Presenting the photos in the shape of the birthday guy or gal’s age is a great way not only to show off the reason for the party (another year of life!) but also to display the pictures in a unique way.
- There are several easy ways to set this display up. First, you simply need to create or purchase the appropriate numbers. Some creative options include cutting out a large number in cardboard, or printing parts of the number on card-stock and then connecting them.
- Once you have the number, simply glue copies of your photos onto it!
If you’re not into crafting yourself, Shindigz Online Party Supply has you covered. They can make any number you need in multiple sizes. Simply click this link and provide them with the pictures, and your display will be on its way!
Although numbers are a great way to show off a person’s age—sometimes that’s unwanted or unnecessary. You can expand this idea to any shape: initials, flowers, a smile, a heart, etc. It doesn’t have to be a number!
As if balloons weren’t festive enough! This is a great way to display photos around the party, and also leaves your guests looking to find their favorites.
For this method, there is, of course, not a specific order you need to put the photos in. Simply paste the picture on an already inflated balloon or hang a photo on the end of the balloon’s string.
TIP: Cutting out a larger piece of paper and pasting it behind your photo makes a frame; this helps the pictures stand out and look more intentional.
- Digital Picture Slideshow
This is not always feasible, but if your venue has a TV screen, you can put together a slideshow of photos to rotate through. Most TVs easily can be connected to a laptop using an HDMI cable, so if your venue has a TV, it shouldn’t be too difficult.
This is an excellent method for multiple reasons:
- The display can include videos
- You can use more photos than you could ever fit elsewhere
- You can add music to the slideshow for ambiance
- It’s easy for tech-savvy party planners
- It makes for an excellent passive activity at a party
You can also purchase digital photo frames, like this one, but these are smaller, and more of a hassle to load. They also can get to be quite expensive.
- On a Big Banner or Yard Signs
Printing an extra-large photo of your honoree is a bold way to celebrate them! A yard sign or banner can be displayed outside and is a nice touch at the entrance of a venue to welcome guests.
This is not easily done as a DIY, but can be ordered from many websites online:
- Personalization Mall: Has banners that you can hang anywhere with a simple string.
- Walmart: They make yard signs and other banners, which are easy to order.
TIP: Know who you are planning for, and make sure that this will not embarrass them!
For Kid Birthday Parties
These photo display ideas are perfect for kids and birthday parties with a lot of children attendees:
- Fun Photo Party Hats
This is a great way to show off those fun photos, and leave the kids with a unique favor to take home! One great idea would be to use pictures of the birthday child with his or her friends and then give the appropriate hat to each guest; this way it is more personal.
These hats can easily be made at home, using supplies you probably already have!
- Picture Plates
Custom paper plates allow your choice of picture to be enjoyed along with great food or cake! This will surely be a hit at any kid’s party. It’s not DIY, but can easily be ordered online for a reasonable price.
For Adult Birthday Parties
If your birthday party is adult-exclusive, give these ideas a try:
- On Champagne Bottles
By simply pasting photos onto champagne bottles, you can make any old bottle of bubbly a custom label. This method works great for both full bottles and individual bottles alike, and can also be used on wine bottles as well.
For a more professional and no-hassle method, order specially made, custom wine bottle stickers from Zazzle to honor that special person, while still keeping a polished and elegant look.
TIP: A small sign saying “19## – A Good Year” to show off the birth year of the honoree is a great finishing touch for this display.
But don’t stop with beverages! By glue, or by these ingenious self-adhesive picture corners, you can paste photos onto almost anything! Try it on:
- Glass Candle Holders
- Mason Jars
- A Life-Sized Cutout
This makes for a fun photo op with guests and can be saved afterward as a sweet memory of the party. Order mini, life-sized, and torso cutouts online here
- A Life-Sized Cutout/li>
Again, this could be embarrassing for some people, but for the right person, it will be a hit!
For Formal Birthday Parties
If your party is headed to a high-class venue, try out one of these photo display methods to stick to the mood:
- In Frames
Pictures in frames are the most traditional way to display photos; it is time tested and always elegant. But, just because this is the most conventional way to show off those memories, it does not mean you can’t still make this display memorable!
- To maintain a uniform and formal look, keep the frames all the same type and size. For a more eclectic or artsy feel, try different frames and different sizes.
- A layer of tulle (Amazon) under the frames provides a nice splash of color, and connects the individual frames when they sit on a long table. Any material would work, but tulle is a favorite of party planners for its airy look, availability, color range, and price.
- An easy way to spice up a plain frame, be it an old thrift store find or a simple craft frame (available on Amazon here), is to spray paint it to match the rest of your decor.
Keep in mind the order of your displayed frames. Try starting with earlier pictures and display them chronologically. Or, try showing them by type if the person is involved in many different groups or activities.
- In a Photo Album
Another tried and true method is a photo album. Either scrapbooking a new album or using an existing album full of pictures is an effective way of sharing a lifetime of photos.
This method is especially nice because it is more discrete, and allows the guests who want to enjoy the pictures to really take the time to flip through the book.
If you do choose to set out an album, make sure that it has a designated place to rest, say, on a specific cocktail table or countertop. This is important for keeping the album safe and preventing it from getting lost at the venue by a careless guest. Also, make sure there is plenty of light so that the guests can see all the pictures clearly.
- On Napkin Holders
When hosting a dinner, either buffet or plate service both work, photos can be attached to napkin holders to make a creative yet still elegant gallery. This is a straightforward craft, even for those without much practice.
Just print small pictures, 1.5 inches by 1.5 inches or so, and past them onto another square of a slightly larger paper, say 2 by 2 inches. This will create a beautiful frame for your photo and provide some extra support to keep it from flopping around or getting bent. Then, use a glue dot to attach the completed image setup to an existing napkin ring.
- Pictures as Centerpieces
When offering a seated meal at the party, using a framed picture as a centerpiece on dining tables is another method of displaying your favorite photos. Each table then gets a special moment of the guest of honor captured on their table for their enjoyment.
This great product from Amazon allows three pictures to become a centerpiece. You can use this frame alone, around a candle, or place a thin vase with flowers inside.
For Artsy Parties
For our more creative guests of honor, these artsy photo display ideas are sure to be a hit:
- Clothespins and Twine
The idea is simple, but the possibilities are endless! All you need is some twine (or ribbon, or string, etc.) and some clothespins (colorful plastic, wooden, fun shapes, etc.), and you’re ready to clip and display photos.
Here are a few ideas for where to hang the photos:
- Across a door frame
- Between trees
- In a large empty picture frame or window frame
- Down a staircase
- Over a mantle
- On a wood pallet
- Even try having the string vertically
Other creative ideas for hanging pictures can be found here.
TIP: For some added fun, try attaching other things to the string between the pictures. Depending on the theme of the party, you could clip feathers, initials, polaroids, or doilies. This can be as elaborate or simple as you want it.
- Inside of Bottles
Slipping a photo inside of a vintage bottle gives your photos a unique frame, and allows them to stand on their own. The containers can be placed in centerpieces or on any table at your venue; just make sure the bottles are big enough to allow the photo to unroll and be seen.
TIP: This method works for nautical and vintage themed parties.
- On Vintage Plates and Serving Dishes
This project requires some thrifting and antiquing, but gives a fun twist to the classic frame. Once you find the proper amount of plates and platters, simply cut your photos to match the size and shape of the center of your pieces.
Using some glue and simple hardware, you can then hang them on a wall, or using a plate stand, you can display them on a table.
- On Wood
Now, this is quite involved, but can lend a unique way to display your pictures.
You can follow the steps outlined in this blog post here from Hunker. It uses supplies you probably have around the house if you DIY a lot. This method allows you to have total control over the size, shape, and look of the wood.
TIP: It is also possible to order your pictures printed on the wood, and would be recommended for most beginners, or busy party planners.
Once you have your pictures, set them up in centerpieces, hang them on the walls, place them by the buffet, or use them as coasters.
- In a Game
Games are always fun, but wouldn’t it be more fun to play a game with your friends and family with your friends and family?
You can order (or make, with some clever pasting of pictures) custom made games and game pieces with images of the birthday person, which will not only display your photos but will also serve as some entertainment for the guests! It’s a win-win.
Some examples of games you can make with photos include:
For One or More Birthdays
Whether the birthday party is for twins or a couple of good friends and family who share a birthday, these ideas can highlight the memories of everyone the party honors:
- Photo Collage
By posting photos on a large backdrop, you can create a beautiful collage with endless possibilities.
Here are some ideas for a great collage:
- Cut your photos before pasting, this gets rid of unsightly corners and leaves space for more pictures.
- If you are celebrating two people, give them each half of the collage, and use photos of the two of them together in the middle.
- Use other memorabilia in the collage: tickets, awards, initials, etc.
- Frame the collage for a polished look.
- On Cake or Cupcakes
- On Cake or Cupcakes
This tasty display of photos will work just as well for celebrating multiple people as it would for only one birthday.
For an easy DIY, you can print the photos yourself on card-stock and attach them to a toothpick to stick in a cake or cupcake; see this link for more detailed instructions.
For a more expensive, but more impressive, display: most bakeries offer edible pictures as cake decor. It’s more common to order a cake with a photo, but some party planners order dozens of cupcakes—each with its own edible picture on the frosting!
To achieve this same effect at home, you can order any picture printed onto a layer of edible frosting from Edible Prints On Cake. This website sells photos printed on allergy and gluten free, kosher icing sheets, which are made in the USA.
From a new look at a classic frame to a funny picture hat, your guests will love peeking at the picture you have on display. More importantly, the time and effort you put into this display will surely make the birthday honoree feel loved and appreciated—which is what the celebration is all about.
With all these creative options to choose from, you will surely be able to wow your guests with a thoughtful and unique display of photos! Some methods require a little more DIY skill, and others are as easy as a few clicks on the computer, but any of them can become central to your decor.
If you are having trouble choosing one method, remember, less is sometimes more! It might be tempting to slap a picture on every hard surface (or even every soft surface too – like balloons!), especially after buying a 360 pack of adhesive corners. But a party planner doesn’t want to oversaturate the guests with pictures and leave them feeling surrounded by the birthday person. A few friendly smiles and some childhood snapshots, well placed visibly and clearly, are better than a thousand sloppily displayed pictures.