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How to Take Better Party Photos

Set up one of these 4 easy backdrops to capture the spirit of your party festivities with every photo flash.
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STRING A STREAMER CURTAIN
Change the colors to suit your party style: disco, preppy -- anything goes!

CUT paper streamers and ribbons into 8-foot pieces. You'll need about 50.

TIE one end of each streamer onto a 10-foot piece of fishing wire or kitchen twine, alternating colors. (To keep the string stable, duct-tape an end to the table.) Leave 1 foot of string free per side.

TACK the ends of the string to a wall about 8 feet from the floor, letting the center drop down to create an arch.

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"GROW" A WALL OF FLOWERS
Crafty hosts will love pulling this poppy background together. Tissue-paper flowers cost two to three bucks at party or craft stores, or make your own:

CUT a stack of four to six sheets of tissue paper into squares (8 inches for small flowers; 12 inches for larger ones). Use two to three colors of paper for a multicolored effect.

FOLD one edge of the stack into a 1-inch strip, then flip it over and fold the same edge backward to begin forming an accordion shape. Keep folding until the whole stack has become a single 1-inch-thick strip.

BEND the stack in half at the center so the tips touch, and wrap a pipe cleaner, wire or twist tie around the center (don't be afraid to crush it). Cut the edges of the strip into semicircle or "V" shapes for scalloped or pointy edges.

PEEL each layer of tissue apart one by one and gather them toward the central pipe cleaner. Using double-sided tape, secure the finished flowers to the wall in clusters of two or three.

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FRAME YOUR GUESTS
Handing friends a prop frame helps inspire creative poses.

DRAPE a colorful fabric (at least 8 square feet) across a wall and secure it with tacks or Velcro strips (you'll need about three 4-inch sets).

REMOVE the glass and backing from various frames and let guests strike poses behind them.

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PAINT A CHALKBOARD WALL
This interactive backdrop gets more interesting as the night goes on! Give guests some chalk -- and creative freedom!

BUY a piece of seamless paper, a canvas drop cloth or a Masonite wall board (at hardware or craft stores) large enough to cover about 8 square feet of a wall.

PAINT one side of the paper, cloth or board with chalkboard paint (at hardware stores) until no more white shows through. Let dry fully.

HANG it on a blank wall, or rest the board against it, tilting it slightly for extra stability. Get out your chalk and draw!

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