Have you seen the flatlays on Instagram with the hashtags #flatlay, #onthetable or #desksituation? They always look so sleek and perfectly styled and you’re left wondering how anyone can amass a collection of things that are just so aesthetically pleasing.
Well, those props don’t have to cost a bomb if you know the right place to get them. In fact, here are nine Taobao buys to amp up your flat lays.
And the best part of all – almost all of them cost below S$10. You really don’t have to splurge on exorbitant bits and bobs to style your pictures.
I’ve noticed that many people on Instagram use marble tables as their flat lay backgrounds. The appeal lies in how marble provides a minimal surface to begin with but at the same time, it’s not too plain that it becomes boring either.
Case in point.
But, sometimes there’s just no convenient marble table in your house and purchasing a real marble desk would cost you at least a few hundred bucks.
Instead, try opting for decal papers.
These are actually meant for home renovation purposes, where you can use the PVC sticker to transform your walls, cupboards and tables. However, if you don’t want to commit to just one background, don’t remove the plastic backing and simply use it as it is.
Also, these decal papers come in a plethora of designs. My personal favourites are the white marble, black marble and wood designs.
Price: 25 Yuan (approx. S$5) | Product link
Desk accessories are great for flat lays that are accompanied by #desksituation and #workspacegoals. These are worth investing in because they not only look good but are functional too.
I gravitate towards marble and rose gold designs but to each his/her own! With enough browsing on Taobao, you’re sure to find other styles that you like.
If you love marble designs as much as I do, you’ll be pleased to know that Taobao sells laptop decal papers too.
Price: 29 Yuan – 60 Yuan (approx. S$6 – S$13) | Product link
Also, these post-it pads are much more interesting than the conventional monotone ones you can grab from stationery stores.
Washi tapes are a great practical buy that serve aesthetic purposes.
These are great for sticking quotes or images on your walls because the adhesive isn’t too strong so you can change them up without fearing that you’ll tear off a chunk of your wall paint each time you do so.
Besides, these would look good randomly strewn around your flat lays to fill up empty spaces.
Price: 13 Yuan (approx. S$2.70) | Product link
Binder clips (pictured above and below) are good for this purpose too.
I got mine in rose gold but there are other colour options available like gold, silver, gunmetal or the classic black. Use them to fill up the gaps in your flat lays or to pin stuff on your grid mood boards.
Price: 1.80 Yuan – 3.90 Yuan (approx. S$0.40 – S$0.80) | Product link
Marble coasters or trays are a great way to add layers to your photos. Or, you can use them to prop up the objects that you want to highlight.
Price: 15.40 Yuan – 37.80 Yuan (approx. S$3.20 – S$7.80) | Product link
Other props you can use in your flat lays are mugs and cups. Fill them up with some coffee or use them as a vase.
Price: 18 Yuan – 35 Yuan (approx. S$3.80 – S$7.30) | Product link
When you’re in need of more striking items to fill the space, foliage and flowers are a good option. Fresh flowers would look the best but those won’t last long and it would cost quite a bit to keep buying fresh ones every time you take a photo.
Alternatives would be dried blooms or plastic flowers and leaves. Popular options include hydrangeas for a softer look and monstera leaves if you’re going for a more tropical vibe.
Pro tip: Match the colours in your items of your flat lays to get a more seamless and cohesive look. For instance, I’m using a candle with leafy prints to complement the monstera leaf.
Accessories would make good props to fill in small spaces in your photos. Earrings, rings and sunglasses are all fair game.
As you can see, it doesn’t cost much to include props and elements that will make your flat lays look more luxe and stand out. It’s all about finding cheaper alternatives. Up your flat lay game and have fun styling your shots!
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