Make a Daily Outfit Chooser with Photos, Art, & Scissors

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

We’ve all faced this dilemma in the morning as we stare inside our closets:

“Hmmm… what should I wear today?”

Unfortunately, this process often results in piles of clothes and shoes strewn all over the room and sometimes on the cat (so sorry, Stewart!).

There’s gotta be way to get dressed without making a mess, right?

There is: Making photographs! Who knew?

We combined the classic game of the “exquisite corpse” (think of it as a mix-and-match flip-book) with our toughest daily decision to make a handy outfit chooser.

Rock your own shoot, try your hand at some fashion photography, and use the results to craft a clothes planner that’s fashionable, fun, and hey, even functional!

Use Photos to Make Your Own Outfit Planner

Why This Planner Is More Fierce than Tyra Banks

Alright, admit it: you’ve secretly desired to be in a fashion shoot (we know we have). This project will give you the perfect excuse to be a photo model!

Besides playing model, you also get to try your hand at some simple fashion photography and some of the challenges it brings: composing consistent layouts, dealing with multiple outfit changes, etc.

Plus, you’ll get to use your photography in an interactive way loosely based on the game of exquisite corpse, a method where you can create a whole new concept by mixing and matching elements. Surrealist artists of the 20s used to play a game of exquisite corpse to get their creative juices flowing!

Not to mention, this project will resolve that age-old morning dilemma of “What should I wear today?”

So, gather your favorite clothing pieces and slickest soles, and get ready to photograph your stylish self.

The List of Ingredients:

  • Your fantastic self
  • A whole slew of awesome outfits
  • A camera
  • A tripod and/or friend
  • Masking tape or artist’s tape
  • A ruler
  • A bone folder (if you don’t have one of these you can use the edge of a gift card)
  • A single hole puncher
  • Tracing paper
  • A Sharpie pen or something that can write on photos
  • An X-Acto knife or scissors
  • Scrap paper
  • A stapler
  • A binder clip or clothespin
  • Scrap ribbon

STEP 1: Plan It Out


Figure out how many outfits you wanna shoot. We went with seven different outfits for our planner.

Get your clothes, shoes, and accessories together to create your intended number of outfits.

STEP 2: The Fashion Shoot


Find a fairly uncluttered background to shoot against. This could be a wall inside your abode, a brick wall outside, or the outside wall of building.

For those not living in a concrete jungle, a large, leafy bush makes a nice background, too.

If you’re shooting in place outside your house (like we did), be sure that place has a bathroom or closed area near it where you can change in and out of your different outfits between shoots.

Before you start snapping away, here are some tips you’ll need to keep in mind…

  • Each outfit should be photographed in a consistent manner for the planner to work.
  • To help with consistency, mark the ground with some tape. This will remind you or your model where to stand, as well as where your tripod or photographer is, too.
  • Shoot your photos vertically.
  • Compose your shots with a little extra room on the left side—you’ll be stapling on that side later.

STEP 3: Print Baby Print

beforeGet your photos printed, or print ’em out yourself, if you have a photo printer.

We’re eventually going to be cutting the photos up, so you may want to print doubles just in case your photo gets into a fight with your cutting instrument and loses.

Once you got your photos printed, do a halftime victory catwalk cuz you’re halfway done with this tutorial!

STEP 4: Time to Score Some Points! Err, Photos!


Now you’re gonna take your photos and score the sides to make the flaps fold easier when you flip through your planner.

Measure about a 3/4 inch from the left into your photo, and mark the top and bottom with a Sharpie pen.

Then take your handy-dandy ruler and line it up with the pen marks you just made.

Take your bone folder and push the tip of the folder into the photo along the ruler’s edge—this is called “scoring”.

If you don’t have a bone folder, don’t fret! The edge of a gift card works as a scoring tool, too.

By scoring you’ll notice you’ve made a mark that scratched your photo. Don’t worry cuz this is what you want.

STEP 5: Punch some holes


Use the single hole puncher to punch a hole on the top left hand corner of the photos.

To keep the placement of the holes consistent on all the photos, use the hole you made in the first photo to mark where to hole punch in the other photos.

STEP 6: Template-making time

beforeNow we’re going to make a template to help to you cut up your photos.

Lay tracing paper over one of your photos and use a pen to trace the outside edge of the photo.

Then mark the crease line you scored in Step 4. You don’t want to cut past this line!

Then, use the pen to mark these 4 sections that will make up the different flaps in your planner:

  1. Your head
  2. Your top half—your torso area
  3. Your bottom half—your legs
  4. Your feet

STEP 7: Use that template

beforeNow you can use the nifty template you just made to mark where to cut your photos.

We laid our template next to our photo (with the back facing up) and then marked where we should cut our photo.

STEP 8: Slice or snip away

beforeWith your photos now marked, you can go crazy with your cutting instrument of choice! Just don’t run with scissors, ‘kay?

Remember to not cut past where you scored!

Oh, and friends don’t let friends use an X-Acto knife without a ruler. If you’re using an X-Acto Knife, use a ruler as a nice, straight edge for you to cut along where you marked.

STEP 9: Do a Cover—no not of your favorite band

beforeUse scrap paper to make covers for the front and back of your planner.

Don’t forget to score as well as hole punch the left sides of your covers, too!

Label your planner if you’d like.

We made this for our pal, India, so we personalized it with her lovely name.

STEP 10: Staple It

beforeUse a clothespin or binder clip to help keep all the “pages” of your planner together, and staple along the left side.

Remember to not staple on or past the point where you scored earlier.

STEP 11: If you like it put a ribbon through it

beforeThread some scrap ribbon through the holes of your planner.

Knot the ends of the ribbon to make a loop.

STEP 12: Outfitted & ready to outfit you

beforeWahoo! Your spiffy outfit planner is ready to help you plan your next amazing outfit!

The ribbon loop makes it possible for you to hang your planner in a convenient spot in or near your closet for you to see and use when you’re getting dressed!

Now you can dress to impress—made possible with a little help from your camera!

More exciting plans for your planner

  • Create an expression changer! See what this guy did with this idea.
  • Take it beyond people, make entire scenes that have interchangeable parts — this could be photos of groups of people, landscapes, city-scapes, whatever you can think of!
  • Make it poster-sized. Who says a giant exquisite corpse wall is scary?
  • Make multiple outfit planners that are specific to different events and/or situations—as shown in the photo above!
  • Another neat take — photographer Laura Simmons did a fashion shoot using “paper dolls” of the models.
  • For da ladies: make it a makeup planner! Take close-ups of your lovely face sporting different eye, blush, and lip colors. Cut your photos up so you have separate flaps in your planner for your eyes, nose/cheek area, and lips.