ON THE TREETOP PHOTOGRAPHY

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Creating a newborn silhouette heart DIY prop

Updated: Jul 7, 2019



A couple weeks ago I had a request for a silhouette heart image – one problem, I didn’t own a heart bowl – and it needed the next morning. Time for some out of the box thinking and some creative solutions. I wandered the aisles of Walmart, Target, Lowes and Home Depot trying to formulate a plan. How was I going to accomplish this. I knew I wanted it to be SAFE for baby and I knew I wanted the rim to be as seamless as possible and without kinks in the heart shape. I also knew I was particular about the shape of the heart. In the end this is what I came up with.heart



Here is what I came up with. I arrived home with 10 feet of pex piping, 4 cooper 90˚ elbows from Home Depot along with a 14 inch round plastic oil pan from Walmart. Total cost was under $10 and it only took about 15 minutes to assemble.


Pex pipe (Home Depot)

4 copper elbows (Home Depot)

1 plastic 14” oil pan (Walmart automotive)

Gorilla glue and Duct tape



Assembly was really easy. I cut the pex pipe into 4 -29 inch long pieces. Then I secured two of the pipes together with a copper elbow. (adding a little Gorilla glue at the joint so it would not come apart) then I wrapped the edges of the elbow with a little Duct tape just to make sure it stayed in place.


Next I molded the pipes into a heart shape and secured that end the same way. I found if I sat on the finished end while I secured the other end I could keep it from twisting and make sure it was “square” to the floor.


Then I simply made another heart the exact same way and then joined the two hearts together with a piece of Duct tape to give the heart a bit more depth so it would hide the rim of the bowl. Finally I set the heart onto of the oil pan and secured it in place with you guessed it – more Duct tape. Now it was ready to use.  




I know it sure isn’t pretty, but it definitely did what I needed it to do and provided a safe and comfortable area to pose baby.


I put a layer of fleece and one layer of knit fabric (newborn background) over the bowl and secured it tightly around the edges with clips. I found one layer of fleece was perfect for hiding imperfections but still allowing the heart to show through.


For the photograph, I placed a larger bean in the top left corner for the baby’s head and a smaller one opposite it to support baby’s legs/bum (rolled receiving blankets or small towels would work too). Then I placed it on my dog bed (this is where I shoot my above shots). I put a layer of fleece and one layer of knit fabric (newborn background) over the bowl and secured it tightly around the edges with clips. I found one layer of fleece was perfect for hiding imperfections but still allowing the heart to show through.  


The final image SOOC with baby safely posed in the bowl. This little one  was waking up but once I settled her in she was secure and comfy and fell back to sleep. The heart photographed really well. I did get a couple wrinkle under her bottom (first time using it) but was able to pull those out in post and edit the rest of the image as usual. The next time I used the bowl I was aware of it and fixed it before I took the picture by pulling the fabric and securing a little better to the edges of the dog bed.



This DIY prop was inexpensive to make and very easy to assemble and use. The shape of the heart came out nice and it is plenty big so you can get creative with wraps or flowers also.