How To Take Pinteresting Photos

I’m often asked (and very flattered) when people ask me what equipment I am using to take my DIY shots. The truth is, I don’t use anything fancy at all. Just some simple techniques I have learned throughout the years and my trusty Samsung Note 3 phone. Yup, that’s right…I don’t even own a “real” camera. Here are some Pinterest photo tips to get you started.

Pinterest Photo Tip #1: Know Your Home

Which windows get the most natural light? At what time of day. I have two places I take shots, in my living room on the floor in the afternoon under a wall of windows or in the kitchen next to the sink window in the morning. Anywhere else casts too many shadows or won’t let me see the details on things like oil bottle labels. To test it, take some small objects like oil bottles or even green army men and shoot around your house. You will start to see how the shadows play at different times in natural light. Don’t be afraid to get down on the floor…as you will see shortly, no one will ever know.

Pinterest Photo Tip #2: It’s All About the Props

I am constantly on the lookout for Pinteresting Props. I stalk the Target $1 spot which is full of great things like Chevron contact paper, chalkboard labels, and straws and lids. I am never in Target that I don’t run by the packing tape area to see what kind of chapstick tube cover ups I can find. Another favorite place to look for props is Ikea (great bottles, jars, and reed diffusers) and the Dollar Store.

pinterest photo props

I organize all of my props in a cart from the Container Store. This one fits perfectly under my built in desk in the kitchen. It’s original purpose was to be a mini fridge stand for my sons dorm. Re-purpose an old dresser or get a rolling cart.

craft cart for pinterest photo props

PS–you can totally see glare in these photos. Since they weren’t meant for Pinterest I just shot them super quick for you to see what I am talking about on the blog.

Pinterest Photo Tip #3: Set the Stage

Among my props are my prized Pinterest possessions: my floor samples. While looking for new flooring last year we gathered quite a few sample in a variety of sizes and colors. I keep them all next to my cart. In addition, the back of each sample is covered in an easy peel contact paper ($3 in the Target $1 Spot which I again I complain is stupidly named these days). Here you can see how I use the floor samples to set the stage for an ingredient shot.

pinterest photo tips

Even though this is sitting on my counter you will never know when it is edited. Balance the shapes and sizes of your products and place in the middle of your setting. Something a lot of people use are white boxes like this set up to achieve a less decorative approach. You can click on the picture to get it on Amazon (affiliate link).



The photo scene above eventually became this pin:

panaway whipped body butter


Pinterest Photo Tip #4: Know Your Camera

I wouldn’t know what to do with a fancy camera if I had one so instead I rely on my Note 3 camera phone. I take several shots using the auto focus feature which just means that I press on the glass in the picture area I want to make very clear. Couldn’t be easier. Usually an oil bottle label is my area of focus.

  • Set your white balance to auto to help pick up the natural colors.
  • Turn on HDR (High Dynamic Range) to reduce shadows and brighten colors.
  • Don’t zoom in. In fact I take photos as wide as possible and crop them later for the best pixel quality.

I am a big fan of using apps to apply filters and with all the ones out there I usually either just use the Samsung built in editing software or Instagram—especially if I am wanting to show people what I am working on. Filters can be completely overdone though so make sure you are only using them to highlight the products and not distract from your area of focus. Your project is the hero here….not some weird filter look.

Pinterest Photo Tip #5: Think It Through From the Beginning

Before you ever start the project for DIY think it through. Look through Pinterest and see what types of pictures are being repinned by a lot of people. Will you need a lot of space to add text? Plan that empty space in the photo. Is a  background a good choice or would simpler be better? Longer shots do much better on pinterest than wider ones….how can you place the products for a long shot? If this is a tutorial would the steps make better sense as a long collage?

Pinterest Photo Tip #6: Final Editing Software

After all the photos are taken I tend to sit back and think about what story I want those photos to tell and then I begin putting together the final pin(s) with either Picmonkey or Canva, usually going with Picmonkey for my own photos. The Picmonkey blog is full of amazing tutorials to help you get that final perfect pinnable look using text and graphic overlays. Hint: it’s usually best to use two different fonts and sizes in your text and use the color dropper to match any overlays to your actual image.

Disclosure: As part of the Verizon Wireless Blogging Team, #VZWBuzz, I often talk about my tech items. I am compensated to participate on this team but all opinions, tips and tricks are my own. 

DIY Mothers Day Spa Basket Recipes with Essential Oils

This Mother’s Day why not get a little bit crafty and make a DIY Mothers Day Spa Basket with essential oils? We have lots of creative ideas to get you started and even printable labels to make the project a little easier.

DIY Mothers Day Spa Basket

DIY Mothers Day Spa Basket Recipes

You can use any of the spa recipes above but I have some favorites that I make and highly recommend.

DIY Linen Spray

diy linen spray

This DIY Linen Spray recipe can be found here: Essential Oil Sleep Spray

DIY Bath Salts

make essential oil bath salts

Find the easy tutorial here: How to Make Essential Oil Bath Salts

DIY Body Butter

diy body butter

Directions to make your own body butter (hint: you can change it to any oil)

DIY Sugar Scrub


LOVE this Peppermint Sugar Scrub recipe from Sarah at

DIY Mothers Day Spa Basket Printable Labels

No matter which recipes you try these labels will come in handy. They were made by Lori at Oil Revolution Designs. If you are a Young Living Distributor I cannot recommend her site and services more highly. She is the design genius behind many of the graphics you see me post on Crafty Side of Essential Oils. You want to print these on 2×2 Avery Labels (Amazon Affiliate link)

DIY Sugar Scrub Labels

DIY Linen Spray Labels

DIY foaming hand soap labels

diy body wash labels

DIY body butter labels

DIY bath salts labels

Purchase Young Living Oils at a Discount:

If you need to stock up on oils for this project I have all the details to purchase Young Living and save 24% in this post….spoiler alert, I may even be able to save you an extra $20!

Essential Oil Sleep Spray

A friend of mine just had surgery and I wanted to bring her a relaxing gift. This essential oil sleep spray was the perfect thing. An easy bottle to mix up that creates a big impact~ immediately relaxing and luxurious. Mix up a bottle for yourself and a friend to spray on your linens at night. It’s a great way to extend the punch of your Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood.

essential oil sleep spray

Essential Oil Sleep Spray Supplies

Essential Oil Sleep Spray Directions

  • Remove the label from the bottle (use a couple drops of Young Living Lemon to get it off if you need to)
  • Fill bottle to the neck with the distilled water (or filtered water with a splash of unflavored vodka to make it more sterile)
  • Add drops of oil.
  • Seal, test spray (add a few more drops if you want it stronger), decorate bottle and enjoy.

It’s that easy. Hope you enjoy it!

Ningxia Red Smoothie Recipe | Green Goodness with a Shot of Red

I recently bought a Vitamix and have been happily blending up my entire kitchen (maybe a slight exaggeration). I came up with a green smoothie recipe using Ningxia Red that I love and feel good about sharing with you all! Don’t know what Ningxia Red is yet?

NingXia Red® is a powerful antioxidant drink that contains whole Ningxia wolfberry puree—a super blend of blueberry, aronia, cherry, pomegranate, and plum juices, natural stevia extract, grape seed extract, pure vanilla extract, and orange, yuzu, lemon, and tangerine essential oils. You can learn more about it here.

ningxia red smoothie recipe

Ningxia Red Smoothie Ingredients:

  • 1 whole orange peeled
  • 1 small banana peeled
  • 1 small handful washed spinach leaves
  • 1 1/2 rings fresh pineapple
  • 1 scoop unflavored protein powder (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 shot glass Ningxia Red
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups ice

Ningxia Red Smoothie Directions:

Throw everything in a Vitamix. Turn the preset button to Smoothie and hit on. That’s it. If you don’t have a Vitamix you will have to adjust for however your blender works–and PS save up for one. SO worth it. This will make approximately 3 16 oz servings.

Looking for a discount on Ninxia Red? Consider becoming a Young Living Wholesale member and get 24% off.

DIY Heart Shaped Lip Balm Tutorial

If you are looking for a fun, unique step up from a typical lip balm this one may be just the right thing!

heart shaped lip balm

Heart Shaped Lip Balm Ingredients:

These are the actual products/brands I used and are affiliate links.

How to Make Heart Shaped Lip Balm:

  • Wash your tins and cookie cutters in warm soapy water and set out to dry. You must make sure there is no moisture in them before using. I like to do this the night before.
  • Melt the coconut oil and beeswax in a double boiler over very low heat. If you have not made lip balm before please read either of these recipes for better instructions with photos: Peppermint Lip Balm or Lavender Orange Lip Balm. For this outer part I did not add the agave or the Orange Oil at this point so that the mixture could be reheated for the heart insert.
  • Place the cookie cutter inside the metal tin making sure it does not touch on any part of the outer circle. It should just fit.
  • Fill the outside part with the balm mixture using your pipette. This one is almost a bit to close to the edge in that one spot but the wax still flowed around. heart shaped lip balm step 5
  • Let harden on the kitchen counter for about an hour. Putting it in the fridge will cause sinkholes in the wax. Should you get sinkholes, simply add a bit more of the melted wax mixture into the holes and use a warm hairdryer to smooth out the wax before you remove the mold. This is what sinkholes look like: heart shaped lip balm sinkhole example
  • After the wax has hardened, grab the lip of the mold and twist very gently to loosen and lift it straight out. You just want a teeny tiny twist.
  • Reheat the left over mixture. Once it is liquefied, remove from heat and add in agave, essential oils and beet root powder. *Note about beet root powder: it does not mix well.  I was able to attain the hue in the picture by constantly stirring and smashing the powder with the back of the spoon. It wants to bead and settle at the bottom. I used the pipette to draw the melted wax from the top and leave the solids behind which had a slight amount of color to it. This amount will not tint your lips. It is just for the design aspect. I also tried Ningxia Red and Pomegranate juice when making this. Neither work because they will not mix with the wax. If you want a darker hue I have seen posts recommending natural food coloring. I was happy with this slight tint so I didn’t pursue it further but my guess is that it wouldn’t mix either.
  • Fill in the heart shaped cut out left behind with the tinted balm mixture. Be careful not to overfill. Let set on the counter until completely hardened. This is what you should end up with: heart shaped lip balm sinkhole example

If you have any wax mixture left, let it harden and mix it well with a spoon, smashing it almost with the back of a spoon. At this point the beet root powder that would not mix while in the hot liquid will mix nicely and you can scoop it into another tin of just colored lip balm.

Any questions? Ask away in the comments….

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