Bookstagram Props & Background Ideas for Book Photos

Last Updated on March 20, 2024 by Taylor

If you’re a Bookstagrammer like I am, books are likely the main focus of your Instagram feed. And sometimes, we all need a little creative inspiration when it comes to our book photos. So below, I’m sharing some fun and unique Bookstagram props and background ideas to easily spruce up your book photography (some of which you probably already have at home)!

Remarkably Bright Creatures hardcover book on a white side table next to a small succulent plant and a marble candle holder

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Styling Your Bookstagram Photos

Before we get to props and backdrops, let’s take a step back and talk about how to style book photos. Keep in mind that this is completely subjective, and there’s no right or wrong way to do it!

When styling a photo with props, it helps to choose a particular theme to work around.

This can be a particular book, a specific product you’re highlighting, one aspect of your lifestyle, a color, or any number of things.

Think about which objects will make sense together and compliment the look you’re going for.

As an example, let’s say you’re going for a theme centering around self-care. You might want to include a candle, some bath bombs, your current read: all things that focus on your theme.

Now, let’s go over the individual pieces that can make up a book photo!

Related posts: How to Start a Bookstagram & Bookstagram Influencer Programs to Join for Free ARCs

Bookstagram Props

You can use a few props (or a lot, if that’s your style!) to make your photos more interesting. These can be chalkboards, succulents, trays; the options are endless.

I like to keep my book photos pretty simple, but a maximalist style can be very eye-catching as well!

You can even organize your props on multiple levels using a stand or supporting prop, like floating shelves and ring stands.

Props can enhance a photograph’s subject, or they can be the subject of the image. It’s all about the message you’re trying to convey.

paperback book sitting on a wooden board with candles and miniature pumpkins beside it on top of a white blanket
*Disclosure: this was an ARC review copy I received for free from a publisher in the past.

Prop Ideas

Bookstagram props are a great way to make your photos stand out, and give them a particular aesthetic or mood. Fortunately, you should already have some of these props lying around your home!

  • Candles + candle holders
  • Flowers (real or fake) 
  • Succulents + greenery
  • Tea cups 
  • Coffee mugs 
  • Scissors 
  • Ribbon 
  • Bottles, jars + glassware
  • Frames
  • Enamel pins 
  • Jewelry
  • Glasses + sunglasses 
  • Pens + pencils
  • Twine 
  • Shelves 
  • Food (fruit, dessert, nuts, anything!) 
  • Drinks (cocktails, smoothies, tea, coffee, etc.)
  • Wooden trays 
  • Mirrors 
  • Pillows 
  • Journals/Planners
  • Clothing
  • Laptop 
  • Headphones 
  • Pets 
  • Handbags
  • Camera 
  • Your (or someone else’s) cell phone
  • POP Funkos
  • Letter boards 
  • Chalkboard signs
  • Bookmarks
  • Stickers
  • String lights
  • Fancy soaps
  • Bath bombs/salts


Another great way to make your photos stand out is by adding texture. This can be anything from fabrics and textiles to brick and clay. Think interesting, mostly natural materials.

Luckily, you can find a wide variety of textured materials in your home.

For example, bundle knit sweaters or chunky blankets around your focal point to add a cozy feel to your image. Or, spill some coffee beans over your background to add an extra layer of interest.

mood reading different colored sweaters matched with book covers to represent feelings


Using complementary colors can really make your image pop.

Complementary Colors: yellow and purple, blue and orange, or red and green. 

(I know it might not seem like these colors would go well together, but this is based on color theory. Try different tones of each color and see how they coordinate).

Analogous Colors: red and orange, yellow and green, or blue and purple.

If you have one or two stand-out colors or tones, consider adding items with more neutral tones (black, white, grey, navy, beige, blush, etc.) to balance out the focal point.

At the end of the day, go with what you like. If you don’t like how something looks, play around with it. Swap out props or change the background until you find the sweet spot!

One last caveat: your images don’t need to be perfectly styled. Taking photos for Bookstagram should be fun (not stressful!). Spend as much or as little time on it as you like.

Related post: My Favorite Bookstagram Apps for Editing Book Photos & More

Book Photography Backgrounds

In addition to props, you might also want to have at least one quality backdrop on hand.

This can be a wooden table you already have, textured poster board, or any other material that fits your desired aesthetic (as long as it’s clean!).

Keep the angle of your photo in mind. If it’s a flatlay, anything vertical will work (a table, floor, comforter, etc.). If it will be taken straight-on, a nice wall, draped cloth, or bookshelf might work better.

You can look outside your home, too. Explore your town or a nearby city. When you’re out and about, you might come across an interesting background like a wall mural or a beautiful gardens. (It helps to bring some books along with you!).

Remember to have some fun with it. Life isn’t all about snapping photos for the ‘gram! 😉

The Ten Thousand Doors of January hardcover book on a white knit blanket next to a small succulent plant and a wide brim hat.

Backdrop Ideas for Bookstagram

  • Marble countertops 
  • Wooden tables 
  • Sand 
  • A couch or chair 
  • Tiled floor 
  • Colored poster board 
  • Brick wall 
  • Wooden crate 
  • Hardwood floor 
  • Concrete (outside) 
  • Carpet or rug 
  • Contact or wrapping paper 
  • Placemats 
  • Table cloth or table runner
  • Vinyl fabric

And that’s it! I hope that gets your creative juices flowing, and helps you find some fabulous Bookstagram props that fit your style and aesthetic. 🙂 (And if you’re more of a minimalist like me prop-wise, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!)

I’d love to see the beautiful photos you create – feel free to tag me on Bookstagram @reader.haven.

More about Bookstagram here:

Bookstagram: The Ultimate Guide

Psst: if you want tons more Bookstagram tips (including book photography & editing tricks), check out my Ultimate Guide to Bookstagram.

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