Perfecting the Flat Lay


The Flat lay Effect: Why Every Beauty and Fashion Blogger gravitates towards them.

flat lay and rosesImage via

Perfecting the Flat layImage via

Choosing the Right Flat Lay

When I first started Polyvore, I found myself gravitating towards certain sets that all had the same characteristics. At that time, I classified these as pictures with a “Birdseye View.”  You know, the ones where they are taken from above with all the items laying flat. Although the Birdseye view is a correct term, the more colloquial or trendy (especially on Instagram) is the term Flat Lay. Any fashion or beauty blogger has at least attempted or admired these forms of photography and a view through Instagram will show a multitude of examples. But why are they so compelling? What makes this form of advertising, better than the rest? I’ll get into my opinion later, but for now, lets figure out how to do these eye-catching pictograms, so you can start filling up your Instagram in no time. And on a side note, these tools can also be useful for blog headers or titles as well. Enjoy!!

For starters, here’s one of my flat lays that I designed recently.

Perfecting the Flat Lay by Lace to lashes (1)

Image by Lacetolashes

Choose an Odd Number of Items

Whether you are a beauty, fashion or interior design blogger; choose an odd number of items, such as 3 , that  you want to highlight.

Establishing the Rules of Composition

To create the most harmonic picture, there are certain rules that every artist follows. For beginners, try forming triangles of similar colors to draw the audiences attention to these sets. This is also why an odd number will work very well, especially when first starting out. Another two composition aspects to look at are the principle of colors and the principle of shape, such as how this instagramer did below. If you start from the bottom the picture starts with yellow to red on the right passing through a variety of color as well as on the left, yellow to neutral passing through the same variety of color. She also is playing with complimentary colors with red and yellow.

perfect flat lay composition

Image via Instagram @steph_kramer

Find Fillers

My favorites are candies, jewelry and the ever popular bunches of flowers. Other items that can add to your display are office supplies, ribbons, and makeup.

Determine the Background

flat lay fashion backgroundImage via

Choose white, if you want a clean, minimalistic look or even to just highlight brighter items. Don’t have one? Make one out of cardboard and single sheets of white paper.  If texture is something you want to portray, choose such things as a faux fur rug or throw, or even a blanket. But the sky is truly the limit and you can choose whatever you see fit. Such as a a towel for a beachy theme as below:

perfect flat lay background towel

Image via

Use a Stool

If you can’t get all of your images in the frame, use a stool or chair. Don’t want to crop the picture, use the app Instafit to never have to crop your pictures again.

More Inspiration

Scroll through to find more inspiration to perfect the look.

flat inspiration (7)

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flat lay inspiration (6)

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flat lay inspiration

Image via Instagram @lefashion

flat lay inspiration (1)

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Flat lay inspiration (2)

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Above all else….just practice and play around. There’s no hard and fast rule to perfecting the best flat lay…and there shouldn’t be. If you find one that works, stick to it, and form your own style through this.




4 thoughts on “Perfecting the Flat Lay

  1. Pingback: Splendid Stocking Stuffers | Lace to Lashes

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