Face in hole boards featured on Ellen!

Anna meets Dory via the medium of face in hole boards

Face in hole boards hit prime time TV in the USA this week, when Ellen DeGeneres used them in a hilarious segment on her talk show. Ellen and Frozen actress Kristen Bell played the parts of Princess Anna and Dory the amnesiac fish respectively by using small face in hole boards. Both stars knew their parts well as they voiced the characters in the respective films. DeGeneres voiced Dory in both Finding Nemo and Finding Dory.

The pair improvised a sketch in which Anna and Dory meet for the first time. But true to character, Ellen/Dory forgot what they were talking about. ‘I’d love to build a snowman,’ says Ellen/Dory. ‘Great, let’s do it,’ says Bell/Anna. ‘Let’s build the snowman.’ ‘What snowman?’ asks Ellen/Dory. ‘I’m Dory, who are you?’

Watch the video here.

An irreverent reverend!

Some interesting ‘face in hole ideas for a church picnic’ have emerged from the fevered mind of David Hayward, aka The Naked Pastor. The ideas are rather close to the bone for an actual pastor to have produced, but he drew them, not us. We can’t reproduce his cartoon here due to image permissions, but you can see what the irreverent reverend came up with here (warning: it’s a bit naughty):


Halloween is stalking us again!

Are you planning a Halloween event or party. We have a special Dracula and Witch board for hire or purchase. Grab one for your Halloween bash!

Halloween party ideas, Halloween costumes, Halloween props, Ellen
You’d be bats not to hire this one at Halloween.


Christmas Range!

And we hate to say it, but it’s time to start thinking about entertaining the concept of mulling over the possibility of toying with the idea of envisioning the vague notion of planning your Christmas entertainment. Yes, that was a long sentence, and yes, it’s a long time to Christmas – except it isn’t. By the time you’ve blinked it will be November, and from then on things seem to speed up in the run-up to the festive holidays. Check out our Christmas Range of photo cutout boards to brighten up your festive event or party!

Santa and Elf Helper | Photocutouts.co.uk Ellen
Help Santa deliver presents in this cute photo memory.


(We also make custom boards, so just ask and we’ll design a perfect board for you).

Photobooths: are they as good as photo cutouts?

Ever since the portable camera was invented, people have loved to take photos of each other. In more recent times, people seem to prefer taking photos of themselves – the selfie craze. But this phenomenon didn’t start with the smartphone and its front-facing camera. Photobooths have been around for a while in shops, supermarkets and department stores. In the 1980s they were mechanical photo development labs that took 10 minutes to process your passport photos. Are you old enough to remember those?

photobooth, photo booth, selfie, photo cutouts
Was there a little man in there developing the photos?

Even then people used them for silly pictures of themselves and friends. Photobooths – in a modern digital format, of course – are now making a comeback at weddings and events, and come with a box of silly props like moustaches, wigs and big glasses. They cost around £500 to hire for a few hours. But why not be different, and spend less? For a lot less than £500 (call Shelley on 08450 570321 for prices or see our site), you can hire a gorgeous traditional photo cutout board that is even more fun. Everybody has a smartphone, so within seconds photos of fun-loving wedding guests can be winging their way around social media for the enjoyment of friends and family. What’s not to like about this, for example?

photobooth, photo booth, photo cutouts, weddings
A lot cheaper than a photobooth and a lot more fun!

The BBC has been reporting this week on the fall and rise of the photobooth and they have even had a section on You & Yours on Radio 4. The flat-pack, pop-up booths are all the rage at weddings. But if you want to dare to be different, and have something at the wedding that harks back to our traditional seaside, why not order a photo cutout board from our range or have one custom-made with the bride and groom’s names on it, and to any design you like?

Here’s a bit about our process of making a custom photo cutout board to order. Do you have an idea for your very own design? Call us and we’ll talk it through with you!

08450 570321


Guaranteed fun at any event!

For some reason people find it really funny when someone else sticks their face through a picture. For the origins of the phenomenon, find out more about the history of the photo cutout board. But it doesn’t really matter why it works – it just does. Photo boards add guaranteed fun to all types of events. But which sorts of events are most popular? Here are the main types of event where our photo cutout boards are used:

  • Marketing events / product promotions. A face-in-hole board truly gives a product or service a face, and the interactive nature of the boards mean people play around with them and literally ‘get into’ the brand (which is splashed all over the board). Companies who have used our boards to great effect at marketing and promotional events include Tilda Rice and Autoglass. Here are those two examples:
Custom photo boards, event marketing, branding
Autoglass commissioned a custom design for their promotional event in London.
  • Weddings. Maybe it’s the traditional, saucy nature of photo cutout boards that fits in so well at weddings. Of course the happy couple will pose with their faces in through the holes, but everybody else, young and old, can have a go too. As the wedding party snaps away with their cameras and phones, the board provides a focus and is sure to create wonderful photo memories. See our wedding range here.
wedding party ideas
On this wedding board guests can write chalked messages to the bride and groom, or put up hashtags for photo sharing.
  • Seasonal events. Christmas, Easter and Halloween are prime time for parties and events, and we have boards for all three. Customers can hire from our seasonal ranges or have us make a custom board specially for them. Add some interactive Santa, bunny or vampire fun to your seasonal event!

Christmas Range

Easter & Halloween


Snowman and Gingerbread Themed Photo Cutout | Photocutouts.co.uk
Have some WInter wonderland fun in this snowy Christmas themed photo board.
Easter party ideas, hot cross bun, easter bunny, easter eggs
Easter Bunny, Easter Egg and Hot Cross Bun – join in the Easter fun!
Halloween party ideas, Halloween costumes, Halloween props
You’d be bats not to hire this one at Halloween!
  • Charity fundraising events. We have made custom boards for many charities, who find that they create a healthy buzz at their fundraising events. The board represents the charity and carries the name, web address and social media hashtags if desired, so that when people share their photos of each other grinning or grimacing through the face holes, the charity name, website and social sharing info are plain to see. And people donate more when they are laughing! Here’s a recent one:
dogs, charity fundraising ideas, dogood
The Dogs Trust custom board
  • Any other type of event! Birthday parties, book launches, store openings, sports matches – a photo cutout board will brighten any event and help to make it memorable.

Call Shelley today to talk about a photo cutout board to make your event special!

0845 057 0321

Or email office@connectedshopping.com

News from around the photo board world

Four things from the world of face in hole boards have caught our attention this week. The ever-popular props have been spotted in various locations, and one of them featured George R.R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones!

We might as well start with legendary photo board addict Tomoyuki Shioya. We’ve written about him before because he is such a photo board star. Here’s his latest photo, taken somewhere in Japan but featuring a scene from a different culture.

face in hole, peep board
Shioya, expressionless as always, in a Mexican or Spanish fiesta scene
face in hole board, head in hole board
He is only happy when his face is in a face in hole board, though he does not allow himself to show it.

Shioya posts almost daily on Facebook, has been interviewed on Japanese TV and for newspapers, and is something of a celebrity. His hobby is called ‘Kaohame’ in Japanese, which means ‘insert face’. Naturally we love him.

Game of Thrones fans will like this: GoT author George R.R. Martin was at Comic Con last Friday and decided to step into the role of Daenarys Targaryen, a major character in the series.  An quick-thinking fan snapped a wonky selfie with Martin/Daenarys.

George R.R. Martin, Daenarys Targaryen, Game of Thrones, face in hole board
He really gets into his characters.

Last Christmas a church in Ashton-upon-Mersey, Cheshire,  invited its congregation to literally get into the Nativity story by having face in hole boards made featuring the holy family and the Three Wise Kings. Area residents were encouraged to spread the good news by sharing their snaps on Social Media with hashtag #inthestory. This is another creative way to use photo cutout boards to promote a product or cause. Well done St Mary’s Church!

face in hole, head in hole, nativity, mary, joseph, three wise men, baby jesus
Residents were able to participate directly in the Nativity story

There’s a good board on Pinterest dedicated to photo cutout boards, full of ideas from around the web, including some of our own boards. Check it out here. And we also have our own Pinterest boards you can follow and share here.

head in hole boards, face in hole boards, pinterest

Who uses our face in hole boards?

Maybe you’re wondering where our face in hole boards are used and who uses them. Here are just a few examples of boards we’ve made for our wide and varied customer base.

We made a nautical skulduggery-themed, three-hole board for River Dart Country Park. Talking like a pirate is obligatory when you have your face through this one. It’s easy: shut one eye and growl about random seafaring terms in a comedy West Country accent. We are also planning to make a series of themed boards for International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

face in hole board, photo cutout board, standee board, pirates
Arrrrr! Scupper me timbers and shiver me mainbrace. Pirates run riot at River Dart Country Park

Norwich City Football Club use our face in hole boards at their training events to put young players in the boots of grown-up City players. Once they’ve put their face in the hole and had their photo taken the young lads are destined for stardom.

face in hole board Norwich City
Norwich City Football Club use our boards for their training events.

The World Animal Protection charity used our face in hole boards for two of their campaigns. Here’s the one for their Full Fact Milk campaign. Somehow the faces seem to fit the animals!

face in hole board, peep board, charity events, fundraising
World Animal Protection used a photocutouts.co.uk board on their charity roadshow.

… and here’s the one they used for their Sea Change campaign to highlight the dangers of discarding used fishing gear in the sea.

ghost fishing, sea change, charity fundraising, campaign, face in hole board
We made this board for World Animal Protection to highlight the dangers of Ghost Fishing – what happens when fishing tackle is discarded and floats around the oceans.

A photocutouts.co.uk face in hole board appeared recently at the Badminton Horse Trials.

face in hole board, Badminton Horse Trials
A Photocutouts board at the Badminton Horse Trials.

Are you planning an event, charity fundraising drive, fun day, or similar occasion? What kind of picture would you like on your face in hole board? We can design and print pretty much anything, and work with  you to make it perfect for your event. Get in touch with Shelley on 08450 570321 or email office@connectedshopping.com to see how we can help make your event special!


Peep boards, photo boards … what to call them?

The boards are back in town! Photo cutouts, or face-in-the-hole boards, are back in fashion and creating a marketing storm for our clients such as Autoglass, Chepstow Racecourse, The Sun and others. But we have a problem: what exactly should they be called?

Just look at all the different names we have come across for boards that you poke your face through to have your photo taken. Click on the camera image to make it bigger.

peep board, face-in-the-hole board, character board, photo op board, standee board
People just can’t decide what to call them!

Peep boards, photo cutout boards (of course), Aunt Sally boards, peep through boards, character boards, photo boards, standee boards, face-in-the-hole boards, fat lady on the beach boards … how come there are so many different names for the same thing?

Some people call them Aunt Sally boards because of the traditional English pub and fairground game of throwing sticks and other items at a model bust of ‘Aunt Sally’, a generic character used for venting spleen upon. Why everybody hated her isn’t clear. Fortunately this tradition has largely died out, though versions are still played in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire. The most famous use in mainstream television was Una Stubb’s Aunt Sally character in Worzel Gummidge. 

Peep boards? Famed diarist Samuel Pepys wrote of one of these boards after happening upon one at a fairground. They then became known as ‘Pepys’ boards’.

All right, we made that one up.

Standee or character boards are actually not quite the ones you put your face through, but we have seen them referred to by this name. Standee/character boards are what are commonly known as ‘cardboard cutouts’ or ‘lifesize cutouts’, like the one Justin Beiber made his fans pay $2,000 to ‘meet’ backstage. They are used to promote films, but do not usually have a hole. People generally stand next to them to have their photo taken.

Face-in-the-hole boards? Theories abound as to the origin of this name, but we feel it’s likely to be connected to the fact that you put your face in the hole.

Fat lady on the beach boards? Well of course that one comes from the art of Donald McGill, whose name is synonymous with the saucy seaside postcards we all know and love, like this one that got McGill into a bit of trouble with the law in 1954 when he was 80.

peep boards, photo boards, donald mcgill
Oo-err missus!


Wedding Wishlist

So how many of you girls popped the question on Leap Year day, the 29th of February? Traditionally, February 29 was the day on which a woman could ask a man to marry her. Now of course we live in 2016 and a girl can propose if she wants any time she wants. But just out of curiosity, how many of you took up the tradition? And what was his response? Did he burst into tears with happiness or dance with you? Do let us know in the comments if you took advantage of the Leap Year tradition and have a story to tell.

Weddings season is in full swing here at Photocutouts.co.uk HQ and we all love a good wedding celebration!

face in the hole board, peep board, photo cutout board, aunt sally board, wedding hire
One of our wedding cutout boards for hire or purchase – various designs to choose from and personalised designs if requested

Follow this link to see the range

Whether your wedding is a big garden tea party or you have a themed event, we can help with a photo board to fit the occasion. Everyone remembers poking their head through one of these boards at the seaside to have their photo taken. The tradition is still alive and kicking, indeed it’s undergoing a revival. Photo cutout boards are good, wholesome fun and are what you make of them. Photos of you, the happy couple with your faces in a cutout board are a great way to preserve the memory of the big day.

If you are busy looking for vintage props for your Summer wedding, we love Virginia’s Vintage Hire, who have gorgeous things like classic scooters and rustic furniture for you to hire.  We also love the retro  candy floss carts from Sweets for My Sweet.  They really bring a touch – and taste – of sunlit seaside days to your wedding party.

Call us now and ask Shelley for a quote on a photo cutout specially for you.


Photo cutout boards: warm wedding memories

Winter is such a magical time of year, and what better time to tie the knot? You’ll have a cool walk down the aisle without a bead of sweat in sight, and just think of snuggling up by the fire together after your magical winter wedding.

You can really get creative with a winter wedding. Wear a dress that looks like something Elsa would wear in Frozen. Use sparklers instead of confetti. Fill the reception hall with tealights, fairy lights and candles. Our warmly humorous wedding-themed photo boards add a special touch of fun to your special day. Just poke your heads through and let your guests snap away to create memories. We can create bespoke boards for you with your names on and extra decoration. If you let us know your requirements well in advance we will custom-make one for you just the way you ask.

Kimberly Burton wedding Photo Board

A Photo cutout is a great way to keep your wedding guests’ little ones amused. Give them a camera and let them take turns photographing each other with their heads stuck through the holes. It’s simple, wholesome fun that people of all ages never seem to get tired of.

Newmarket Wedding Show Face in The Hole Particpants

The best combination of fun activities at a wedding is a minigolf course and a photo cutout board or two. Minigolf keeps young ones squealing with fun so the grownups can socialise in peace. Your guests will be eternally grateful for giving the little ones something to do.

Who needs a putter

And of course have a go yourselves! Everybody can chip in … or putt in.

Bride at Take My HandFind out how to hire an indoor minigolf course for your winter wedding at putterfingers.co.uk.

Prop up your business!

Here’s how you can spread the feelgood factor about your brand with a simple prop: a photo cutout board.

Santa and Elf Photo Face in the Hole Board Prop

Marketing people like to use fancy language when talking about trends. Here’s a quote from a well-known marketing consultancy:

‘The premise of experiential marketing is to create a closer bond between the consumer and the brand by immersing them in a fun and memorable experience.’ [econsultancy.com]

If a brand event stirs up positive emotions in people, they are more likely to associate those emotions with that brand. It’s simple really. Making people feel good about your brand has a direct effect on your bottom line. Think Red Bull with its air races, F1 team and extreme sports events.

Your marketing might not quite be on the scale of Red Bull’s, but experiential marketing (the fancy term for giving your brand the feelgood factor by having folks interact with it in novel or entertaining ways) works well at any scale. If your budget doesn’t stretch to an F1 team, maybe try something more affordable to surprise and delight your customers with an interactive experience.

This could be as simple as having some kind of branded prop outside your shop or at a company event or in a public place. You could have a mobile juice bar covered in your logos. Or a giant version of your product that people can touch and play with.

Or dress up in a bear costume and roar about your brand.

Or… a branded photo cutout board! Also knows as Aunt Sally board, face in the hole board, character board or peep through board. Everybody has seen one somewhere, but they’re not only to be found at the seaside any more!

Motor Racing Custom Photo Board Prop

It’s something everyone can relate to and interact with. And when we’ve added your branding, people will happily snap away and create family or friendship memories – with your brand in them! People share their photos online, so a photo cutout board is a cost-effective marketing prop that just keeps on giving. So why not hire one to see how it brings people closer to your business, or buy one to use at any time of year and anywhere you have an event?

Here’s another ‘prop’ idea. Next time you have a company event, why not add some fun to it with a mini golf course? Putterfingers is Britain’s friendliest supplier of minigolf equipment and will get the equipment to you in good time for your event. It’s easy to set up and dismantle, and guaranteed fun for your guests.

Use Crazy Golf as an event prop for your networking

So get in touch with us to hire or buy a ‘prop’ to help create a buzz around your brand events!