An Uncomplicated Life Blog: DIY Photography Backdrop

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

DIY Photography Backdrop

Something that has become painfully clear over the last few weeks was that I really REALLY need to work on my photography skills if I'm going to become a more successful blogger. Photography for blog images, Pinterest pins and Instagram shots is just as, if not more important than, being a good writer! It's how we promote our posts and our brand. An easy way to improve photography is to invest in a backdrop. Seeing as those are hundreds of dollars (or more!) I decided to create my own DIY photography backdrop.


Let me tell you, I'm no DIYer. I'd much prefer to go out and purchase the item, already done and shiny and new! But the price tag - nay, sticker shock - of a backdrop from a photography store led me to get creative. If you're like me and not a DIY gal or guy, fear not! This was so, so easy, even you can do it.

What you'll need:
- Foam boards
- 1 yard of fabric per foam board (if using a 30x20 board; more fabric if using a larger one)
- pair of scissors
- normal sized stapler

First, I purchased three foam boards. I went with a 30x20in size, and wouldn't recommend going smaller, although larger is fine. Then I headed to a fabric store. I wanted to keep the boards fairly neutral so they don't dominate my shots, but with something interesting in the fabric to provide contrast for whatever I was filming. I went with two grey tweed-like boards and one white with a circular pattern.

Colors and patterns I chose for my DIY photography backdrop
I chose to do two grey boards so that if I'm photographing something that needs to be stood up (or a vertical shot), I can prop the other board up behind it and continue the backdrop color and feel. This way, the attention stays on the product or object, and not a messy counter top or other "noise" in the background!

Ok, back to DIYing business:

STEP ONE: staple one edge of fabric evenly over the foam board. I started with the long, horizontal side, and stapled about every 2-3 inches to securely fasten the fabric to the foam board.

DIY photography backdrop: Step One

STEP TWO: pull the fabric on the opposite side taught, but not so tight you create "pulling lines" in the fabric. You can turn the board over and look at the front as you pull to ensure you're not pulling too tightly. Then, staple the opposite side into the foam board. I like to pull the from middle first, then work my way out to the edges to ensure my pattern was even on my board.

DIY photography backdrop: Step Two

STEP THREE: Next, the shorter sides. I had too much fabric, so before I began to secure the fabric to the board, I cut it down to a more manageable length - exactly like you would do when you wrap a present!

DIY photography backdrop: Step Three

Once it's trimmed down, pull taught just like you did for the long sides, starting in the middle and working your way out to the corners for an even pull of the fabric. For the edges, fold them like you were wrapping a present, bending the corners in. Secure with staples.

DIY photography backdrop: Step Three

Repeat until all corners are secured, then follow up with staples every three inches or so to ensure the fabric is secured to the foam board. Repeat all these steps until you're done with all your boards.


Boom. Pretty easy, if you ask me! I'm pretty excited to get to using these. They're super easy to store on the side of my desk, or I could even lay them flat in my crafting closet. Next time I need to style a blog or Instagram photo, I'll just use one (or two) of these for a crisp, clean background. No more counter tops, carpet, or quickly clearing junk out of my shots! Have you tried a DIY photography backdrop to improve your photography?

20 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh thanks for this! I'm with you on the photography thing. I held out for the LONGEST time because I couldn't justify paying for a nice camera or learning a new skill just to take pictures of my fingernails (ha). I finally bit the bullet and got a DSLR and it's on my weekend todo to figure out backdrops! You just took the work out of it for me! Thanks!

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  2. Nice!!
    I'm working on my photography, too.

    I have painted board that's probably 3' x 3', but I need something else, I fear.

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  3. Smart! If you get tired of those fabrics, you could always just wrap them with something else too.

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  4. Great tutorial! If I ever get around to getting my photography skills more on point again, I'll definitely be coming back to this!
    You should link this up with Jessi and I today!

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  5. What a great tutorial! I've asked my husband to build me a box, but this might be easier!

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  6. Love this!! It is so helpful!! Thanks for doing this tutorial.

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  7. Love this post! So simple, but helps so much :)

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  8. OMG, I'm obsessed with this! I have not been able to nail my photography, and it's frustrating! I am definitely going to use this idea!

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  9. I like the idea of the gray. Right now I just use white poster board for plain backdrops. But adding some variety would be good. I also want to get some nice wood for my food photos.

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  10. I did something similar with plywood and marble contact paper. What I love about it is exactly what you said, they don't take up a lot of room and I can pick it up and move it to the best natural light source in the house. That way I can shoot near my windows instead of my kitchen which had zero light. I need to add the foam boards and fabric to the next DIY I love this idea!

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  11. ugh blogger ate my comment :( the gist of what i said was this is brilliant and I need to find some patterns that I like! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  12. Thank you for sharing! I use that white foam for backdrops all the time. I also use wrapping paper taped to the foam board sometimes to switch things up.

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  13. these are so fun and easy! i love the idea of the fabric so it's not just plain stark white.

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  14. This is a great idea! Totally pinning! Thanks for linking up with us today! xo

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  15. Love!!! I am so not a crafty girl, but I can handle this. White is just the go-to color, but love that you chose one with a pattern.

    Katie @ Cup of Tea

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  16. This is brilliant thanks for sharing!

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  17. I seriously need to do this this weekend. I'm in need some new backdrops! Thanks for sharing!

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  18. I love this idea! I'm going to hit Joann's today :)

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  19. I need to work on something like this!

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  20. What a great idea! I've been using a piece of white butcher paper thumb tacked to the wall. Before that, it was a DIY lightbox made from a cardboard box and some tissue paper.

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