DIY Custom Wall Backdrops

 When I showed you the reveal of my new guest room (here), I shared that the room was to have a dual purpose.  Since we only have guests that stay with us a few times a year, it’s primary purpose will really be a photo studio for me.
Antique Ledger Book Photograph Backdrop via Knick of Time @ knickoftimeinteriors.blogspot.com
Prior to remodeling this room, I took most of my up-close photos on my kitchen table, with our white, plank walls as a backdrop (seen here).  While that white wall made for a great backdrop, it was extremely inconvenient to have to clear the table every time I wanted to take a photo – which is usually every single day.  That meant my tripod was always sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor, and my camera and any props I used, were on the table most of the time.  The things that normally should be on the table got moved to the counters…where they usually stayed.  I needed my kitchen to be just a kitchen and need photography to take place somewhere else, and my guest room is serving that purpose wonderfully (even though my son is living in it until fall).

I’ve been using this corrugated metal wall as a backdrop since the guest room was completed, but I don’t want every single photo I take to have the same metal wall backdrop.
Other than the corrugated metal, only one other wall in the room can really be used for product shots, like this one.  It’s another white planked wall, next to the metal one.
Corrugated Metal Sign with Plank Wall Backdrop via Knick of Time @ knickoftimeinteriors.blogspot.com

Two backdrops isn’t a lot of variety, so I wanted to find a way to have more backdrops, without needing more walls, and I wanted them to be easy to put in place, so using a large piece of wood, or something like it wouldn’t be easy and quick to use.  Since I know many of you do a lot of photography for your blogs or businesses, I thought I’d share how I came up with several new backdrops that you can make and customize  yourself, with any look you want them to have.

First, I selected a few of my antique graphics (see them all here).  I picked rectangle shaped images, since photos are rectangle shaped, and that shape would work nicely behind the table that I place most of the items I photograph on.  Make sure you choose images that are high resolution, since the image will be enlarged, and you don’t want it to become overly pixelated.  You can really use any image you want, but you want your backdrop to be a backdrop – not the main focus of your photo, so select one that doesn’t draw the eye to any specific part of it.  I choose a piece of sheet music, and an antique ledger page.  Both are interesting, without being too distracting.  There is such a huge selection of scrapbook paper available in craft stores, so you could select a sheet with a nice design, scan it at high resolution, and use that as well, so you can really design any type of backdrop you’l like.

Ironstone Pitcher with DIY Photography Backdrops via Knick of Time @ knickoftimeinteriors.blogspot.com

Next, I went to BuildASign.com.  They turn images into banners (and magnets, bumper stickers, and signs, etc.), ranging in size from 2 x 2 ft., all the way up to 10 x 3 ft.  I recommend measuring the space you’ll use as a backdrop first, so your banner won’t be too large or too small.  I didn’t do that and one of my banners is larger than I really need it to be.  It still works (and looks great, but I really didn’t need one as wide as it is.  If you decided to create multiple banners like I did, it’s easier to store them if you get all the same size, since you can just hang 2 cup hooks and hang them all together on those hooks.  Hindsight is 20/20, so you can learn from my oversight.  It looks crazy pretty though!

DIY Photography Wall Backdrops via Knick of Time

Select the size banner you want to create, then upload your image.  You’ll be able to preview the image and see how it will look once enlarged as a banner, so you’ll know whether your image resolution was high enough.  My images were slightly pixelated, because I choose such large banners (6 and 5 feet wide), but I knew that wouldn’t be obvious as a backdrop, so I proceeded.  That really is all there is too it – just order your banner once you are happy with the preview.  Their prices are super reasonable (a 4′ x 4′ banner is just $35.32), and everything ships free.  If you sign up to receive their emails, you’ll also receive discount codes and special offers via email, and you can follow them on Facebook as well.

They also have retractable banners, that come on stands, so they are easy to just retract and store in a closet, but I wanted one that I could hang behind my table, so I choose the regular banner with grommets to hang it by.  We purposely had to hang it crooked on my wall, because the floor isn’t level, but the walls are, and I wanted the banner to hang level with the table. Since I knew the top of the banner won’t show in my photos, I didn’t worry about that, and if you aren’t using an ancient building with floors that aren’t level, you’ll be able to hang your banner straight!

I received both of my banners and am totally thrilled with them.  The images turned out even better than I expected, and even if you don’t have a need for photo backdrops, these would look awesome hung on a wall.  Doesn’t the old ledger page look wonderful?  I’m sure the man who wrote in this ledger, never dreamed one of his pages would end up as a photo backdrop!

Antique Ledger Page via Knick of Time

The vinyl they are printed on is very durable, so I know I’ll get a lot of use from them.

Vintage Wooden Recipe Box with DIY Photography Backdrops via Knick of Time @ knickoftimeinteriors.blogspot.com

The last backdrop I created is super economical as well.  I found an old pull-down projector screen at a thrift store for $15.  I’ve used projector screens as backdrops before (read about it here), and they look great, but they had stands, which would get in the way between the wall and my table.

DIY Book Stack Vintage Light Bulb Light

I wanted one that could be hung, so I can just retract it when I want to use the metal wall as the backdrop.  I spray painted the screen with chalkboard paint, hung it, and now I have another backdrop to use, giving me lots of variety, and it was quick and easy to do.

DIY Photography Backdrops

 You could use any color matte paint (use very matte paint, so you won’t get reflection in your photos), but I wanted the chalkboard paint, so I can actually write on it, if desired.

Vintage Wooden Recipe box with DIY Chalkboard Photography Backdrop via Knick of Time @ knickoftimeinteriors.blogspot.com

 I can leave it hanging above the metal wall, and just pull it down when I need it.

DIY Photography Backdrops via Knick of Time @ knickoftimeinteriors.blogspot.com

{PIN this image now, so you can find it later!}

Photography Wall Backdrops via Knick of Time

Blessings,

Disclosure – I was not paid by BuildASign.com to write this post, although they did provide my 2 banners free of charge.  All opinions are my own, and I highly recommend them!

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Comments

  1. You’re one smart cookie!

  2. That is a fantastic idea!! They look great!!

  3. I love the music background. Thanks for the information.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

  4. That is awesome! Like you said, even if you don’t need a photography backdrop it could just be a wall hanging. Pretty cool!

  5. Great idea. Glad you have moved from your kitchen table. It must of been such a pain.
    Rosezeeta.

  6. These backdrops are a great idea! You’e photos always look great!

  7. What a great idea, I’m definitely keeping this in mind a pinning too. I remember your chalkboard screen back drop, and I’m still looking for one. Thanks for sharing Angie.

  8. Great idea Angie! I have been trying to come up with some interesting and accessible backdrops myself. Yours are fabulous as always!

    Gigi @ Old World Patina

  9. Beautiful backdrops for your pics! I just love your style…
    judypimperl.blogspot.com

  10. Hi Angie, The banners look great and the screen is a wonderful idea too.

  11. ngie Thank-You for Sharing these Amazing Graphics to Download!
    My Question is: Am I able to use them on My Vintage Linens tat I have for Purchase on Facebook and Ebay…I would not want to use them and not has Permission…Thanks Cindy
    I Love the Pins going on You Offer~~~ Fun Boards and Great Inspiration.

  12. Such a cool idea and these also would be awesome as headboards when you don’t have one like my daughter in apartment life.

  13. Good morning!

    We are a florist and take numerous pictures of our products for our website. We are looking for an inexpensive backdrop screen and came across your retractable screen. Can you tell me the dimensions of your screen and how you built it? It seems to be the perfect size for the application we need. Thanks for your time!

    Marci

  14. Love the idea!

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