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21 Awesome DIY Photo Backdrop Ideas You Should Try Today

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Tired of the same old white backdrop photos? A colorful background can make your photos pop and save them from looking dull. You can invest in expensive professional backdrops, or you can create your own DIY photo backdrops.

DIY photo backdrops will give you a lot of creative control and make your photos look stunning. From a birthday party photo shoot to a newborn session, these are useful anywhere.

So how do you make a homemade photography backdrop? Here are 21 affordable and easy DIY photo backdrop ideas you can use in your photo studio or at home shoot.

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21. DIY Photo Backdrop Streamers

What can be simpler and yet more versatile than a bunch of party streamers? Whether you want a colorful backdrop or a subtle one, choose your favorite colors. Then, just stick them on a wall using masking tape, and your striped backdrop is ready!

A female model in front of a colorful photoshoot backdrop
Source: Lovely Indeed

20. Paper Plates

Have you ever hosted a party and been left with a bunch of extra paper plates you don’t know what to do with? We have a great idea for you!

Make your own photo backdrops. There are many funky backdrops you can create with paper plates. If you want, you can buy different shades of the same color and create an ombre wall.

Or, you can get different colors and randomly tape them for bright, colorful DIY photo backdrops.

Colorful paper plates as a backdrop for photo shoots
Source: Oh Happy Day

Not only can you play with the colors, but also how you place them. If you place them far apart, it can look like polka dots. Or, you can create a sort of mosaic by making the edges touch.

A woman putting pink paper plates on a wall
Source: Spark and Chemistry

If you want to create a scalloped effect, overlap them equally. You can also overlap them randomly on top of each other for a fun, playful look.

A pretty photo booth decorated with paper plates
Source: At Home In Love

19. Magical Tulle Fairy Light Backdrop

If you want a magical fairytale-like photoshoot background, what can be better than flowy tulle and sparkling fairy lights?

If you don’t have tulle or fairy lights at home, you will have to buy some. But, creating this backdrop is extremely easy! All you need to do is drape fairy lights over a curtain rod and then cover with tulle. Add some fake flowers to the top if you want, and you are done.

This pretty photography backdrop is perfect for soft, feminine portraits.

A flowing white curtain in a photo studio
Source: 6 Clever Sisters

18. Doily Backdrop

What are pretty, easy to find, and pocket-friendly? Doilies!

Doilies make for easy DIY photo backdrops. All you need to do is buy a bunch and stick them to the wall in whatever form or fashion you like. You can get all of the same color, or have a few different colors. You can overlap them neatly in straight lines, or place them randomly.

A woman creating a photography studio background with paper doilies
Source: Sarah Hearts

17. Craft Paper Triangles

Feeling crafty? Then get out your favorite colored craft paper and some scissors and get cutting for this geometric backdrop.

All you need to do is cut some triangles of different sizes on colored paper and stick them on the wall. Here you can be as conservative or crazy as you like. If you want to create a symmetrical pattern, you can do so. Or, you can place them randomly.

A woman creating a geometric wall pattern
Source: a Ruffled Life blog

16. Scalloped Wrapping Paper

Want a cute and easy pattern for a backdrop?

Grab some wrapping paper and create this scalloped backdrop. Cut the wrapping paper in circles of equal size and stick them on a plain wall.

Make sure the lines are straight. Overlap rows one over the other to create the scalloped look.

A woman posing in a decorative photo booth
Source: PoppyTalk

15. Rainbow and Clouds

Ever wondered what was at the edge of the rainbow?

You may not be able to find out, but you sure can create your own rainbow backdrop! All you need are some colorful streamers and white honeycombs. You will also need the basic scissors, tape, and a foam board. Just tape the streamers to the foam board and hang the honeycombs over them. And there you have clouds with a rainbow under it!

You can place this installation in front of a blue paper or wall so that it looks more like the sky.

A studio setup with rainbow diy photography backdrops
Source: oh joy

14. Ombre Tissue Paper

Are you obsessed with a gorgeous ombre effect? Although this backdrop may require a bit more effort than others, it is totally worth it.

The tissue paper adds an interesting texture to photos and the ombre effect looks good with anything. Whether you are shooting products, still life, or portraits, this backdrop works.

blue ombre diy photography backdrops
Source: Lovely Indeed

13. Checkered Streamers

Streamers are one of the cheapest and most versatile accessories to make a photo booth. This checkered pattern is easy to create.

All you need to do is choose 2 or 4 of your favorite colors. Besides streamers, you just need some double-sided tape, masking tape, and of course, scissors. Then, you begin weaving!

This fun background is perfect for still life photography or for taking quirky portraits!

grid showing how to make colorful diy photography backdrops

12. Delicate Taped Flowers

Taping flowers to a wall might seem like a waste, especially if your photo shoot will last for a long time. Instead of buying a fresh bouquet, use dried or paper flowers. These will create an interesting backdrop. You can even use branches, leaves, or grass.

You can remove any tape in Photoshop. And if your background is blurry, you don’t have to worry about the tape.

If you’re not interested in using tape, you can hang the flowers on strings. Make sure the strings match the color of the wall to make it seem like your flowers are floating.

You can use this DIY backdrop for beautiful portraits. For a bridal shower photoshoot, flowers are the perfect background. You can even add them to creative food photography.

A flat lay of dried pink flowers on pink background used as diy photography backdrops
The dried flowers in this image perfectly complement the pink wall. When you organize your flowers, make sure they’ll look good behind your subject. Clashing colors will look too distracting.

11. Creased Tin Foil

On its own, tinfoil can make a great silvery backdrop. If you crease it, you’ll create more texture and bokeh. This will make your subject stand out. It’s different from using plain old creased wrapping paper. Tinfoil will add a nice shiny effect in your photos.

Be careful when you light your subject. Tinfoil reflects light. This means that it might look too distracting if you work with bright light sources like studio lights.

A DIY tin foil backdrop will work best with soft natural light, like window light during the day.

Cool diy photo backdrop ideas of creased tin foil and neon lights
Creased tin foil and neon lights work wonderfully together.

10. Colorful Cut-Out Tissue Paper

You can use colored tissue paper or any other kind of colored fabric that’s easy to cut. Cut out different shapes and tape them to a wall.

Colored tissue paper is ideal for photos of children, events, and children’s products. It can also be used to create funny self-portraits.

You might be working with children in your photoshoot. This can be a great opportunity to let them create their own DIY photo backdrops!

If you use the shapes that they make, your portraits will look personal and creative.

Colored diy photography backdrops made from tissue paper cut into circles
Colored tissue paper is usually cut into circles to create fun polka dot backdrops.

9. Easy Curtain Background

This is the cheapest and easiest DIY photo backdrop idea. All you have to do is stretch a curtain away from a window and tape it to a wall. Though this won’t look pretty from a distance, it will look great up close.

Stretching the curtain away will create folds and textures. And it gives you some control over the light you work with. The closer you are to the window, the brighter your subject and the background will appear.

Once you’re done, all you’ll have to do is to put your curtain back in its place. No cleanup needed! You can even use your shower curtain if it’s particularly colorful.

A triptych of self-portrait photography shot in front of diy photography backdrops
If you’re planning to take photos for at least an hour, use something reliable, like a nail, to hold your curtain in place.

8. Fairy Light Arrangement

Fairy lights are festive, easy to work with an appeal to the eye. If you enjoy working with vibrant bokeh, you’ll love this idea for DIY photo backdrops.

Before you arrange the fairy lights, you have to create supports for them to hang on. I used tiny nails in the photo below. Once the supports are ready, you can place the lights in a random way. Or use them to create special shapes, like hearts. It all depends on your creative preferences!

The best thing about fairy lights is that you can use them at any time of day. Do you want to improve your nighttime photography skills? Take photos in a dark room that’s lit by fairy lights only. This will add a vintage look to your images. And you can also go for a bokeh effect!

A portrait lit by fairy lights
Working with unusual lights like this will help you take interesting portraits in all kinds of lighting situations.

7. Get Creative with Balloons

Balloons are another fun DIY project that’s perfect for both kids and adults. You can stack them on top of each other, let them float, or place a few behind your subject.

A balloon photo background doesn’t have to be used for joyful photos only. It can be a great addition to a fine art portrait.

If you use neutral-colored balloons (e.g. grey), you’ll be able to create a melancholic atmosphere. If you use vibrant balloons, you’ll give out feelings of warmth and happiness.

A fine art portrait diptych of a female model with orange and purple balloons
These balloons were made specifically for Halloween parties and helped me take fine art portraits.

6. Hang Bed Sheets to add Interest

Can you use a sheet as a photography backdrop? Yes! This simple backdrop idea will help you see potential in things you’ve never notice before. If you have a clothesline, you can create gorgeous DIY photo backdrops within minutes.

Hang some colorful fabric and shoot away! You don’t even need a backdrop stand for this. And you can use anything from bedsheets to scarves, clothes and even tablecloths. Yes, plastic tablecloths included.

These will complement your subject and add a pop of color to your background.

Artistic portrait of a female model posing against a diy backdrop
To create this portrait, I hung a large patterned scarf over a folding screen.

5. Add Textures and Bokeh with Editing

If you have Photoshop or any other editing program, you can use it to enhance simple backgrounds. Take a photo in front of a simple backdrop, such as a white wall, and Photoshop in your favorite textures and bokeh.

You can create your own resources, or download free images from a website like Unsplash. Try working with other people’s creations. Browsing through hundreds of photos might inspire you in unimaginable ways.

To perfect your editing skills in Lightroom, have a look at our Effortless Editing course.

Artistic black and white portrait of a female model posing against a diy backdrop
I used a free photo of bokeh to enhance this image. Without the extra photo, my portrait looked too simple.

4. Use Your Own Work of Art

Why not combine several interests in your photography? You don’t need to be a professional painter to create beautiful backdrops. You can create abstract pieces or paint on a few layers of a neutral color. This is your chance to create the backdrop of your dreams!

Once your painting is ready, photograph it from different angles. Store your results in a folder with other DIY resources. These will come in handy when you work on diptychs and double exposures. Or any other kind of creative project that requires several photos.

Artistic portrait of a female model posing against diy photo backdrops
If you don’t enjoy traditional painting methods, you can add a photo of a painting (or digitally paint your own) to your image.

3. Add a Festive Atmosphere with Streamers

When blurred, gold streamers look like long strings of bokeh. Like the tin foil idea, this project is perfect for those who love working with lots of bokeh.

Either hang your streamers or tape them to a wall. To create as much bokeh as possible, make sure your subject is at least half a metre away from your backdrop.

Gold streamers will look amazing in Christmas-themed photos, especially portraits. They’re also great for festive product photos, fun pet portraits or baby shower pictures.

Artistic portrait diptych of a female model featuring gold streamers
Streamers can also look great in closeup portraits.

2. Paper Chains

Though this is the most time-consuming DIY backdrop idea on this list, it’s worth all the hard work. Paper chains will make gorgeous foregrounds and backgrounds. You can use these to enhance almost any kind of photo.

To avoid spending hours on a single paper chain, have someone help you. This can become a fun family or school project. You can cut out animal shapes, create snowflakes (for fun Christmas snaps!) or create a banner with names. You can even paint the paper chains to add a pop of color to your DIY backdrops.

For an even more interesting effect, hang your paper chains in front of a black wall. The black and white contrast will look amazing in monochrome portraits.

Streams of colored paper chains hanging from a wall
If you often work with children, paper chains can be a great way to nurture their creativity.

1. Recycle Old Newspapers

Newspapers aren’t for reading only. If you have a few spare ones, spread them out on a wall and use them as a monochrome paper backdrop. The blurrier they are, the more interesting your photographs will look.

If they’re super sharp, people might start reading the news and not admire your photo.

If you have a lot of newspapers, you can stack them on top of each other until they resemble a wall. This, too, you can use as interesting DIY backdrops.

A large pile of newspapers to be used as diy photo backdrops
You don’t need to have this many newspapers to create an appealing backdrop. Even a couple of large ones will do.


If you know how to make the most of your resources, you’ll be able to create stunning DIY photography backdrops out of anything. This will make your creative projects challenging and fun.

You’ll be able to enhance your portfolio with stunning creations. Your photos will stand out, and even the least observant viewer will be impressed.

Working on these DIY backdrop ideas will also increase your self-confidence. Knowing how much you’re capable of will inspire you to experiment, persist, and grow.
And in this process, your work will bloom.

For more creative background ideas, check our articles on creating a DIY photo booth or pure white background.

Vibrant Photo Backdrops
Brizlabs Fairy Lights
BrizLabs LED Color String Lights
Transform your DIY photo backdrop with these 200 LED fairy lights that come with 6 unique festive buttons and 24 modes to create stunning and colorful photos.

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