The Pin Junkie: Wood Photo Backdrops

Wood Photo Backdrops

Wood Photo Backdrops
Wood Photo Backdrops

When I attended the Six Sisters Build Your Blog Conference, they gave away lots of prizes.  One of them was a wood photo backdrop.  I didn't get a good look at it, but from what I could see, I thought it looked simple enough to make my own.  In fact, I was able to make three wood backdrops and I made them for FREE!  It helps when you can get the wood for free.  I used the wood from two pallets and I already had all the other materials which included:

drill and wood screws or hammer and nails
jig saw
sander
stain
paint

I started with two pallets and took them apart.  That's a lot harder than it sounds.  Taking apart a pallet is hard work and I was happy to have Pin Junkie Jr. helping me.  Between the two of us, we were able to take them both apart in an afternoon and had a nice stack of some decent wood pieces to work with.


A lot of the wood ended up in the trash, just because the wood split when we tried to take it apart, but we still ended up with enough wood to make three photo backdrops.  After we took the pallets apart, my helper cut the boards in half with a jig saw.  I wasn't too concerned about doing this perfectly for this project, but he did a good job making nice clean cuts.


The boards were about 40 inches long, so we cut them in half and fit six boards together for each backdrop.  That made each backdrop about 20 inches by 25 inches which I figured was big enough to photograph small things.  I didn't want to make them too big because they'd be difficult to pick up and move as well as to store.


Then it was time to sand each piece.  Again, I wasn't worried about making it perfect, but I did want to sand the pieces so I wouldn't get splinters every time I tried to pick up the finished piece to move it.  I also wanted to have a somewhat smooth surface for the stain and paint I new I would be adding next.


After each piece was sanded, I stained the wood for all three backdrops.



When the stain was dry, I pre-dilled holes and used wood screws
to attach the top boards to a base.


For the base I just used two pieces of wood, one on each side.
 Here's a top view.


Here's what it looks like on the bottom.


If you didn't want to use a drill, you can always use a hammer and some nails.  For the last backdrop, the wood I used for the base wasn't as thick and I was worried that screws would cause it to split.  Nails worked just fine.


Here's a top view of a finished backdrop.

And here's what it looks like from the bottom.

Once I had three completed backdrops, I wanted to give each one a different finish.  I kept one with a dark stain.  This one got two coats of stain, but the other two backdrops only got one coat. It's a little shiny because the second coat of stain is still wet in these pictures, but you get the idea. 

Wood Photo Backdrop Wood Photo Backdrop

For the second backdrop, I painted a thin layer of blue latex paint over the stained wood.  After the paint dried, I lightly sanded some of the paint away.  I added a very thin layer of stain after sanding to give the paint even more of an aged look.

Wood Photo Backdrop Wood Photo Backdrop

For the last backdrop, I tried the technique from this pin to get a crackle finish.  I wasn't sure it would work, so I did a test on a scrap piece of wood first.  Just brush on a layer of white school glue.  Let the glue dry about 10 minutes.  The glue should be tacky and not completely dry.  Then brush on a thin layer of paint.  (I used latex paint.)  I found that it works best if you don't  brush over the glue too many times with the paint.  I didn't worry about getting a perfect layer of paint either.  It won't look right at first, but as the paint dries it will have a perfect crackle finish!

Wood Photo Backdrop Wood Photo Backdrop

The nice thing about this project is there's absolutely no pressure to get anything perfect!  The wood and the finishes are supposed to look old and rustic, so perfection is actually a bad thing here.  All those little imperfections will add character to the background which will add interest to your photos!  I'm really happy with the way these backdrops turned out and I'm really looking forward to using them to take pictures of my latest projects!

Wood Photo Backdrops


pallet project


post signature



59 comments:

  1. I love how they turned out. And so glad to hear the glue trick works! I'll have to do it now =) Thanks! Marcy @ day2day SuperMom

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  2. Hi, I am hosting a Cunning Ladies’ Friday party and I would love to see this post in the party. Please join us. http://easytocookmeals.com/cunning-ladies-friday-party/

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  3. I love how these came out! I actually just bought some fence slats at Home Depot today to make my own backdrops:)

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  4. Amazing turn out!

    http://blessedbowtie.blogspot.com

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  5. I love this! I always need good backdrops for my DIYs.

    I hopped over from the Get Schooled Saturday link up.

    ~Cheryl
    http://snaps-of-ginger.blogspot.com/

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  6. These turned out great! I love that crackle look with the white.

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    1. Thanks Kimberlee! I think that's my favorite too!

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  7. Turned out great!

    We would love for you to come and link up at Your Designs This Time, Mondays 8:00am EST.
    http://www.elizabethjoandesigns.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the invitation Emily!

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    2. Thanks for coming by and linking up!
      We can't wait to see what you share with us at Your Designs This Time next Monday!

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  8. Thank you for this! I completely forgot about using pallet wood. I have a few of them hanging around. I had a gift card for Menards (similar to Home Depot and Lowes) so I purchased a few thin boards and had the husband cut them in half. I purchased some stain and sandpaper. While it's not the same look as the pallet wood, I will give me another bottom base for my food photography. I have pinned this one. I love how you gave it some 'legs' for a stand. This might have to be my next project after I wrap up the other board. Chrystal @ YUMeating

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    1. Thanks Chrystal! I've been using them to take pictures of my most recent projects and absolutely love them! So far, I've been using them outside, but if I bring them in, I plan to add some felt to the legs so they don't scratch anything I set them on (like the kitchen table!)

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    2. Oh, good call! Just so happens I have some of those. I showed my husband this project and he said we could totally do it. But first I have to finish the others because the boards are scattered on my kitchen floor. I started to take photos so I could post them on my website. Then, I got sidetracked with actual cooking so the DIY had to wait. Now, its cold outside and we had snow flurries again. I don't really want to stain inside, but at this rate, I may have to!

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  9. Beautiful! I can't wait to see how you use it.
    Thank you for sharing this at DIY Showcase on VMG206.
    ~ Megin of VMG206

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  10. Such a great idea! Wow! Nice job!

    Thanks again for joining the Link Up this week!

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  11. This is such a great idea! I'd love it if you shared it over at The Makers Link Party going on at my blog, UpcycledTreasures.com.

    Have a great week!
    -Katie

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  12. I love the backdrop! I got a light box for Christmas and have wished it came with something other than the plain fabric backdrops. I think I will try to make one of these that will fit inside. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  13. Great tutorial. I especially love the white one.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Kelly

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  14. These are great ideas Bonnie! Now I know what to do with the pallet I have hanging out in my garage :) Thanks for the ideas, pinned.

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  15. I have sooooo needed these!! My husband will be thrilled that I've found another project for him. :-) Thanks so much for sharing!!

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  16. Ok, this gave me the boost I needed to try one of these techniques. I made and stained a double sided backdrop and I bought the paint to age one of the sides, but I've been chicken. Now I need to decide if I want to try the glue. They both look great!

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    1. I like the idea of a double sided backdrop! That would really save some space. The glue trick to age the paint worked great. If you're worried about it, you can always do a test on a piece of scrap wood.

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  17. Those are beautiful! I'm getting ready to paint a cabinet and I'm might have to try one of these techniques. Thanks for sharing. Found you from Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop.

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  18. Excellent post! I have been lacking in my photo backgrounds and this will perfect for me to try once the weather warms up here! Thanks!

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  19. I have so got to make these! I love the way they turned out. You did a fantastic job. Thanks for sharing at Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party.
    Angel

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  20. Your backdrops look marvelous Bonnie! I will have to try the crackle finish; didn't know it could be done with white glue! Pinning this! I am wondering what color of stain you used for the blue one?

    Val @ artsybuildinglady.blogspot.ca

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    1. It was MinWax wood stain in dark walnut.

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  21. Great idea to make your own backdrops! They look wonderful.

    Deehttp://alapinlife.blogspot.com/

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  22. Oh I love these! Pinning for sure. Thank you for sharing at The Wednesday Round Up! We hope to see you back next week.

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  23. Beautiful diy!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Hope to see you on my blog :)

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  24. This is a great idea. The crackled paint is gorgeous. I need to do this x

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  25. I love this backdrop, Bonnie! It was my favorite pick on Link'n Blogs. Thank you so much for sharing!
    http://redoityourselfinspirations.blogspot.com/2014/03/welcome-to-linkn-blogs-18.html#more

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  26. You made this look so easy...I just might give it a try...love the weathered wood look. Thanks for sharing on the Thursday blog hop!

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  27. I LOVE this idea! My husband has pallets from work...not I just need to sit down and do it! Thank you so much for this idea! Of course I pinned it!

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  28. Great idea, I'd love to add a little more depth to my photo backgrounds. Thanks for sharing.

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  29. Wow that is beautiful! You did a really fantastic job! I love to up-cycle and also need a backdrop for pictures of my projects. Thank you for sharing!

    http://simplemamaathome.blogspot.com/

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  30. I agree with you: wood makes for a lovely backdrop!!!!
    Cute too……. :)
    “hugs” Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

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  31. Such a clever idea. I am often wishing I had something to use as a backdrop for my photos. Love, love the blue one! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  32. This is such a great project! I can't wait to try this out myself!

    thepaisleybarn.com

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  33. Great backdrops. The white is my fav - love that crackled look and the blue gives so many different options for photos. The darker one will make lighter objects stand out. Winners all around.
    Joy

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    1. So glad you like the backdrops Joy. The white seems to be a reader favorite!

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  34. OMG, I was just planning a similar post, took pics and all, but only for 1 DIY wood background, but I think I'll add a link to this post from mine when I post so people get more ideas

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    1. I can't wait to see your backdrop Divya! Thanks for sharing the link - I appreciate it!

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  35. Looks great, I can not wait to try it. :-) Thank you so much for sharing. I will be featuring your post on Tuesdays with A Twist this week, come by Tuesday morning (4/1/14) to take a look.

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    1. Thanks for the feature! I appreciate it!

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  36. LOVE this! I need to go to Home Depot and pick up some scrap wood and make some of these! Pinned to the party board!

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  37. Love Love Love!! Please come and share at Link It Or Lump it if you have not already. http://www.sohosonnet.com/link-it-or-lump-it/link-it-or-lump-it-link-party-32/

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  38. I need to make some photo props! This is awesome. Thanks Theresa @DearCreatives ;)

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  39. LOVE THIS IDEA! Totally bummed I didn't think of it first! Ha! I kept looking at those expensive vinyl wood look backdrops! Thank you for linking to the Weekend re-Treat Link party!
    xo,
    Shannon
    www.akadesign.ca

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  40. Great result and great tutorial. Love ideas made from scrap wood.
    Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick
    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

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  41. I need to do this. We have some extra wood in the garage just calling for a project like this. I especially love the white chippy paint look. You've been featured today at Gingerly Made!

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  42. Awesome tuturial! Great job! I am delighted that you shared with Home and Garden Thursday,
    Kathy

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  43. This is so useful and such an easy-to-follow tutorial. I just wanted to let you know that I am linking to this post on 4/4 at Simply Creative Living if you don't mind.

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