Thursday, March 29, 2012

Affordable Photography Backdrops!

Our photography prop shop, Serendipitous Sisters, will now be offering super cute, super durable, super affordable photography backdrops!

Our backdrops are made from thick medium-weight cotton fabric which naturally resists wrinkling. They also do not give off an unsightly glare as many vinyl backdrops may have the tendency to do. Each has slightly different measurements (see the product descriptions on Etsy for exact measurements), but in general they are about 4 1/2 to 5 feet wide by 5 1/2 feet tall of useable, finished backdrop... Perfect for newborns, children, and adult head/torso shots!

There is a professional 2" casing (pocket) on the top and bottom which gives you utmost versatility in hanging your backdrops. Selvedge edges (the woven ends on the sides of the fabric) have been left intact in order to provide you with maximum width and durability.

I want to share with you some of my favorite ways to use these backdrops and make them look their best!
Here's a pullback of my portable PVC stand set-up. These backdrops would certainly work any regular photography stand as well. I either use natural light at about a 45 degree angle (depending on the space I'm setting up in) or use a combination of my strobe lights & a reflector. Proper lighting is SO IMPORTANT in making backdrops look good!

For a step by step tutorial on how to construct a sturdy PVC backdrop, see this post.

I insert my 3/4" PVC into the pocket and roll my backdrop to the perfect length for my stand. I use simple A-shaped spring loaded clamps (can be found at any hardware store- I got mine for .89 each at Harbor Freight) to secure the excess rolled fabric.

The clamps are angled slightly backwards so as to not create dimples in the fabric.

Here's where our backdrops are unique and help create the most wrinkle-free setup possible! There is a bottom casing sewn in, where you can insert a piece of PVC, and even without being secured on either side this will help keep tension on your backdrop and keep it from going anywhere you don't want it to! This is quicker and easier to transition from one backdrop to another than tucking it under your floor and baseboard.

For the best, wrinkle-free storage of your Serendipitous Sisters Photography Backdrop, simply roll it up onto the PVC starting from the bottom, maintaining slight tension as you roll. I keep mine hung horizontally on a custom-built rack (thanks dad!) but another good option would be in a closet, under a bed or couch or propped in a corner space.

I store mine with "wrong sides" out so that the front "pretty side" doesn't get dusty, dirty, sun-damaged, etc.

Backdrops may be folded (and will be shipped folded for the most cost-effective means of getting it to you!) but they may need ironed before each use. That being said, please plan on ironing (wrong side up) your backdrop before its first use after shipping.

As you can see, I really love PVC for all of it's amazing cost-effective usefulness (they come in 10-foot lengths for just a couple of dollars at home improvement stores!) and I love that I now have so many different options for pretty, proffessional backdrops that are SO EASY to use!

And finally... Here's a finished shot with the backdrop. I hope this post has been helpful and please feel free to leave a comment with any questions! Check out the shop for more fun, affordable, photography accessories!

*January 2013 Update*
We have received a few requests about the exact design of my PVC backdrop, as well as inquiries whether it is available for purchase. I will work on a detailed photo tutorial to post here soon within the next couple of weeks, as well as kits to be sold in our etsy shop.

Thanks for reading!


  1. I was wondering after finding you on pinterest, if you could give a tutorial or at least instructions for your PVC stand?

    1. I'm sorry this reply is so late! Here is a link to a detailed tutorial for our PVC stand:

  2. Do you sell the stands for the backdrop as well?

  3. I love the idea of making your own backdrop stand. Can you tell me the different measurements of the PVC pipes used to make your stand??

    1. I'm sorry this reply is so late! Here is a link to a detailed tutorial for our PVC stand with measurements:

  4. I would love to know if you sell the stands too & the backdrops? Also the cost + postage?

  5. Do you use home decor fabrics? The thickness and quality looks much better than any typical cotton fabric. I'm also interested in the dimensions of your stand.

    1. I'm sorry this reply is so late! Here is a link to a detailed tutorial for our PVC stand with dimensions listed:

  6. Any chance you have a tutorial for the stand?

    1. I'm sorry this reply is so late! Here is a link to a detailed tutorial for our PVC stand:

  7. You can buy the three pronged elbows from US Plastics in Lima, OH. They are on the web.

  8. What arevthe measurements of the stand?

    1. I'm sorry this reply is so late! Here is a link to a detailed tutorial for our PVC stand and dimensions used:

  9. I made stand of pvc pipes cost me $30 US and mine is bigger and use great as a newborn stand and back drop Most my lengths r 5ft about 7 of them and then two 4ft and 4 2ft then get 4 elbows 2 t shape connectors I just drew it up on a pc of paper then made it the measurments I wanted if intrested I will send a pic and its easy just take pic to home depot or rona etc and show them pic and figure out how big u want urs and and they will cut it for u there so u can get it home works awesome and I take it everywhere light and easy to use.

  10. This is what I have been searching for. Thank you

    1. You are so welcome. :) It's all waaay too much fun to play with!

  11. What type of fabric used by the background?

    1. Hi! I use fabric backdrops that are available in our etsy shop:

      They are made from really thick cotton fabric that resists wrinkling better than thin fabric if it is kept rolled up when not in use. :)

  12. Could you please tell me where you source the materials from? As I am in the UK and like a good DIY project I would rather make these myself given the cost of postage to the UK.

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  49. Hi,

    I was wondering if you would be able to write me back about a possible partnership between your blog and one of our clients who helps with photography backdrops. You can reach me at ryan (at) adamriemer (dot) me. I didn't see a contact form or a way to reach you, so I hope it is ok to try through the comments.

    Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you,


  50. Oh, my goodness...Thank you so much for this tutorial, you're going to save me a fortune!
    Angela Butler - Clarksville, TN Photographer

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