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Create your own holiday backdrop for pictures

Make this easy, inexpensive photo backdrop to take your own Christmas photos this year. Rainy and drizzly outside? Yard a disaster? House a mess? Set up this backdrop in minutes, and no one will be the wiser.

DIY backdrop and frame

Supplies needed to make a backdrop that is 6 feet wide and 7 feet tall:

  • 1-inch PVC pipe, cut into the following lengths: 8 6-inch-long pieces, 4 18-inch-long pieces, 2 6-foot-long pieces, 2 3-foot-long pieces and 2 4-foot-long pieces
  • 8 1-inch PVC T joints
  • 2 1-inch PVC elbows
  • 8 1-inch PVC caps (optional)
  • 10 yards white broadcloth
  • 2 100-light clear light strands with white wiring
  • Zip ties
  • Clamps
  • Canvas drop cloth, if you are taking full-length photos



Assemble the frame

DIY backdrop and frame

To assemble the frame, first create the feet. Insert the 18-inch-long pieces into two sides of a T joint, with the additional opening facing upward. Add T joints to the ends of each of those pieces, as shown, with the additional opening facing sideways. Insert the 6-inch-long pieces into the side T joint openings. Repeat for both sides. Add end caps if desired.

DIY backdrop and frame: Assemble frame

Next, insert the 4-foot-long pieces into the upward facing T joints in the middle of each base. To each of these pieces, add a T joint as shown. Horizontally insert one of the 6-foot-long pieces into the side T joint, thus joining the leg pieces together. Insert the 3-foot-long pieces into the top of each T joint and top with elbow joints, facing inward. Insert the other 6-foot-long piece to span the top.


Attach the lights and backdrop

DIY backdrop and frame: Backdrop supplies

Plug your light strands together. Using zip ties, drape the lights over the top of the frame as shown. Then, layer the white fabric over the top of the lights, using clamps to hold it in place. The clamps won’t be visible in your photographs (unless you are photographing someone really tall — in that case, perhaps a chair is in order).

DIY backdrop and frame


Plug in and turn on the lights, and you are ready to take your holiday pictures

DIY backdrop and frame: Plug in and take your photos


To create the sparkle effect, make sure your subject is at least 18 inches away from the backdrop and that you are focused on her face. Try to take your photographs using natural light — avoid using a flash so as to avoid shadows. When all else fails, set up your backdrop outside, in indirect sunlight.

More DIY Christmas ideas

DIY photo placecards
DIY Christmas ornaments
DIY candy mint Christmas tree

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