Simple and Inexpensive Photo Backdrop


We had a DIY "photobooth" at our reception.  Our first thought was that we would just use a large sheet taped to the wall for background.  However, because it turned out that our venue will not allow us to tape anything to the walls, we had to come up with a backdrop stand.

Materials and Costs

The photo backdrop stand I made was adapted from the instructions at this link.  All of the materials except for the cane tips came from Lowe's:

  • Two 10 ft PVC pipes, 1 inch in diameter ($2.17 each x 2=$4.34)

  • Two 1 inch PVC T fittings ($0.59 each x 2 = $1.26)

  • A wooden closet hanger rod 7/8 of an inch in diameter and 8 feet long. ($11.04)

  • A pair of 3/4" rubber cane tip replacements from CVS, $4.50

  • A 6' piece of foam pipe insulation that fits the T connector ($1.26)

  • One roll of general purpose electrical tape ($0.69)


The two PVC pipes are the frame legs, and the closet hanger rod is the top piece. You use the T connectors to hook these three things together.

  1. Slide each of the T connectors onto the top of one of the pieces of PVC pipe so that the T connector has holes at the top and bottom, plus one extending out to the side.

  2. Since the coat hanger rod is a little thinner than the 1" diameter of the T-Connector, use some electical tape to thicken it up so that it will fit tightly into the T connectors.

  3. Slide the cane tips into the bottoms of the PVC pipes for some grip, and then use electrical tape around the top of the cane tip and the bottom of the PVC pipe to hold them in place.

  4. Cut off a piece of the foam pipe insulation, then cut along the score line.  Roll up the resulting piece of foam as tightly as you can, then stuff it into the top of the T connector.  Then cut off another piece of the foam pipe insulation to put around the T connector so it sticks up above the top.  Use electrical tape to secure the whole thing in place.  This will provide padding on the top of the frame so it wouldn't damage the walls when it leans back.

  5. Slide each end of the closet coat hangar rod into a T connector.

Here is the finished stand, leaning up against the side of my house.  As you can see, even on uneven ground, you can simply adjust the angle of the legs to make the top horizontal. You can then tape a sheet or piece of material to the top rod to use as a backdrop.

Last Updated: August 4, 2013 at 12:16 am
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