How to Build a Fabric Backdrop for a Wedding

Written by erin maurer
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Weddings should be the happiest day of a couple's life. However, the wedding budget often causes stress and arguments leading up to the big day. Wedding photos create lasting memories for years to come, but photography can also bust a couple's budget. Create a backdrop for wedding portraits using PVC pipe and muslin fabric, which may help lower the photography budget. Also, consider hiring a photography student or good friend to take the wedding photos. Just be sure to do a test shoot to determine if the photographer will meet the couple's needs.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 4 to 5 feet of muslin, 108 or more inches wide
  • 2 rolls of no-sew fusible tape
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Straight edge
  • 4 pieces of 3/4 inch by 10 feet Schedule 40 PVC Pipe
  • 8 pieces 3/4 inch Schedule 40 PVC Caps
  • 1 piece 1 1/4 inch by 10 feet Schedule 40 PVC Pipe
  • 2 pieces 3/4 inch Schedule 40 PVC Elbow
  • 2 pieces 3/4 inch Schedule 40 PVC T-Connector
  • 2 pieces 3/4 inch Schedule 40 PVC Coupling
  • 2 pieces 3/4 inch Schedule 40 PVC Cross Connector
  • Hacksaw or PVC pipe cutter
  • Velcro
  • Craft paint (optional)
  • Monogram stencil (optional)

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  1. 1

    Take the straight edge and draw a straight line along the inside of the cut edges of the muslin. Place the no-sew tape along the pencil line and fold in the cut edge.

  2. 2

    Follow the instructions included with the no-sew tape, and iron along the edges. Once ironed, the no-sew tape forms a strong bond and effectively hems the backdrop fabric.

  3. 3

    Iron the entire backdrop to remove any wrinkles. It may be necessary to repeat this step prior to the wedding and setting up the backdrop for photos.

  4. 4

    Cut 8 pieces of the 3/4 inch PVC pipe, about 1 1/2 feet long. Place a PVC cap on one end of each piece. Join together four pieces using the cross connectors. This forms the two base pieces for the background stand.

  5. 5

    Next, cut 2 pieces of the 3/4 inch pipe, about 2 feet long. Place one end of the cut pipe into the holes on each cross connector. On the other end of the 2 foot long piece, attach a T connector. Next, cut the side pieces and cross piece for the backdrop frame. Cut 2 pieces of PVC pipe for the sides to a length that will allow the backdrop to be tall enough but won't be too tall for average ceilings and doors. Cut the cross pieces to a length about 6 inches longer than the width of the fabric.

  6. 6

    Connect the side pieces to the T connectors on the 2 foot pieces of PVC pipe. Attach an elbow joint to the top of each side piece. Attach the cross piece into each elbow joint. This should form a rectangle frame for the fabric backdrop. Attach Velcro to the top cross piece of the frame and place the other half to the fabric. This provides a method for attaching the fabric to the frame.

Tips and warnings

  • Muslin fabric takes paint well. Consider painting a customised monogram on the backdrop. This will provide a custom look for wedding photos, unique to the couple.

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