How to Make a Canvas Backdrop for Photography

Written by erika marie
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How to Make a Canvas Backdrop for Photography
You can save money by making your own canvas photography backdrop. (old camera 2 image by James Lemmon from Fotolia.com)

As a photographer, you must purchase a lot of equipment and supplies to set up a studio; this can be very expensive. To save money, you can make a canvas backdrop that hangs on a wall of your photography studio. This will be far less expensive than purchasing the supplies for a free-standing photography backdrop. Canvas fabric comes in a range of colours and the edges can be finished with very little sewing. Hanging your backdrop from a wall on a decorative curtain rod will prevent storage problems that come with free-standing backdrops and allow you to roll up the backdrop when it's not in use.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • 3 yards canvas fabric (72 inches wide)
  • Wooden curtain rod
  • Curtain rod holdbacks
  • Tape measure
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric scissors

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Locate the canvas fabric by searching your local fabric store or searching the Internet for "72-inch wide canvas fabric". Purchase 3 yards, or 108 inches, of the fabric.

  2. 2

    Purchase a curtain rod and curtain rod holdbacks in any style you choose. The holdbacks will be attached to the wall; the rod will be hung on the holdbacks so you can turn the rod easily to roll up your backdrop. The curtain rod must be wide enough to accommodate the 72-inch fabric with room for the rod to hang and overlap the holdbacks.

  3. 3

    Make a cuff on your canvas backdrop for the curtain rod to slip into. Measure around the curtain rod with the tape measure; add two inches to this measurement. Turn the canvas edge over and measure to this size to create the cuff. Turn over a small hem on the edge, pin along the entire edge, and sew a straight seam across the edge with a sewing machine to create the cuff.

  4. 4

    Sew a hem on the other unfinished edge of the canvas backdrop. Measure from the top to the bottom of the curtain for the length you need your backdrop to be. Mark this length on the fabric with a pencil. Add an additional two inches to this length and cut off any excess fabric. Turn a one inch hem and turn again to create a double hem. Pin along the edge of the hem and sew a straight seam.

  1. 1

    Locate a wall in your photography studio to hang the backdrop on.

  2. 2

    Measure the height to hang the rod and mark the area with a pencil on the wall. Measure the length of the canvas backdrop you created and decide how high on the wall you want to hang the rod.

  3. 3

    Attach the curtain holdbacks to the wall. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for attaching the holdbacks. Attach them so the cup part of the holdback is on the bottom and will hold the curtain rod. Make sure the holdbacks are positioned wide enough on the wall to accommodate the 72-inch wide canvas backdrop.

  4. 4

    Slide the rod into the cuff created at the top of the fabric and slide the rod over the holdbacks. The rod should only be laying on the holdbacks; it should not be fitted tightly. This will allow the rod to turn freely so you can roll up the backdrop when you are not using it.

Tips and warnings

  • When searching for canvas fabric, you can also search for "cotton duck" fabric.
  • The sides of the canvas have a "selvedge," or finished edge, which does not require sewing to finish.
  • To secure the rolled up canvas, tie a ribbon or string around the centre.

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