How to create backdrops, studio setups and props on a budget
You don’t have to break the bank to create stylish photography props and backdrops
For the past several months we’ve been on a very strict spending budget – almost non-existent, which is a huge problem when you are knee deep trying to launch a business, especially a photography business.
You can drain the bank account fast with those adorable stylish backdrops and floors, fancy wood crate props and adorable chairs. But since ours was pretty depleted anyway I needed to find a way to create my own stylish backdrops and props.
Before you go all, “But I’m not the crafty,” let me tell you I’m far from being a CRAFTY mom – in fact I’m not even close. But what I can do is conduct a Google search, search Goodwill and consignment stores and hangout on Pinterest.
The first thing I wanted was some cool looking chairs, for the past several years I would have my husband screeching to halt at every garage sale that had what looked like an old wooden chair. The problem was most of the chairs were not only old they were broken or loose. Too unstable to sit those precious little children I wanted to photograph.
So out of frustration I decided to stop by Goodwill and after about 30 minutes and two locations later I scored two sturdy wooden chairs. Of course they were totally the opposite of stylish and cute. So I swung by Home Depot and picked up black spray paint, a pint of blue/teal and a pint of barn wood red. I choose the least expensive paint that was available.
I spray painted both chairs with black paint before applying the color. Once dry I started to paint them, the smaller chair I painted blue and used a cloth to wipe some of the paint off to get a textured or old paint look.
I’m not so happy about how the red chair came out – but the good thing is I can always try again without the guilt of spending a ton of money on the project.
Then there were the wood crates, I searched on craigslist, ebay, etsy and all kinds of other stores but I just couldn’t find anything that I wanted and could afford at the same time. Until I found some wood crates on Home Depot for only $12, they didn’t sell them in the stores so I had to cover the shipping – but even with that they were still fairly inexpensive. I couldn’t stand the “new” wood color so I got online again to search for a way to make the new wood look old.
You’ll never guess how easy and inexpensive it is to transform a new wood box to look old. With just three ingredients and some overnight patience I had my “new” crates looking aged. All you need is some steel wool, a couple bags of tea and a paint brush. If you stop by your local $1 store you can probably find all the items you need for less than $5.
Aside from basic “everyday” props I decided to offer a Valentine’s Day Mini Session this year and needed some props for that. I had a “lemonade stand” kind of thing in my head so I bought a wood frame from Michaels and spray painted it with chalkboard paint so I can write on it at free will. Then I bought of bunch of different ribbons colored ribbons and some Valentine’s Day candy to help decorate.
I already have a white muslin cloth so I just tapped the different streamers to the backdrop. Oh I did buy this really adorable banner from etsy to top off the look.
Here are some great links to other DIY Photo back drops and props for photographers on a budget.