DIY Photography Backdrop Frame

Introduction: DIY Photography Backdrop Frame

I found the idea for a cheap, reliable backdrop stand at by Christina Weedon.

Step 1: Raw Materials

I made a 7' tall, 5' wide backdrop stand by modifying the length of PVC I used for the sides. What you'll need for my build:
Two 10' lengths of 1" PVC (each cut to a 6' section and a 4' section)
Three 5' lengths of 1" PVC
Eight 1" T-connectors without threads
Two 1" 90 degree connectors w/o threads
Eight 1" end caps without threads
Hacksaw or PVC cutting tool
Optional: Bessel spring clamps
A couple things to keep in mind while at the hardware store. You COULD get three lengths of 10' PVC, however they should have 5' sections precut. Since I needed two 5' sections I spent two bucks more and saved myself 5 minutes of cutting. Have them cut your two 10' lengths into 6' and 4' sections. It's easier for transport and you'll have to make less cuts yourself. Also, they might ask whether you want thin walled or thick walled. It doesn't really matter. Thin walled is slightly cheaper but is also slightly more flimsy. I went with thin walled for my 10' lengths and thick walled for my 5' lengths. Lastly, ensure all of your connectors are without threads. You want them to just slip on. If you make sure you purchase all 1" PVC and fittings you'll be fine. The picture shows what you should have at the start of your project (except I forgot the 90 degree connectors).

Step 2: Cut 6' Lengths

Take both of your 6' lengths of PVC and cut them down to 3' sections. You'll end up with four 3' sections as shown in the picture

Step 3: Add Connectors to Start Frame

Take two of the 3' sections of PVC and add 90 degree connectors to one end and T-connectors to the other. Ensure the openings of both connectors are facing the same way

Step 4: Add the 5' Lengths

Using one 5' length at the top and one 5' length at the bottom, connect the two 3' sections.

Step 5: Add the 4' Lengths

At the bottom of each side of your newborn frame add a 4' length of PVC. Ensure you put the T-connectors on the bottom of the 4' lengths so the legs can be attached later.

Step 6: Cut Materials for the Legs

The two remaining 3' lengths should be cut into 18" sections. These sections will be the base for the stand's legs. Cut the last 5' length into eight 6" sections. These will stabilize the base of the stand.

Step 7: Assemble Materials for Your Base

You'll need two 18" sections, four 6" sections, two T-connectors, and four end caps as shown.

Step 8: Create Base Legs

This step will need to be performed four times. Attach a T-connector to one side of the 18" section as shown. Insert 6" sections into each of the remaining sides of the T-connector. Add end caps to the exposed end of the 6" sections.

Step 9: Create Base

Insert two of the base legs into the T-connectors at the bottom of both 4' sections as shown.

Step 10: Ensure Fit and Function

Stand your backdrop frame up and see how it looks. If some of the connectors aren't parallel it will look wobbly. You can twist the connectors slightly until the frame is square and steady.

Step 11: Finish

The total stand height should be around 7'5" as I stated before due to the connectors. The lower bar is around 4'3". These heights will give you more than enough playing room with 3 yard and 2 yard (respectively) backdrops or sections of fabric. The picture is of the clamps I bought at the hardware store. They fit the 1" PVC very well and they seem to be high quality plastic. They were about a dollar cheaper than the comparable size metal ones. Every dollar counts! Again I found the original idea for this at by Christina Weedon. Thanks for checking out my Instructable! Now go to my photography page at:

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    3 years ago

    i made this and works great. a gust of wind knocked it over, so i placed sand bags and worked fine. I purchased a 60x60 backdrop ( and used spring clamps (cheap at Harbor Freight Tools) to secure backdrop.


    4 years ago

    what are the clamps for please?


    6 years ago

    I just made this, I cut the bottom legs in half and got connectors, so it can be changed from 7.5 tall to 5.5 tall when needed.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I like the idea of having the extensions on ends of the legs for stability. I just used straight legs (I added 1/2 inch thin-wall conduit for stability) and capped the ends. My leg sections are glued together and I can't change them without cutting them up, but If I do another I will change the legs like you have them. I may still add the conduit to hold everything steady. I made mine so many years ago I forgot when. I also like that doing it this way uses only standard "T's", elbows, and caps to complete. No fancy 5 way, 4 way, this and that fittings that are hard to find. Great work.


    6 years ago on Step 11

    Thank you! i'll be doing a little tweak maybe as 7'5" is a bit tall for our average height.

    Thanks again!


    7 years ago

    I made it and couldn't be happier! Thank you for the details!

    15, 10:38 PM.jpg

    Reply 7 years ago

    That looks great! I'm really happy that I was able to help! Mine is still going strong and being used so I hope that you'll get the same use/reliability out of the design.


    8 years ago on Step 11

    Thank you so much for your ible! I was actually looking for a pipe and drape instruction since I'm going to a wedding expo and showing off my photography services to would be brides. This will work perfectly! And I can use it as a backdrop afterwards. Woohoo!


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 11

    You're quite welcome! It's been about 6 months and mine is still holding strong! Good luck at the expo!