Photo Studio Backdrop on a Tight Budget

Introduction: Photo Studio Backdrop on a Tight Budget

About: I'm a sysadmin during working hours. At home, well... I do what I like when I have the time...

A few days ago, I got myself a photo studio strobe kit. It's a very nice set, but it soon became obvious that the wall was not always going to work as a background... so I needed a backdrop. One that I wouldn't need to assemble and disassemble every time I wanted to take some photos, and also one that would allow me to quickly change backgrounds (white, black, green...).

So here's what I came up with.

Constructive criticism welcome :)

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Step 1: Materials and Tools

Since I wanted this to be a very affordable project, I used some stuff I had at home.

2 x D32 PN16 PVC pipe (2.5m). - These I bought.
2 x Blind kits. - These I bought too.
1 x piece of 16mm solid wood. You would need around 10cm x 28cm. - This I had at home
4 x long screws and plugs to hold the backdrop to the wall - These I had at home.
16 x wood screws (25 - 30mm long). - These I had at home too.

Jig saw
Power drill
Cordless drill (used as a screw driver)

Step 2: Cut the Wood

Basic shapes. These pieces are not the center of attention, so don't go all out on design here.

Step 3: Build the Support Sides

This is pretty straight forward.

The only important thing to keep in mind is to pre-drill your wood.
If you just force the screws into the wood, you are most likely going to end up with a cracked piece of wood...

Step 4: Attach the Sides / Support to the Wall

Drill your holes on the wall after carefully measuring the correct place.
Bear in mind this backdrop has a fixed length, so a miscalculation would most likely result in either cutting the pvc pipe a bit, or in drilling new holes on the wall.

I did make a different mistake though.
I did not consider the thickness of the wood, so the length of screw that actually went into the plug was too short, and the plug did not expand inside the wall. 
The support came down... luckily I realized and corrected it before disaster could happen.
All I needed to do was drilling the holes wider to embed the head of the screw halfway into the wood.

Step 5: Final Assembly

The final step was to attach the pulleys and "bearings" to both ends of the PVC pipes.
One of them was a bit loose (risking bad traction when pulling the backdrop up), so I just used some masking tape to adjust it.

The screw heads embedded in the wood made the whole assembly much more solid.

I deliberately placed the pulleys on opposite ends so avoid the chains getting tangled.

All in all, the whole project took a couple of hours to complete.

Now I need the white and black canvases... and a model, of course :)


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    4 Discussions

    this is really nice! I hope you'll be using this backdrop to post more instructables!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I have to agree the image quality of my instructables is not the best... damn phone! :)