15 DIY Backdrops for Every Occasion
If you don't take a photo with a backdrop, did the party really even happen?
Let's face it. No party's complete without an ultra-chic backdrop for photo ops. So when it comes time to plan an event — whether it's a wedding or a birthday bash — the question's not, "Should I have a backdrop?" It's, "What kind of backdrop should I have?" I've rounded up 15 gorgeous options you can make yourself. Scroll through to see which one works best for your occasion.
Driftwood + Japanese Cherry Blossoms
Romantic and organic, this Japanese cherry blossom backdrop is perfect for a wedding or an elegant party.
Colorful Paper Chains
Energize a laid-back get-together with this quick and easy paper chain backdrop.
Make This: Paper Chain Backdrop
Travel Themed Baby Shower
Floating DIY clouds and paper airplane garland complete the look. Always remember about the space above the table too. Either a pretty backdrop, or in this case hanging decor, bring the eye up to create a sense of variety.
Make these fluff balls with paper lanterns and polyester fill to add whimsy to a baby shower or themed party.
Make This: Fluffy Cloud Backdrop
Hanging Floral Installation
This hanging floral installation is so beautiful it could easily serve as a wedding ceremony backdrop. Talk about dreamy photos!
Transform any high-resolution photo into a personalized party backdrop with a few easy steps.
Make This: Personalized Photo Backdrop
Balloon Photo Booth
Make your own photo booth with this super-cute balloon DIY.
Create instant ambiance with an illuminated backdrop displaying your favorite constellation or zodiac sign. The best part? This backdrop is chic enough to display as wall art.
Make This: Illuminated Constellation Backdrop
Neon String Art
Neon string art in the shape of a diamond makes for a cool, modern backdrop.
Whimsical Wax Paper
Allie Rae Photography , Project By: Katie M. Kulper
Recreate this dreamy, wedding-worthy backdrop using string, ribbon and wax paper.
Craft a few of these pom-pom garlands, and string them along a wall to create a bright, lively photo backdrop for any occasion. All you need is yarn!
Make This: Pom-Pom Garland
This backdrop is super-simple to make and totally customizable. Choose any paper you'd like to match the theme of your party.
Pretty Wreath Grouping
Silk Flower Wreath
This project is ideal for the DIY bride because you can get started months before the chaotic wedding week arrives. The best part? The silk flowers look so real that guests won’t know they aren’t. Hang these gorgeous wreaths as a ceremony backdrop, or display them at the reception.
Group floral wreaths together to make an elegant, organic backdrop for a wedding or formal event.
Cork Board Creations
Though a cork board obviously works great in an office, it can also work great as a photo backdrop at your party. Get inspired with these three cork board decorating ideas.
Coffee Filter Florals
DIY Photo Booth With Tripod, Camera & Colorful Backdrop
A basic digital point-and-shoot camera works perfectly for a DIY photo booth. You’ll also need a tripod that’s tall enough to extend to eye level and a remote shutter release for the camera (available online or at camera shops.) A remote shutter release allows guests to take their own photo, letting you enjoy the party instead of playing photographer all night. Some attach to the camera with a cable, others operate wirelessly.
That's right — this striking, textural backdrop is made from coffee filters.
Make This: Floral Photo Booth Backdrop
Wrapping Paper Magic
Use your favorite wrapping paper to make this simple, inexpensive backdrop. The versatile project is perfect for holidays or themed parties.
Planning a party or event shouldn't be stressful or intimidating. By staying organized and starting early, you can plan, create and host a memorable affair with ease. Download and print our detailed party planning checklist to make the process even easier, from one month before the party to an hour before your guests arrive. Photography by Michael Bullock
I always keep several lists that I continually update through the planning process: a master to-do list where I highlight every task that must be accomplished, a shopping list that ensures I won't forget any supplies, and an all-important guest list where I track contact information, dietary restrictions and RSVPs. Photography by Chris Caselli
Create a Theme
Milestones like birthdays and holidays can be even more festive when a creative theme is chosen to set the tone. Transform your space into a south-of-the-border fiesta by serving margaritas and hiring a mariachi band, or throw a Great Gatsby-inspired brunch with croquet on the lawn. The possibilities are endless! Photography by Camille Styles
Send Out Invites
Although online invitations are perfectly acceptable for last-minute get-togethers, there's nothing quite like a mailed invitation to set the tone for a party and build anticipation for the fun in store. There are plenty of online stationery companies offering chic well-designed invitation designs, or you can get creative and make your own. A brightly colored square of card stock embellished with finds from local craft stores is every bit as special as custom invitations (and for a fraction of the cost, too). Photography by Michael Bullock
Offer a Self-Serve Bar
The key to a simple drink service? Set up a self-serve bar so guests can be their own mixologists. Set up a pretty tray with a decanter, two or three kinds of liquor and a few festive mixers. Let everyone have fun creating their own concoctions. Welcome guests with a drink upon arrival by placing a tray of champagne and sparkling water near the door so they can grab some bubbly and start mingling as soon as they arrive. Photography by Cory Ryan Photography
Create a Specialty Concoction
It's fun to include at least one specialty cocktail that leaves a lasting impression with your guests. Serve it in a chic glass or incorporate creative garnishes to make it extra festive. Tip: As a general rule of thumb, plan on one alcoholic drink per hour per guest. Photography by Michael Bullock
Keep Appetizers Simple
Consider serving dinner-by-the-bite with trays of mouthwatering hors d'oeuvres in lieu of a sit-down meal. This less-formal approach allows guests to sample lots of different flavors and provides more opportunities to mingle with other guests. The key to whipping up appetizers in a snap is to assemble ready-made ingredients from the market — instead of making everything from scratch. A few of my favorites are toasted pita wedges with hummus and eggplant dip, bruschetta with buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and basil, and warm Marcona almonds sprinkled with sea salt. Photography by Michael Bullock
Set Up a Kids' Table
For a family-friendly gathering, it's often smart to set up a separate area for little ones to have their own fun. Try covering a table in butcher paper, and place bundles of colored pencils in Mason jars at each seat so kids can channel their artistic side right on the table. Bamboo plates make cute (and disposable) place settings, and a cupcake centerpiece is sure to be met with delight. Just don't expect them to save dessert for last! Photography by Camille Styles
Keep Settings Simple
A perfectly set table doesn't have to be complicated; feel free to give place settings a modern twist. Tie flatware with pretty ribbon or fabric, handwrite names on a piece of kraft paper and tie to the stem of seasonal fruit, or add a vibrant napkin for a pop of color. Try incorporating natural elements that mesh with the concept, like bare branches with snowy white votives for a wintry setting or glass vases full of seashells for a beach party. Photography by Michael Bullock
Leave yourself an hour before guests arrive to freshen up, slip into something party-ready and light some candles for added ambiance. This creates a welcoming atmosphere from the moment you open the door with a big smile and cocktail in hand, of course. Don't forget that, as the host, you set the tone, so a relaxed attitude will bring out the same in your guests. Photography by Michael Bullock
Don't Forget the Favors
A small token of affection is an unforgettable way to end a celebration. Pretty boxes with candies or homemade baked goods are personal and sure to be much appreciated by your guests. Small terra-cotta pots with herbs and flowers are super affordable and even double as a table centerpiece during the party. Photography by Sarah Keymer