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

Paper Backdrop

Paper Backdrop

Photo by: Brandy Brown

Brandy Brown

Energize a laid-back get-together with this quick and easy paper chain backdrop.

Fluffy Clouds

Travel Themed Baby Shower

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.

Photo by: Michelle Edgemont

Michelle Edgemont

Make these fluff balls with paper lanterns and polyester fill to add whimsy to a baby shower or themed party.

Hanging Floral Installation

This hanging floral installation is so beautiful it could easily serve as a wedding ceremony backdrop. Talk about dreamy photos!

Personalized Photo

Original_Chelsea-Costa-Photo-Mural-Beauty3_v

Original_Chelsea-Costa-Photo-Mural-Beauty3_v

Transform any high-resolution photo into a personalized party backdrop with a few easy steps.

Balloon Photo Booth

Make your own photo booth with this super-cute balloon DIY.

Illuminated Constellation

Create modern art that doubles as ambient lighting from plywood, trim and twinkle lights.

Photo by: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Rustic White Photography, LLC

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.

Neon String Art

Neon string art in the shape of a diamond makes for a cool, modern backdrop.

Whimsical Wax Paper

Wax Paper Backdrop

Wax Paper Backdrop

Soft and airy, this wedding backdrop definitely doesn’t look homemade. Lucky for you, it is, and you can recreate it with string, ribbon and wax paper.

Photo by: Allie Rae Photography , Project By: Katie M. Kulper

Allie Rae Photography , Project By: Katie M. Kulper

Recreate this dreamy, wedding-worthy backdrop using string, ribbon and wax paper.

Pom-Pom Garland

How to Make a Giant Pom-Pom Garland

How to Make a Giant Pom-Pom Garland

Bring texture, shape and color to your next event in a larger-than-life way with giant pom-pom garland made from yarn.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

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

Colorful Circles

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

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

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.

Wrapping Paper Magic

Use your favorite wrapping paper to make this simple, inexpensive backdrop. The versatile project is perfect for holidays or themed parties.

Secrets From a Party Planner: Top 10 Tips for a Stress-Free Party

See All Photos

Learn how to host like a pro without breaking a sweat. Camille Styles, event planner and party blog editor, shares her top tips and "rules to live by" when hosting your next big party or get-together.

Simple Planning

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

Photo By: She-N-He Photography

Get Organized

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

Stay Relaxed

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

Photo By: She-N-He Photography

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

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