What You'll Need For This Project
I love DIY projects and being crafty. So when I saw a lot of photographers starting to use hardwood backdrops, I just knew that this was going to be my next project.
Here is what you need to make two 4 ft x4 ft faux walls/floors:
- Faux Walls/Faux Floors:
- 12 Standard Pine Wood Boards (8 inch x 4 ft)
- 6 Support-Boards (1 inch x 1.5 inch x 3.25 ft)
- 36 Long Screws (#8 1-1/4 inch)
- 6 (1 inch thick) Scrap Wood Squares (we purchased an extra Standard Pine Wood Board)
- Connecting the Wood Panels:
- 8 Hex Bolts (1/4x1/4 inch)
- 8 Wing Nuts (1/4 inch)
- 4 Brackets/Corner Braces (8 inch)
- 8 Small Screws (#10 5/8 inch)
- For Staining:
- Stain (1 qt)
- Plastic Drop cloth
- Latex Gloves
- Old Rags
Tips and Tricks for completing this project:
- All my hardware listed is based on the width of my lumber. Make sure that once you buy your lumber your hardware is just the right length. You want to make sure that the screws are long enough to go through the width of your boards but not too long that it pokes through the other side. For the bolts, you want them long enough to go all the way through the boards and have a enough length to securely fasten the wing nuts. When you go to buy your supplies, bring a tape measure.
- This project could have been more cost efficient for me but I made the mistake of buying expensive Support-Boards. This was my first time buying lumber and I did not read the fine print of the price tag.
- Tip #1: Purchase Pine or another type of cheaper lumber.
- Tip #2: Make sure you read the entire price tag. Lumber is usually sold by the foot; the price tag is not necessarily the price of the entire piece of wood.
- I came up with a plan so I could easily detach the two panels. In my home, space is a precious commodity, and it needed to be easy to store. That’s why I chose to use brackets and bolts to attach the floor and wall boards together. You can substitute the bolts with screws if you want to leave it attached indefinitely. You could also bypass the brackets altogether and mount it on the wall. Whatever you decide, make sure that its safe and secure (you do not want the wall falling down on top of your subject!).
- This project is adaptable. Feel free to make this your own project and change it to what you may need or want. You can make the panels smaller or larger. If you make it larger, just make sure to add more hardware. You want to make sure that your prop is going to be sturdy and safe.
- Don't hesitate to ask questions. The employees at your local hardware store know the ropes and can be very helpful!
- Last but not least, have fun!!
Now for the "How To" Part:
I can't take all the credit for building this fabulous backdrop. The brunt of the work was done by my very handy and talented husband! I was more of a helper and the one who very girlishly explained what I wanted. So not only was he the carpenter but also the brains behind the operation. He's great at taking all my drawings & ideas and making my project into a reality.
Step 1: Creating your Wood Panels
We started by constructing the wood panels. One panel consisted of 6 wood boards, 3 wood support-boards, and 18 long screws. Lay the wood boards down on a flat level surface and place your support-boards evenly across the boards. Make sure the bottom support board is about 8.5 inches from the bottom. This will ensure your 8 inch brackets will have enough room to be attached. Once everything is laid out, you can start drilling the support-boards into each of the wood boards. You want to make sure that you drill screws into each of the planks (see picture below).
Step 1 Tips
- Most of the time, the pre-cut boards at your home improvement store are not cut the exact same length. Make sure the ends that are going to be connected by the brackets are level and flat. It is definitely OK if the edges that don't make up the corner are not perfectly even.
- It may be easier to drill a starter hole before screwing in the screws (especially if you are prone to stripping screws).
Check out my pictures to give you a little visual help with Step 1
Step 2: Connecting the Panels
Once you have both panels completed, determine which panel you want to be the floor and which panel you want to be the wall. You will drill screws into the floor panel and you will be drilling holes for the bolts into the wall panel.
This step is easier if you have a second set of hands. I recommend starting with the floor panel. Lay out the brackets evenly on the back of your floor panel. Take a pencil and mark where the screws will go. Once marked, you can start drilling in your screws.
After the brackets are securely screwed into your floor panel, place your wall panel on top of your floor and again mark where the holes will be made for your bolts and then drill the holes.
Step 2 Tips
- We had the panels up on the kitchen table for marking and drilling. This just made the whole process much easier.
Step 2 Tips
- When drilling the holes into the wall panel, make sure you are drilling perpendicular through the center of the wood (90 degree angle). If you drill on an angle, your bolts will not go in properly.
- We also added scrap wood (8 inch x 8 inch squares) to the floor panel to give more weight to the base. We went back and bought another Standard Wood Board and had it cut into the 6 squares.
Check out my pictures to give you a little visual help with Step 2
This is the wall panel (a front and back view) and you can see how the holes were drilled into the board. The Wall Panel will be placed on top of the Floor Panel and these holes should line up with the brackets.
The bolts are placed into the front side of the wall panel and then screwed in with the wing nuts in the back.
Step 3: Staining
This is the easy part and the final step. I stained the panels separately. All I did was laid down a drop cloth and stained the top and sides of each panel. I didn't use gloves but I would recommend them if you don't want stained hands. Just take your old rag and dip it into the stain and stain it by going with the grain.
Step 3 Tips
- Make sure there are no drips anywhere and that the stain is fully absorbed.
- I would recommend at least 2 coats and let dry for at least a day or so before shooting on it.
Check out my pictures to give you a little visual help with Step 3
The Final Product!!
And of course I used Dakota as a model to show off the finish product!! LOVE LOVE LOVE how it turned out and can't wait to use prop for my up and coming photo sessions!!
© Stephanie Marie Photography