Anyone knows that throwing a party gets expensive quick, Right?! I am sure I am preaching to the choir here. The decorations, the food, invitations, favor bags, and the list just goes on. I love to throw parties, but I also like to be cost effective when I do it, but I sure will not let style or the finished product suffer. This is why I am sharing my entire DIY Unicorn Theme Party Series. Many of these tips and tutorials can be applied to any party theme too! Sweet! Double bonus!
OK, so today, we are going to chat about backdrops. If you haven’t noticed, the new ‘it’ thing at parties are fancy dessert tables and photo booth stations. Both of these look amazing and honestly, really deserve a beautiful backdrop to set the scene perfectly and pull your party together.
It is important to think about the theme of the party and the mood that you want to convey. A few thoughts to keep in mind as you design your background:
- What is my color scheme?
- What scene is this backdrop setting?
- How big is the area that you are covering with your scene setter?
- How will I display the backdrop?
Once you have answered these questions it is time to set out on creating the scene setter. For my party, I had a few criteria that I just would not compromise on after I thought about the above questions.
- I wanted my scene setter to be once continuous piece. This meant using fabric was not an option as I was covering an area that was 6ft x 8ft and would result in having to seam the fabric.
- I wanted my scene to represent a nice inviting soft sky. I looked at options of tasseled party backdrops, but that wasn’t going to convey the image I desired for my dessert table. Although, I did decide to use them for the smash cake session (DIY Tutorial on that Coming Soon!)
Well, that really limited my options. So as Winnie the Pooh would say ” I sat down and I THUNK, THUNK, THUNK!” And then it came to me…well actually it came to me on one of the many wonderful family trips where my daughter and I are gleefully drug through Home Depot for what seems like no apparent reason for an eternity (did you sense a little sarcasm there?!) Yes, the mister loves to go to Home Depot.
Anyways, I totally digressed, as I was ‘joyfully’ walking around the store I found myself in the paint section staring at canvas tarps. Did you know that canvas tarps come in HUGE sizes? And are relatively inexpensive for the amount of fabric you get? And are essentially a blank canvas? Oh yeah, and are designed for paint? Yes, it was an epiphany. The angels sang, and I grabbed up a 6ft x 9ft tarp for 15.00 dollars and a can of sky blue spray paint for 3.99.
I was able to make my backdrop for under 20 bucks and it was going to be EXACTLY what I wanted. SCORE!
I was so excited, as soon as we got home, I set to work. Let me share how you would go about making a backdrop.
Easy Steps to DIY a Background or Scene Setter
The first step, which I skipped (and highly recommend NOT skipping) is to throw your new tarp in the dryer to get all the fold wrinkles out. If you are not doing a basic solid color backdrop then this is even more important!
Next, set up a painting area. Dry, dust free, well ventilated, and something on the floor under your tarp to catch the over spray. It doesn’t have to be pretty. As you can see in my photo below, I have some ugly black foam that has paint on it. Talk about silliness, that is usually what the tarp is for 🙂
Spread the tarp out so that it lies flat. No matter what you are putting on your backdrop, you want to start with the overall prominent background color(s). For me, it was super simple, as I was just using sky blue.
Start at the top of the canvas and spray small areas about 2ft x 3ft. I worked across the top in this size section and once I completed a row I moved down to work on the next row.
I did not want even coverage because I was going for a soft whimsical sky for unicorns to flutter through. If you want full solid coverage you will need to do a few additional passes over each area.
Once the entire tarp is covered, allow it to dry for at least 2 hours. This was my stopping point because I was going to use it just like this, with some white puffy 3-D clouds hanging in front of it.
If you want a more elaborate scene setter this is the time where you can go in with additional spray paint and add details or use acrylic paint and brushes. An example would be to spray the entire tarp, with 2/3 blue and 1/3 green (for step 1). Then go back and paint little flowers and cute woodland creatures in the green area and a sun and some fluttering butterflies and a few clouds in the blue area. This would be perfect for a spring photo booth backdrop or an Easter brunch table background. Really, the possibilities are endless… let your artistic skills and imagination lead the way!
Make sure once you have completed your design you allow the tarp to dry for at least 24 hours prior to mounting it. I mounted mine using rainbow glitter Duck Tape. I had planned to use it from the beginning. It does two things. It acts as a frame, helping to pull my whole dessert table area together, and it also holds my backdrop in place securely to the wall.
The key word is securely. You need to make sure you attach or hang your backdrop so it won’t fall down. The last thing you want to happen is for it to fall on your desserts and crush them. That would be sad after all your hard work. I am delighted with how mine turned out!
OK, so remember, making a backdrop is easy and not expensive. You need a tarp, some spray paint, acrylic paint (optional), and your creativity! The sky is the limit!
Now, its your turn. In the comments show me your DIY scene setters, backdrops, and photo booth stations. I can’t wait to see what everyone creates.