$20 DIY Photography Backdrop Stand
I've got a newborn session coming up this weekend, and decided to finally act on the idea for a DIY backdrop stand that has been floating around in my mind. A few searches online revealed ideas similar to mine, so I decided I wasn't completely crazy and set off for the home improvement store to gather the supplies.
I knew the bill wouldn't be very big, but I was really pleased to see it come in at just under $20! Can't beat that for a sturdy, portable stand.
If you'd like to make one of your own, give these instructions a try. Please, please feel free to post your questions and I'll do my best to answer them for you. The process may look complicated, but I promise you it isn't. You'll smile at how simple it was once you're admiring your handy work.
Supplies You'll Need:
(3) 10-foot lengths of 1-inch, schedule 40 PVC pipe
(2) 90-degree, slip-in elbows
(8) T-Shape slip-in connectors
(8) Slip-in end caps
A Hack saw or pipe-cutting tool
How to Build:
Now, this is where things get a bit more complicated! If you're like me, transporting several 10-foot lengths of pipe won't be a possibility. I've got a somewhat small SUV, and wasn't up to the challenge of tying things down with a toddler in tow. If this sounds like you, find a helpful employee at the store and kindly ask them if they'll help you make a couple of cuts so you can more easily transport your PVC.
Ask for the following cuts:
(2) Three-foot lengths
(1) Four-foot length
This will allow you to maneuver the PVC through the store and into your car, and
it'll save you a few cuts at home too!
Next, you'll need to make several more cuts at home. Work carefully and measure well to create an even, easy-to-work with backdrop stand.
The following is a complete list of cuts, with notes made if they have already been made for you by your helpful store employee:
(2) Five-foot lengths
Assembly looks like this:
Once you've cut everything to the appropriate length, you can simply fit it together like a puzzle. I originally planned to glue some of my elbows and things in place, but after putting it together, I opted to skip the glue. This is because I have a nice, tight fit without the glue, and because I like the option to completely disassemble the pieces and create something different if I wish.
Some note-worthy thoughts and suggestions:
-Look for fittings that are not threaded. You shouldn't see threads on ANY of your connecting pieces, and if you do, you'll need to find the slip-in pieces before you can assemble your project.
-Make sure your PVC pipe is the same size as your fittings! Standing in front of that big wall of fittings and connectors, it's easy to grab from the wrong box. Double check each piece before you pay.
-Buy some heavy-duty clamps while you're at the hardware store, as pictured below. They're very sturdy, and will hold your blankets, material, etc. in place.
The last step? Ask your super-cute model to stand in front of your backdrop stand and take it for a test-drive. My model was a bit distracted, but daddy will be pleased to see his prop choice:
If you follow my tutorial, I'd love to hear about your experience.