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Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Megan McKenzie
 

Backdrop Materials


Does anyone know that, if I buy my own muslin material to make a backdrop, will the seam be visable in my pictures? Other than muslin, what is another good material to use? I heard that you can also use vinyl. Any help would be great.


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9/18/2005 3:42:52 PM

 
Michelle Ross
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/1/2004
  If you buy the muslin in 108 or 120 inches, you shouldn't have a seam. You can get it this wide at most fabric stores ... at Hobby Lobby, it's about $5.97 regular price, but they run 33-percent off and on!


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9/18/2005 6:27:13 PM

 
Scott    I have used a wide variety of materials to make my own backdrops. I have purchased canvas and painted it by hand, and I have also used king sized bed sheets (the higher the thread count the better) and dyed them as I wished. For specific colors you can go the "Rit dye" site and they have a color blending chart. If you need to have a seam, make it so it hangs on the floor where your backdrop goes from vertical to horizontal ... it's practically invisible that way. And if you position your subject matter far enough away from the backdrop, it won't be visible at all. However, I still like muslin the best and it's just as easy to customize.


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9/20/2005 11:04:51 AM

 
Haley  Crites   I bought muslin and did not have a seam. I sponge-painted it, and it turned out really nice. I also dyed one that was OK, too. You could buy velvet material. I also have heard about vinyl and would be interested in learning more about that too!


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9/20/2005 11:45:01 AM

 
Jen Hernandez
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/11/2003
  I have been using king-size sheets. I pick them up at discount retailers, and they're a great size without a seam. I buy 2 of the same color ... they cover the wall and floor space. Just a thought!


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9/20/2005 6:07:14 PM

 
Kathy C. Tugwell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/16/2005
  You can make anything a backdrop. You can buy the paper backdrops for 40.00 - you can paint them or just use them as is. Sheets, Curtains, paint-drop cloths (canvas ones). If you do get the muslin and have to put a seam in it, just drape it where the seam is. Have fun with the backdrops ... and experiment.


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9/20/2005 6:59:47 PM

 
Sandra 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/31/2002
  Hi Megan,
You can buy a canvas drop cloth in large size, in the paint dept. at hardware stores (including Home Depot). A 9 x 12 you can get under $20. You can dye them, paint them or use them as is ... they come in beige or white. Hope this helps.
Sandra


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9/20/2005 7:31:14 PM

 
Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
  Oh wow, canvas in that size for less than $20?? I'm definitely going to have to check that out!


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9/20/2005 8:51:23 PM

 
Sandra 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/31/2002
  Hi Andrew,
I live in Louisiana and we have a store called "Big Lots". It's a discount store - sometimes they have a Butyl drop cloth 9x12 medium weight for $7.99, and it works GREAT as a backdrop. You can also dye or paint it. If you have a Big Lots where you live, check them out.
Sandra


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9/20/2005 10:35:37 PM

 
Linda R. Baker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/31/2004
  Everybody has some great tips. I use fleece material, it comes in all colors( so you don't have to paint) and sticks to the wall with velco tape. I have also used felt that you buy by the yard and 2 yards makes a nice back drop for head & neck portrait. Again I use velco and secure it to the wall.
Good Luck,
Linda


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9/28/2005 2:21:04 PM

 
Donna L. Cuic
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/5/2003
  I just got some muslin at Joanne Fabrics over the weekend that was 108 inches in width, I got 10 yards at $4.99 a yard and the lovely thing about Joanne's is I can usually get a 50% off coupon either in the mail or in the sunday paper, so I got enough for two 15ft long backdrops for only $25.00 with the coupon...

I am wanting to tie die one to try to achieve a mottled look, I bought 4 colors to blend...What do ya think about hanging the muslin on a clothes line and then using spray bottles and spray/mist the die on. I am wondering if I might have better control over the mottled look that way in stead of tying the fabric and dipping in a bucket...I'm gonna do it this weekend, if it turns out okay I'll post a pic in this thread...

I am also going to lay a piece out flat on my drive way on top of plastic and drizzle and sponge two colors, school colors so I can take senior pics for my nephew. A friend suggested that I get maybe have a spray bottle near with water and maybe mist some areas also....We'll see if it turns out.

I seen the canvas at HD/Lowes but they were dingy and ivory and I wanted a white white background and wasn't sure about bleaching the canvas drop cloths and wasn't sure it woudl fit in my washing machine.

I too have used king size flat sheets for backgrounds as well and they work great. I have a background stand now but before I got this one my husband put together some pvc and I had a homemade stand and I would sew a pocket in the top of my fabric/sheet kinda like a curtain so I could slide it on to the the pvc, which worked great.

If you live near a Joanne Fabrics store or any fabric store, check with them they will probably have 108 inch muslin fabric. I'll let ya know if my tie die and painting work like I have it pictured in my head.

~Donna


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9/28/2005 6:02:51 PM

 
Liza M. Franco
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/26/2004
  Donna, sometimes if you dampen fabric with a spray bottle with water in it first it will let the fabric dye spread instead of being absorbed all at once in the spot where it was sprayed. The colors may bleed into each other nicely that way.


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9/28/2005 8:05:50 PM

 
Nicole Kessel   A drop cloth! Why didn't I think of that! Thanks, Sandra!

Megan, you can buy muslin in wide widths at most Wal-Mart stores, too! They also sell black velour which is fantastic for a solid black backdrop.


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9/28/2005 8:48:04 PM

 
Donna L. Cuic
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/5/2003
  Liza thats what I was thinking too so keep your finger crossed for me. I'll let ya know. I am actually going to wash the fabric first and leave it wet and then start spraying the different colors of dye. I think with it all spreadout and hanging that I will have control over the colors and be able to step back and take a look and see where I need more of one color or the other.


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9/29/2005 3:16:59 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  to get a nice mottled canvas look, try dying it the base color then using house paint mixed with water sponge the other colors on.
dry flat.


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9/29/2005 7:14:24 AM

 
Donna L. Cuic
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/5/2003
 
 
 
Well, Okay I am including a pic of how I hung the cloth. I used a clothes line out back and because the fabric was 9 ft by 15 ft. I ended up having to fold it in half and hanging it length wise on the line and ended up spraying both sides. I mixed the dye up in the cheapy spray bottles from walmart one bottle for each color and I used dark brown, navy, medium blue and purple, and then I just kept spraying and spraying and I was real happy with it. I'll know once it drys and I get to use it with the studio lights how its going to look.

Now I am going to go do the painted background with my nephew's school colors. My plan is to lay it out on plastic sheeting and drizzle paint, sponge some and rag some. I'll let ya know how it looks.
~Donna


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10/2/2005 8:11:54 AM

 
Donna L. Cuic
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/5/2003
 
 
  pic 1
pic 1
© Donna L. Cuic
Canon EOS 10D Digi...
 
  pic 2
pic 2
© Donna L. Cuic
Canon EOS 10D Digi...
 
  pic 3
pic 3
© Donna L. Cuic
Canon EOS 10D Digi...
 
 
Well, Okay I am including a pic of how I hung the cloth. I used a clothes line out back and because the fabric was 9 ft by 15 ft. I ended up having to fold it in half and hanging it length wise on the line and ended up spraying both sides. I mixed the dye up in the cheapy spray bottles from walmart one bottle for each color and I used dark brown, navy, medium blue and purple, and then I just kept spraying and spraying and I was real happy with it. I'll know once it drys and I get to use it with the studio lights how its going to look.

Now I am going to go do the painted background with my nephew's school colors. My plan is to lay it out on plastic sheeting and drizzle paint, sponge some and rag some. I'll let ya know how it looks.
~Donna


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10/2/2005 8:12:10 AM

 
Donna L. Cuic
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/5/2003
 
 
 
Here is a couple different pics of the painted background. I think it turned out pretty neat.


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10/2/2005 10:59:13 AM

 
Donna L. Cuic
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/5/2003
 
 
  pic 1
pic 1
© Donna L. Cuic
Canon EOS 10D Digi...
 
  pic 2
pic 2
© Donna L. Cuic
Canon EOS 10D Digi...
 
 
Here is a couple different pics of the painted background. I think it turned out pretty neat.


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10/2/2005 10:59:22 AM

 
Cyndee Wanyonyi
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/7/2005
  What kind of paint do you put in your spray bottles? Do you mix the water with the paint??


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10/4/2005 1:14:38 PM

 
Donna L. Cuic
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/5/2003
  Cynthia, The purple/blue muslin I used Ritz dye that ya get at the store and mix with water....the blue/gold muslin I got a quart of indoor house paint at walmart, the cheap stuff. I never used paint in the spray bottles, just the dye in the 1st one, the paint I sponged on with a natural sponge and then dipped a brush in and drizzled over the fabric...I then used the spray bottle w/plain water and misted water over the paint to make the paint bleed onto the fabric....it all went pretty slick....
~Donna


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10/4/2005 3:10:43 PM

 
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