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Photography Question 
Jessica R. Mitchell

How to make your own musling bkgrd?

I've been reading the forum's about how to start your own photography studio on a low cost budget and one of the tips was to make your own muslin bkgrd's. So, I went to Hobby Lobby and to Wal-Mart and got two different types of Muslin, got the dyes and now I need to know how to get the blended look. I got: royal blue, gold, and gray. (Local High School Colors). I don't want the tie-dye effect, so how do I do it?

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9/7/2006 9:53:05 PM

Tami Rook
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/26/2006
  Good Morning Jessica

Somebody help me just a month ago with this very same thing (only she used sheets)
I have found that I like the Jersey (does not wrinkle) I was unsure of exactly how but what we did is
Get the fabric wet then we laid it out flat in the back yard, LOL the first few we did in the front yard
And some people thought I had lost my mine. After you lay it out scrunch it here and there, then stray
The spray paint or spray die on. Do not be afraid to spray heavy in some areas that is what will give
You the marble look. I have not put any in my gallery as of yet. However I have to say some turned
Out great, some ok and some well I did not care for them but other people loved themů. It is all a
Matter of perspective lol . we now have 9 back drops I think, I love making them btw wall-mart has
Fabric clearance for $1. And $2 per yard very inexpensive way to go. I have gotten my family
Involved in making them as well it is a great Mom and Kid project. Oh yes and you will want to
Wring the extra water out of the fabric. I look forward to seeing your end results


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9/8/2006 5:44:28 AM

Pat Worster
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/21/2004
  Hi Jessica, I have some home made backdrops in my gallery.

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9/9/2006 3:40:05 PM

Jessica  A. Eiss
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/6/2006
  Hi Jess, I just made one backdrop myself today. If you search the internet, there is a wealth of info on it about this subject, including an article here on this website.

I don't know how to do three colors, but with two, you start with the lightest color first.

Buy some muslin, and wash it, don't dry it. spread it out on your floor, and start bunching it up starting with the center first, and just keep scrunching it together. You'll need some twine to tie it all together, into a mass. Keep it fairly tight.

While you are doing this, have an old bucket or plastic tub, depending on the amt of muslin you are dying on stand by. ( today I only did a two yard peice of 108".) Start heating water on the stove until very hot, but boiling is not necessary. Add enough HOT water to the bucket to cover your ball of fabric, add a cup of table salt and your bottle of RIT dye, and stir. Add your fabric, and submerge until your fabric is the color you want.

I did a denim color today, and it only took about 20 minutes. Then I took a piece of plastic outside and put the ball of fabric on it, (using latex gloves!), and diluted the dye with my hose. Open it all up, and you'll have a tie dye effect. Keep diluting till clear, THEN I put it in my washer to finish taking the rest of the dye out of it. Some instructions say you can do the whole thing in your washer, but mine is new, so was not doing all of it in the washer! I love the effect!

Remember, for a lot of variation of color....tight scrunches, DON'T stir the fabric in the bucket, for even coverage, don't tie it up, and do stir, for a solid background.

If you are doing a second color, redo the whole thing all over agian, to get a diff pattern.

I used natural muslin, with denim dye, and it looks just like a denim tie dye, it's very cool. Tomorrow is a wine color :) HOpe this helps. I was VERY pleased with the outcome for the first try! Don't be afraid.

Also Joann's has fabric sales, and I got mine for half off, and you can check theirs, and other craft/fabric sites online too. Jess

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9/9/2006 9:24:19 PM

Tami Rook
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/26/2006
  Good Morning Pat and Jessica's
I did upload some of the portraits so that you could see how the back drops turn out LOL
Pat I think it was you that put the bug in my ear? I have so much fun just making them.
Let me know what you think of these 3

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9/10/2006 7:43:43 AM

Jessica  A. Eiss
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/6/2006
  Hi again, Tami, I just posted on your thread, I think they're great. I'm going to post too with my background today, and my dog!

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9/10/2006 10:24:17 AM

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