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Photography Question 
Gina R. Arredondo

Muslin Backdrops

I am intrested in finding out how to create photo muslin backdrops. My questions are: How or what to use for preparation of muslin? Also, what kinds of paints are recommended if using airbrush and paintbrushes?

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12/16/2006 9:00:00 PM

Pat Worster
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/21/2004
  Hi Gina,
I have some backdrops I made using sheets and spray paint in my gallery. Very easy to do and quite inexpensive.

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12/17/2006 5:39:38 AM

Jessica  A. Eiss
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/6/2006
  Hi Gina,
You can check out my gallery too for muslin backdrops. I have about six colors now.
If you want to use fabric store muslin to do yourself, buy the 108". Buy some RIT dye, and have a plastic bucket to use, some household rubber gloves, boil about 3-4 gallons of water on the stove top. Wash the fabric first, then while it's wet, don't dry it, lay it out on your floor, and crumple it randomly and bunch it up, and then tie the whole ball of fabric up with twine or jute, tightly.
Either outside, or in your kitchen sink, CAREFULLY add your dye to the hot water, in your bucket with 1 cup of table salt and stir it in, and add the fabric. Wear your gloves at this point. Make sure your fabric is completely submerged in the water for a full 1/2 hour. Don't stir it, just let it sit, making sure it's covered.
Now you have to rinse it. Don't splash the water if you can help it, as it will stain everything permanently! Rinse, rinse, rinse until all of the water runs clear. This will take a little while, then you can spin it out in your washer, and dry it on low heat in the dryer. I usually do a rinse and spin in the washer, to get as much of the dye out as possible.
There's a ton of info on the net for making backdrops.

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12/17/2006 6:53:51 AM

Carrie Zohn   Jessica, are all of those muslins that you've used HOMEMADE??!?! Those are absolutely GORGEOUS!!! I'll have to give this a try. How much does the muslin usually run?

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12/17/2006 2:34:27 PM

Jessica  A. Eiss
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/6/2006
  Hi Carrie, yes I've made them all, and could do it with my eyes closed! I have the red, denim, burgandy, brown, green and white. I have more dye to do a purple, but haven't bought the fabric yet. Our school colors are purple/white.

to get the nice tye dye effect, that's where the bunching and tying it up tightly comes in.

Cost: if you have a Joann's fabric store around, that's where to get it. It goes on sale for 40% off. The normal cost for the 108" is $4.99/yd, and I buy 4-5 yrds. If you want to get enough for several colors, they'll cut it for you in the yardage you want, still at one price. Go online to, and you can sign up for the flier, and there are internet coupons, if you don't have a store around you. They also have great props too, like wooden trucks, boas, seasonal things, etc.! Good luck, and ask if any more questions.

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12/17/2006 7:47:54 PM

David A. Bliss   Here is a DIY link.

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12/18/2006 9:03:26 AM

dennis w. mcclain  
another thing you might try. go to lowes, in the paint dept find their canvas drop cloths. get hobby paint, spray paint, some sponges, and rit dye. I dyed mine brown first then used the sponges,and the hobby paint to make a fuax finish like people use on their walls. I think it turned out pretty good

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12/19/2006 6:12:22 AM

Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  You can find a lot of this info and more ideas on how to create Studio Photography, background holders to props on the Studio Photography threads 1-21.
Dennis is correct, the painters ones are the cheapest way to go for the studiest Muslin.
Wishing you teh best in your ventures,

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12/19/2006 7:33:28 AM

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