DIY Photo Backdrop

by | Sep 4, 2022

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Finished painting of cheerleader mural for DIY Photo Backdrop
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Oh, you’re going to LOVE this DIY Photo Backdrop project!!

I realize you may not have a need to paint a cheerleader mural, but painting ANY large image on a wall or dresser front or backdrop is totally possible and really opens up a new world for creatives that aren’t confident in their drawing ability!  

I have painted murals in baby nurseries and children’s rooms for years!  I’ve also painted many photo backdrops using painter’s drop cloths!  

All of these projects have required the use of a projector.  With a projector, you shoot the enlarged image onto your desired surface and trace the outline. This is very easy to do, but it requires an actual projector and not everyone has one of those.

You DON’T Need A Projector

What do we ALL have that will allow us to do the same thing? 

Smartphones and tablets!!!

Yep! If you have access to TWO smart devices, you can display an enlarged image onto your surface with the same outcome as a projector!

Mind blown!!!

I have recently discovered the app, Mural Maker.

This is not a paid promotion. They don’t even know I’m writing about it! But when I find something that I find mind-blowing and extremely helpful, I must share it!  

You can find this app in your App Store! It is free and easy to use!  

Learn how on YouTube:

Check out this week’s video here.

To begin our DIY Photo Backdrop project, we need images!

I was able to upload several images that I found online in clip art galleries.  

One was the image of a cheerleader.

Image of Cheerleader Tracey uploaded to Mural Maker app for her DIY Photo Backdrop project
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The other was a megaphone.

Megaphone image used for DIY Photo Backdrop
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Afterward, I uploaded the individual words by searching in Google (such as “future” and “cheerleader”)!

Word Future Image for DIY Photo Backdrop by Tracey's Fancy
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Word cheerlead that is freehanded drawn onto DIY Photo Backdrop
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Illustration of high school logo used for custom photo backdrop
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Once you find what you need, you save the images you’d like to use in your photos then follow the app’s instructions on how to project them using your two smart devices together.

Again: mind blown!

The Backdrop

Now, I also want to share with you this backdrop that I found!

I have always painted on free-hanging painter drop cloths that I purchase from the hardware store, but then you have the issue of “how will we hang it” at the event.  

I found this standing backdrop (I believe it’s actually a room divider) and it worked like a charm as a photo spot!

And it was SOOOOO budget-friendly!

And you can paint it!!!!

After some initial apprehension, I took a chance on this order since I wasn’t sure what the fabric would be like. I was unsure when it arrived as it feels like a shower curtain, but with a small test spot, I was pleasantly surprised. It was paintable!!!

Spot testing room divider material for custom photo backdrop
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With the backdrop on its frame, I used a pencil to draw my image first using the Mural Maker app.

Then I took the mural off the frame and laid it on the floor to lock the drawing in place by tracing over the pencil with a sharpie (just as I do on all of my drawings).

Using a pencil to sketch out design for DIY Photo Backdrop
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Using sharpie to draw ontop of design for photo backdrop
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Finished design tracing and sketching for photo backdrop
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The Paint:

Dixie Belle’s chalk mineral paint line has incredible adhesion to fabrics.  

I do not add any sort of fabric medium or fabric softener to it. I paint with JUST the paint!

For this project, I used Honky Tonk Red and Caviar (black) with various-sized craft brushes.  

Using DB Honky Tonk Red and Caviar to paint DIY Photo Backdrop
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It only required a single coat of either color, only needing to touch up a few spots that didn’t cover well.  

Dixie Belle chalk line does not require a top coat. It fully seals itself within 21 days.  

Tracey paint Caviar onto room divider to create backdrop design
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Finished painting of cheerleader design with Caviar
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Using DB Honky Tonk Red to paint backdrop design
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Finished one side of megaphone painting with DB chalk mineral paint in Honky Tonk Red
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With it being a backdrop, I didn’t feel it required extra protection so I left it raw.  

It was dry within an hour!!!

I left it out to dry flat overnight.

Embellished design for DIY Photo Backdrop using DB chalk mineral paints and image designs
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The next morning I rolled it up and place it in the box with the frame to transport to the venue.

FYI: the frame was SO easy to install and requires no tools. It’s just a snap-and-lock system. 


Doesn’t this DIY Photo Backdrop look amazing????

Everyone loved it!

Truth be told, I purposefully did not put the year on it as I wanted to be able to use it again for the following two cheerleader workshops that our cheerleaders host for young girls! 

This last photo of my daughter Zadie with my granddaughter Harlow (whose mother Hailey also cheered at this school 14 years ago) means everything to me!!!

Picture of daughter and granddaughter in front of DIY Photo Backdrop
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I hope this inspires you to create personalized wall murals or backdrops for your own events.  

I don’t know why you wouldn’t!!

It is affordable, easy, and SO MUCH FUN to create!

I will never use a projector again!

Here are some other DIY projects to inspire you!

Products used:

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1 Comment

  1. susan

    Thanks so much for posting this! I usually use my overhead for large scale projects but there’s always the issue of getting the image on a transparency film. Can’t wait to try this! And the backdrop is a GREAT find!


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