Learn how to make a DIY backdrop stand that meets your needs from start to finish!
Whether you’re a photographer, a party planner, or home decorator, sometimes you just need an easy and sturdy backdrop stand! You can make these yourself from either PVC pipes or wood and in virtually any dimensions you need. I’ve made a PVC pipe stand that is 8 feet wide by 7 feet tall, as well as a wood backdrop stand that is 8 feet wide by 8 feet tall. Both can breakdown for easy transport, too! I used my wood backdrop stand to support my large paper flower backdrop and it does a marvelous job, but you can also use these backdrop stands for product shoots, portrait photos, and even studio lighting! I can show you how to make a backdrop stand for photography, weddings, graduations, and more with my tutorial.
Here is the 8’x7′ PVC pipe backdrop stand that is perfect for lightweight things, such as fabric curtains and photography backdrops. The PVC version is a lightweight stand that is arguably the most easy DIY backdrop stand to make! And the best part is that you get an adjustable width and height simply by using a different length of PVC pipe. Need a banner stand? Just shorten the width of the horizontal PVC pipes and you’ve got one with little effort.
And here is the 8’x8′ wood backdrop stand that is more stable and better suited toward heavier things like the panels of a paper flower wall. The wood version is very heavy duty and is perfect for our studio work. We came up with an ingenious design with a built-in locking mechanism for this wood backdrop — this is an original design for our own DIY backdrop.
Here is how I used my wood DIY backdrop stand to hold my paper flower wall — it’s strong, stable, and looks amazing! This is my new backdrop to use in my photos and videos!
These DIY backdrop stands are great with fabric backdrops for photo shoots in both a home studio or photo studio. Either stand can be made at different sizes and will accommodate a cloth backdrop or something more substantial. I made both of mine eight feet wide, as I feel a wide backdrop is a lot easier to take photos and videos in front of.
The PVC Backdrop stand can accommodate a curtain or curtain hooks on its top pipe. To put up a curtain or hang things like 9-foot rolls of seamless paper on the wood backdrop stand, you’ll want to use strong clamps at the top for the best results.
Now the question you may have is — which backdrop stand is better? The PVC pipe version is an excellent choice for those short on time and money — it’s a great, portable backdrop for amateur photographers and DIY photo booths. The wood backdrop stand’s construction, on the other hand, is good news for anyone concerned about stability — the wood version has a strong base that accommodates heavier backdrops and is easier to weigh or stakedown as necessary.
Either backdrop stand version can be made with basic tools from your local hardware store — like a PVC cutter or a handsaw — in a few simple steps.
Ready to make a DIY backdrop stand using my plans? It’s easier than you think! This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy.
How to Make a DIY Backdrop Stand from PVC Pipes
DIY Backdrop Stand from PVC Pipes
How to make an easy backdrop stand from PVC pipes
STEP ONE: Cut Your PVC Pipes
Cut your 120" long PVC pipes to the following lengths using a PVC cutter:
2 - 74" long pipes (for the top uprights)
2 - 3" long pipes (for the bottom uprights)
2 - 92" long pipes (for the top and bottom horizontal pieces)
4 - 24" long pipes (for the bottom base pieces)
STEP TWO: Connect Your PVC Pipes to Make a Backdrop Stand
Push the four caps on the ends of the four 24" long PVC pipes.
Push the other end of the 24" long PVC pipes into the sides of a Tee connector. Tap with a mallet to get it into the connector snugly. Repeat for all four 24" long PVC pipes until you have two bases.
Push the 3" long PVC pipes into the tops of the two Tee connectors attached to your bases.
Push another Tee connector onto the other end of the 3" PVC pipe, but this time it should go in the other way. Again, tap with a rubber mallet to make sure everything is as tight as can be.
STEP THREE: Assemble Your PVC Backdrop Stand
Place your two bases on the floor or ground about 8' apart.
Place your 74" long pipes and 92" long pipes, along with the two elbows near the bases.
Push a 92" long PVC pipe into the empty slot of one of the Tee connectors on the backdrop stand base.
Be sure to tap it firmly into place with a rubber mallet.
Repeat with the other end of the 92" long PVC pipe, connecting it to the other base.
If you want to thread a curtain onto the top of your PVC pipe, this is a great time to do it.
Push the two elbow pieces onto the end of the other 92" long PVC pipe.
Attach the two 74" long pipes to the elbow pieces of the 92" long PVC pipe you just assembled.
This next step will work best with a helper.
Push the ends of the 74" long PVC pipes firmly into the Tee connectors on your base. I recommend holding the base down with your foot while you push it down.
Make sure everything is really firmly in place and enjoy!
The finished size of the PVC Pipe Backdrop Stand in this tutorial is 7' high by 8' wide.
You can make the backdrop stand more stable by making sure all pipes are push down as far as they will go and then weighting it down with sandbags.
This frame can be disassembled into a bundle for transport!
How to Make a DIY Backdrop Stand from Wood
DIY Backdrop Stand From Wood
Learn how to build a heavy-duty wood DIY backdrop stand that can be broken-down for transport and re-used over and over
- Four (4) 2" x 4" x 8' long studs
- Three (3) 2" x 3" x 8' long studs
- 4-6 carriage bolts (3/8" x 5" long)
- 4-6 3/8" washers
- 4-6 3/8" wingnuts
- Six (6) - 3 1/2" wide hinges (we used security door hinges)
- (Optional) Stakes or sandbags to keep your backdrop stand in place in windy conditions or unstable ground)
STEP ONE: CUT YOUR BACKDROP STAND WOOD
Gather your materials and tools.
Don't forget your six 3.5" hinges and their included screws -- these are the "secret sauce" for this breakdown wood stand.
Measure and mark two (2) 2x4 studs at their halfpoint, which should be 48".
Cut the two (2) 2x4 studs you marked in half with a saw (you can use a handsaw or a bandsaw). These two cuts are the ONLY cuts you need to make.
This leaves you with two (2) 8' long 2x4 boards and four (4) 4' long 2x4 boards, along with your three (3) 8' long 2x3 boards which did not need any cuts.
STEP TWO: ATTACH BASE & SUPPORT BOARDS
Take two of the 4' boards (support board) and and attach a hinge with the included screws to connect them end to end.
Ensure your boards are placed far enough away from one another that you can fold the two boards so that they lie flat against one another.
Repeat for the other two 4' boards.
Mark 12" from the end of the two of your attached 4' long 2x4 boards. These are your base boards.
Take a close look at your hinges. Here are the parts labelled.
Dismantle four of the hinges by removing the pin with pliers or a hammer and nail. To use pliers, get a firm grip on the pin end and work it out. To use a hammer and nail, fold the hinge closed, place it on the end of a board so that the knuckle overhangs it, insert a nail into the knuckle hole, and hit it with a hammer.
Attach one half of a dismantled hinge with three knuckles parallel to the marked line on your 4' long board with the included screws. Position the hinge so that the knuckle end is against the marked line, oriented so that the screw holes are toward the longer end of the board.
Repeat this for the other set of 4' long boards that are hinged together.
Here's what your boards should look like now, along with the names we'll be using for each part from here on out:
Attach one half of another dismantled hinge with three knuckles to the end of the support board. Repeat for the other support board.
Here's what your boards should look like now:
STEP THREE: PREPARE UPRIGHT BOARDS
Attach the other half of the dissembled hinge with two knuckles on the very end of an 8' 2"x4" upright board, so that the knuckles are flush with the bottom of the board.
Repeat for the other 8' 2"x4" upright board so your boards look like this:
Put one 8' board on top of one of your base boards, butted up against the hinge. It should be a perfect angle of 90°.
We used a square to make sure the angle was correct. You can do this step with your 8' board standing vertically (with a helper) or with everything laying on its side, but you must make sure this is square.
Slide the hinge pin back through the knuckles of the two hinge leafs.
Repeat the above steps for the other upright board.
Swing up the end of the support board until it rests against the upright board.
Get a disassembled hinge leaf with two knuckles and fit it into the hinge leaf at the end of the support board.
Screw the hinge leaf to the upright board. Repeat for the other upright board.
STEP FOUR: PREPARE HORIZONTAL BOARDS
Remove the pins connecting the upright boards to the baseboards. Fold the baseboard and support boards closed and set aside.
Using your 3/8 drill bit, drill one hole 1.5" from the top of the upright board. Repeat for the other upright.
Drill a second hole 1.5" above the hinge ot the bottom of the upright board. Repeat for the other upright.
Drill a third hole 1.5" above the hinge in the middle of the upright. Repeat for the other upright board. Here are all locations of the three holes:
Using your 3/8 drill bit, drill holes 2" in from either end of your 2"x3" horizontal boards.
Note: You can have more horizontal boards if you want -- these horizontal boards help prevent the DIY backdrop stand from twisting. But I only used three -- one at the top, one at the bottom, and one in the middle.
STEP FIVE: ASSEMBLE YOUR BACKDROP STAND
Note: This step works best with two people. It is possible for a tall person (like Greg) to set this up alone, but it's awkward to do. It's safer and easier to have two people for assembly.
Slot the upright boards' hinge knuckles into the baseboards' hinge knuckles and insert the pins.
Swing up the support assembly boards so that the two hinge leaf knuckles meet and insert the pins. They should be able to stand unsupported now.
Insert a carriage bolt through the bottom of the baseboard so the bolt thread is facing up on both support assemblies.
Take a 2"x3" horizontal board, and insert its ends through the bolts on either end of the stand, connecting the support assemblies. Thump the carriage bolts with a rubber mallet to recess them into the wood, which keeps the bolt from freely rotating in the frame.
Put a washer and wingnut on each of the carriage bolts, and tighten firmly. Once this is done, the entire backdrop stand should be freestanding.
Insert two more carriage bolts through the ends of another 2x3 horizontal board. Take this horizontal board and insert the protruding bolt ends through the holes you drilled above the upper hinges of the upright boards. Put a washer and wingnut on each of the carriage bolts, and tighten firmly.
Insert the last two carriage bolts through the ends of the last 2x3 horizontal board. Take this horizontal board and insert the protruding bolt ends through the holes you drilled at the top of the upright boards. Put a washer and wingnut on each of the carriage bolts, and tighten firmly.
And that's it -- your DIY backdrop stand is assembled.
STEP SIX: ENJOY YOUR DIY BACKDROP STAND
Your backdrop stand can be weighted down with sandbags or even a cinderblock. Or you can stake it down with rope and long railroad nails. We did not need to do this.
You can hang things from this stand -- it should be able to support at least 100 lbs., and could probably handle more than that. We used our stand to hold a paper flower wall which weighed about 66 pound and it had no problems.
For transport, you can break this backdrop stand down by removing the hinge pins where the baseboard connects with the upright boards and where it connects with the middle horizontal board (total of four hinge pins). You do not have to separate the baseboard from the supports, as they just fold down, so don't remove those hinge pins. Once everything is bundled up, you can use bungee cords or shrink wrap to keep it all together for easier transport. I recommend putting the hinge pins in a bag so you don't lose them during transport.
Finished backdrop stand size is 8' wide by 8' tall
Questions About Making a DIY Backdrop Stand
Can you put these backdrops in a carrying bag?
Neither of these break down short enough to go into any standard carrying bag. If you need a backdrop stand that breaks down that small, go for a professional backdrop stand with adjustable height — here is what I think is one of the best backdrop stands on Amazon. There are some more high-end models, but this one is a good price and well reviewed.
What’s the best backdrop stand for a fabric backdrop?
You can hang fabric from the PVC pipe backdrop stand a little easier, and if your fabric is sheer, it tends to look a little better as there is no distracting cross brace.
How do you keep your backdrop stand from falling over outside?
This is a very real concern, as the PVC pipe version WILL fall over with even a slight breeze (the wood version should fare much better with it’s heavier, stronger base). To keep a backstand stand stable, put sandbags on the legs. Alternatively, you can tie rope to the sides and stake it down. If you’re using the wood backdrop stand, you can drill holes at the ends of the base and hammer a 12″ long railroad nail through the hole in the wood and into the ground to keep it in place.
How do you make a flower wall backdrop?
There are many ways to make a photo backdrop for weddings, baby showers, bridal shower, birthday party, prom, or other special events, but I believe my paper flower backdrop wall tutorial is is easiest, most straight-forward way to go. I show you how to prepare the free flower design files, share tips for cutting the flowers fast, and tell you how to hang them all up together onto your DIY backdrop stand no matter your location.
Get my instant download digital files for my free paper flower backdrop designs!
I’d love to see your DIY backdrop stand projects and what you’re doing with them! If you make a DIY backdrop frame, please share a photo in our Facebook group, email it to me at [email protected], or tag me on social media with #jennifermaker.
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