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DIY Weathered Wood Photo Backdrop

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One of my blog goals this summer is to update a some of my recipe photos.  I have a few from the very beginning that were snapped with my phone or just not very appetizing looking.  I may even update some that were taken this past winter in my kitchen.  (Most of those photos aren’t bad, just a little yellow from my kitchen lights.  We’ll see if I get to those, it can be hard to squeeze in picture taking with 2 hungry little monsters sweeties hanging from my apron strings…)

I am always on the look out for pretty dishes, tablecloths, place mats or backdrops I can use to dress up my food photos.  I’ve had a weathered wood backdrop on my to do list for a while, but I kept putting off the trip to Lowes for supplies.

I finally got it done and love it!

We do have a garage full of supplies and tools, but I wanted this project to be simple. (And it was… why drag out a bunch of tools and get hot and sweaty when you can work in the AC and use a little glue…)  Here is how I made it:

Supplies needed for a weathered wood photo backdrop:

  • Shims (they come in different sizes, mine were 12 inches long and came in a pack of 42, I bought 2 @ $3.87.)
  • Wood for the back supports (I bought 3 1/4X3X2 aspen planks @ $1.24 each.)
  • Wood glue (I used Elmer’s wood glue that I already had.)
  • Paint (I used paint I had on hand- The blue was a sample I had for my laundry room, leftover white paint and some of my Ralph Lauren tea stained glaze.)
  • Clear coat sealer (I used one with a matte finish.)

Instructions:
First of all, I found out something about shims that I didn’t know.  They come like this:
Oops, just added a little more gluing than intended to my project…

Step 1:  Glue all your shims together so they make a flat level piece of wood and let dry for about an hour.

Step 2:  Line up the support pieces, using the shims as a guide on how far apart to space the supports.

Step 3:  Add glue to the support pieces and place the shims.  Let dry.  (I placed a few heavy objects on top of the drying shims to help make sure they dried securely and flat.)

Step 4:  Once the glue is dry, add your paint.  To achieve a similar effect as mine, I applied one thick coat of  regular blue paint, and let it dry.  Then find something to distress the wood.  (I could only find was a very heavy chain.  It was so heavy, all I could do was drop it a few times on the wood.)

Next , with a wet rag, I rubbed my dark glaze over the entire panel, then rinsed the rag and wiped away most of the color.  (You could mix water with a dark color to get the same effect.)

After the glaze dried I did the same thing with white paint- mixed it with water, wiped it on and then wiped the excess off.

After it dried, I finished it off with a quick coat of Valspar matte finish spray sealer.

Isn’t it pretty?

In this picture, I used Photoshop Elements to change the background to a dull yellow.  (At the time I looked up this link, Elements was on sale for $63.  That is a good price!)

I am thinking about adding some dark stained shim pieces to the back side so I can have 2 looks in one.  I need to find some dark water based stain next time I am at the craft store.

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71 Comments

  1. Love this backdrop! I need to make something like this!

  2. What a great idea! I have been looking for ways to add something "extra" to my photos. Thanks for sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. stopping by from CSI. love this project. i had no idea shims were so cheap. at less than .10/lf, i'll be keeping these little guys in mind for future projects.

    meegan @ crafylittlebitches

  4. I always admired photos taken with weathered wood as a backdrop. Cute idea and love the color! Stopping by from the CSI project.

  5. I love this!! When I first saw it, I thought it was 2x4s. It's so much easier to make than I first thought. I might just have to make one for myself. I'm your newest follower. =)

  6. this is so great! and sure beats buying scrapbook paper over & over! pinned it to try later ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. What a fabulous backdrop! So versatile especially if using Elements! Thanks for the great tutorial and sharing at Mom On Timeout!

  8. Makes the perfect backdrop, I need to make me one too! Thanks for the how-to!

    Britta @ TheHandmadeHouse.net

  9. Fantastic! I need to work on the background of my photos! So this is a great idea! Ha!
    Thanks for sharing at Show & Share, featuring this tomorrow.

  10. What a smart idea!! I was just thinking the other day I needed a cool backdrop for some items I want to photograph. Thank you so much for the inspiration. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I love it, Jamie! Beautiful! I'm including a link back in the DIY highlights. Thank you so much for sharing your creativity.

  12. Great idea – I love it! I need to make one of these actually! Thanks for the inspiration!
    Thank you also for sharing –
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  13. oooo…good idea.I definitely don't have alot of already there backdrop locations at my house.

  14. Oh I really think this is a great idea! I like the thought, too, of making a second colored stain on the back side so you have more options. Found you through I should be mopping the floor.

  15. Love the double sided idea! Store one piece but have two different looks. Very ingenious and will be looking for it in your photos! Thanks so much for sharing on Busy Monday at A Pinch of Joy. Hope to see you again soon!

  16. What a fabulous idea. And that IS a great price. Thanks so much for linking up at Mop It Up Mondays. I'm featuring you tomorrow!
    {HUGS},
    kristi

  17. Found your post from the feature at Nifty Thrifty Things. Cool idea. Thanks for showing us "how to". Love it. Hope you'll stop in at Quirky Vistas and see what's up at my place.
    Liz

  18. What a good idea, and simple to make. Anyway this blue color is one of my favorite.I usulaly use my blue bin box for it ,I know quite ridiculous, your idea is brilliant! Thank you,I try to make one.
    Szilvia

  19. I love this.. I have been wanting to do one like this.. but keep putting it off too! lol

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Angie

  20. This is awesome. I'm doing a vintage/rustic/elegant themed wedding and just might do this for a photo backdrop. found you via a blog hop and am now a follower.

  21. Awesome! Thanks for sharing this. I just might make one myself!

  22. It turned out great! Do you know what the name of the blue color is? I love it!

  23. Very nice, please link it up with me today at Wow Us Wednesday.

  24. SOOOO COOL!!!! I want one!!!

    Thanks for sharing at The DIY Dreamer… From Dream To Reality!!

  25. great idea! love it! im your newest follower.
    xoxo janean @http://www.howikeepsane.com/

  26. Great project and idea! Thanks so much for sharing it.. definitely going on my to-do list ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. What a fantastic idea! Love your blog, you have a new follower in me ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Such a great idea! I like the consistency in the pictures!
    threeloudkids.com

  29. What a great idea! There's usually clutter in the kitchen, little kids in the living room, and toys everywhere, so I've been known to style pictures on the bathroom floor with the door shut. This would be so much better! Love the color!

  30. This is so amazing. Thank you bunches for the tutorial! <3

  31. What a great idea, I love what you did!! Great little trick!

  32. This is neat! I may have to try something like it! Probably not for food – I don't do too much of that :), but I'm sure I can use it for something else!

  33. What a great idea. And it makes for beautiful pictures!

  34. Great idea! Backdrops can be so expensive, but this is an easy way to have more than white foamboard.

  35. A good idea – I love your blog, I've been a reader for a while now so thought it was about time I joined you and said 'hello' from the UK, I love all kinds of craftwork and have just started my own blog mostly about frugal living.

  36. What a great idea! I have a ton of wood! SO doing this!

  37. Love this! Looks pretty easy, too! Now I need to make one…with all my "free" time now that kiddos are home:) It really makes your photos!!

  38. OOH! I've been wanting to make one of those for so long! I need to at some pointโ€ฆ Thanks for sharing!

  39. Great idea! Putting together some backdrops is on my to-do list as well. Thanks for sharing! (And I ordered the photoshop- I appreciate the heads up!)