DIY Tutorial Quick And Easy Portable Photo Backgrounds for Flat Lay Photography

September 18, 2018
I found it really hard at times to take flat lay pictures of my work on the floor or table, a lot of the times the light was not right and I had to wait until next day to be able take clear pictures which slowed me down and made my work harder.

I live in a small house and I don't have a dedicated place for photography where I could install lights and neutral backgrounds, but having quality pictures on my blog was important to me. 

I wanted my readers to be able to see large, clear, bright pictures of my work where the details are visible and the subject centred artistically so they can understand my instruction and easily follow my tutorials.

So after a lot of thinking and searching online, I came up with the idea of making my own portable flat lay backgrounds that I can move around the house to follow the natural light and then put away when not using them. 

And now, you can too with this easy and quick tutorial.

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Before we continue, please note that this post contains affiliate links, I will earn a small percentage should you choose to purchase something, but it will be at no cost to you. 

You can read the disclosure policy here.

Supplies I Used

- 2 pieces of 3mm hardboard (approximately 90cm by 60cm or 3ft by 2ft) similar to this one HERE

Making The Backgrounds

The idea came while renovating our bathroom. 

I was shopping for paint in a large chain DIY store and passing by the wallpaper section, I saw a faux marble wallpaper displayed and I thought my crochet projects would look lovely photographed against it.

Then I saw the self adhesive vinyl section and an idea was born. Why not stick self adhesive vinyl to a piece of cardboard and use it as background?!? 

And that was exactly what I did...EXCEPT....I did not realise with time the cardboard will bow and bend.

I wasn't ready to give up on my idea just yet so I went back to the DIY store and bought the biggest (and cheapest) piece of hardboad I could find and used the in-store cutting service to cut in in half and ended up with two pieces size approximately 90cm by 60cm (3ft by 2ft).

Then I went to the Poundland (The UK version of Dollar Tree) and bought adhesive vinyl in 4 designs. 

They come in 2m (6ft) long rolls, 45cm (18in) wide.

Putting it together was quick and easy. 

Peel the top of the roll and place it on the hardboard. 

Use one hand to press the roll to the board as you peel the backing with the other hand.

Then use the craft knife to cut the roll close to the edge of the board.

Because of the size of the roll, I chose to place two rows of vinyl. 

Don't worry about matching the edges too much, the seam will probably be covered with the objects you want to photograph.

I also did both sides of the boards with different design vinyls to minimise clutter.

And now I have 4 beautiful backgrounds for my flat lay photos, from dark to light, from simple to busy, to suit any colour project I might have going.

     Here are a few pictures I took of my WIPs using the backgrounds, my favourite has to be the marble one, but they all are just gorgeous.

Happy Crafting!

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