In recent years the dessert/serving table has become the focal point of parties. It can be so much more visually stunning when placed in front of an eye-catching backdrop. Some of the backdrops used in the professionally designed tables look a bit intimidating to those of us throwing our own parties with a small budget. You might think that the only way to achieve that kind of look is to spend big money, but you would be wrong. Today, I’m sharing my simple secrets about how we created cool backdrops for parties like my son’s Robot Design Academy Party and the Brooklyn Baby shower for very little money! I have to thank my husband (I call him BSB), for figuring out the construction side of it! We put together a basic backdrop frame that we have used for several parties. At the end of each party we take it apart, so it takes very little space to store.
If you’d like to make your own backdrop frame, you’ll need some basic tools and four 1″x2″s–available at most any home improvement store. You can use the least expensive wood they sell. It won’t be seen anyway. These are pine and cost about $1.50/each.
You may need to saw them to the desired length. We have a standard folding table we often use for parties that is 6 feet wide, so we cut two of the pieces of wood to 6 ft length (these are the cross pieces). The others (the uprights) are a bit taller, so that the backdrop could be plenty tall.
Layout the wood in the pattern you see in this picture. Attach the cross-pieces on top the uprights, so that they will be away from the wall when you put up your backdrop. We put the bottom cross-piece slightly higher than the height of the table.
You can use your hardware of choice to attach the corners–finishing nails, small screws, etc.
The frame will be a bit wobbly, so you’ll likely need two people to move it around or put it in place around. It doesn’t need to be any sturdier if you are going to put it against a wall. The table can act as a brace–holding the frame flat against the wall. So what do we use for the fun part of the backdrop? I’ve had great luck with bed sheets. You could also use tablecloths or big rolls of butcher paper. Maybe even wrapping paper if you were careful to line it up well. I inherited the orange sheet seen here from my sister, so it didn’t cost any money to use. It was the perfect punch of color for the robot party. If you want them to look nice, you might want to iron the sheet first. Or you can be like me, and skip that step. 🙂
I attach the sheet to the frame with thumbtacks. Pine is fairly soft wood, so this isn’t too difficult. You can use a small hammer to get the tacks all the way in, if needed. You might also use a staple gun. I tucked the extra fabric back behind the frame, and used as many tacks as needed to make the sheet taut against the frame.
For my high-tech robot party backdrop, I used double-sided adhesive to attach old cds to ribbon, and then tacked the ribbon to the top of the frame, as well, at the appropriate height.
For the Brooklyn backdrop, I bought the least expensive white sheet I could find from IKEA (it may have been too cheap, because it started to get some tears). I think it cost less than $2.
I taped the sheet to the wall (I had it backed with something so the sharpie wouldn’t leak on the wall). We had borrowed a computer projector, so I just projected a photo of the Brooklyn bridge onto the sheet, and used a brown Sharpie marker to trace the outline of the bridge and buildings. Deciding to go for an artsy line-drawing feel, freed me up to not have to make it too perfect. If you look up-close it is far from perfect, but it worked really well as a back drop for our New-York-themed shower.
(photo courtesy of Becky)
We even modified this same basic frame to make this free-standing ice cream stand. But I haven’t blogged about it yet, so you’ll have just have to check back on my blog if you want the details about this sweet party, and how we made the stand stand, with out being against the wall.
A big “thank you” to U Create, for letting me share a little of My Insanity with you today! I’d love for you to come and visit me and let me know about any crazy party backdrops you’ve created!
Kendra from My Insanity