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5-DYI Food Photography Backdrop Ideas

Food photography has taken the world by storm, thanks to the rise of social media platforms and food blogs. Beautiful and creative backdrops are essential for capturing stunning food images that grab the viewer's attention. However, you don't need to invest a fortune in expensive backdrops to achieve mouthwatering food photography. In this blog, we'll explore five inexpensive DIY food photography backdrop ideas, to create a versatile and eye-catching background.

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Peel-and-Stick Tiles: A Dynamic Choice


I love using Peel-and-Stick tiles for my backdrops. They are an excellent backdrop option for food photography because you can easily wipe them clean and don't have to worry about little spills. They are affordable, versatile, and easy to work with, allowing you to create the size and shape of backdrop you want. They also come in a wide variety of colors, textures, and patterns, making them perfect for creating backgrounds that match the style and mood of your dishes.


I loved these Fontaine Peel & Stick Floor Tiles that I used for my Strawberry Rhubarb Pie shoot. They are big, good quality and I just loved the pattern. For other tile options you can check out my selection of Backdrop Essentials here.



To create a peel-and-stick tile backdrop, follow these steps:

Materials:

  • Peel-and-stick tiles (available at most home improvement stores or online such as amazon)

  • Plywood or foam board (large enough for your desired backdrop)

  • Utility knife or scissors

  • Ruler

  • Cutting mat

Steps:

  1. Measure and cut the plywood or foam board to the desired size of your backdrop. A standard size is 2x3 feet, but you can adjust it to fit your specific needs.

  2. Lay out your peel-and-stick tiles on the board to create the desired pattern or layout. You can use one type of tile for a clean, uniform look or mix and match different patterns and colors for a unique effect.

  3. Remove the adhesive backing from each tile and carefully place it on the board. Ensure that the tiles are aligned properly, and there are no gaps or overlaps.

  4. Trim any excess tile material along the edges using a utility knife or scissors to fit the board perfectly.

  5. Your peel-and-stick tile backdrop is ready to use. Place it behind your food subject, set up your lighting, and start shooting stunning food photos.

Peel-and-stick tiles are a fantastic choice because they are easy to clean and maintain. You can create various looks by switching out the tiles, making them perfect for different food styles and seasons.



2. Cork Boards

Using cork boards as a backdrop for your food photography is a unique and versatile option that adds a touch of rustic charm to your images. Cork boards provide a soft and natural texture that complements a variety of dishes. I love these roll out cork boards where you can easily customize the size and length of your backdrop.


I loved using them for my Soft Pretzel (Bretzel) shoot. The color and texture worked so well together.

For other cork board and backdrop ideas I have put together a selection of ones that I personally like here.



Here's how to create a cork board backdrop for your food photography:

Materials:

  • Cork board or cork tiles

  • Plywood or foam board

  • Adhesive or double-sided tape

  • Utility knife or scissors


Cork boards create a warm and cozy backdrop that works well with a range of dishes, especially those with natural or organic themes. The neutral tones and subtle texture of cork allow your food to take center stage while adding a pleasant earthy element to your photos. You can further enhance the rustic look by adding props like wooden utensils or linen napkins to your food setup.


Experiment with different lighting styles, such as soft diffused light or dramatic shadows, to make the most of your cork board backdrop. Whether you're capturing a hearty bowl of soup or a rustic charcuterie platter, a cork board backdrop can add depth and character to your food photography. Plus, it's an affordable and reusable option that you can easily customize to match your culinary creations.



3. Marble Contact Paper

Marble is an elegant and versatile backdrop option for food photography, but real marble can be expensive and heavy. Fortunately, you can achieve the same effect using marble contact paper, which is both affordable and lightweight. Just like the stick-and-peel tile option, I love using contact paper to create my backdrops as they create an easy to clean surface, no need to be affraid of small drips and spills and they are lighter weight than tiles which make them more transportable for storage or on-site shoots.

Loved the look of this white marble stick-and-peel for my Corn Muffin and Apple Butter shoot.

For other contact paper options, check out my selection of designs and colors here.




Here's how to create a marble (or any other contact paper backdrop):

Materials:

  • Plywood or foam board

  • Marble contact paper

  • Scissors

  • Ruler

  • Squeegee or credit card

Steps:

  1. Measure and cut the plywood or foam board to your desired backdrop size.

  2. Roll out the contact paper and place it over the board, ensuring it's flat and smooth.

  3. Use a squeegee or credit card to remove any air bubbles or wrinkles. Start from the center and work your way outwards.

  4. Trim any excess contact paper along the edges for a clean finish.

Marble contact paper is an excellent choice for capturing the elegance of dishes like pastries, desserts, or gourmet meals.




Textured fabrics can add depth and visual interest to your food photography backdrops. Not only can you stick them to a solid backing to create something flat and use it as you would any other backdrop or, you can play with the fabric by draping or bunching it to add visual interest to your shot.

You can find an array of inexpensive textured fabrics at your local fabric store or even repurpose old textiles. I love using scarves for example. (One of my favorite thrift shopping items other than dishware of course). I often find that they offer a wider array of colors and patterns and add a different feel than ordinary kitchen towels.


For example, in this shot for my Blueberry Cream Cheese Rolls , I used this cotton-silk scarf, which I think brought some elegance to the shot, in both color and texture.


If you would like to use your fabric in a standard backdrop way, here's how to create a fabric backdrop:

Materials:

  • Fabric (choose a texture and color that complements your food)

  • Foam board or cardboard

  • Adhesive or double-sided tape

Steps:

  1. Cut the fabric to the desired size of your backdrop, leaving a little extra to drape over the edges.

  2. Secure the fabric to the foam board or cardboard using adhesive or double-sided tape. Make sure it's taut and wrinkle-free.

  3. Fold any excess fabric over the back and secure it with tape to create a clean edge.

Textured fabric backdrops work well with a variety of dishes and add a tactile element to your food photography.



Chalkboard or Blackboard Paint

Chalkboard or blackboard paint is a creative backdrop choice that allows you to add your own artistic touch. These backdrops work particularly well for showcasing recipes or writing captions directly onto the backdrop. I also love the matte nature of chalkboard. (No reflection, often times means less editing). You can even find chalkboard adhesive paper if you are not in the mood to paint one yourself.



For this Pavlova shoot, I used adhesive chalkboard paper and simply rubbed a light dusting of white chalk over it to add a bit of texture.



Here's how to create a chalkboard backdrop:


Materials:

  • Plywood or foam board

  • Chalkboard or blackboard paint

  • Paintbrush or foam roller

  • Chalk

Steps:

  1. Measure and cut the plywood or foam board to your desired backdrop size.

  2. Apply a coat of chalkboard paint using a paintbrush or foam roller. Allow it to dry completely.

  3. Once the paint is dry, season the chalkboard by rubbing a piece of chalk all over it and then wiping it clean with a dry cloth. This prevents "ghosting" when you write on it.

Chalkboard backdrops are a fun and interactive option for food photography. You can add handwritten labels, recipes, or doodles to enhance your images.

Conclusion


Creating stunning food photography backdrops doesn't have to break the bank. By using inexpensive materials like peel-and-stick tiles, cork, contact paper, textured fabrics, or chalkboard paint, you can design versatile and eye-catching backgrounds that enhance your food photography.


Experiment with different backdrops to match the style and mood of your dishes, and watch your food photos come to life with creativity and charm. With these affordable and DIY options, you can make your food photography shine without a hefty investment.

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