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DIY Photography Background

Want to trick people into thinking you own a clean, white marble kitchen? Yes, yes? And even better, it’s way cheaper than an actual marble kitchen. Keen to find out? It might involve making your own DIY photography background.

Okay, or maybe you just want your photography and food to stand out and you aren’t worried about that marble kitchen idea. Either way, I’m here to teach you three easy DIY Food photography backgrounds.

While some of the pre made backgrounds you can buy online look amazing, they can be a little pricey and what if you then don’t like it once it arrives? Well the best thing about making your own backgrounds is that you can control what it looks like. You can give it a bit of texture, you can use what colours you like, you can create the look that YOU are after.

All my backgrounds on my Instagram I have made myself. I actually find it a lot of fun and am constantly finding inspiration for colours and textures and looks.

These are the three methods that appear on my Instagram feed. I try and aim for similar colours with my backgrounds such as white and greys but feel free to use any colour you like.

1. Fake Marble Background

The cheapest and easiest DIY photography background of the three so let’s start off with that.

What you will need:

  • Marble vinyl adhesive (I got mine from Kmart)
  • Rectangle piece of wood/hard plastic board

How to make:

  1. Either roll out the marble vinyl to use whenever you want to use it, and roll it back up again once finished with it.
  2. OR: Cover an old piece of wood or an old board with the marble adhesive to create a fake marble tile. You can easily store in a cupboard, drawer or under your bed.

This marble adhesive is easy to clean as it’s a smooth vinyl surface. If you aren’t able to cover something with it, the adhesive roll will eventually start to bubble from all the unrolling so be mindful of that.

2. Painted Board

This is my favourite DIY photography background out of the three as it’s the one that you can have the most fun and creativity with! Obviously you could just paint a wooden board in a plain colour and call it a day, but I’m going to show you how to take it to the next level.

Here are my three boards that I use (one is double sided with the cement/grey board) Or you can follow the other instructions below using any colours that you like!

What you will need:

  • 2-3 acrylic paints in colours of your choice (E.g white and black, which can then make grey)
  • MDF or other form of wood that can be painted
  • Modelling paste/gel for paintings (I use Reeves)
  • Palette knife or old mini spatula/knife
  • Old paint brush or old makeup brush (I used a Kabuki brush)
  • Old damp cloth or paper towels

How to make:

  1. Wipe your MDF board to make sure the surface is clean before painting.
  2. With a palette knife or spatula, spread the modelling paste in random patterns and directions across your board.
  3. Let the paste dry ideally overnight to ensure it’s fully dried before painting.
  4. Paint your dried board in a base colour of your choice.
  5. While your base is still wet, apply some paint of other colours such as some more white and some black. Start blending these colours together using your brush in a ‘stippling’ motion.
  6. You can also blend the colours together with a damp cloth, this will also add a bit of texture as well from the cloth. The damp cloth will help blend colours so that the paint doesn’t dry out.
  7. Blend and stipple your colours all over your board, incorporating different shades. Have patches that are a bit lighter and some a bit darker. I also added a bit of teal to my dark board to give it a stone grey look.
  8. Let the board dry before using.

3. Tiles

I will admit, this one is the most expensive DIY photography background depending on where you purchase your tiles from. However, they make for a really cool looking background, and it does look like you just shot the photo in your lux white kitchen! I used this background for my Peanut Butter Popsicle’s.

This one does require a bit of patience and DIY skills as there is grouting involved. However, if you don’t feel like going this extreme you can purchase adhesive sheets of tiles/tile like material that you can just stick onto a board. You might just have to do a bit of searching around on the internet but I have found some before.

What you will need:

  • Wooden board painted in the same colour as your tiles
  • Sheets of hexagon tiles in colour of your choice
  • Superglue/cement glue/liquid nails
  • Grout in colour of choice (something that will nicely compliment the colour of your tiles)
  • Damp cloth and damp sponge

How to make:

  1. Make sure your painted board is dry and clean.
  2. Don’t apply glue just yet but line up your sheets of tiles to make sure they will align and fit properly. Make a mark in pencil on your board as to where the tiles will sit.
  3. Gradually glue the tile sheets being careful not to make the sheets crooked. Be slow, patient and careful with gluing them as you only get once chance!
  4. Once the tiles are glued to the board and the glue is dry, the tiles will be set onto the board.
  5. Now apply your prepared grout with a grout spreader/float/squeegee at a diagonal angle. Don’t worry if it gets on the tiles as we will wipe that off soon but try and remove excess grout with the spreader by running the edge of it over any overfilled grout spots. Make sure you get the grout in the gaps between the tiles and that they are filled in with no gaps or bubbles.
  6. While the mixture hasn’t fully set, using a damp sponge to wipe off the excess grout and make sure not to wipe off the grout in the gaps.
  7. Using a damp cloth now buff the remaining grout/cloudiness off the tiles individually so that they are clear of grout and come back to their true colour.

There are heaps of video tutorials online that you can visually follow along with.

I hope this inspires you to change up your food photography game and make some DIY boards. So as a result of reading this, which board do you think you would make?

Be sure to check out my Instagram here to check out food I’m making and how I use my photography boards.

Slice of Dana

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