There are some pretty amazing photo prop/ backdrop ideas out there. For my recent Valentine’s Day photo collab with Creative Wife & Joyful Worker and The Cheerio Diaries, we each pitched in to create a pretty & delicate party for 3 very cute little ladies and I offered to create a backdrop we would use for some of the photos (check out these sugar cookies by The Cheerio Diaries and this tassel garland cake topper by Creative Wife & Joyful Worker that they made for the shoot). After scrolling through trusty old Pinterest for inspiration, I decided on one made with dip- dyed coffee filters & streamers. Since this was a girly Valentine’s photo shoot, the obvious choice was pink, but I’ve seen other versions in different colours that are equally beautiful. This backdrop would be great for weddings, parties- pretty much any excuse you have to take photos. It costs only a few dollars to make and you can make it as full or spread- out as you like. All you have to do is run out to the dollar store for a few supplies and you’re good to go. My only tip is to give yourself a little bit of time when it comes to stringing this together- maybe pop in your favourite movie or Netflix so the process doesn’t get too repetitive. See the how- to (and some of the cute photos from our shoot!) below.
Coffee filters (I just used a pack of 100, use more for a fuller look)
Cool glue gun
Wooden dowel or wrapping paper tube
1. Start by separating your coffee filters into four groups; keep one pile aside that will stay white
2. Fill 3 separate bowls with approx. 2 cups of water. Add increasing amounts of food colouring to each bowl to achieve the vibrancy of colour you’d like (I used 15 drops, 10 drops, and 5 drops)
3. Take the coffee filters in groups of 3- 5 and fold them into a fan shape
4. Dip the coffee filters into the dyed water about half way, holding them in the water for a few seconds so they can absorb the colour. Set aside as you dye the others. Repeat the process with the other two batches of coffee filters and allow to dry overnight
6. When dry, begin making the coffee filters into cones. First fold them in half…
7. … Then fold in each side to create a cone
8. Staple to hold in place (you could also use a dot of glue or use double- sided tape so you don’t see the seam as easily)
9. Continue this process until all of the coffee filters have been shaped into cones (see why I suggested the movie/ Netflix? 😉 ). Then measure out pieces of fishing twine approx. 10 feet long and string on the cones from lightest to darkest to create an ombre effect; secure them on the twine by pinching the top of the cones with a dot of glue (this is why it’s best to use a cool glue gun, so you don’t burn your fingers). Vary the spacing, grouping some closer together and spreading others farther apart
10. At this point, you could simply use the strings of cones and hang them in front of a wall to create your backdrop. But if you’d like a solid backdrop where you can’t see what’s behind it (such as in front of a door, or to cover a non- photogenic wall), see the following steps
11. Attach a plain shower curtain to a cardboard tube or wooden dowel and then tape varying lengths of streamers to create a pretty layered effect (start with longer pieces, then add shorter pieces on top)
12. Once you’re happy with the streamers, layer on the strings of coffee filters, spacing them out based on how full you’d like it
12. Secure your backdrop where you want to use it (make sure the lighting is good/ away from shadows), find some cute models to pose & snap away!