An Easy Photo Backdrop and Instagram Party (the conclusion)

Do you remember my Feedback Friday Photo Dilemma?  In a nutshell, our school's 8th grade graduation party theme was "Instagrad" this year and revolved around photos (past and present) of the students. 

Here is the conclusion to the story:

The principal vetoed the idea of setting up supervised photo spots with props for an adult to take pictures with the kids' phones.

He told us he decided to have the school yearbook camera available for an adult to take photos which he wanted to upload to a website and password protect each picture for each student (200 + passwords) before he distributed them.  Well, when the party started we realized he was just blowing smoke and no camera was anywhere around.  Lesson: to get moms off your back, invent some huge, complicated story then do whatever you want to do anyway.

So, the kids took unsupervised pictures with their phones everyplace but in front of the backdrop using the props...since that would mean the school supported the idea of camera phones?  Who knows, but it was a huge disappointment.  The kicker of the whole thing was that since we had such a small budget ($150) for decorating, I brought all the props including hats, sunglasses, beads, from my own home and every single thing was stolen and never returned.  No good deed goes unpunished.  Sigh...

Luckily, the backdrops I made for the photo spots went together lickety-split and with a minimum of materials.  Want to learn how?

Photo Backdrop Tutorial


1" PVC pipe
90 degree pipe fittings
Plastic tablecloths from the dollar store
Glue gun


Begin by determining the size of your backdrop.  Since some kids in my son's class are quite tall, I made mine 7 x 5 feet.

Construct the frame of your backdrop, by cutting the pipe to the correct lengths and form a large rectangle using the corner fittings.

Using the hot glue gun, create a 3 inch "hem" along the short side of your tablecloths (I used 8 tablecloths). Don't measure, just wing it, it will all get scrunched together.

Remove the pipe from the top of your frame and slide it through the pocket you formed at the edge of the tablecloth, scrunching as you go, until you cover the span of the top of the backdrop.  The tablecloths will hang down, like a curtain, forming the backdrop.

Lean the backdrop against a wall and make your kids stand in front of it to see how it looks.

Provide some props and go crazy!

This background used our school colors, but I also made one with rainbow colors and another solid colored one - the sky is the limit!

The backdrop disassembles easily by popping the pipes out of the fittings. Even after I had pre-made one at home, I just rolled it up and brought it to school where I reassembled it.


  1. That principal needs a backbone. I'm so frustrated for you, but the backdrops are great:)

    1. this is Tara (I didn't realize my kid was signed in)

  2. I'm so sorry the party didn't go as planned, it was such a great idea. Thanks for sharing your cool and easy backdrop idea!

  3. That's crazy! Just what we get for trying to make an effort!


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