D.I.Y. Backdrop for Blog Photos

How many of us have admired the pretty marble or wooded backdrops of other blogger photos? I know I have.

Usually when I take photos of products or books that I am reading for my blogs I’ll lay them on my white desktop. Though the pictures come out clear they always seem a little flat and lifeless. And for the past few months I’d been toying with the idea of creating a custom background using wrapping paper or contact paper on poster boards. The only issue was finding the design that wouldn’t overpower my products. They were either too bold or too plain when photographed. I began to feel discouraged as I drove to every Walmart, Hobby Lobby, & JoAnns in a 20 mile radius from my house, and I still was unable to find the design that was the perfect contrast. I knew my idea wasn’t terrible, but I also realized there had to be another way.

Then a couple of weeks back I stumbled onto this great blog by Missa (her blog HERE). And after I read her post, “My New Blogging Photo Set Up“, I was inspired.

In Missa’s blog she suggest using sample laminates and attaching them to a MDF to create a gorgeous backdrop. My DIY backdrop is exactly like her idea. The only difference is I fell in love with a Montagna Dapple Gray tiling (a bit heavier than laminate, but just as pretty).

Below I’ve mapped out step by step instructions of how I created my D.I.Y. backdrop. Prices are also included.

All Supplies are from Home Depot

1. 1/2 2×2 Plywood $5.15
2. Simplemat Tile Setting Mat (9 sheets @ 9″x 18″) $21.97
3. 6×24 Montagna Dapple Gray (4 @ $1.92 a piece)
4. Scissors 🙂

The great thing about the Simplemat is you do not have to deal with spreading glue and waiting for everything to dry. The Simplemat is already cut into squares. Which is perfect and takes the work out of laying down the mats.

1. With each Simplemat only peal off the white paper.
2. Lay each mat on the plywood.
3. Press the mats into the plywood to get all the air bubbles out.
*You may need the scissors to cut the squares down.

1. Once you’ve laid all the mats down, peal off the clear paper.
2. Lay down the tile/laminate.

My personal tip: After I laid all 4 tiles down I sat on them. Yup, I sure did. In “my mind” I believe this secured the tile to the adhesive.

BOOM!

And now you have a beautiful backdrop for those semi-professional pics. I hope this was helpful in getting your creative juices flowing. Until next time 😉

Valentine’s Day IS Underrated

It wasn’t even February as I walked into most of the big name stores only to see what could be the aftermath of the “love fairy” throwing up all over the store shelves.

In plain view were aisle of hart shaped boxes of chocolate, over-sized stuffed animals, glitter filled cards, and bouquets of plastic roses polluting the entire area. Now a few years ago I would have turned up my face and complained (to myself of course) about the overrated holiday known as Valentine’s Day. And no single person can disagree that V-Day can be a little overwhelming and geared to a specific demographic. For as long as I can remember I’ve imagined on this particular day that my Hollywood expectations would be met by the love of my life or at least someone I was dating. But every year that fantasy popped like a Suzy-bubble right in my disappointed face. Instead I would be left in my pj’s and a box of candy purchased with my own money watching <insert action movie here>, so you can see why for so long I cursed or overlooked this particular holiday.

Then one day a few year ago the rosy cloud that had put a damper on my belief of the purpose of Valentine’s day lifted as reality settled in its place. That reality being I had amazing women in my life, who by the way were also single. The truth was love wasn’t limited to romantic relationship and neither should V-Day. So Instead of fretting over Mr. Right I’d recreate my perfect Valentine’s Day. Not wasting any time, I did a group text to the girls and proposed a new way to celebrate. At first it took a little convincing to break from the norms during the most coupled populated holiday, but with the right motivation they were on board. I promised them there would be no pressure other than to bring their “A Game” as if it was Mr. Dreamy taking them out.

I did what I would have wanted my boo-thang to do if I had one for Valentine’s Day. I made reservations two weeks in advance to a fancy Italian restaurant with a romantic atmosphere in the city, Brio Tuscan Grill. Then I prepped myself by buying a stunning navy blue dress, scheduled a nail and hair appointment for that day, and pulled out the dainty accessories. I was all set. 

When the day rolled around I was feeling good and looking sharp, and as the girls arrived to the house it was obvious they were taking this just as serious as me. Our future husbands were missing out (just had to plug that in hehe), but my 2yr old son dressed in his grey tux would do.

Brio Tuscan Grill

Arriving at the restaurant the building was packed along with the waiting area with unprepared boyfriends who sat next to their annoyed girlfriends. Walking to the front the hostess without hesitation let us know the wait was over an hour, but as soon as I let her know we had reservations her whole attitude changed. She flashed us a smile and asked us to wait a few moments while she checked to see if our table was ready.  The hostess was back in no time with several menus in hand as she directed us to follow her. Slipping through tables flushed with couple after couple peering at our little group as if we were the strange ones.

Once we were seated the rest of the night was amazing because I was in the company of wonderful people surrounded by delicious food filled with love. From that day on we declared to celebrate V-Day together…and we have.

 

 

 

 

I encourage you to take the Hollywood out of your V-Day and re-write the script to include family members, friends, pets, or just celebrate YOU because there is so much more to love. Now that’s an Underrated Valentine’s Day.