Little Craft show: Photo Booth Backdrop

Mar 17, 2019
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The beginning of May I was lucky enough to design and create the photo booth backdrop for the Little Craft Show in Springdale, Arkansas. It was quite the project!! One of the biggest wood pieces I’ve put together, but it turned out great!! I had so much fun making it!!

Interested in creating something similar?

In July, I'll be hosting a workshop with The Little Craft Show in Springdale, AR.  We'll be making wall hanging home decor pieces. Spots are limited so reserve yours and sign up now!!

As you may already know, I normally work with really small cut-outs of wood to make the Regenerous Designs jewelry.  But this time I was working with much larger pieces. With this brought a few new creative challenges, and I said, challenge accepted!!

Challenge One: Limitations

I wanted a large wood backdrop, something eye-catching and impressive, but I was limited by the size of the piece of wood that would be accepted into the laser cutter.  So, I had to first create the whole design and then break it down into smaller wood pieces that fit within 30”x18” slat of wood.  Ok, I’ll be honest here, this one took me days to figure out because, being an eco-conscious designer, I wanted to make sure to use the least amount of wood as possible.

A screenshot of the full design on Adobe Illustrator

Illustrator file of the backdrop design

So, how did I do it? Well, I quickly realized I could save a ton of wood if I nested my smaller pieces of wood cut-outs into the larger wood ovals that you see in the background.    It’s all about design and forethought and voilà, I’ve reduced the number of wood slats I needed.

Here are screenshots of a couple sections of the backdrop. Each image shows a 30"x18" section which I had to squeeze all the shapes into.

Illustrator file of section of photo booth background

You can see in this screenshot that I didn't want any empty space to go wasted, so I squeezed in extra wall hanging art pieces and statement earrings too.

Illustrator file of section of photo booth background

Challenge Two: Even The Best Laid Plans…

Even the best-laid plans don't always come out looking quite right. This happens to be one of those moments.  After cutting the wood I picked out fabrics that I liked and thought would go well together. Then I inserted the fabric into the ovals, stepped back to look at it, and thought to myself... Oh gosh!! That's definitely NOT the look I was going for!! Even though the fabric colors went together, when they were placed in the circular shapes they started looking like Easter eggs. I also thought it was a bit too many colors going on. So I popped out the fabrics that didn't work and changed them to ones that were more neutral, but still had interesting design and texture.

The striped fabric in the pic below with the soft spring colors made me think of Easter eggs so I swapped those out and also turned the yellow flowers over to the wrong side of the fabric so the colors wouldn't be so bright in contrast to everything else.

Close up of a section of the fabric in the shapes of the backdrop

I ended up going with a more neutral color palette with subtle pops of color so it will compliment anyone who stands in front of it.

section pf photo backdrop laid out on the floor

This is how I inserted the fabrics into the shapes to see what combination I like best. Most of the work for the project was done on the floor.

Artist Alyssa Bird inserting the fabric into the wood shapes

Challenge Three: Assembly

Again, I’m comfortable creating small wood pieces. This however, was a huge design piece!! It’s big. It’s heavy. It’s made up of about 50+ pieces. After all the fabrics were secured in place and it was laid out on the floor, I thought, “How am I going to attach all this to stand on its own?” Wood glue became my best friend for a couple of days. I divided it into three large, transportable pieces and then I glued the smaller pieces onto the large pieces with small triangle shapes that hid in between the layers. That made each layer pop out from the one behind it. This gave it more dimension and created even more of a 3-D effect. After that, we carefully flipped it over and used a nail gun to add even more security so all the pieces stayed in place. The gluing process was kinda scary. Once I started there was no going back. The pieces are in that spot forever!!

the process of gluing all the pieces of the backdrop in place

I taped off the background wall dimensions on the floor then arranged all the shapes in the space. I checked and rechecked and moved things several times before I was confident to start gluing.

Artist Alyssa Bird assembling the photo backdrop together with wood glue

I am so thankful for the opportunity to showcase my work on this scale.

A HUGE THANK YOU to the Little Craft Show for giving me the opportunity to create this photo booth backdrop and for all the support you give to small business artists and makers.

The Little Craft Show Photo Backdrop

This piece was so much fun to put together!! I loved being able to challenge myself and create something outside of my comfort zone.

What have you done recently that challenged you?

Do you like this type of design? Do you like the combination of wood and fabric?  I can do smaller custom home décor pieces or other large-scale backdrops for weddings or special occasions.

Just email me at alyssa@regenerousdesigns.com and we can design something together.