I love photo-booths, they seriously make parties fun! I’ve painted two backdrops for photobooths and I thought today I’d share how I made them and tips I’ve learned from it.

The first photobooth was for my twins’ first birthday, it is still my most visited post. I guess everyone LOVES Sesame street.
What you’ll need…



The paints you can use any type of craft paint or even house paint. I learned in doing two booths that its best to buy a gallon of white paint from a home improvement store. That way you’ll have plenty of white to lighten other colors as needed.
As for the canvas I’ve used two different kinds. The Sesame Street Backdrop was done with muslin fabric (2 yards) from Hobby Lobby. I think that cost me $21 (after coupon). The Bike MS backdrop was done with a canvas drop cloth from Lowes and that only cost me $10 for a 6×9. I’d recommend the drop cloth, its bigger and cheaper.
Always draw your picture first, you’ll paint over the pencil so it wont show but it will help guide you while paints such a large picture. Think paint by numbers like when you were younger.
Projector [not always needed]
When I painted the Sesame Street paint drop I used a projector, because I had a specific image that I wanted to paint and honestly I’m a horrible artist. If you don’t have access to a projector…I’ve seen this pin on pinterest but I have not tried it yet.
PVC Pipe
We used PVC Pipe to hold the back drop up. You could use other materials but I found this was relatively inexpensive.
Step 1
If you are using the canvas drop cloth you’ll need to paint the entire canvas white, do not skip this step. I did and you could tell [you’ll see in photos further down the post].
Step 2
Draw the outline of your picture. For the Sesame Street photo booth I used the iconic front door and steps. I found an image online and used the projector to match the image size on my canvas, then I traced the picture. This was from one end of the garage to the other, so you’ll need space. For the Bike MS I just drew a mountain scene, it was really easy.
Step 3
After your image is completely drawn [or traced] start to paint! I mixed colors until I felt they were the right shade and then colored all of the areas that needed that color. Here’s a picture [sorry about the quality, its from my phone] of the Sesame Street door after one day of painting.

Sesame Street Photo Booth Painting
Heres another picture of it after another day of painting.

Sesame Street Photo Booth Painting

After you’ve got the entire picture painted, you’ll want to go back and shade [& outline] if you didn’t while you painted. I personally left most of my shading and outlining until the end. I kept asking my husband for his artistic critique.

Step 4
Once its done you’ll need to find where you are going to have the photo booth at the party. You’ll need to pick an area with good lighting while the party is going and somewhere everyone will see it. For us it was our front door, our party was mostly in our front yard. We have a large double door porch area and it fit the canvas just perfect. We made a box frame out of PVC Pipe and wrapped the canvas around it. Then we placed a bench in front of the back drop and set out our props.
Finished Sesame Street Photo Booth Backdrop

Photo Booth in action

Bike MS Photo Booth

My husband and I participated in Bike MS last year, our bike team raised enough money to have a team tent at the event. It’s a big deal and they want to each team to show your team spirit by decorating the tent. I was in the group in charge of making our tent look great. The theme was for the Bike MS event was Oktoberfest, super fun!

I thought a mountain scene would be perfect for a photo booth in our tent. I followed the same steps as with the Sesame Street back drop except I just drew this, no projector.

Here are pictures:

Starting to paint after a pencil sketch

You can’t see my pencil outline in these pictures but I did draw an outline first.

Mostly finished

Painting is relatively forgiving, in the picture above I wasn’t happy with the peaks of some of the mountains so I went back and redid a few of them.

And here’s the finished product. This canvas looked WAY better while it was on the floor in my garage… because there was no light coming from behind it. Once we got to the event we put the back drop up and immediately I saw that the paint had spots that weren’t filled in enough to block out light. This is why you MUST paint the entire back ground first!

Lesson learned. However, it was still super fun to have a photo booth at the event AND we won for best team tent!! Score!


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