DIY Photo Booth backdrop stand

I'm not really sure if this is truly a DIY or more of a hack, but either way, here goes.

My work Christmas party is coming up and I'm part of the decorating committee* this year. The venue itself is a lot more casual and fun than we've had in the past, so I wanted to play up that sense of fun in the decorating, and seriously, what could be more fun than a photo booth?

So I scoured the internet for DIY masks, found a bunch of gorgeous ones... and ended up buying them from a cheapie dollar store anyway because I ran out of time.

But I did manage to make/hack together a stand for the backdrop! 

We've hired out a venue with a lovely large floor-to-ceiling window, but it will be night-time during the party, which suits me great! Since the venue was hardly going to allow us to nail/stick/pin anything to the wall, I wanted something non-damaging and easily removable/portable. I looked online for a freestanding backdrop tutorial, but they all seemed way too difficult, requiring power tools (which I don't own) or glueing stuff together... and waiting for it to dry (which I didn't have time for) or both.

Enter my brilliant idea: suction cup hooks and a curtain rod. Yup. I know, right? I'm a genius.

Don't worry, I did fancy it up a little. I bought some cute little curtain-rod ends, used some dowel instead of an actual curtain rod (and saved myself upwards of $20 in the process!) and bought the fancy-looking suction hooks so you can't even see the suction cups on them.

It's pretty self-explanatory, but for those who like to see things spelled out:

  1. Make sure your dowel fits snugly into your hooks, then make sure your curtain-rod ends fit snugly onto your dowel. I used 16mm dowel and 16mm curtain rod ends for mine.
  2. Buy a rod that is approximately the same length as the width of your backdrop/curtain/old sheet/spare piece of fabric you had lying around.
  3. Position the suction cups nice and high on the window, preferably about a foot higher than the tallest booth-user, so the rod stays out of frame.
  4. Pop the rod onto the hooks to make sure they're positioned correctly. Notice how, in the pic below, it spans two doors? Still fits nicely on an angle! Super versatile!
  5. Thread your curtain onto the rod. I used a tab-top curtain I got on sale, so that was easy enough, but you could also throw a bedsheet over the rod, or sew a casing into some fabric. Whatever suits you/your budget/your time.
  6. Place the curtain rod back on the hooks and admire... 
  7. ...Realise what a bad idea sheer curtains was and be relieved it was only $5.

Fortunately, I still have time to find a non-sheer backdrop!

I'll post pics from the booth after the party!


* Technically, it's a little more complicated than that, but I'm glossing over it for the sake of the narrative.