After the tough year, we’ve had, throwing my mother a 60th birthday party was probably the most excitement I’ve had in months. It was the first time that we’ve had a family get-together since the onset of the pandemic. Since it was just my brother and I throwing this event, I wanted to make it as cost-efficient as possible while still making it memorable and fabulous. I knew that I wanted to have a beautiful focal point for my outdoor party, so I am sharing with you all the deets on how I made this DIY backdrop for a birthday party.
- 2- Formular 150 Scored Square Rigid Insulation Sheathing ( 8 ft. X 1 in. X 4 ft.)
- Straight edge (at least three ft. long)
- box cutter
- Tape Measure or yardstick
- 4- Primed Finger Joint Boards (1 in. X 3 in. X 8 ft.)
- Circular Saw
- Gorilla Wood Glue
- Sherwin Williams Interior Paint & Primer (Ultra White)
- 5- Everbilt #14 X 1-1/2 in. Philips Flat Head Zinc Plated Wood Screw (4 Pack)
- 6- Everbilt 16 in. X 10 in. White Heavy Duty Shelf Bracket
How to Make a DIY Backdrop for a Party
Drawing the Arch
The first panel only needs to be seven feet tall, so mark 12 inches from the top (and seven feet from the bottom of the board) on both sides and use a straight edge to draw a line across.
Now make two more marks (one on each side) 12 inches below the first marks. These marks should be two feet from the top and six feet from the bottom of the insulation board.
The six-foot marks show you where to start drawing your curve, and the seven-foot marks represent the very top of the curve.
Now draw your curve starting and ending at the six-foot marks with the peak at the seven-foot line. I drew my arch freehand, but if you have something that can help you sketch your arch perfectly, you should use that.
Cutting the Insulation Board
Cut the arch with your box cutter and remove the excess.
Grab your second insulation board and flip it to the back. Use a yardstick or tape measure to find the halfway point at the insulation board’s top and bottom.
Lay the first board insulation board evenly on top of the second and trace the arch.
Measure one foot from the bottom on the left and right sides of the second insulation board. Then use your straightedge to draw a line that connects both points.
On the left half of the board, draw another line that starts twelve inches above the last line and ends at the line that was drawn down the center of the insulation board.
Use your box cutter to cut out the arch.
Cut the line on the right side of the board that is one foot from the bottom.
Cut the line on the left side of the board that is two feet from the bottom.
Now, turn this board into two panels by using your box cutter to trace the line down the center of the board from top to bottom. It is so essential to make this cut extra straight so use your straight edge for assistance. I didn’t use one, and my lines were a little jagged as a result.
Cut off any jagged pieces on the edge using your box cutter.
Here’s a look at what we have so far.
Attaching the Wooden Boards
I purchased four Primed Finger Joint boards that stood eight feet tall. I knew that I wanted to cut two of the boards in half, so I drew the line at four feet to mark where I wanted to cut it.
The other two wooden boards will support the seven-foot-tall panel, so I placed the two wooden boards up against the panel to determine where they needed to be cut. I drew the cut marks at 5 1/2 feet.
Cut the boards on the lines that were drawn using a circular saw.
Peel off the film on the seven foot tall panel.
Using the wood glue, glue the 5 1/2 foot tall wooden boards to the back of the seven-foot-tall panel on the left and right sides. I glued each one at least three inches away from the edge. Make sure that the wooden boards are straight because you will drill the feet to the wood boards to make each panel stand up.
Then, use the heaviest books that you can find to lay on top of the wood boards while the glue is drying to add pressure so that the wood is secured. I left my books balancing on the wood for a few hours.
Repeat the process on the 6′ and 5′ panels using the 4′ tall finger joint boards.
Painting the Panels
I used house paint to paint the smaller boards white and left the taller panel as is. You could probably use craft paint as well. I didn’t try this because I did not have the right paint color.
Tip: Do not use spray paint on the panels because the chemicals will eat away at the foam.
Making the Panels Stand Up
Use flathead wood screws to drill the shelf brackets to the bottom of the wooden boards. It is essential to drill them in straight and even with the bottom of the panels so that they can stand up. You will need 18 screws for the entire project.
Because the party was outside on a windy day and the panels don’t weigh much, I had to use all kinds of random items to weigh it down. Some of these items included weights, a weighted blanket, a case of water, etc.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How do you attach balloons to foamboard?
I tied a 360 balloon to the end of my balloon garland. Then, I taped the 360 balloon to the back of the foam board using packing tape.
What are some other names for this type of backdrop design?
This backdrop style has several names. It can be referred to as triptych backdrop, arch wall backdrop, Chiara backdrop, or panel backdrop, to name a few.
Don't Be a Stranger...
After I attached the balloon garland that I made, this was the final result.
There you have it, a really expensive looking backdrop for a party at a fraction of the cost.
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Until the next time, thanks so much for hanging out with me and keep coming back because…