How To Build A PVC Full Body Background Stand For 20€

It has been a long time since we had a good solid studio PVC build (pun intended), so I was quite thrilled when David Schöppe sent in this full body backdrop stand made from PVC

How To Build A PVC Full Body Background Stand For 20€

I’ve read about quite a few photographers using a 35€ IKEA window shade as a “seamless” half body background. I decided to make my own full body background system with changeable colors for less money.

Materials

  • PVC Pipes, I used 40mm diameter pipes because they are the cheapest at the hardware store next to me, while still providing enough support.
  • here is the size list:
    • 2x200cm
    • 3x150cm
    • 2x30cm
    • 2x20cm
    • 8x 90° angle
    • 2x 90° branch
  • Additionally, for each background color I bought a 50mm x 150cm pipe to mount the background fabric on.
  • All the PVC pieces together were less than 20 €
  • A fabric in the color of your choice, opaque, 150cm x 400cm (around 3 € per meter)

The Build

After you’re done, all the PVC pieces can be separated again portability and easy storage. (Easy storage = Storing them at any corner of the house, if you are willing to pay the rant from the significant other)

First, start with the stand: Use 4 of the 90 degrees angles, the two branches and the two 30cm long pipes to build the “legs” of the stand.

20 € PVC pipes

sidepipes

Connect the two 150cm pipes to create a rectangle as the bottom part of the stand. then add the long 200cm and 20cm vertical pipes.

lower stand doneI've added a short pipe to the 2m pipe because I want to fit the hole room hightat all 2.25m high

Now at the last of the 150cm pipes, the thick end need to be cut off to make it fit between the two angles which hold the horizontal pipes. (if you are using schedule 40 pipes, this is probably not relevant, it is just a weird thing on European pipes).

you need to cut one 40mm x 150cm pipes end off to make the horizonal piece fit

horizontal pipe

Cut the thick end at 50mm x 150mm pipe (the one holding the fabric) so it can rotate around the thinner 40mm pipe. (yes, only for European pipes)

To mount the fabric to the pipe do a small side cut to the pipe, where the end of the fabric will be inserted.

also the rotating fabric holding pipe need to be cut of at one sideI've managed the fabric mounting by cutting a slit to a PVC pipe..

I’ve fixed the end of the pipes with two hose clamps. The background can be rolled down from the pipe and rolled back up again once the shooting is done.

and put the fabric into to slit, I've used a house clamp for protection

fabric roll on the background stand

For now I’ve only done black and white rolls, but new ones are easy to make and install.

The Background stand is done now and it will be mounted in less than two minutes.

all packed together just fit in any of your houses cornerpretty big, even for full body shots

Samples Shots

15-55-54-03-04-2013-2

16-45-43-03-04-2013-2

18-53-41-03-04-2013-3

About The Author

David Schöppe (facebook) is an amateur photographer based from Germany, he is 25 25 years old, and into Photography since 2011

  • alex

    looks more like headshots and 3/4, not full body?

    • Chris

      You could easily run a longer piece of fabric that the model stands on and voila, full body. Personally, I made a 10ft wide version of a similar style to do my video interviews with. There are basically no size constraints beyond how wide you can get fabric, as you can extned the PVC endlessly

      • Alex Minkin

        yes, point being-10ft wide. anyone else ever try shooting full length portraits on a 4ft backdrop without spending the evening cloning any background other than pure white or black? not fun.

    • David

      4m is more then enought for full body shots :) here is a picture you can exspect then full lenght:

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/kabauterman/8581982653/in/set-72157633065786383

  • Zamfirescu Vladimir-Alexandru

    Is that a bunny?

    • http://www.diyphotography.net/ udi tirosh

      I don’t think so, we have a strict no bunny policy on the blog.

      • Nicholas Califf

        Rascally rabbit I think.

    • David

      yes, our little Klopfer :)

      • Zamfirescu Vladimir-Alexandru

        He’s so cute! :)

  • http://www.vividthemes.net/ Aleksandar

    I had same idea about background stand, this will help me out a bit in design.

  • http://peteraikins.com/ Peter Aikins

    Thanks for the article: very helpful. Does the cut on the pipe holding the fabric extend the entire length or just a few cm on each end?

    • David

      The cut holds the fabric over the entier lenght :)

  • Ken Tan

    Thanks for the post! I should have read this before I went out to buy a manfrotto set! ugh… http://www.kentanphoto.com

  • David

    I also have a Facebook-Blog about my projects :)

    https://www.facebook.com/YOURWayPhotography