Christmas is over and you may want to pack up the decorations for the next year. But before you do it, there’s a simple, cheap DIY project to try out. In this video, Joe Edelman shows you how to make a bokehlicious background for portraits with the stuff you probably already have at home. And even if you don’t, you’ll need about $10 for this build.
What you need
- some garland, any color you like
- some foam core (Joe uses 3 pieces of 20 x 30 in foam core)
- duct tape
Joe uses golden garland, but you can choose any color you like. You can also use a speedlight with gel to light it, so it will change color in the images.
If you’re anything like me, you already have kilometers of garlands at home (I can’t help it, I’m a sucker for Christmas decorations). But if not, you can hit the nearest dollar store and buy some garland for a few bucks. The same goes for foam core – if you don’t already have it at home, you’ll find it at the dollar store.
The build is not only cheap but also pretty simple to make. Take the sheets foam core and tape them together with the duct tape. Mount them onto a light stand, and then staple the garland to the foam core. You don’t have to be super-precise, but try to cover the foam core with the garland so there are no holes.
Once you start shooting, play with light and colors. As I mentioned, you can use color gels to change the color of the garland. For larger bokeh balls, use a wider aperture, but a longer lens and a greater distance from the subject will help as well.
I’m not taking the decorations down just yet, but when I do, something tells me they’re not gonna end up in the box straight away, waiting for next year. And if you are taking yours down this weekend, this is a handy little project to play with before you store the garlands. If you decide to play with this idea, feel free to share the results.