This is a tutorial on making your own photography backdrop moving wall- it is simple and has a million different ways to use it.
We used these steps to make the wall, so feel free to follow along!
I just recently moved into a new portrait studio in Lutz, FL and my new space is amazing. It has great light, in a great location and has a separate shooting and setup area. The only drawback is that the shooting side is long and skinny (about 16′ x 32′) and the natural light only reaches to about 1/2 of the space. I knew I wanted to use studio lights on the back half, and I wanted a good way to divide the space, but not a permanent wall. So, with the help of my lovely husband, we decided to make a moving, magnetic wall! These are the steps that we took to make the wall.
First, we made a trip to the hardware store and purchased:
- 10 2x4s (look for pieces that are straight- you can get some wonky ones if you aren’t careful)
- 4 sheets of 4×8 drywall
- 1 box of wood screws
- drywall mud
- 1 medium putty knife
- 4 locking caster wheels
- 4 drawer handles
- 4 8ft pieces of 90 degree metal flashing
- 4 4ft pieces of 90 degree metal flashing
- 4 right angle brackets
Then we made a frame using 4 pieces of the 2x4s by screwing the ends together. Then we measured and placed a 2×4 every 24 inches. Then we screwed in two sheets of the drywall, flipped the wall and screwed in the other two. The wall will be quite heavy at this point, so use at least two people to flip it.
Our next step was to make the legs and the arms for stabilization. We cut 1 piece of 2×4 to 42″ length. Next we cut 2 pieces 29″ length with the ends cut to 45 degrees and fastened two ends together with brackets and screws. The bottoms were screwed into the straight piece to make a triangle. Two of the caster wheels go on the bottom of the triangle. This process is repeated for the other side so you have two triangles for stabilization.
We then cut a piece 42″ in length and screwed that to middle of the triangle for stability and then we fastened the large triangle to the side of the wall . Repeat for the other side. You will need something to hold the wall up a bit off the ground so that you can add these triangles. We used an extra 2×4 to get it high enough. Make sure you have someone else holding the wall so it doesn’t topple.
We then filled the screwholes and center seam with drywall mud and I used a white base paint (from Lowes) for one side of the drywall. For the back side I used a black chalkboard paint from Lowes that was a flat black. This gives a double sided backdrop that you can turn to use both sides. We added handles (drawer pulls) so I can easily turn it from one side to the other.
The final step was to fasten the 90 degree flashing to the top and bottoms of the wall with the 8 foot pieces. The sides we put the 4 foot pieces. I purchased two types of magnets with handles for different thicknesses of backdrop. The 35lb magnets hold thinner fabrics and the 90lb magnets hold thicker canvas pieces.
The magnetic strips allow me to fasten my fabric, paper and canvas backdrops easily to the stand and I can change it multiple times during a session. My favorite drops come from Intuition Backdrops and Franklin Backdrops and I use the smaller magnets with the fabric drops and the stronger magnets with the handpainted canvas drops.
I hope this tutorial has helped you in making your own backdrop stand. It has been a great addition to my studio and serves quite a few purposes for me! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
*The amazon links are affiliate links. If you purchase the magnets from here, I make a small commission that allows me to continue to write tutorials like this.