5 May 2015

DIY Photo Board

Unless you are lucky enough to have gorgeous wooden tables or marble worktops, creating backgrounds for photos, be they for your blog or products for an online shop, can be a little tricky.

I live in a tiny terraced house, so small in fact that there isn't even room for a kitchen table. When I first started blogging, the majority of my posts were recipes, so I had to get creative in order to make them look half good.  I used a variety of chopping boards, pieces of fabric, baking trays and even a blanket.  It took ages to set up and most of the kitchen/living room had to be moved around in order to be able to do it.  

These backgrounds have worked for me up until recently when I realised I didn't want to be limited to the small amount of surface space that I have and I really wanted something that was quick to set up.  I decided I needed a temporary surface that I could easily put together in no time at all, so I set out to make myself a photo board.

What you will need:

Untreated interior tongue and groove cladding (I used two packs of this)
Quick dry varnish (I used a satin finish in the colour 'oak')
Sponge brush/normal wide paint brush
White acrylic paint
Fine sand paper

What you need to do:
1.  Slot the pieces of board together.  You can glue them if you wish, however I left mine unglued so I could store the board more easily.  

How many packs of board you use entirely depends on what size or shape you want your board.  I wanted a large square, so chose to use two packs of 890x95x7.5mm cladding which came with 5 boards in a pack.

2.  Apply a coat of quick dry varnish using a sponge brush.  Depending on the desired colour you can always do a second or even a third coat.

3.  When the varnish is dry, clean your brush and make sure it also is dry.  Using a small amount of paint, dry brush onto the boards to create a worn/shabby look.  Don't overload the brush as it will apply the paint too thickly.

4.  Once the paint is dry you can distress even more by using some sand paper.  This also helps if you accidentally apply too much paint in some areas (which I did!).

Other than being really easy to put together, the great thing about this whole project is that it is relatively cheap, as the cladding that I bought was only £3 a pack, plus you can easily pick up cheap small tins of varnish and tubes of paint.  As something that will be used a lot in my blog photography, as seen in this post, I thought it was definitely worth the money regardless.

So far it has made setting up posts so much easier, I don't know why I didn't make one sooner!  Be sure to let me know if you have a go at making your own photo board.



  1. such a good idea! I love this post and will give this a go for sure! Thanks Anya. Nx www.takingthenicki.co.uk

    1. Oh brilliant, thank you! Let me know if you do give it a try x

  2. Such a great tutorial, a genius idea!

  3. I have had exactly the same problem, using a variety of floors, cupboards and surfaces to find a background that actually looked quite nice! Making your own is a brilliant idea! Perfect background every time! Alice xxx


    1. It has definitely halved the time it takes to set up shots for sure! Glad you like it :) x

  4. Ah this is really smart! I've been struggling with recipe photos so this would be ideal - plus keeping them separate would help in storing in my tiny flat too! xx

    Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog

  5. Seriously great idea! Brilliant for using as a background for photos for the blog and to hang on the wall to cover in photos. Your DIYs are always my favourite, you make me feel like I could actually do them! xx

  6. Loving this idea! Definitely would be a nice bit of variety for backgrounds in photos which is awesome ^_^ ♡


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