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Photography Series | Part 3, Using Wrapping Paper for backdrops

So far I’ve written two other posts on some of my photography tricks – Part 1 | Learning from Successful Retailers  and Part 2 | Custom backdrops for under $10. Seriously folks, this is what I go bananas for. On to this posts topic – it’s a little shorter, but still pretty fun. Wrapping paper. Wheeee! Wrapping paper is a  great backdrop for photos. It’s inexpensive and doesn’t take up a lot of room or storage.I picked up this roll from Party City  for a few dollars but you can find great patterns on Etsy. If you see a colour or, pattern on sale in your travels, grab a roll. It’s great to have a bunch on hand. You never know when you may come to need a certain colour. 

In terms of creativity, consider colour pallets that work well together. Getting nerdy for a moment. Remember your intro to art in school and where they talked about the colour wheel and, complimentary colours? Where the opposite colours on the wheel is naturally the complimentary colour? It actually goes further than that –

 there are Analogous colour patterns, Triad patterns and more?

There is some science to why colours work well together. Which is why pink and yellow, as I’ve shown above – really look pretty spectacular. Not that you need to pull out your colour wheel every time you want to create a photoshoot, but it’s just interesting that certain colours just work really well together.

This is a great page over on Adobe. 

If you want patterns, I would think that the smaller the pattern the better if you’re shooting something straight on, so not to distract from the product you’re shooting.  I shoot primarily small things, but if you were

shooting kids – wrapping paper does make an inexpensive backdrop!

Take this gorgeous pink striped paper that I picked up – and I put my favourite pink teacup with it. I’m showing this because I don’t think it’s actually working. The stripes are competing with the cup.


if I layered more in the photo – a napkin, a cookie, and maybe some tea in the cup then it could work. But overall it’s truthfully not my favourite look. I much prefer the solid colour paper. You also have to be a little weary of the sheen of paper, because really you don’t want it to l

ook like you’re using wrapping paper.

The key is to create a nice backdrop for what you want to showcase. Which again is why the solid colours likely are better. 

Hopefully some of these posts will give even the most newbie photographer some confidence in trying out some new things. And grab that roll of wrapping paper when it’s on sale, because it may be the ticket to a great shot down the road. 

Past posts

Part 1 |

Learning from Successful Retailers

Part 2 |

Custom backdrops for under $10

In Photography

Photography Series | Part 2, DIY Custom backdrops for under $10



This is my go-to trick for 99% of my styling – I buy wood boards from Home Depot and buy sample pots of paint. Easy, inexpensive, and the results are crazy good.

The sample pots at Home Depot are $5.00 and a board is also $5.00 – so for $10, I’m looking at a great backdrop for whatever I’m shooting. While waiting for the paint, I also tend to stock up on great colour chips, for you never know when you need that perfect shade for a project. And I hate picking colours in a store, so if you have a great collection of paint chips at home, you’re saving yourself a step.



When you have your paint colour picked, just paint a board and, you’re good to go.

Results in…

 Here are some more examples of boards that I’ve painted in custom colours….

The photo below is shot in the kitchen, and that is indeed my wall colour, however instead of my wood kitchen table, I placed a white board on the bottom.

Although all of the above look different they were all shot in the same spot.  Crazy right? Work space is small, but man oh man, you can get great shots with the right light and, the right backdrop.

The other thing you can do is paint things like kraft paper. It gives you a little more texture…. like one of my favourite shots below

from this post


 this post. 

 A little paint goes a long way.