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If you take studio portraits, you’ll want a variety of backgrounds from which to choose. This will keep every shot from being the same, and allow you to creatively play with mood. Unfortunately, though, for the new photographer or the amateur without tons to spend, the hefty price tag (upwards of $100 at B&H) on muslin backgrounds prohibits extensive collections.

Until now. Camscam has a neat DIY project on instructables.com for making your own muslin background, for around $20.

All you’ll need is a 9×9 foot piece of muslin, RIT dye and salt, an 18 gallon plastic “tote”, twine, and a pot for boiling water. Follow the seven easy steps (gather materials, wash fabric, prepare dye, bunch fabric, dye bath, cut cord, and use). Click here to link to the full directions.

Due to the texture the dye creates, you won’t have to worry about ironing your backdrop or keeping it crease free. Get creative and make interesting backdrops that suit your range of subjects. (Image from Instructables.com)
—Marnie Soman
Editorial Intern