How to make a DIY Backdrop for Parties

by Cat Mathews @catja_em

How to make a DIY Backdrop for Parties

Parties are simply easier to organize when there's a theme attached. It makes the table settings, decorations and even the food much more seamless to manage when there's a theme or colour scheme to follow. One great way of communicating the theme to party guests is with an amazing backdrop that forms the centerpiece to your party. Here we've outlined some handy tips on how to make the most insta-worthy backdrop using washi tape.

Tips for styling a DIY background using washi tape

  • Take your time to carefully plan out your design. Do a Google image search for clipart pictures of your chosen theme, in our case, a Ferris wheel, and this will give you ideas for creating a relatively straightforward design that you can recreate using washi tape! Instagram and Pinterest are great for inspiration too. I took ideas from a few different images and then sketched my final design based on what I thought would work well using washi tape, keeping in mind that it's not easy to create curves with tape!
  • Use a tape measure and spirit level to get your design as even and symmetrical as possible. Precutting the pieces of washi tape will save some time and ensure you cut pieces the correct length.
  • Remember that washi tape is easy to remove and re-position! So, if something doesn't look right, even after using your measuring tape and spirit level, don't be afraid to remove and re-position pieces until you're happy. I needed to do that many times with the Ferris wheel!
Tips For Styling A DIY Background

Take your time to carefully plan out your design.

Using Washi Tape

Make an insta-worthy backdrop using washi tape.

What you used to create this mural (ie. Materials)

  • Pencil and paper to sketch out the design
  • Washi tape in a variety of patterns - we bought the Crafter's Choice Washi Tape Value Tube in pink, so that we had lots of different pattern tapes all within the same colour palette.
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Spirit level

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What You Used To Create DIY Backgrounds

Gather the right materials to create your mural.

Step by step guide to creating a party backdrop

  1. Plan your design, getting inspiration from Google images, Instagram or Pinterest. In this case, we've chosen a Ferris wheel. Keep in mind that a simple geometric design, with no curved lines, will be easier to create with washi tape.
  2. Decide on the size of your mural, and then work out the measurements for each section and note them on your sketch. Then pre-cut all the pieces of washi tape to ensure they're the correct size. I just lightly stuck the pieces on the wall next to where I was working.
  3. Start assembling your design. I started with the legs of the Ferris wheel, then moved on to the vertical and horizontal arms, followed by the diagonal arms, and finally the carriages. I used a spirit level to try to space the arms as evenly and symmetrically as I could. It's not perfect, but it still looks great! And sometimes a few quirks and imperfections give your creations character (that's what I tell myself anyway!).
  4. Finally, stand back and look at the Ferris wheel or whatever design you've made, and decide whether anything needs to be moved or adjusted. Washi tape is so easy to work with in this respect, it peels off easily and re-sticks easily too!

Suggestions on how to get that perfect shot for Instagram

Now that you've created your backdrop, you're going to want to capture it in all its glory. I'm not sure that there's any such thing as the 'perfect' Instagram shot, but here are my top tips for getting an image you'll love:

  • Tidy up the space of any clutter, and then have a peek through your camera and check that you're happy with everything you can see in the frame. To give your image depth and interest, think about positioning items and props at differing distances from the camera.
  • Natural light is always best! So be sure to take your photos at the right time of day.
  • If you're wanting your kids in the photo, don't bring them over until you're 100% ready to start snapping! Then take loads of shots, using continuous mode if your camera has it, and you'll be sure to get at least one or two great captures. I usually prefer the bloopers and action shots!
Getting That Perfect Shot For Instagram

Getting that perfect shot for Instagram.

Capture The Moment

Take loads of shots to find at least one or two great captures.

Party items you can't live without

A backdrop is just one key part of designing and styling a wonderful party environment. We've outlined some key party components that will further enhance the theme of the day.

  • Balloons! And the more the merrier! Make sure they're in-line with the chosen theme. For example, if you're hosting a "Wiggles Party" you'll want an array of balloons that are red, blue, yellow and purple. A "Frozen Party" could consist of blue, white and purple balloons, or you can decorate the room with foil balloons with characters matching the theme printed on them. A simple helium inflated number is also a great choice.
  • Photo wall - A photo wall adds a certain level of nostalgia to any party and gives party guests a chance to adore and reminisce with cute and funny images of times gone by. Our washi tape Ferris wheel is perfect for this!
  • Cake - Let's be honest, the cake reveal at a children's birthday party is always exciting. We let the kids select a design from the Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book. It's a bit of a tradition. Cakes that match the party theme always add that little extra flair to the celebrations. Baking your own is always a lot of fun! If you don't have the skill, patience or time to make a custom cake, buying an ice cream cake from the supermarket is always a winner.
  • Games - Every children's party has to have some games for the kids to enjoy. There are the classics like 'pin the tail on the donkey' and 'pass the parcel' which every child loves. Expert tip for pass the parcel - put a little chocolate treat between each layer of wrapping so every kid wins a little something along the way. A pinata that suits the party theme is always a winner, it's worth it to see all the kids light up when the candy comes bursting out.
  • Music - because no party is complete without music! Remember to make a suitable playlist that has a substantial number of songs so that you're not listening to the 'Wheels on the Bus' over and over again.

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