The amazing and talented Jenny is here again to show off one of her latest projects: a large shiplap backdrop, perfect for parties, photos, and more! We’re pretty convinced that Jenny is the new Martha (yes we mean Stewart) so to see more of her work, check out her previous projects here on Remodelaholic or you can follow her over on Instagram here. And yes — she made the cake, too!
When I first taught myself some of the basics of home renovation and woodworking, I never imagined how many different ways I would find to use the skills I was learning! Case in point: building a backdrop for a dessert table.
The possibilities are endless! Use a single piece of plywood instead of slats. Paint it any color of the rainbow. Make it any size. Keep it plain or write or draw something on it. Use it as a photo backdrop or, as I did, as a backdrop for a dessert table. You could even use it as a sign to hang on the wall in your home. Put those DIY skills to use!
How to Build a Shiplap Backdrop
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4″ x 8″ piece of 1/4″ plywood ripped in to 6-inch slats (for the center); you could also keep the center piece whole, instead of using slats
1″ x 3″ lumber (for the frame) and back supports
- Use the 1/4″-thick piece of plywood as a solid piece or rip it into 6-inch slats, as I did.
- Cut the 1″ x 3″ boards at 45-degree angles on each end to build the frame. My backdrop dimensions are 3.5′ H x 5′ W.
- Use a router or table saw to make a groove in the center of your frame boards (the 1″ x 3″ lumber). I used a table saw and had to make two separate passes to get the correct width (you want the grooves just a smidge wider than the width of your plywood slats as you’ll be sliding the slats down into the grooves).
- Use wood glue and clamps to build your frame out of the 1″ x 3″ boards, joining the boards at the mitered corners. If you have a corner vice or clamp to use for the job, that would be ideal. I did not, so I used a square to make sure my boards were at a 90-degree angle.
- I reinforced the bond by nailing the corners from each side with a 16-gauge nail gun.
- I further reinforced the 2 bottom corners of the frame with these metal brackets. The brackets were especially helpful as they added stability during the installation of the plywood slats.
- Then, I cut the plywood slats to size and slid them, one by one, down in to the grooves in the center of my framing boards.
- I added the final framing board on top, sliding the groove in the board down on to the edge of the top slat, securing with wood glue and clamps and nails, as before.
- For added stability, at the same time I glued the top framing board, I glued a skinny piece of scrap wood down the center back of the plywood slats and clamped it to set.
- I used a Kreg Jig to drill pocket holes on either side of two 1″ x 3″ boards, cut to the same height as my backdrop.
- I then secured the 1″ x 3″ boards to the back of the backdrop using Kreg Jig screws, creating a ‘bridge’ between the top of the frame and the bottom of the frame, making the entire backdrop much sturdier. Below, you can see the glued strip down the middle and the reinforcement boards on either side of it, screwed in to the top and bottom of the frame.
- I sanded to smooth away any roughness and then vacuumed up all the dust before painting with one coat of primer and two coats of paint.
- Then, I added lettering to the front that reads, “Farewell, friends.” I used Photoshop Elements software for the design and to divide the words in to sections that I could then print out on 8.5″ x 11″ pieces of paper. (The font is “Remember Script Regular.”) I taped the papers where I wanted them on my board and then used a ball point pen to trace over the outside edges of each letter (I did not push all the way through the paper. There was no ink on the wood—just the impression, or indent, made by the ballpoint pen). I traced each of the markings made by the ballpoint pen with a gold Sharpie marker (to make them easier to see) and then filled each letter in with a gold Liquitex Professional Paint Marker.
- My finished sign is below. I plan to store the backdrop and paint over it again and again, as needed, to use as a backdrop for future parties. The backdrop can be displayed many different ways. You could attach hardware to the back for hanging it on a wall, you could prop it up against a wall, or you could add supports to the back to make it free-standing (or, alternatively, make the bottom base wider which might make it stand better on its own).
Below, you can see pictures of how I used my finished board as the backdrop for a dessert buffet at a dinner party. (I made the cakes, too). DIY all the way, baby.
Isn’t Jenny AMAZING?!? So many skills to share and beautiful photos as well. Leave Jenny some love in the comments!
See more from Jenny here: