A Cheap Studio Backdrop and Reflector You Can Make at Home

Here’s a cheap, long-lasting DIY option for those of you in need of another backdrop and/or reflector for your studio shoots. Put together by photographer Tiffany Angeles, this short video shows you all of the materials you’ll need to create your own sturdy backdrop/reflector combo in the comfort of your own home.

Materials wise, all you’ll need is a 4×8 foot 1.5-inch sheet of polystyrene insulation, paint in the backdrop color of your choice, four 8×10 inch shelving brackets, and two two-by-fours. The paint is used to cover over the labeled plastic on the insulation, while the brackets and two-by-fours will make up the feet that keep the whole thing standing up on its own.

And that’s it. The side you paint will be your backdrop, while the other side can act as a reflector once you’ve removed the sheet of plastic that comes on it. Here’s what the final product will look like:


If you’re interested in making your own, hit up the video at the top to get a visual of all the materials you’ll need.

(via SLR Lounge)

  • Khalif Moore

    smart. been seeing things like this for years, ive just never built it myself. btw, the audio on this video is killing me lol.. its inconsistent. but thank you

  • Frank McKenna

    that is so smart… really great idea.

  • glenn kaupert

    put a few wheels on it and its portable

  • Richard

    Very good idea. Small edit: the “screws” that go all the way through the polystyrene are bolts, not screws.

  • Jasper Verolme

    Paint one side black and one site White and you just made a miracle.. Been using them for years!

  • TsaiProject

    Excellent but then how does one get this into the car?

  • Chris Cameron

    One tip I learnt many years ago working with Poly flats, is to reinforce the edges with Gaffer / Duct tape. They will last much longer.

  • Andre

    Or you can just tape two of them together and you have a V-Flat, which every photographer around the world uses… LOL We just don’t use insulation for that… :-)

  • Dan Foy

    This is a pretty common tool… we used them all the time at uni, and most of the local hire-studios have them. As @facebook-839697557:disqus pointed out, they last much longer if you duct-tape the edges. Also as @29a4c262429f04760ba1f823b3b862db:disqus has already mentioned, if you tape two of them together they become a v-flat and stand up on their own… you can then use them as massive reflectors, or fire flashes into them and use them like massive brollies, or put them between the flash and the subject as flags.