Cheap and Easy DIY Alternative For A Vinyl Seamless Backdrop

If you work out of a studio, you know how annoying paper seamless backdrops can be...they always wrinkle and warp. We recently changed over to the Savage Vinyl backdrops and they seem to last a lot longer. The guys over at OKstrobist have an even cheaper alternative for those looking for a DIY approach and it's pretty clever. Even though this can still cost as much as $170, you aren't stuck with the shipping costs which can be as much or more than the actual roll itself. Has anyone else tried this or have thoughts on places to buy cheap vinyl?

Log in or register to post comments


Nicholas's picture

Sweet! What a great idea. And thanks, Patrick for your link to the Savage Vinyls. I'm done with paper.

Heavy and it needs paint. Did I mention it's kind of heavy? (that mic sounds really good though ;)

I tried to finsd the info on the cheaper ones you mention with the OK Strobist group, but their site is hard to maneuver.  Can you elaborate?

Patrick Hall's picture

yeah I'm not sure how to navigate their site either, I saw this on their facebook page....I think it's just any undesirable vinyl from a hardware store.  

I've used vinyl for video before; I think it was 10' X 20'.  Worked really well and transported much better than paper.  A word of advice, be careful of the gloss as it can get shiny.

Hal Silverman's picture

I too have used vinyl flooring, which I found at a lumber/hardware liquidation store. Because the vinyl had a small pattern, I used the back side of the roll, and I painted it whenever and whatever color needed. It worked quite well. Unlike most seemless that is 9' wide, I got 12' wide roll of vinyl flooring.

News anchors don't hold microphones. That aside, sweet idea :)

Why go to vinyl flooring when you can just buy this........

CowboyStudio 107 Inch x 20 Feet Seamless White Vinyl Background


Free shipping with Prime Membership.

Works great.

Pixyst's picture

Totally agree! That's what I use.

New to this but I find it intriguing. Could you point me in the direction of the stand you use for this roll? Thanks!

I use something like this It's plastic and comes on a cardboard stiff tube. 1,6 x 5 meters costs about 9 usd :) You cen get different sizes (2,7 x 5 m for 12$, 2,7 x 10 m for 23$).

Ha, Polska.  It's a little far for shipping.  Dziękuję. :)

They ship to european countries, perhaps shipping to US is also possible

I may not have a point here, then again....

If you need a really cheap alternative to a background. A regular vinyl spring loaded / pull-down window shade that has used for years and years by people to completely shut light off in a room can be had at a place as WAL-MART for just a few bucks compared to a whopping $189. this guy is touting. They come in HUGE sizes (both length & width) and if you play your cards right... Roll up when your finished.

Flooring vinyl is MUCH heavier than regular backdrops. Get the cheapest grade you can find to save weight. And it can be too heavy for many crossbars. I recommend using two sizes of electrical conduit nested. I'm trying to remember the sizes I use in my studio; 1/2" and 3/4"? It creates a double wall pipe that is much stiffer than either alone. And conduit is CHEAP. 

This is also a great way to create a one-direction swoop for a cyclorama, but paint doesn't stick to the foam back of all types of vinyl. Ask at your hardware store for the primer that sticks to ANYTHING. Costs more than the usual primers but you only need a gallon for most projects and any paint will stick to it when you're done. Get extra paint for whatever you use on top (I got a flat white Benjamin Moore interior paint in 5 gallon bucket at a closeout store for $20!) so you'll always have extra to cover up as it gets dirty. By the way, the weight issue isn't all bad; it does help keep a consistent curve where more traditional ones can collapse & buckle easily. 

Have a look at From what i've seen they have cheaper prices than guys as BH and nice range of faux bokeh that serves as nice background.. at least for me. 

I also use backdrops and I'm very satisfied. They have amazing choice of colors and designs + they give free shipping for larger sizes of backdrops.

How can I view the video? I set up an account and it still wont let me view.

Patrick Hall's picture

The video is hosted on another person's youtube channel. It looks like they removed their video so it doesn't show up on our site or anywhere else.