11 Nontraditional Photo Backdrop Ideas

November 4, 2020

What’s your favorite photo backdrop to use? If your go-to backdrop is a couple different rolls of colorful paper, then here’s a tip for ya.

There are a TON of other options out there besides paper! You can find nontraditional backdrop materials online, at your favorite craft store, and even at your local hardware store. Or just laying around your house! 

I love mixing it up and trying out different and nontraditional photo backdrops to see what sticks. If you’re looking for a little photo backdrop inspo, check out these ideas below.

Peel-and-stick tile

Thank goodness for peel and stick tile! You can create a lovely subway tile aesthetic with sheets of peel and stick tile instead of real tile and grout, which can get messy and awkward to use. 

If you’ve never used peel and stick tile before, it’s super easy! I even have a full tutorial on creating a faux tile backdrop for you on the blog.

Real tile


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I just said that real tile can be tough to use, I know. But I’m talking about putting up a whole tile wall, which is just not practical when you have to change up your backdrops in a snap. 

Joining together a few real tiles, on the other hand, can add texture and weight to your photo backdrop! Bonus points if you find tiles in eye-catching colors or tiles with gorgeous patterns.



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That’s right, artificial grass can be used as a photo backdrop! It’s perfect for nature-themed photo shoots or spring and summer seasonal shoots. Here’s one way I used turf in a product shoot for GNC and Jeneration PR.

Plus, rolls of turf or turf rugs are pretty cheap at your neighborhood big box store. You don’t have to worry about dirt, bugs, or uneven grass when you buy faux, either!

Vinyl marble


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You don’t need to spend big bucks to add a touch of marble to your photo shoot. Use vinyl marble as a tabletop or in a flat lay photo. Your choice.

Luxurious. Cool. Elegant. And you’d never know it was a vinyl stick-on! 


Here’s a backdrop idea you can find in your home! Repurpose curtains to add movement or visual interest to your photos. 

There are lots of inexpensive curtain options out there — I always find ‘em on sale at Target and HomeGoods — and if you need a cheaper option, look for them at the thrift store. Or buy bolts of fabric at your favorite craft store!


lish creative rug backdrop

Just like tile, rugs can add texture to your photos. Depending on the type of rug you use, you can add bright or neutral colors, pretty patterns, and a lush, soft texture. I fell in love with this colorful vintage rug and had to use it in a photo shoot.



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Does cellophane remind anyone else of unicorns and fairies? Just me?! Anyway, cellophane can add some sparkle and shine to your next photoshoot! Leave the cellophane nice and smooth, or crumple it up a bit to create some fun angles.

Seamless paper


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You know I love a pretty roll of seamless paper. You can reuse them over and over again, and there are so many different color options for all your photoshoot needs! 

Get creative and pair different colors together. I like using two different colors to make products really pop. And don’t be afraid to cut up paper into different patterns or objects, too!

Scrapbook paper


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Need a smaller piece of paper in a special print, texture, or color? Scrapbook paper is the way to go! You can see how I used sheets of glitter scrapbook paper to add some punch and pizazz to this photo shoot. 



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Colors and patterns and textures, oh my! Wallpaper is a cheap and fun option for photo backdrops, and if you get the peel and stick kind, it’s easy to use over and over again.

This beautiful wallpaper is not one that I used in my own photoshoot, but like it says in the caption…hallway goals. A girl can dream, okay??

Wrapping paper


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Wrapping paper: it’s not just for holidays and birthdays! 

If you don’t have time to create patterns out of different colors of seamless paper or scrapbook paper, look for wrapping paper in the pattern or print that you need. And like all my other paper backdrops, it’s reusable!

Looking for more photo inspo?

If these nontraditional photo backdrop ideas aren’t enough for ya, you can find even more tips on DIY backdrops and props in my course, Slay the Flatlay! If you’re a business owner, aspiring photographer, content creator, or other creative entrepreneur, my course is for you. 

You’ll learn all about photography, styling, personal branding, camera gear and settings, composition, and much more with over 4 hours of instruction and over 20 modules! 

And guess what? You can save $50 on the course with the code SLAY. Sign up here!

slay the flatlay course lish creative


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