How to Build a Backdrop for a Booth

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Make lightweight backdrop frames from PVC pipe.
Make lightweight backdrop frames from PVC pipe. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Booths are popular display areas for vendors at craft fairs and markets. Booth backdrops add framing and character to the space. An appealing booth attracts prospective customers. Commercially produced backdrops carry hefty price tags, especially for one-time use. Do-it-yourself versions can be attractive and professional-looking. Materials should be appropriate for the conditions. Lightweight materials are easily transported and need to be well stabilized on-site. Keep stability and safety in mind when designing and building a backdrop for a booth.

Things You'll Need

  • 6, 8 foot by 1 inch PVC pipes
  • PVC “T” fittings
  • PVC elbows
  • PVC end caps
  • PVC pipe cutters
  • PVC glue
  • Small sandbags
  • Lightweight fabric
  • Iron-on Velcro
  • Steam iron
  • Grommet kit
  • Spray paint
  • Nylon cable ties

Use the PVC pipe cutters to cut sections of pipe. Cut 3 pieces that are 71/2-feet long. Save the 6-inch pieces. Cut four 2-foot pieces. Cut four 4-foot pieces.

Assemble the top bar from left to right. Use an elbow, a 4-foot pipe, a “T” joint, a 4-foot pipe and finish with an elbow. Dry fit the pieces together.

Insert a 7 1/2-foot pipe into the left elbow. Insert another 7 1/2-foot pipe into the bottom of the “T” joint. Add a third 7 1/2-foot pipe to the right elbow. This forms the top and sides of the backdrop frame.

Install a “T” joint on the ends of the three 7 1/2-foot pipes. Add two 4-foot pipes to form the bottom of the frame. Place 6-inch pipes in the two “T” joints at the bottom corners of the frame to form legs. Add another “T” joint to each leg.

Place a 2-foot pipe in each end of the “T” joint on the left side of the frame to make a foot. Rotate the “T” joint so the foot is perpendicular to the frame for stability. Make a similar foot on the right side. Add end caps to the feet. Use small sandbags or weights placed on the feet for stability.

Use PVC glue as directed to glue the foot and leg together. Create portable pieces of uniform size. Add strength by gluing one side of small pieces such as elbows and “T” joints to their respective pipes.

Spray paint the frame and allow it to dry. Mark the pieces with a marker or paint before taking them apart to speed up future assembly. Touch up unpainted areas.

Attach the fabric to all four sides of the frame using iron-on Velcro or a grommet kit. Follow the package instructions for either method. Use nylon cable ties on-site to reinforce the frame joints. Cut them away to break down the backdrop.

References

  • “The PVC Project Book: 101 Uses for PVC Pipe in the Home, Garden, Farm and Workshop”; Charles A. Sanders; 2005
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