My $20 Photo Studio

I have been hard at work on the Creative Wall and now have all 3 frames completed.  The only thing I need to add is the crowning touch to the wall.  I will show you that next week.

This 3rd frame on the Creative Wall is my mini photo studio. As a DIY blogger I need to take lots of photos and needed a handy place to quickly take the step-by-step project shots that has a plain background and lots of light.  When my worktable was in the middle of the room and I took photos of projects I made – there was always a distracting background.  Having the worktable against the wall solves this.

DIY Photo Studio Set ups


The magic of this mini photo studio is the addition of a white roller shade to the top of frame.When I want to take a project shot, all I have to do is roll down the shade – voila a mini photo studio.

Photography Tips and Tricks

When the area is not being used to take photos, I can roll up the shade and use the frame as a pretty place to pin inspiration and memos


How To Make a Mini Photo Studio


Supplies Needed:

Roller Shade
Outside Mount Roller Shade Brackets
White gloss spray paint
Foam block
Staple gun
1/2-inch heavy duty staples
Damage Free Picture or Frame Velcro  Hanging Strips

Craft Room Organizing Ideas

1. To find out how to make the frame and fabric covered insert you can find the steps in this post – Putting The Creative Wall Together.

Craft Room Organzing Ideas


1.  Spray paint the shade brackets with gloss white paint.

When spray painting small items like brackets, nail heads, etc.  Attach them to a piece of Styrofoam for easy spray painting.  I used the nails the brackets came with to attach them to the foam.  They stay in place making it easy to paint all sides without anything falling over and making a mess.

Spray-Painting-Tips and Tricks

2.  Measure the width of your frame to determine what length roller shade you will need.  I figured out that I needed to place the shade brackets on the flat part of the frame – and then measured side to side.  Make sure when you go to get the shade cut that you tell the person cutting  it that it will be an “outside mount” as well as how wide you want the actual shade to be.  They will figure out the rest.

My helper – Trax is sick and is at the Vet for two nights.  Urinary tract infection.   Even though he is always in my way – I miss him.


3. Two small nails come with each bracket.  I used them to attach the brackets to each side of the frame.  One side of the shade has a pointed end that goes into the bracket with the hole. The other end has a flat protrusion (see below) that goes into the slot bracket.


4.  I added a saw tooth hanger to the back of the frame to hang and four picture hanging strips. These are needed so that when you roll the shade down, the frame stays in place.  If you have read the other posts about this wall, you know that I designed the wall so that it could be portable, so I can easily take it down if we have to move and I can use it in another house.  If I knew we were staying in this house, I would have drilled holes into each corner and used mounting screws to hold each frame on the wall.


5.  Once the frame was hung on the wall, I removed the label that kept the roller shade rolled up.  I kept it on so the shade would not flap around while I worked on it.


The main reason I placed the photo-taking frame last on the wall is because it is closest to the window and gets plenty of light, especially in the late afternoon.

Photography Tips for Bloggers

If I need more light or want to bounce a shadow away, I place a dollar store foam board parallel to the window.  My IKEA light on the worktable holds it up.

Photography Tips for Bloggers

Here is one of the photos I took.


Without the light bouncing board.

Craft Room Decorating Ideas


With the light bouncing foam board.

Craft Room organizing Ideas

I don’t have a photo of this yet,  but I can clip a yard of colorful fabric or paper to the shade to create interesting backdrops when needed.

Craft Room Organizing Ideas

Over the next few days, I will add the crown molding along the top of the frames and then the Creative Wall will be complete.

It has been less than a week since the wall has been up and I am happy to say that it is doing everything I designed it to do.

1. Functional: a place to  – wrap gifts,  make and create things, take photos where there is lots of light.

2. Pretty

3. Place for everything

4. No clutter

I am a happy blogger Smile




  1. says

    This is SERIOUSLY AWESOME. I would never have thought of this! I may or may not be stealing this idea in the future :). Thanks for sharing such a detailed tutorial!

  2. says

    This is such a great idea! I could do this on a big scale. I need blank backgrounds for furniture and I am always searching for the best spot. Thank for the awesome idea! Visiting from Eclectically Vintage.

  3. says

    Hi, Diane. I’m new to your blog and found you via the post on Organize and Inspire. I’m a fellow DIY/craft blogger and I have to tell you your blog is just beautiful! Great photos and terrific projects. I love this mini studio and it is the EXACT thing I have been planning for my craft room makeover (for the 2nd time). Sadly, I don’t have the natural light you do but I’m using natural light bulbs so that will hopefully help. I’ve subscribed via email and look forward to perusing your site!

    • says

      Hi Marty –

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and subscribing. I follow you on G+. I have been to your blog and see you come up in social media all the time. Happy to connect with you. I use my mini photo studio on a daily basis. Now that we moved the clocks ahead one hour, I get one extra hour of great light in the room to take photos. I have found the best time is between 4 – 6 PM. Looking forward to staying in contact with you.

  4. says

    I love this! I’m definitely going to be making one for myself, as my photos never seem to look quite right! I even shared it with my mom who sells a lot of stuff on ebay!

  5. says

    simply amazing! love this!
    what a brilliant idea, diane.

    just a q. what is the roller shade made of?
    thank you so much.
    look forward to your replying.
    have a great weekend!


  1. […] I finally finished it – the “Creative Wall” in my studioffice  – a.k.a. my craft room. I now have a craft room that is highly organized.  Recently I posted about each of the frames I made and attached to the wall. Each frame has a separate function – one to hold gift wrap, a frame to hold the tools I use daily, and the last frame a place with a retractable white background to take blog photos. […]

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