For Bloggers: How to Make a $20 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.

DIY Photo Studio Set ups

When my worktable in my craft room 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 solved this.

Photography Tips and Tricks

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.

Shade-rolled-down creative wall

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 in a Craft Room

Craft Room Organizing Ideas

supplies needed:

  • Large Frame
  • Roller Shade
  • Outside Mount Roller Shade Brackets
  • White gloss spray paint
  • Foam block
  • Cardboard
  • Fabric
  • Staple gun
  • 1/2-inch heavy duty staples
  • Damage Free Picture or Frame Velcro  Hanging Strips
Craft Room Organzing Ideas

I hung 3 frames on the wall in my craft room above the worktable. I made one a gift wrap organizer, the middle one a pegboard tool holder and the third is the photo studio.

Spray-Painting-Tips and Tricks

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.

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 on an “outside mount” as well as how wide you want the actual shade to be. They will figure out the rest.

Roller-shade-close-up DIY Craft Wall

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.

Roller-Shade for Creative Wall Photo Studio

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.

Photography Tips for Bloggers

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.


Here is one of the photos I took.

Craft Room Decorating Ideas

Without the light bouncing board.

Craft Room organizing Ideas

With the light bouncing foam board.

Craft Room Organizing Ideas

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


 More DIY Craft Room Ideas You May Like


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Jennifer Howard | Cottage On Bunker Hill says:

    Genius idea!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Jennifer :-)

  2. Angel Suwesh says:

    The blind idea is genius! I have something similar, but I’m constantly having to move stuff and I usually put a white sheet up that ends up having wrinkles. Thanks for sharing! Outdoor roller blind

  3. Do you have any sample pictures you took using this? I made one similar inside a murphy chalk board.

  4. Betty Manousos 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. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Betty – It is made of heavy vinyl. Easy to wipe clean. It bought it and got it cut to size at Lowes.

      1. Betty Manousos says:

        hi diane, thank you so much for your reply.

        happy weekend! :))

  5. 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!

  6. Julie @ On the Dot Creations says:

    What a brilliant idea, Diane! The fact that your little studio can be rolled up and neatly “put away” when not needed makes me smile! Thanks for sharing with us.

  7. Marty Walden 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!

    1. Diane Henkler 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.

  8. was so simple yet it works!

    I’m using A4 paper for small object.. I think I should try this.

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. This is ingenious! I use a white poster board as a backdrop but your idea is even better. Thank you for sharing!

  12. I saw your crafting space over at IHeart Organizing. Your whole Creative Wall set up is perfect and incorporates all the little details I’ve been mentally compiling for my ‘ideal workspace’. And I’m excited to see that the storage is two reclaimed dressers … I have two ugly dressers! I can do that! :D The best part is the Mini Photo Studio. I had been thinking of making a Roman Shade of fabric to do something similar, but the fabric gets wrinkly. Using a regular roller shade is such a clean, functional solution!
    PS: checked out some other posts and have added your blog to my reader!

  13. I´m learning to improve my photos and this is so smart.
    Thank you very much for sharing!

  14. Diane, this is so brilliant. Now I am racking my brain to see where I can install a message board/photo studio near a window in my own house! Such a creative use of space and I love how pretty AND functional this entire craft room turned out!

  15. JewSunStar says:

    Very good idea for a small space I have. Thank you very much

  16. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing. I’ve pinned this so I can use it when I set up my craft space.

  17. what a great idea!!! i have black sheets spread haphazardly out over a table and lamp! that’s where i take my pictures! but your idea is wonderful! going to share it! thank you!

  18. Diane@LongabergerLifestyle says:

    Love. Love. Love this!!! Just the inspiration I needed.
    Here’s virtual big hug! {smack}

    1. Thanks for the hug, Diane XO

  19. GREAT!!! can’t wait to see it :-)

  20. Genius! I love this idea!

  21. Wow… I really love this… I don’t usually comment on diy post because they all seem the same. However, I LOVE this because it’s a brilliant idea… kudos to u

    1. Hi Simone – Thanks so much for the comment :) I truly appreciate it. I try to keep things fresh and truly in my own style on my blog. Since the wall has been up I am working so efficiently :) This week I made a top for the 3 frames and will post about it soon.

  22. Cool Room. Love the blind idea.

  23. Designed Decor says:

    What a great and helpful idea. My workshop does not have any natural lighting, so to find the perfect spot in my home to do this! Great ideas in your blogs!

    1. Hi Designed Decor – Having natural light does make a huge difference and I wish I had more of it streaming into my house. I wish I could always take the photos I need when the light is perfect – (early morning/late afternoon in my house). At other times, it can be too much and I put a clear shower curtain over the window to cut down on shadows. Do you use any type of photo lighting tricks and white boards to bounce the light? That helps quite a bit.

  24. Lauren@ Inside My Present says:

    What a fabulous idea! I will have to look into doing this!

    1. Hi Lauren – The best part is that the frame can be customized to whatever size you need or can fit in your available space.

  25. Diane,
    I went looking for you this morning to wish you a Happy Easter! I have missed you and think your creative mind has unbelievable vision. You amaze me making things happen for not a ton of money with beauty and function to boot!

    I think I need Linky or something to know when you post!

    Happy Day Dear Person . . .
    Love, Lynne

    1. Hi Lynne –
      Thanks for the nice note XO I hope you had a wonderful Easter. It was a beautiful day her in Pa. I even got a sunburn :)

      How do you read your favorite blogs? Through GFC? Since you have a g-mail account you can add all the blogs you read to Google Reader. It is free and easy to set up right in your Google profile. Once you add all of the blogs you like to read, you will get the newest posts sent right to it. This is how I keep up with all the blogs I enjoy. You could also subscribe by e-mail – although this isn’t the perfect way though as sometimes your email will think a post is junk if it has a link or two in it and will send it to your spam folder.

      I am not sure why some WP blogs still have working GFC widgets. On March 1st just like Google stated my widget went away. I kept the empty box and code in my sidebar for a few days to see if it would magically reappear, but it didn’t. I added the G+ widget in it place, but it is not the same thing :(

  26. Your wall is genius! I don’t know which of the three boards I like best. Great space. Great room!

  27. Amy @ All In A Day says:

    Stop it!!! Diane…..this is sheer genius!!!! OMG…..I am totally stealing this. NO idea where I’ll put it, but I’m doing it! LOL. I just love how your craft space is coming along!!! xoxo

    1. Hi Amy – thanks XO. You are so cute!!! Next week I am going to try to get a post up with the finishing touches and a few more tips on taking photos that I haven’t implemented myself yet. I am trying to learn and do as much as I can so I can get great photos all the time, not just sometimes.

  28. WOW! I am absolutely in LOVE with this idea. Your whole set up is amazing and I can’t wait to incorporate this into my current craft space. Thank you so much for putting this together.


  29. This is SERIOUSLY impressive, and very inspiring!!! Well done!

    I hope your helper makes it home soon!

    1. Hi Angie-

      Thanks – Trax is doing better and is coming home this afternoon. He will have to eat a special diet from now on. We miss him – the house is quite – no cute shenanigans going on to smile about.

  30. Laura @ Laura's Crafty Life says:

    The roller shade is so clever. I am not sure where I can put one in my house, but I really could use this for taking pictures for my blog! It is really windy where I live and I can’t always get outside to take pictures, so this is perfect!

    1. Thanks Laura-

      I like to take my photos outside, too. Now that the summer months are upon us I can start doing that again. My outdoor shots always come out nice. Before I set this up I would use two foam boards.I would place the item being photographed on one and used the other on the back or side depending on the light. It worked well. I would always try to find the area with the best light to set it up. It took time and effort, but it helped me get better shots, especially the step by step photos.

  31. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    Please do a quick, short blog to let us know more about Trax as soon as you have more to tell us?

    1. Hi Sheryll –

      Trax is doing better and is coming home this afternoon.I am sure he will be a bit lethargic, but will be happy to be home. He has to eat a special diet from now on. I hope he likes it.

  32. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    You have the most beautiful office and house. I love everything you do
    to fix it your way. I decided a while back at first reading your blogs, that your way was exactly like what I want my tiny house to be in a mini me sort of way.

    I am so sad to hear of Trax being sick. My Sugar (Maine Coon Boy) almost died from a Urinary Blockage back the first of June 2005. Vet was afraid even with the laser surgery he would not live… cost me back then over a $1000 to get him well again. That was over the course of a few months though. The initial cost was somewhere around $300. He was a sick boy. Now I feed him the dry food that says for urinary health care and give him a dose of vaseline every so often. That long fur and all gets clogged. Well, I sure hope Trax is good again soon.

  33. Suzy @ Worthing Court says:

    Diane – You are so clever! What a great solution. You’ve so inspired me to come up with something similar for myself!

    1. Hi Suzy – It makes me so happy to hear that you were inspired to make something similar in your own style! Thanks for taking the time to tell me. XO

  34. Rita@thissortaoldlife says:

    I wanted to tell you what a genius I think you are, but clearly I’m not alone in my opinion! This is so smart. Thanks so much for sharing it.

    1. Hi Rita – Thanks so much for the nice comment.I am trying to learn everything I can about photography so I can take good photos all the time, not just some of the time. I found this area gets very nice light, so I decided to improve upon it and make it into the mini photo studio. It is working out extremely well. The best part is that it is permanent and easy to set up, before I had to move everything around and that took time and always made a mess.
      I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend.

  35. Tami @ Curb Alert! says:

    That is a fabulous idea – very clever!

  36. Katharine says:

    Awww!!! I hope Trax feels better. The roll down shade is such a great idea for photos. I’ll have to show my husband that idea cause he takes photos all the time for stuff since he’s a graphic designer and I could use it to sell stuff on eBAY and Etsy. Thanks for sharing!

  37. Awwww … prayers and hugs for Trax. I hope he’ll feel better soon!

  38. It is so simple its brilliant! Awesome idea. :-)

  39. Oh you are SO SMART!!!! Love it!!!!

  40. Darlene Nudy says:

    Great idea for a photo area. My photos on my blog are so bad, so maybe this will help in the future… :)
    Thanks for sharing this tip

  41. What a clever idea to use a roller shade as a photo backdrop. Love it!

  42. Fabulous!! Clever & amazing–this looks great & I hope to adapt it to my little craft room! So many of your projects end up added to my To Do list! :-)

  43. designchic says:

    Love your new creative, and the pink is so fun!!

  44. Diane…you are a genius. What a great use of the space! :)

  45. Andrea @ Love is... says:

    I love this! Such a great idea! = )

  46. Julie @ Inspired by You says:

    Thanks for sharing. What a great idea!

  47. Shauna@ Satori Design for Living says:

    The blind idea is genius! I have something similar, but I’m constantly having to move stuff and I usually put a white sheet up that ends up having wrinkles. Thanks for sharing!

  48. Amanda @ House Revivals says:

    Diane, your creative wall is amazing! I LOVE your mini photo studio — brilliant!

  49. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    Wow, I am very impressed with this portion, Diane! What a great idea and how very creative!