Today I thought I’d show you a DIY that will take you about a day but will be worth the time and effort if you’re a photographer and/or stylist who wants to shoot more interesting photos from your studios. This DIY isn’t that detailed (sorry) but what I show and tell will hopefully give you enough help to go out and do it yourself. You guys are pretty clever so I’m going to assume that you won’t really need details for this project anyway.
(This is not a white floor or table – it’s simply a white paneled surface I created that is 97 cm x 97 cm – Fooled ya!)
Okay, so you know how you drool over all of the pretty food photos and other pictures online? Have you ever looked at the details? Particularly the surfaces and backgrounds in the photo? Do you really think people have cement tables, white wooden tables, wooden floors painted glossy white, black walls, gray walls, paneled walls, etc? In some cases, maybe they are shooting with what they have in their home or at a location, but after awhile, any photographer or stylist gets bored with using the same props and wants to add new texture and life to their work. They usually do this through prop rentals and swapping things out – BUT ALSO through creating their own custom backgrounds and surfaces to trick the viewer into thinking they are looking at a table or floor or wall surface that really doesn’t exist. Smoke and mirrors, people. Smoke and mirrors. And I love it.
So I decided to create some of my own smoke and mirrors using wood from the home store. I wanted to create cool backgrounds and surfaces for my photography and styling work out of wood that I could store behind my big cabinet in my studio and pull out on the fly to shoot things on or in front of. I recently wrapped up a major ad campaign for Canon Europe and these would have come in handy for the styling work I did at home. But hey, better late than never.
I love the look of wood so I thought that it was time to hit the local Home Depot, which over here the German equivalent is Toom, only they have a bakery and serve Bratwurst – ha ha! But yeah, so I hit Toom with my husband and looked through the lumber dept. when he told me how he had all of this experience in the past with paneling walls and ceilings and I was like, “Wha???”, because we’ve be together for eons and I never knew he could panel rooms. Holding back until the perfect time, I guess… So I asked him to tell me more. Then he walk over to these like 2 meter high pieces of wood with slots in packages and said, “We can buy a pack of these, have that guy over there cut them for us in any size we want, and then we’ll go home and fit them together, paint, etc.” Then he suggested the right dimensions to the wood guy, he fired up his mega cutting machine, cut them, and in the end we ended up with two gorgeous surfaces that I can use at home for my projects. ALL FOR $10!
I was all shades of happy. Wood with slots for sliding together to create paneling (not MDF but using 100% wood)? Really? I don’t need to use a thousand nails? This is fantastic! Above you can see what the surface looked like after we fit them together (which was easy and took maybe 5 minutes), and then you can see how we used a piece of wood (x 2) across the back to keep them in place so they don’t slide around. Make sure your pieces of wood are the exact width of your surface so it’s supportive and also doesn’t wobble in use. That’s annoying. I still have to decide what I’ll do to the wood surface above, but to the second surface we put together, I painted it white with two coats of wooden exterior home paint that I had left over from another project – you can see it below. I always try to use up all of my leftover paint before I buy new pints and gallons.
See the shot taken above on the right side? Okay so that is what a shot looks like BEFORE smoke and mirrors is applied. A stylist would put the surface in place and then the photographer would ensure to not show that the surface is really only part of the prop. So they’d crop the image or simply zoom in as I’ve done below.
This is how it looks AFTER smoke and mirrors, in other words how it would look best to fool the eye and also give you the chance to change up how the walls look where you’re shooting. Brilliant, right?
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this little stylists’ DIY. If you have any questions that don’t involve power tools, please ask me in the comments section below. And now when you see any white paneling in my photos I’m busted, right!?
Lots of love and happy decorating!
Hi there decor8 readers! My name is Holly Marder and I’m an Australian writer, interior design journalist and stylist based in the Netherlands, and I document all things style, interiors and lifestyle on my blog Avenue. I am so pleased to be sharing this quick little DIY project that is beyond easy! My good friend recently gave me a cute little book for my birthday called Home Made Vintage by Christina Strutt, the lady behind Cabbages & Roses. It’s all about creating a cosy home with homemade lovelies from cushion covers and lamp shades, to well…basket linings! After picking up an inexpensive woven tote from my local Dille & Kamille (they do the most gorgeous, simple kitchen and lifestyle wares), I though it was high time I whipped out the book and got cracking on one of the easy projects! Would you like to see what I’ve done so perhaps you can try this too?
You will need:
Wicker tote; I chose this one
Paper for making patterns
Needle and thread
How To: Measure the depth and circumference of your basket and make a paper pattern, adding 5/8 in. (1.5cm) all around for seams and hems. Make an oval shaped paper pattern for the base of the basket in the same way. Lay your patterns on the fabric and cut out the correct number of pieces. You may need to join several pieces to get a piece large enough to fit around the circumference; if so, remember to allow for extra seams. I divided the circumference of the basket opening by four to end up with four pattern pieces.
Join the fabric pieces, right sides together, for the sides of the basket into a ring, taking in 5/8 in. (1.5cm) seams. Press seams open. With right sides facing, pin the base piece to the lower edge of the ring, snipping into the seam turnings on the lower edge of the ring to help fit around the curved edge. Stitch the pieces together, taking a 5/8 in. (1.5cm) seam.
Fold over and press a 1 in. (2.5cm) hem to the wrong side along the top raw edge of your lining.
Insert the lining into the basket and pin the top edge in place. Hand stitch the lining to the basket along the top pressed edge using a running stitch. Bear in mind that the color thread you choose to use will show through on the outside of the basket, so go for something neutral.
Hope this all made sense and it has inspired you to give this little project a try. I love the look of the tote now, and the best thing is when the bag starts to wear out (because trust me, I haven’t left the house without it), I won’t run the risk of losing things that might disappear through the tiny holes at the bottom of the bag. The lining also just throws in a little bit of personality and color, and I personally love the combination of the leather, wicker and fabric. While I love the graphic print and simplicity of this fabric, a delicate floral would also make a lovely fabric choice, as well as an earthy linen. But the best part has to be that it can be easily removed and inserted into a new bag when this one finally gives in. It doesn’t get much simpler than that!
Good luck trying this out yourself! Thanks so much, Holly, for having me on decor8 while you’re off shooting and styling for your next book! Have a great day everyone – Holly Marder
(images/text: holly marder)
Hello, it’s Lisa here and I’m happy to be back this month on decor8 with my Make Me column to share another simple and stylish craft project with you. It’s always lovely to change things up at home and adding colour with new artwork is a great – although not always affordable – way to do that. With this in mind I’ve created a paper patchwork as an inexpensive and fun way to inject some lovely fresh summery colour into your space. Ready? Good!
* Coloured paper- Origami paper and gift wrapping paper are ideal. You could also use images from magazines or thrifted books
* Good quality white heavy weight paper measuring 16 x 19 inches
* A craft knife and cutting mat
* A pencil
Step 1: Cut the coloured paper
Cut the paper into 3 inch squares. You’ll need 10 squares to make the artwork, but cut more than you need and you’ll be able to play around with the placement of colours and patterns to get your design right. Now cut the squares diagonally to make triangles.
Step 2: Design your art
Lay the triangles out on a separate piece of white and move them around until you are happy with the design. It’s easier to design your art and get a good idea of the finished piece if you do it on a white surface. You can lay the colours out in a pattern, or make the placement random like I have.
NOTE: Take a photo of your design for reference when you are happy with it, in case it’s disturbed by a breeze, your child or cat!
Step 3: Assemble the art
Rule a pencil line 6 inches down from the top of the white paper. Start the line 4.5 inches in from the left hand edge and finish it 2.75 inches in from the right. The pencil line indicates the top of the second row of triangles. Begin by gluing on the second triangle in the second row. The left hand point will align with the beginning of the pencil line. Make sure to add glue to all points of the triangles and smooth them down so they adhere. Then add the rest of row two, being careful to align the edges accurately.Now add all the rows underneath, and finally the top row of triangles.
Step 4: Admire your creation and hang it up!
Admire your creation, what do you think? Next, hang it! I love the look of art hung with washi tape, and thrifted frames can look fabulous sprayed white, even without glass.
Have fun creating your own art piece – whenever I make a new artwork I enjoy moving my things around and finding which of my vases and homewares coordinate with it to make a fresh new space in my home. I’ll look forward to returning next month with another fun and achievable craft project. In the meantime take some time out of your week to get creative! – Lisa xo
(images/text: Lisa Tilse)
I’m showing you so many new things on decor8 today! I hope you are having fun looking through my posts. I enjoy sharing them with you. I’m thrilled to now introduce you to a line that Irene Hoofs from the blogs BloesemLiving and B:Kids just launched – it’s called BloesemWear and is mostly jewelry at the moment and my goodness, I am in LOVE. Everything I see in her new online shop makes me swoon. I don’t know which one to order because I want everything. I’m proud of Irene and her new line. I love seeing talented bloggers expand beyond their blogs to introduce their talents and passions in new ways, especially through tangible products that we can use in daily life. Take a look at her entire collection here – in the meantime, enjoy the peek below.
I rarely write about jewelry on decor8 but since I believe necklaces are more than just something to adorn yourself with – you can place them on hooks in your bedroom, lay them casually on a ceramic dish on your dresser, etc. then I can justify blogging something as beautiful as Irene’s creations – they are also very decorative for the home. I imagine when I’m not wearing one, I’d drape it over my mirror so I could simply enjoy it daily as a decorative element. Do you put your jewelry out on display too?
I really can’t stop looking at everything. I wish I owned a shop, I’d love to carry her collection. I hope shops around the world pick up her line and she has massive success with it because I’d love to see someone like Irene go really far with her vision and creativity. Many congrats Irene!