Monday, November 25, 2013

DIY Stage Backdrop

Did it come to you that you’re in a budget but was trying very hard not to show it? That’s our situation during Dos’ birthday party. And 1 of the big/small (BIG, being it’s where the guests look at, almost the entire duration of the party and SMALL being it’s only their peripheral vision who’s actually in use) detail that esposo and I took and actually fought about was the stage backdrop. 1. Renting a whole styro-backdrop was way out of the budget and too impractical (it ranges from P6-8K, plus looks a little messy in our opinion) 2. The tradition tarpaulin backdrop was too plain for P3k (5x3 customized tarpaulin with 2 balloon pillars), I thought. What I wanted to come up with was a backdrop that 1. Reusable; 2. Refreshing; 3. Unique; and 4. Cheap but not obvious. 

During the process of planning, I was challenged by the esposo: “I’m sure the cost for that DIY would be as much as Kim’s (party planner) quotation, just give it to her, no hassle”. Good thing I thought of that before him, I already did the math and was able to convince him (or was it my tears that convinced him). Hehe

My initial idea was just to use a fabric as backdrop and simply cut-out Dos’ name on a styro but since the esposo made this official logo (I asked him to make this for the invitation but wasn’t able to incorporate it in the final layout), I decided to use the design for the stage instead.

Now, for the tutorial.

We bought this Styrofoam at Divisoria for P35/piece we bought 2 pieces for the name and the ball. But later found out that it was only enough for the ball so we bought 1 piece at Pandayan Bookshop for P45 #SayangDinAngSampungPisoAh. 

For the ball, esposo improvised a huge compass using 2 ballpens and a ribbon. He tied the end of the ribbon to the end of the pens (we wanted a 3’ high ball and there were no circle in that height around the house), it was so smart of him I tell you.

He cut the ball using a kitchen knife. It was easier to hold and to cut and produced only a little styrosnow.

He simply traced the finished product for the other half of the ball.

The letter cut out was really a challenge because no one in the family can make good letterings. We tapped an architect friend but due to schedule differences, I opted to try it myself instead. I relied on pure math and not skill and used trial and error method. We still used Bodoni MT Black Font (same as LA Laker’s Jersey Font) to be consistent with the rest of the printables. I’m glad that Dos' name were only 3 letters and easy ones at that. I was able to finish the letterings but waited for esposo’s approval before cutting it.

The next day, esposo volunteered to cut it but found my letters messy and difficult to trace so he made his version at the back of the same styro. He’s such a credit stealer and I love him for that.hehe

He again, used a knife to cut it and was careful enough to use a ruler to guide him.

He also layed-out and cut number 1 using the scraped foam. After cutting everything, he painted it using a water-based paint. Apparently, all water-based paints are compatible with styrofoam. He used latex water based paint specifically.

He double coated every sides of everything.

The fabric was brought at Divisoria too. The yellow one was at P35/yard (we got all 3yards for P100) and purple for P20/yard (we got 2yards for P15/each, tapat na po). We only planned to use the yellow fabric but bought the purple anyway (in case). We asked my SIL to sew the ends with a specific instruction of making a room for a rod. But after finalizing the invitation, I thought of asking her to the attached purple fabric at each side as similar to the invitation design. She ended up using only half of the yellow fabric.

* Invitation also DIY using Microsoft Paint. At the left was the draft and at the right was the final invitation. We eventually decided for a joint celebration but focused on the little boy more.
For the balloon pillar, we also bought two colors each of 5’ and 260s balloons at Divisioria (I forgot the retail price, but I’m sure it was less than P500 for all). I burnt my eyebrows in learning how to DIY the balloon pillar but Kim was really very kind to help out, actually her staffs totally did it for me. And apparently, you will also need 11’ balloon in making a pillar (sorry, just a very trying hard fella here), but look they were able to pull it off nicely by adding their own balloons. I couldn't thank them enough.

The esposo attached the styrofoam cut-outs together by using toothpick. He then attached the foam to the fabric with the use of straight pin. We bought 3 mat pins at SM at P12/mat (I'm sure it's cheaper outside the mall) but only used about half of the 1st mat.

This was how the stage backdrop looked when pulled together. I love how the light radiates during daytime.

And still as vibrant at night.

Cost breakdown:

Styrofoam (P35+35+45) = 115
Paint = 200*
Fabric (P100+30) = 130
Balloons = 500*
Mat pin (P12/mat) = 36

Total = P981

My original budget was only P800 (the cost of a 5x3' tarpaulin print-out). See, it was a little over my estimated budget but it was way too gorgeous against the P3,000 traditional, simple and boring tarpaulin backdrop. #BaonNaBaon And just to share my response to esposo’s challenge during our argument: “Yes, the cost might be the same, but with that amount, all the other small details will be covered”. Which was very true, the extra balloons were used as cake arch and entrance decor. The paint was used in the signage. And the fabric is currently in the process of curtain conversion.

Hushie, threeeee poooinnnnnnnnnntsssss! :)


  1. This is one of the great blog posts that I have found till date. Thank you very much for sharing your information with readers.

    Banner Printing | Exhibition Singapore

  2. The perfect thing that I like about this blog is the way it is written. You have explained everything in an easy manner.

    Stage Backdrop | Fabrication Singapore

  3. Hi momsis, saan po sa divisoria nabibili yung Styrofoam ? :)

    1. hi Mommy Ruth, I hope my answer is still useful. Sa kanto ng street ng mga souvenirs (ilaya ba yon or tabora) ko nabili, sa tapat ng anding's toys shop building. basta from the street where the divisoria mall is located, diretso lang going to anding's sa tapat non may wholesale school supplies shop.