30 Free Backgrounds for Photos (From Around Your Home!)

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I’m always on the lookout for cheap or free things to use as photography backgrounds, and I’m always surprised at how much I can find just by looking at things laying around my house.  Chances are you’ve got plenty of inspiration tucked away in drawers or closets.  Go on – dig ’em out!  You won’t know what you have until you start looking!

Here are 30 of my favorite household-objects-turned-photo-backgrounds.

Free Backgrounds for Photos

Here’s just a few photo-background friendly things you probably already own:

placemats_as_free_backgrounds_for_photos

Placemats and towels are simple, go-to backgrounds for craft and food photography

1. Woven placemats

2. Wooden cutting board

3. Cookie sheet

4. Brick mantle

5. Wool blanket or sweater

6. Wooden door (painted or not)

7. Folded linen towel

cookie_photography_on_cookie_sheet

A cookie sheet’s soft reflective surface is an excellent background for your small crafts (and foods!)

8. Canvas tote bag

9. Chalkboard

10. Paper grocery bag

11. Open book

12. Stack of books

13. Window sill

14. Wrapping paper

15. Seat cushions

16. Clothing – denim and patterned shirts in particular

free backgrounds for photos fabric swatches

Fabric from earlier projects live a second life as bright and beautiful photo backgrounds.

17. Kitchen table

18. Kitchen countertop

19. Doilies

20. Decorative napkins

21. Woven baskets

22. Stairs & railings

23. Wooden chair

24. Driveway / walkway

25. Back patio or deck

tree bark photograph jewelry

Tree bark makes an interesting prop for small product photography.

26. Tree bark

28. Decorative fabric

29. Painter’s canvas (try the backside of a wall painting)

30. Bed linens

3 Things You Probably Shouldn’t Use as Photo Backgrounds

1. Carpeting

Alas, even for us carpet-lovers, carpeting’s out of style.  You can get away with photographing your trinkets on a hardwood floor (or a convincing lookalike), but carpet as a background just doesn’t give off great vibes.  Carpet is easily recognizable, it’s got little to no character of its own, and it cheapens your handmade trinket by placing it on what is obviously a floor.

2. Bathroom tile

Unless your bathroom has gorgeous marble floors, your tile and grout probably look a lot like… tile and grout.

3. Newspaper

One exception: vintage newspaper.  But the latest USAToday is going to look cheap and cartoonish – until, of course, you keep it so long that it turns into VINTAGE NEWSPAPER!

What’s your best already-own-it photography background find?  Tell us in the comments!


Hello there! I'm Mandi, a lifelong crafter with a passion for helping others use technology. DIYCraftPhotography shows artisans how to photograph and publicize their handmade goodies. Thank you for visiting!

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Comments

  1. I am starting on etsy.com and am so lost. I make windchimes out of upcycled glass. I am still trying to fine the right light and background. The reason why I am posting on here is the link or to get a hold of you does not work. I am lost without a paddle.

    P.S. I have read so much that it is confusing me more or does not apply to me.So any help is greatly appreciated.

    Nicole