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Make a Paper Chain Photo Backdrop

simple paper chain photo backdrop

Last night I hosted a proper ladies tea party, complete with beautiful china, fantastic hats and lots of crafty details. I’ll show you the whole shindig later this week, but today I wanted to share the simple photo backdrop I made for the party. I was inspired by a similar idea I saw at Momtog.

Let me be ever-so-clear about this project:

  • It looks AWESOME.
  • It is super easy.
  • It is super cheap.
  • It will take a long, long time.

I’m just telling it like it is. It’s absolutely worth the time you’ll spend putting it together, but may I suggest inviting some friends over to watch movies and work on this together? You’ll be glad you did.

paper chain backdrop supplies


  • Patterned paper- on hand or $1 and up
  • Tape- on hand (but you’ll need several rolls)
  • Paper cutter/trimmer- on hand
  • Rolling Garment Rack- (optional, I already had one so I used it, but it’s certainly not the only option)
  • Twine/String– on hand


paper chain backdrop collage Directions (This really couldn’t be any easier):

  • Cut strips of paper. I wanted to use colorful, patterned paper that worked well together without being too matchy or plain. I grabbed a paper stack I had on hand that was the color scheme I wanted, and used multiple patterns from each shade.
  • Tape strips into loops, hooking one through the other to form a chain. You could use a stapler here, but tape looks better and I think it’s easier. You’ll need to do a little bit of rough math to figure out how long each chain needs to be, and how many chains you’ll need to span the width of the space you’re filling. You might also want to pay attention to how your patterns work together, and play with how you mix them up. ***This is gonna take some time, friends. It’s easy work, but it’s time consuming. Plan accordingly. Please note that this is a perfect project for kids to help with!***
  • Hang paper chains. I simply looped the last piece of each chain over the bar of the garment rack and taped it (but didn’t tape it to the rack itself). You don’t have to have a garment rack, though. You could string your paper chains with twine and pin it to a fence or wall for the same effect. In fact, this might be an even better option because you have more control over height/width of the backdrop. My garment rack ended up being a smaller space for photos than I’d pictured, next time I’ll string the chains and pin them so I have more photo space to work with.
  • Secure the ends of the chains using twine/string. (See Below) This helps keep the paper chains where you want them, which is especially important if you’re outside with any amount of wind blowing. I ran twine through the bottom of each chain and tied both ends to the sides of the garment rack. If you’re not using a garment rack you can just repeat the same stringing/pinning process I described above.

paper chain backdrop secure with twine

Once I had everything put together, I added a little turquoise  bench for party-goers to use as they saw fit. I also added a few simple props next to the backdrop.

paper chain backdrop photo booth

There are millions of patterned paper options available, so this photo backdrop can be made to match ANY party theme! Have fun!

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