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DIY Back To School Backdrop

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Create a picture-perfect DIY back to school backdrop for your student’s return to school! Our easy-to-follow tutorial will help you craft the cutest background to elevate those first-day photos or first day of school party.

Back to school backdrop with a pencil color pattern hangs behind kitchen table decorated for back to school.

If you’re like me and love being a little “extra” when it comes to celebrations, you’re in the right place!

I’ve never been one to really go all out on the first day of school, but this year I decided it was time (now that my oldest is a 4th grader!).

I saw a similar back to school backdrop on Pinterest and knew I could put one together without investing too much money or time. I’ll share all of the tips and tricks I learned along the way so you can create the perfect background for the first day of school.


Four rolls of colored streamers and silver door curtain on wood table.

​For this project you’ll need:

  • 1 roll of white crepe paper streamers
  • 1 roll of black crepe paper streamers
  • 1 roll of yellow crepe paper streamers
  • 1 roll of pink crepe paper streamers
  • 1 silver foil fringe doorway curtain
  • Twine
  • Packing tape
  • Scissors

I found all of the streamers and the doorway curtain at my local Hobby Lobby but you can also check the dollar store, Walmart, Amazon, or any party supply store.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Pinterest graphic with photo collage and text that reads "Easy DIY back to school backdrop."

1. Measure how long you want the backdrop to be.

The length will depend on where you’re putting the backdrop and how much area you need to cover. I decided to hang it over my sliding door so that it would be a nice background for our kitchen table, but you can hang yours on the wall, from a light fixture, or a banister.

Once you know how long you want the backdrop to be, measure the twine adding about 3 extra inches on either side for tying.

2. Pick either the black or the pink streamers to start with.

If you can’t tell from the pattern, this photo background is supposed to look like a pencil! It’s kind of hard to see at first, but once you realize it, it makes the backdrop even cuter!

So pick either pink (to represent the eraser) or black (to represent the pencil tip) to start.

3. Measure how long you want the backdrop to be.

Once you have the width measured and the twine cut, you’ll need to determine how long you want the backdrop to be.

I wanted mine to cover a good majority of the door so I measured from the curtain rod to the floor to determine the length.

4. Cut the streamers.

Several strips of crepe paper streamers on wood table with other rolls nearby.

Once you have the length measured, cut either the black or the pink streamers. You’ll want about 15 strips for these two colors.

5. Tape the streamers.

Pull out about 12 inches of packing tape and press one streamer of one color on at a time about halfway down the strip of tape. Overlap the strips slightly.

6. Create the streamer section.

Several pink crepe paper streamer strips on piece of clear packing tape.

Once you have all of the streamers on the tape and it’s the fullness that you want, lay the piece of twine about 1 inch down from the tape section. Carefully fold the top of the streamers over and press the exposed tape onto the streamers. You’re creating a small pocket that will slide along the twine.

7. Repeat with the remaining streamers.

Several colors of streamer strips laid across kitchen table.

After you’ve finished either the black or pink section, move on to the rest of the colors.

The order should go as follows:

  • Pink
  • Silver
  • Yellow
  • White
  • Black

Or the reverse of that.

The pink, white, and black sections should have the same amount of streamers. The yellow section will have the most with about 30 streamers.

For the silver section, you won’t need to unfold the curtain all of the way. You can tape the top together so it doesn’t come apart and then you’ll fold it over the piece of twine and tape it down like you did for the streamer sections.

8. Hang your backdrop.

To hang your backdrop, make a loop with the twine on both ends. I always do a slip knot so I can adjust the size if needed.

If you don’t have something to hang the backdrop on, you can use thumbtacks or Command hooks to attach the backdrop to the wall.

9. Trim the streamers.

Cut streamers on kitchen floor beneath back to school backdrop.

To give the backdrop some shape, trim the streamers so they are different sizes.

I created a V-shape with mine so the longest pieces are in the middle and then it gradually gets shorter toward the ends. I also cut some of the pieces on the front of each color so there was more dimension and shape.

Tips and Tricks

Back to school backdrop with pink, silver, yellow, white, and black streamers hangs from curtain rod.

There are several different ways to make this first day of school backdrop. I tried tying the streamers like you would for tablecloth backdrops, but they were so fragile and just tore in two. You can try tying the streamers, but I didn’t have the patience for it.

You could also try using double-sided tape to add more streamers to the front once you have one section attached to the string.

Speaking of tablecloth backdrops, you could also make this backdrop with cheap plastic tablecloths from the dollar/party store. The tablecloth strips are more durable than the streamers, but you need a roller cutter and mat to easily cut the strips and it takes quite a while to tie them all onto the twine.

If you have lots of scrap fabric on hand, it would also be cool to make this backdrop with strips of different kinds of fabric!

Experiment with different colors and patterns too! A few other patterns you could do that say “back to school time” are:

  • School bus – Black, silver, yellow, white
  • Rainbow – with bright colors like red, blue, yellow, green, and purple
  • Apple – red, yellow, green
  • Notebook paper – black and white

It’s also a great idea to get younger siblings involved in the creating! Little hands can help press the streamers onto the tape and even cut with an adult’s supervision. Then let them get in on the photo shoot fun by snapping a few photos of your little helpers after any older siblings have had a turn. Just think of all of the great pictures you’ll take!

Besides being a school photo prop, teachers can hang the backdrop on a school bulletin board or in their classroom for a fun way to welcome students to a new school year!

To save this backdrop for future use, fold it in fourths and carefully place it into a large garbage bag. Make sure to label it so it doesn’t accidentally get thrown out and so you have it to use when you need school party backdrops.

Want More?

If you liked this easy DIY backdrop, you’ll love these other DIY projects:

Your Turn

Back to school backdrop with pink, silver, yellow, white, and black streamers hangs from curtain rod behind table.

This DIY back to school background is the perfect accessory for any new year of school party. Plus, you can use it as a backdrop for all of those first day of school photos.

We love how easy (and inexpensive) it is to create and how big of an impact it can make with minimal effort on your part.

If you have any other ideas for back to school backdrops you’d like to see us create, let us know in the comments!