Make Your Own Photography Backdrop with Muslin & Westcott Background Support System

Last night I ordered a Westcott Background Support System 9014 with 2 Stands, Cross Bar & Bag from the recommendation of my friend Heather from One Shot Beyond Photography.

This Background Support System consists of two stands, a collapsible crossbar that extends to 10′ 6″, and a carrying case. The system supports both the 10′ x 12′ and 10′ x 24′ sheet backgrounds. Optional Background Clips (9016) attach to the Background Stands, and will allow you to add a second crossbar and hang an additional sheet background from the same set of stands. (I’ll probably pick those up at another time since I forgot to add them when I placed the order).

I ordered it from Adorama in NYC. They are currently having a sale on this backdrop system. It’s normally $174.10 and I got it for $159.00 with free shipping! To see the system on Adorama’s website click here.

On another note…a while back I posed that I purchased a Black Muslin Backdrop from JO-ANN Fabrics. Well, today I decided to go back again to JO-ANN‘s and purchase some more Muslin for additional backdrops choices.

While I was there I was a bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to find any Muslin in 144 inch widths like I found last time with the black Muslin that I purchased so I settled on the 108 inch width. That only gives me 9 feet wide to work with but I will have to live with it.

I didn’t have as many colors to choose from as I wanted so I went for WHITE, RED and a PLUM (dark purple).

While I was at the store I heard one of the workers mention a coupon in the flyer available at the front of the store so I got one and the girl who cut my 3 fabric choices added in the 40% off discount on one the fabrics.

I was thinking “this is my lucky weekend!” Not only did I get the backdrop support system above at a deal I also was getting almost half off one of the backdrops.

Well, the weekend got luckier. When I went to ring up at the register I asked the young man at the register if I could ring up the backdrops as separate orders to get the 40% off each backdrop and instead of doing that he tried ringing 3 coupons in one order and it worked (one for each back drop! YAY!). I purchased 3 new Muslin backdrops for $64.45 IN TOTAL! What a steal!

I’m going to ask a few seamstresses for a price on sewing in a rod pocket on the my black backdrop and my 3 newer ones. That way I can easily slide them onto the rail.

Next time I’m in NYC I will have to stop at MOOD Fabrics and see what they have. I’m not sure how their prices are but it doesn’t seem like there are many fabric stores around where I live and I really wanted some fun & funky backdrops.

The last deal of the weekend that I got today (since I don’t have rod pockets on my backdrops yet) were Spring Clamps from the local HOME DEPOT.

The Spring Clamps were marked at $2.09 each in the aisle but when I got to the register they rung up at $.99 each!

I purchased 4 of them to hopefully do the trick with holding my backrop up on the new background support system. I figured 4 should (hopefully) evenly distribute the weight of the muslin fabric across the pole without sags.

The clamps will be useful for many different things so they are usefull to have on hand. If I buy some seamless paper the will hold the role of paper from rolling more paper out. For $.99 each you can’t beat a deal!

I’m going to test this all out before my portrait shoot this Sunday…and that’s if the background support system comes before then. I’m almost positive it will since I think Adorama has their warehouse in New Jersey. There’s no way it can take 7-10 days (I pray!). I’d love to have it for Sunday.

Well, I just thought I would pass this information along to you all and I hope it can help someone else!

December 8, 2008 - 10:25 pm

Adam Parker - If you are on an even tighter budget and don’t need as professional of a look, you can make a decent stand with PVC pipes for about $40.

Posted the details here:

June 2, 2008 - 7:04 pm

Kathey - Nice Tips on Muslin Backdrops!Great creative work on Muslin Backdrops. I found the backdrops similar to one I use…. I do generally buy backdrops from


March 31, 2008 - 10:11 am

Julie - You had a very productive Sunday!! Great deals. I can’t wait to see them put to use.

March 31, 2008 - 4:59 am

Heather - Wow that is a steal you got at JoAnns! I think I paid $60 for just my white muslin there alone! I have to look for those coupons too now that I know…thanks Jen for posting such detailed info for everybody and I hope you love your new background stand as much as I do mine! :)

Happy Shooting!!!!!!!!!

March 31, 2008 - 3:37 am

Shawn - Great tips! I was actually thinking of getting some backdrops and equipment myself. Thanks!

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