I’ve always loved a DIY party backdrop and its ability to transform a space into an instant party without costing an arm and a leg. I’m no stranger to using—wait for it—plastic tablecloths to get the job done, too. You can’t beat the price point! Once upon a DIY, I made a photo booth backdrop with tablecloths from the dollar store for under $10.
But for Juniper’s Blooming Birthday Bash, I decided to try my hand at a plastic tablecloth backdrop using a clever braiding technique that my friend Jenna introduced me to in her tutorial over at Rain on a Tin Roof. This turned out to be my most time-consuming DIY project for the party, clocking in at two hours. But the backdrop turned out so beautifully and brought a festive and feminine flair to the space, it was well worth the time investment.
Check out my 1 minute timelapse video below or by clicking HERE. Then, read on for the tutorial and tips.
Did you catch my little assistant looking out the window for kitties? That’s my favorite part of the video (even if she did almost pull the whole backdrop down).
- *plastic tablecloths in 3 colors per panel (2 set for 2 panels)
- sharp scissors
- thumbtacks if pinning into the wall
- twine, clear packing tape, double-sided tape, & stapler if tying up
Step 1. Thumbtack a stack of three tablecloths to the wall. Or if you prefer to tie it up like I did to our window blinds, use clear packing tape to apply twine to the back of one tablecloth, stringing it up first. (I used double-sided tape to further adhere the base tablecloth to our window blinds.) Then, layer the other two tablecloths overtop, using a stapler and/or clear packing tape to secure them to one another in a stack of three.
Step 2. Trim off the excess tablecloth around the edges and on the floor.
Step 3. Optional for “Type As”: use a pencil and ruler to mark a line approximately 4” down from the top.
Step 4. Use your scissors to cut the stack of three tablecloths into 2 – 3” strips from the bottom-up, stopping at your pencil line.
Step 5. Grab all 3 tablecloth pieces in your first strip, and braid it a few inches until it won’t unravel. Repeat down the line until you’re finished!
And remember, this project was riffing off of my pal Jenna’s creative inspiration. Check out her video tutorial at Rain on a Tin Roof for even more detailed instructions.
- Allot at least one hour per panel. Fill up your water cup, play some good beats, and take plenty of breaks to cuddle with your little one!
- I found this to be quite a workout, especially for my arms when braiding. Wear cool, comfy clothes you can sweat in (unlike I did).
- When it comes to cutting your strips, just eyeball it since imperfections are unnoticeable when fluffed. You can also use the folds in the tablecloths as sight lines.
And here’s the DIY Braided Party Backdrop in action at Juniper’s Blooming Birthday Bash:
I was just over-the-moon thrilled with how it turned out. In fact, we loved it so much, I just may have left it up for over a week after the party…and considered making it a permanent fixture in our living room. Juniper loved it, too!
Hungry for More?
There are more timelapse video tutorials where this one came from! Each is under two minutes, but is “blooming” with inspiration:
And be sure to visit my post on Juniper’s Blooming Bash to see all the creative DIY party elements come together in a celebration to remember:
Until next time, creative comrades!
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