We loved the edgy rocker meets glam wedding inspiration session earlier this week by Brooke Michelle Photography, and cant wait to share this fun DIY graffiti backdrop tutorial. One reason we love this DIY wedding project inspiration so much is that it actual does double duty! The backdrop door for the ceremony can also double as a reception table top for a unique alternative! Ill let Aimee of A. Griffin Events share how to recreate your own version below!
DIY Graffiti-Inspired Wedding Ceremony Backdrop
Cost: $50 or less depending on door
Time: 2 hours, including paint drying time
Slab Door (like this one from Home Depot)
One can of white primer spray paint (plus roller or brush)
Two cans of spray paint in desired color (I used flat black Rustoleum)
A quote or lyrics that are meaningful to you and your fiance
Cardboard or newspaper for practicing
The idea behind this wedding ceremony backdrop is to upcycle raw materials and make it personal and unique to your wedding. It is also a way to have decor elements do double duty and serve more than one function throughout the wedding. We recently replaced all of the interior doors in my home, so I had several unused white doors. A piece of very thick canvas or even a sheet of plywood will also work. I opted for matte paint, so the shine wouldn’t catch the light in pictures.
The other important element is it should be your writing. It’s not meant to be fancy calligraphy or to be too perfect. (A graffiti artist for something like this can cost up to $100 per hour!) Weddings are an intimate, personal affair, making this DIY backdrop even more special. In this age of digital signatures, your individual font carries so much meaning. Your grandma will recognize it from the thank you notes you’ve sent her, and your fiance will recognize it from the love notes you’ve left him or her.
If you like the color of the door, leave it. If you need to paint it, now is the time. I gave mine a quick roll with my favorite (and on hand) Benjamin Moore White Dove. Let it dry completely before spray painting words.
SET IT UP
Either on the computer or on a piece of paper, figure out how you want the quote to look. I knew I wanted to separate the Led Zeppelin quote into two word fragments that gave the sense of a couple in love. For example, we walk, your hand, only one.
You’ll also want to consider the shape the words make. Draw a line tracing both edges of the words in each column. In my second column, the words swell out at Thanks to you it will be done which I liked best. In the first column, the swell came at Your hand in mine, we walk. But these words are towards the top of the door and more easily read, so I opted for the second column. I love the sense of gratitude and faith conveyed in seven words.
Next, measure your door. Mine was 28 inches wide and 80 inches tall. Make a few calculations to determine the height of the lines. I wanted an inch between each line to space it out. I also decided that Only one should have marginally more space than the rest of the words. I put half of an inch at the top of the door and 1.5 inches at the bottom of the door.
Here are my calculations:
- 12 lines at 6.5 inches (with two extra inches- one at the top and one at the bottom)
- 12 lines at 5.5 inches with one inch in between each line (with two extra inches- one at the top and one at the bottom)
12 lines at 5.5 inches, one inch between each line, and half an inch border at the top and 1.5 inch border at the bottom.
With a tape measure, mark out the spacing on either edge of door. For me, this meant a mark at 0.5 inch from the the top, 6 inches, 7 inches, then 12.5 inches to create the top two lines. Take a straight edge and make straight lines.
On piece of scrap paper, practice writing the words in the appropriate height – six, seven, or eight inches. See how it looks from various distances. If this is going to be at the front of your ceremony area, tape the paper to a wall and stand as far away as possible to get a sense of what is readable. You get two tries at this to make it right (each side of the door), then you have to buy a new door or paint over your mistakes several times to erase them.
PENCIL IT IN
In pencil, scrawl out your quote on the painted door. It’s going to look fabulous in pencil. Adjust the size of any letters you don’t like. Adjust the spacing. Erase extra lines if you wish and remember that the spray paint line will be a lot thicker than the pencil line.
SPRAY IT ON
I researched and purchased the specialized graffiti paint and nozzles, but those didn’t work for me. I ended up with the standard, basic Rustoleum spray paint from Home Depot in flat black. I tested the distance I needed to hold the can to get the line thickness I wanted. (The closer you go, the thicker the lines.) It ended up being 8-10 inches away from the door. I used one can of spray paint.
Practice spraying your words on newspaper or cardboard. Get a sense of the flow and how to hold the can. My most comfortable position where I had the most control was keeping the can parallel to the surface.
When you feel confident with the can, start your spray writing at the top. Lay the door down on a flat surface because the paint will run if it is upright or leaning. I needed to kneel and lean on the door to be able to reach all the way across, so starting at the bottom wouldn’t work well. Don’t try to cross your t’s and dot your i’s at this point. Do it at the end. Work line by line, adjusting letters as you go.
If you really mess up (as in misspelled word), stop and let it dry. Paint over the mistake with white paint and once it is dry, try again.
When you’ve finished, let it dry completely. You can spray a coat of topcoat over it, if you want. However, it is difficult to get an even top coat and a glossy finish creates shine in photographs.
All Photos credit: Brooke Michelle Photography
I simply leaned mine door against the wall and decorated it with an Italian ruscus garland. If you have a different surface, you might need to look into base supports or wall mounts. For the reception table, I turned the table flat so that the words were facing upwards and put saw horses underneath to serve at the table legs.