How to Build a YouTube Studio Backdrop
Building a removable workshop-themed backdrop for recording videos
To review tools for the trade, I wanted to create a background that would become familiar and instantly recognisable with my audience. Our Ruff Tools offices are on a short lease, so I needed to build something that could be dismantled and transported when we need to move. And, being in a rented space, we are limited in what we can do to the walls.
This background could come with us to any office space and, because it is made of sheet timber, tools can be hung, nails hammered in, and an electrical socket can be attached for use with power tools. All this adds to the realism of a workshop and, should a window be opened thereby creating a draft, it won’t move about like a cloth background might.
2x sheets of 12 x 1220 x 2440mm (8 x 4) plywood
3x studwork timber lengths 38 x 89 x 3000mm (batten)
2x rolls of brick-patterned wallpaper
Coach bolts, (I used 6 x 80mm (x6) and 6 x 120mm (x4))
Washers, and wingnuts
20 x 16 x 2000mm electrical trunking (cut in half)
1x 2gang surface mounted backbox and double socket
1.5mm flexible cable, 1 x 13amp plug
Timber for supporting legs
Optional extras: Tool hooks, shelving unit, etc for decoration
Drill/screwdriver, drill bits etc,
Saws (skill/chop and track)
Scissors, sandpaper, pasting brushes, clamps, workbench, tape measure
PPE: goggles, face mask, and ear defenders
Measuring and cutting the ply sheets to ensure they’ll fit in your desired space is the first job, followed by attaching the cut-down battens. You can place the offcuts under the ply sheets for support whilst working on them.
The plywood outer two edges have the battens with the thinner sides screwed to the ply sheets. The centre of the ply sheets are attached together with the battens rotated so that the larger face joins the two sheets together.
With everything lined up, screw the ply sheets to the battens. Only fix one-ply sheet down completely, the other sheet should only have top, middle and bottom (temporary) screws put in place along the centre. This ensures the sheets are fitted together for the next job of laying the wallpaper
Once the wallpaper has been laid over the join, take a new or very sharp blade and cut down the centre of the ply sheets. You can do this later, but doing it now reduces the time of walking on the wallpaper.
When the wallpaper has been completely laid and has dried, trim off the edges, leaving an overlap from the last laid piece in case you ever need to extend the backdrop.
Next, you need to remove the middle of the three temporary screws. Carefully cut the paper above the screw before removing it to reduce the risk of tearing the wallpaper.
Position the socket back box and trunking along the join. It doesn’t matter if the trunking does not reach the top or bottom, because this will not be visible in the videos (depending on the aspect ratio of your camera). You could add skirting or simply cut an extra piece of trunking and add it later if required.
Drill the holes through the trunking and into the timber, and ensure the fixing coach bolts fit. The trunking gives a more industrial look to your backdrop and craftily hides the join. Be careful not to drill through to the surface below.
Once drilled, remove the top and bottom temporary screws,
(I recommend two people do this next steps).
Lift the first sheet into your chosen position.
Measure, cut and fit the first support leg using two of the longer coach bolts.
Next, lift the other sheet into position and bolt together through the trunking. Add the second support leg.
Finally, fit the trunking face to hide the bolts, and then fit the socket and wire it in if required (seek professional help if you are unsure how to do this).
Build and position your shelving unit and screw your tool hooks into your desired locations.
Add some tools for decoration and you're ready to make your videos...
Please let us know how your build goes, and don’t forget to tag us #ruffstudiobuild
You can also watch the build here https://youtu.be/vlT0A-tqH2s