How to (and How Not to) Make a Fabric Strip Backdrop

fabric backdrop behind dessert table

Sometimes when you set a food table, the yummy food (as tasty as it may be) falls flat in the design department. That’s why we dressed up this holiday dessert table with layers using items of different heights, from cake stands to log pieces. We also wanted a bright backdrop that would make the table pop, rather than melding into the dark stone wall behind it, hence the handmade fabric-strip backdrop you see here.

I’m not going to say that this project was easy. It COULD have been easy, but I, in my unwitting but infinite quest to make things more difficult, used strips of ivory-colored burlap rather than choosing any number of other fabrics. The end result worked for our purposes, but if I had to do it over again, I would’ve opted for different fabric. Why?

Layers of burlap are hard to sew through if you don’t have a commercial sewing machine. I don’t have a commercial sewing machine. I almost broke my needle sewing these strips onto the base fabric (this lovely teal voile curtain, cut in half). I also wasn’t able to make a sleeve in the top of the backdrop like I would’ve liked. Had I been able to make the sleeve in the top, hanging would’ve been much easier, but instead — in the interest of complete DIY honesty here on Made + Remade — we had it hanging from clamps for this photo. While this trick of the trade works great for photography, it’s not necessarily suitable for home application. I’m just tellin’ ya.

SO, while I wholeheartedly love the fabric-strip backdrop idea, I suggest you do as I say, not as I did. Cut strips from a lightweight fabric other than burlap (or mix burlap in with other lighter materials). Then skip the base fabric and the sewing and, instead, attach the strips to a string of rope or twine just like this one Virginia made for her picnic party decorations this summer. Her smart version of the fabric-strip backdrop will be easier to make AND easier to hang.

fabric strip backdrop

OK, let’s all move on from the backdrop and get to my favorite course — dessert! Here are some of the recipes from our holiday dessert table. I suggest you try the sugared cranberries … if you can get to them before I do.

Gingersnap Cookies With Pumpkin Pie Dip

Cream Puff Christmas Tree You Can Make in Minutes

(Somewhat) Healthy Sugared Cranberry Snacks

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at’s Design Happens to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited! Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

One Response

  1. Laurie_March says:

    hmm #DIYFail? :)

    This looks lovely!


About Kelly Smith Trimble 


I grow vegetables wherever I can find enough sunlight and forage roadsides and hiking trails for plants that can be used to make natural dyes. You can find both vintage ...

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