How to make photography styling boards

If you’ve browsed Pinterest for wedding inspiration, you’ve probably seen all the gorgeous invitation suites laid out on gorgeous natural linen fabric. These are actually styling boards, made popular several years ago by film photographers! Now, they’re in the hands of nearly every photographer. But with price-tags ranging over $100 per board (from some companies), more people are doing DIY versions of them!

This was our first attempt at making styling boards for invitations and wedding details, so we decided to photograph our process. However, you can find lots of tutorials online with similar steps! We were a little more ‘function over form’ – since the backs of our boards are pretty messy!

If you’re not the DIY type of person, we recommend purchasing these beautiful boards from Heirloom Bindery!

If you love styling boards, but are looking for something more unique – check out our friends over at Adorn Company for their new styling board options!

You’ll need:

24×36 Flat board (we like using these canvases)
Staple gun and/or Hot Glue Gun
Linen Fabric – 1 yard will complete one 24×36 board
Iron or steamer

how to make styling board

linen fabric


First, we started by steaming our fabrics. Since we chose to work with linen, the professional steamer released a lot of the wrinkles. However, we found that the main center seam was taken out much easier with a hot iron on the linen setting. So either would work fine, you just want to make sure you’re able to get out any creases when you pull it across the backing.


Next, lay your fabric on a flat, clean surface and pull each side around taught. Secure with a staple gun. Secure each side before reenforcing. You’ll want to turn over the board a few times to check and make sure the linen lines are still straight.

Tip: We tried a variety of linens for our boards and noticed the thinner, “stretchier” linens were inconsistent and got ‘waves’ in their pattern when we pulled them across the canvas. So I’d recommend opting for a heavier linen that doesn’t stretch. 


how to make styling boards photography styling boards diy styling board how to

When you get to the corners, I like to wrap them like a present and put one staple on the back to hold it down. That way, you get a nice, neat edge. Once all 4 sides and corners have been secured, work back through and either staple or glue around the edges to make it more stable.

You can trim any excess off the back.

Finally, to help protect against stains, lightly dust 2 coats of Scotchgard fabric protector across the board. Allow to dry in between coats.

And here are some of our finished images using our new styling boards!

DIY Styling Boards for lay flats pastel invitation suite simply jessica marie invitations

Our emerald geode invitation suite was designed by Simply Jessica Marie for our Moroccan Tea Party shoot

bright tropical stationery invitations lattice tree studio

Our watercolor floral invitation suite was designed by Lattice Tree Studio  for our Yucatan Daydream shoot

styling board for invitations

The purple and dark gray linens were much thinner and “stretchy” – so you can see the texture waves that pulling across the canvas created. Around the edges, they’re even see-through. So I definitely prefer the heavier linen!

wedding paper divas invitations

Our black orchid invitation suite was from Wedding Paper Divas for our Dark Romance shoot