If you’re reading this it’s likely because you love to shoot on marble as much as I do. In a perfect world, I’d be surrounded by gorgeous marble that would have been swooning every time I entered a room.
BUT…there is just one problem right? That sh*t is expensive. Not to mention heavy and delicate.
The only piece of real marble that I own is a small pastry board I use, well to make pastry. It’s a super small board and cost quite a bit for it’s size. It’s not large enough to use as a background, although sometimes I can use it as a layer in an image.
There are instead a few tricks that I’ve used to get this look. And no joking here, I’ve had people ask me where I got my ‘slab of marble’ from. Literally believing that the marble looks real, #winning right?
3 DIY Ways To Make Faux Marble Backgrounds For Under $30
Yep, you read that right. Under $30… I’ve tried a number of ways that were well over $100 to get the look, and the cheaper versions worked just as well (if not better).
#1 Faux Marble Backgrounds – Self Stick Vinyl
A favourite amongst Aussie Instagramers thanks to The Winton Ideal Series that is available at Bunnings. Their White Marble Self Stick Vinyl Tiles are just less than $5 per tile.
Many grammers choose to just shoot on one tile which makes this a mighty cheap purchase of a simple $5 – your coffee for the day!
For me, I found these squares a little too small to just shoot on one, so I purchased 4 and stuck them to an MDF board. Taking my faux marble background purchase to a ripe $20. Ca-ching! Next.
RELATED POST: [How To Guide] The Best DIY Food Photography Backdrop
Learn to create a really beautiful food photography backdrop in just 4 easy steps, FREE printable how to guide included. Ready, set - paint!…
#2 Faux Marble Backgrounds – Contact Paper
A little more flexible in use than a vinyl tile, lighter and just a tad more pricey with shipping is Marble Contact Paper. Available in a number of shades of white and patterns, this one is a winner because it is cheaper per length and can cover a decent size board for less.
With a slightly nicer finish than the vinyl, this option is perfect for your Instagram flat lays. Just ask Kelly from A Side of Sweet. She applies her contact paper to foam core and swears this is better than the real thing. You can check out she uses hers here. Be sure to leave her a comment and tell her I sent you!
For around $8 plus shipping and tax, this is a mighty fine faux marble background option for covering large boards if you’re style is more in the storytelling of flat lays.
#3 Faux Marble Backgrounds – The Fake Tile
And last, (and the most expensive) but certainly my favourite is the marble tile. Fake of course. You can get decently sized tile for around the $30 mark from discount bathroom and tile places. Mark sure you’re not buying real marble titles, as that will set up back a pretty penny.
Harder to come by than the other two options, this one has it’s advantages. Because you’re more likely to find individual pieces that no one else has, you’ll stand out from the crowd.
Patterns of the marble are more likely to be different between manufacturers, potentially giving you more choice in how your faux marble backgrounds looks. Therese from The Urban Nest introduced me to this amazing piece.
The More Pricey Options For Faux Marble
If you’ve got a bigger budget for backgrounds or would like something a little more custom, then there are two easy options for around the $100 mark will get you some faux marble backgrounds that are sure to please.
Painted Faux Marble Backgrounds
You can get custom faux marble backgrounds made to your liking from one of the many online background supplies getting around at the moment. Upside is that often you can send in an image sample and get something super custom. You can pick your colour choices as well.
Drawbacks is that it can look a little too fake for the price. You’ll also want to make sure the boards have been sealed and coated so they have a natural looking shine just like marble would have.
Vinyl Faux Marble Backgrounds
Yep we did cover this one, but here I am talking about the higher quality, more expensive stuff. Usually comes in much larger pieces and there is more variety and patterns to choose from. Starting at around $150 it might be hard to justify this spend based on your other options, but the size and weight, pattern difference could be beneficial if you’re concerned about having the same boards as everyone else.
But it’s good to have options for your faux marble backgrounds right?
Tips + Traps of Using Faux Marble Backgrounds
But maybe you’re thinking, it can’t be that easy can it? Well, for sure it can be and there are some tips and traps to watch out for when you select your faux marble backgrounds of choice!
Faux Marble Background Traps
Everyone Has The Cheaper Options
The lower cost options that you select, the more likely it is that many others will be using the same surface. Not a bad thing, just something to be aware of.
If you go with the option I have of using a few vinyl titles and stick them together, be sure not to lay them down where the patterns in the titles become repeatable. Play with the options of how you would lay them onto a board before you peel the adhesive off. Obviously repeatable patterns will scream fake as marble tends to be unique.
Colour of Your White
Faux marble backgrounds should feel white or a little more blue. Yellow coloured fake options won’t do you any favours and will cast a nasty white balance issue on your image. Try to avoid cream if you can and go for white/blue whites.
Faux Marble Background Tips
Avoid Fake Patterns
To avoid having faux marble backgrounds that really looks fake, try to choose an option that has the least amount of pattern. If you like to shoot a little more minimal, you’ll want to ensure that the piece has some areas of just white (negative space) to avoid the pattern taking over your image entirely.
Choose Larger Pieces
The benefit of having an option that allows for a larger background to work with is that you can shoot on different parts of the board to avoid having every photo looking the same with the same details of the piece. You can strategically place your subjects around the frame, rotate the board and so on to make it look different in each shoot that you do.
Less is More
A marble piece with less patterning will have more longevity in your work as it will be less memorable.