Create Your Own Super Sparkly Bokeh Background

When points of light are out of focus they turn into sparkling orbs of awesomeness.

This is called bokeh!

Wouldn’t it be cool if your next backdrop was made completely out of this fantastic effect? We tried it and loved it, and chances are you will, too!

So we’ve put together a step-by-step tutorial on how to make your very own glittery bokeh backdrop. Follow along and let the magic begin.

Make Dreamy Bokeh Backdrops

Why It’s Cool:


The bokeh background will complement whatever you put in front of it, from your latest Etsy product to that adorable owl trinket on your shelf.

This simple setup also creates a flawless reflection of your photo subject, making the shot that much more dynamic.

The Ingredients:before

  • Table
  • Black sheet
  • Desk lamp
  • Tin foil
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Sheet of plastic from picture frame
  • Sheer, colorful scarf

Step 1: Set Up Your Table


Push your table against the wall and drape your black sheet over it. Smooth it out and place your sheet of plastic on top. This creates a mirror that will later reflect your tinfoil.

And just so ya know: the fabric can be a pillowcase, t-shirt, or whatever else you have! It doesn’t even have to be black, but it does need to be dark. Navy blue would work, for example.

Step 2: Crumple Then Unfold Tinfoil


Crumple your sheet of tinfoil into a ball and then very gently unfold it. If you tear the tinfoil, no worry. Just pinch the foil together and voila, no more rip!

The crinkled texture is what creates the bokeh effect when the light hits it, so the more wrinkled the better.

Step 3: ATtach Tinfoil to Cardboard


Fold the edges of your tinfoil around the cardboard. You may need more than one piece of tinfoil to cover the majority of the cardboard (we used two pieces and pinched them together down the middle).

Lean your cardboard upright against the wall. We’re almost done!

4. Set Up Lamp and Scarf

beforePut your photo subject on the table in front of the tinfoil. Position your lamp so that the light hits both the tinfoil and your subject.

If your lamp isn’t tall enough, use some books to give it a boost.

beforeDrape your sheer scarf over the lamp. (Fire safety tip: Don’t let the fabric touch the light bulb!)

In order to keep your photo subject from turning colors, only drape your scarf on the side of the lamp closest to the foil.

Try different colored scarves or even no scarf at all. Play around!

Step 5: Photo Time


Use a tripod to avoid camera shake and shoot from above so that you’re looking slightly down at your subject. This is ’cause the reflection on the table is gonna be the background in your shot. Cool, huh?

Set your cam to aperture-priority mode and keep the F-stop number as low as it will go. This allows you to focus on your subject while keeping the background nice and blurry.

Got all that? Good! Now go have all that much-deserved photo fun!

Taking it further


  • Replace your photo subject with little puddles of water. The results are trippy!
  • These shots look especially good when they’re bright and colorful. So open your photo up in your fave editing app (we like PicMonkey, it’s free!) and boost both your highlights and saturation.
  • Looking for other ways to create bokeh? Then you probably wanna check out our Bokeh Kit in the Photojojo Store.