Yesterday I was brainstorming backdrop ideas for a Custom Party Plan client, and I just had to try one of the ideas to see how it would work out. I made a mini version of a wave backdrop to test the concept, and now I get to share the tutorial with you.

Paper plate ombre wave backdrop by Double the Fun Parties

All you’re going to do is use paper plates to make an ombre wave pattern. The cost depends on how many colors you want in the ombre. If you are good with royal and light blue, you can probably find plates a the dollar store. I wanted four colors, so I had to buy 50-plate packs of dinner plates at Party City. My colors are royal blue, pastel blue, Caribbean blue, and robin’s egg blue.


  • Paper plates – the thinner the better
  • Scissors
  • Foam core board – tape multiple boards together with duct tape to make a bigger backdrop
  • Pop-up Glue Dots – 1/2 inch, super-strength
  • Pen
  • Ruler



1 – Turn your plates over in stacks of two. Find the center point and mark it. My plates were 9″, so the center point was 4.5″.


2 – Draw a line across the back of your plate using the mark you made in the center.


3 – Cut the plates in half, along your line. I could cut two plates at a time, but not three.


4 – Add a pop-up Glue Dot to the back of each plate.


5 –  You will overlap your plates on the foam core board. Let the bottom of the plates hang off the bottom of the foam core. It doesn’t look like I’ve done that in this photo because I have another piece of board under the actual board — sorry! Anyway, the point is to not have the board show under the plates.


6 – Try to have the plates extend off each left/right side of the board the same amount.


7 –  Add the next layer of plates. Now you are trying to cover the gaps in between the plates. I did two layers of each color, but I was working on a small scale. You might do three or four layers of each color.


As you work keep checking your vertical and horizontal lines to make sure your plates are slanting one way or the other. It’s easy to start sloping if you don’t step back and take a look at your work.

And here’s the wavy, ombre backdrop! The colors in my photos aren’t great because I was working at dusk. But you get the idea! (Don’t you love the little mermaid? I found her in Florida for my client.)

Wave backdrop-49 WM

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