Budget “Linen”

If you find yourself drooling over pricey French Linen tablecloths, head over to Home Depot and check out their canvas painter’s drop cloths. A 6′ X 9′ canvas is only $10, and the smaller 5′ X 5′ is only $5! Once ironed flat, they look great and provide a lovely, neutral texture to your photos.

Here are a couple of shots from my recent Food Photography classes, with the tarps in action.


  • What a great idea! I love the texture they add to the photo. I took one of your classes but completely forgot this tip because there were so many other great ideas that filled up my brain to the brim. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Thanks for the tip! I’m gonna have to try using it.

  • I’ve been using painter’s dropcloths like these as tablecloths for years!

  • That is a great idea, the textures of painters drop cloths adds a rustic touch to the background.

    Bon appetit!

  • What a wonderful idea. This is just such a simple advice and s powerful… In adition to using the canvas directly, you can also paint it whatever color you like and use it.. cheap way to get many textured backgrounds…

    Great tip… Thanks.


  • I love this idea. Budget friendly and storage friendly is a great combination in my house. I imagine a yard of canvassy fabric from the fabric store would provide a similar effect. I’m going to pull some out of my fabric bag and give it a go.

  • thanks for sharing – that’s a fantastic tip, and I love the way the photos turned out.

  • Wow this is a fantastic idea! Now I HAVE to have a painters drop cloth. Ha!

    I have been checking on the food photography classes and I didn’t see when the next session was being held. Can we expect something for Setpember? I would love to attend.

  • Wow, wonderful idea…I don’t suppose you have an on line class? I promise to be a good student 🙂 Your photography and site are stunning!

  • Great idea! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  • Hey, great tip! They look really nice. I’ll have to remember that.

  • I love your blog and photographs!!!

  • Thanks for a really practical idea – this prompted me to head to my nearest fabric shop and get a length of white muslin and also a couple of calico pudding cloths (the perfect size for backgrounds). The ironing point is very well made as well, but not quite so well followed by me yet! Thanks for sharing your tips and lovely photos…

  • Oh, that’s a good idea. Not just for photography, but for entertaining, too. When I want to use a tablecloth that’s too small for my fully expanded dining table, I buy felt in a neutral color for the base cloth, and center the decorative cloth on top of it. A painter’s drop cloth will be a nice addition for a more summery base layer.

  • i hadn’t thought of using the drop cloths for my table… i’ve used them as ‘cheap linen’ to make a slip cover for my sofa. lasted for years and washed up great.

  • That’s fantastic! I recently found a large white linen cloth at the Dollar Tree (yes, only $1!) labeled flour sack, and once ironed, it gave a similar effect!

  • Awesome idea! I’m just working on creating a “prop cupboard” for food photos. I recently bought a bunch of flour sack towels for some color, but this is a great idea for a neutral background.

  • Great tip – thanks!

  • Thank you for the information…..

  • Nice recipe.. Great tips