I seem to recall way back in grade school, doing “mixed media” art projects.  The fact is, I can’t really say that any of these “art” projects of mine were very artistic.  The best you could say about them was that they were “crafty” – bits of macaroni glued on a paper plate, bits of ribbon and sequins – something only a mother could love!

Here at Sew What? we have been exploring a new meaning for the term “Mixed Media,” and in my mind it really is a form of art.  In a stage backdrop context, “mixed media” refers to combining a number of different textural elements to make one dramatic piece of stage scenery.

Not sure what I mean?  Rather than trying to explain it, I’ll let some of our recent projects do the talking:

Mixed Media – Lady Gaga Style


  • Digitally printed backdrop, with cut elements appliqued to scenery netting
  • Attach to that a front projection screen for low res moving imagery
  • Embed some LED lights on a basic battery pack, along with some smoke lines, for the gift that keeps on giving
  • One backdrop and about 100 looks!  That’s Mixed Media Lady Gaga Style!

Mixed Media – Motley Crue Style

  • Translucent poly substrate, digitally printed with bold graphics
  • Take out various elements  and fill with mesh
  • Add a backside applique in areas to reduce transparency strategically
  • Rock it Crue-Style with front lighting looks and back lighting blow through, and then whip it away kabuki-style when you’re done!

Mixed Media – Soulja Boy Style

  • All-American Red, White, and Blue backdrop on a traditional cloth substrate
  • Step it up a notch with glossy lenses – digitally rear-printed clear vinyl elements appliqued into the design strategically to give the appearance of reflective sunglass lenses
  • The result?  A dramatic backdrop that looks back at the audience! 

These are just a few examples of the huge diversity of looks that are achievable with a mixed media backdrop.  In the past, a scenic backdrop was simply fabric and a printed or painted image.  Now, with mixed media, a backdrop can be so much more. 

Mixed media is a concept that was introduced to us here at Sew What? a few years ago, and since then we have run with it and are continually “pushing the envelope” to find better and better ways to achieve the client’s vision in better and more innovative ways.  It’s not just about the fabric anymore!