If you have been looking for a DIY light box for product or close up photographs you already know you have a multitude of choices. From cardboard boxes to laundry hampers you might be thinking the project has been done to death. But Wait! For $20 and 20 minutes you can build a light box that is easy to use, easy to store, and looks as good as or better than the commercial products. Let's get started!

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

You need:

2 Expandable Window Screen units (4 Screens)
Industrial Strength Adhesive Velcro
Roll of Velcro One-Wrap (Not shown - Must stick tightly to the Velcro above)
Diffuser fabric - I used 200 thread count twin bed sheet
Spline roller tool
A pair of scissors

Note: The velcro I ended up using isn't pictured. I bought white industrial adhesive with four large pieces per package (two mating pairs).

Note: Make sure the one-wrap grips the industrial adhesive Velcro well. I found some that doesn't.
thanks for the idea. I used the build your own screen size, @24in. per side. I bought sheer fabric and some $5 shadeless lamps. Worked great!!!
This is exactly what I've been searching for! I've taken stock of what I have on hand, and am heading to Lowe's today to acquire the rest. Thanks so much for your instructable.
<p>I appreciate your design, much better than those cardboard boxes with the sides cut out, they don't impress a client!<br>I just discovered something in the town where I live which is in Thailand that I was wishing existed but decided did not exist, so I went out and bought some cloths and skinny plastic sticks to make a light box. I've dumped that stuff now.<br>What does actually exist is translucent corrugated plastic card, sometimes called artboard I think. About the thickness of cardboard but translucent, and rigid enough to hold the shape of a box. Just buy 5 pieces, cut them as you wish equal sizes to make a cube or different sizes to make a box of different sided dimensions).</p><p>You can stick the box together with scotch tape or cloth tape.<br>One sheet where I live cost me a dollar equivalent.</p>
<p>Did it on a much bigger scale.... </p>
I am going to make a version of these for field photography. Just wondering if you did try any different fabrics or make any other improvements in the time since you posted your original 'able? Any comments on what you have learned since using your invention would be greatly appreciated!
I haven't experimented with different fabrics or done another. Frankly it has held up so well I haven't had a reason. I gave some thought to using nylon webbing instead of Velcro and attaching it using pop rivets (that process is a little tricky). The only other thing would be some type of case to carry it in, since the fabric can get dusty when you use it often.
Thanks so much. Going to be using your instructable this weekend. Very excited to try this out in the field for the meetyourneighbours.net project. We will be photographing plants, insects, amphibians, live shells, small sea life, etc. Thank you for a well done 'able!
Perfect, just what I was looking for.
REALLY NICE! I feel like a idiot for not thinking about this myself. Looks very professional! The cardboard ones give effective results, but try setting one up at a customers establishment and not looking like an idiot! haha! Thank-you for this! I'll post my light box when I make it!
Sweet, glad you like it. :)
<br>I just stumbled upon Instructibles today whilst looking for an inexpensive option for photographing ceramic products. And I must say... THANK YOU! This is *exactly* what I was looking for and will save me a substantial chunk of $. Heading out in a little bit to pick up the parts and get cracking.<br><br>Should I find any easy to implement modifications I'll be sure to share them.<br><br>Cheers!<br>
Glad you liked it!
Be gentle, it's my first instructable...:)
Nice ... Im going to get the supply's now . Thanks 10/10
A fantastic beginning!!
Heading to Lowes right now! I was about to make a temp, one-use cardboard one, but this reusable and collapsible version rocks! Excellent 'able!
Started building mine tonight. I couldn't find the exact frames you used so I got 48&quot; square build your own screen kits and cut them in half (measure because they are actually 47&quot; so half is _not_ 24&quot;, its 23.5&quot;) so that I could make four 24&quot; square panels. When I am done I can send pics if you like. Great i'ble!
I would certainly like to see a pic, and thanks for the complement!
Finished it tonight and took some pictures. When I download them I'll send some to you.
Here is the picture of my light box as promised and here is also a picture of what I started photographing. This light box works fantastically. One final note, I had some left over white cotton fabric from a sewing project that I used as my diffusing fabric. I also left the back panel uncovered. Because all four of my panels are the same size I don't use binder clips to hold the backdrop up, rather I use more velcro and just attach it through the open back panel to the back of the back panel frame.
what size screen did you use?
<p>You have two sizes available, 18X20 and 15X20. I used the 18X20.&nbsp;For the product I used, check out:<br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.lowes.com/pd_5361-15369-72253_0_?newSearch=true&amp;catalogId=10051&amp;productId=3099319&amp;Ntt=72253+&amp;N=0&amp;langId=-1&amp;y=6&amp;x=20&amp;storeId=10151&amp;Ntk=i_products&amp;ddkey=http:SearchCatalogDisplay" rel="nofollow">http://www.lowes.com/pd_5361-15369-72253_0_?newSearch=true&amp;catalogId=10051&amp;productId=3099319&amp;Ntt=72253+&amp;N=0&amp;langId=-1&amp;y=6&amp;x=20&amp;storeId=10151&amp;Ntk=i_products&amp;ddkey=http:SearchCatalogDisplay</a><br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p>
Thanks so much, i plan on trying to make one.
A friend and I&nbsp;just whipped up one yesterday.&nbsp; We used make-your-own screen kits because we could only find the janky wooden adjustable ones.&nbsp; We also hung a backdrop of fabric instead of the posterboard using binder clips along the top of the back panel. It turned out great! <br /> Thanks for a great i'ble!<br />
&nbsp;make sure your screens are the same width and height<br /> otherwise this won't work.&nbsp;<br />
Only to use a little darker background and flor so it gives a better contrast and the box is one of the greatest :)<br />
Whipped this up today, and it is gorgeous! Great low-cost alternative to those high priced light tents, and more sturdy (and portable!) than the cardboard box variety. We used fused plastic straps and snaps to connect the frames. Thank you for this awesome instructable!
Outstanding! Glad you like it.
Will build this today, thanks for sharing your idea!
Wow, very nice and thought out for a first Instructable! Anyways, I think this is a good idea, although I don't need a light box at the moment... :]
Now I don't either! lol. I have a list of Instructables I want to do and I needed some way to take a passable photo. Thanks for the complements!
lol i will looks cool. great 'structable

About This Instructable




Bio: Professional prototyper, avid tinkerer, engineer by nature. I specialize in product improvement and refinement, so I will try to help with a suggestion on instructables ... More »
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