I decided to take on the challenge of creating an affordable, collapsible light box for people who may be short on space as well as cash. The problem I found with many of the affordable foam core light boxes is that every time you want to take it down you risk having the tape rip the walls apart. That in combination with the potentially frustrating assembly as one fumbles with the foam core like a house of cards lead me to the idea of a dove-tail like joint for the box.

Step 1:

This light box design cost about $4 for the foam core and another $1 for the poster board that I use to create a seamless background. It's quick and easy to assemble, tear down, and store away. I still need to find brighter lighting, I used two dim desk lamps to test, but it definitely has potential!
Surprisingly strong, my cat likes to sit on top and supervise photo shoots.
<p>HAHA! I love it!</p>
<p>HAHA! I love it!</p>
<p>This is exactly what I need. Not exactly what I need at this moment, and I almost passed over it in an effort to keep from getting side tracked, but glad I didn't. I have basically been doing my photos this way for awhile now, except I was just propping the foam core up on stuff to create a temporary backdrop, due to lack of space, and using the morning sun for light. This solves the space problem and will give me a much nicer looking background. It will also give me more lighting options, which is good because I am really not a morning person. </p>
<p>Great! Thanks for the comment. Glad to see it is helpful. :D</p>
Awesome idea on the dovetail technique. I'm gong to use that in my light box ... pics and info with changes to come. Again, out of everything, your dovetail idea tops them.
<p>Thanks! Would love to see the pics and enhancements! It could be really nice to cut a hole in the sides and put a translucent material for the light to pass through as some others have suggested. Would love to see that update. :)</p>
I built this! Very easy to make. I also made a shorter box and cuti square hole in the top to set my iPhone onto for productphotography
<p>Nice! I'd love to see some of your product photography! Thanks for the comment. :)</p>
<p>Great project!! Thanks!!!!!</p>
I love how u said attempts :P and yeh i will definetly try this at soe point
&nbsp;Building one of these today to help with my #project365. I will let you all know how it turns out. Thanks for the cool idea.
Nice job there! I hope to build something similar, but I'm not sure about the availability of "foam core" in Aus... not really sure what it is actually. :-/ Very thin polystyrene sheets? Hoping to try it using the stuff they make real estate signs out of; a sort of plasticy corrugated cardboard. Thanks for sharing, you've inspired me :-)
ah, i was just about to buy one of these! great idea! thanks! :).
Gotta like those tabbed joints...
Me and my brother got my dad these professional lights for his camera, they aren't cheap. Pretty good deal though.
Really cool I'll try to make one from some sort of reflective (white) and translucent material so that way I can use reflected lighting (as you did) and difuse lighting allowing a high intensity light to pass through the walls and then reflected and bounced on the inside.
Double the fun! Link back so we can see how it turns out! :)
Thanks everyone! I'd love to see your light boxes, definitely share if you end up making one. :)
Whre can one get foam core for $4?
I got the foam core used in this project at the dollar store. The paper on the outside of the foam core isn't as much like card stock as what you might get from a craft store, but it works just fine for our purposes
Art and Craft-stores?
wow, i need to make one of those.
I have a collapsable softbox that I paid quite a bit for, this looks to be almost as usable and only cost a couple of sheets of foamcore. Very nice.
This is amazing! Thank you so much. I think I'll probably be building one of these soon. :D
this is great! 5 stars & faved
Great job! I might finally get around to building one
Wow. I never thought of that. Nice job!

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