Introduction: DIY Softbox
Something a little more professional looking than a bunch of foam board stuck together... Costs about $40 bucks.
Step 1: Get Your Parts
I've been trying to take some headshots of myself and I've been in need of another light. The problem with this is that I'm piss poor broke (the reason I'm not just paying for headshots) so i decided to make my own softbox...
Let me preface this by saying that i know i could have just done this with a few pieces of foamboard and a lamp kit, it probably would have been cheaper, but i didnt want to have to find a place to store something that large. With that in mind, i decided to build something i could break down when i needed to... hence my plans.
Onto the tutorial, kinda.
Materials I used:
Ouside flood light kit - 9.97
Replacement tent pole kit - 5.47
Black Duct tape - .97
White material i found at wal mart - 1.00 (1 yard)
Black wal mart material - 4.00 (2 yards)
5/16 wooden dowl - .39
20 foot extension chord - 5.97
Heavy duty male universal plug - 1.97
Grommet Kit for making tarps and such - 6.97 (included tools)
Note: I didnt use everything in this pic, i thought I'd have to, so there are some extras pictured.
Step 2: Form Bracing
First order of business was to get the tent poles put into the flood light housing... To do this, i just stuck them in in a tic tac toe pattern putting the fiberglass end in and leaving the metal part out. I tried to use conduit holders but they bent. I weaved the poles when i put them into the box (over one, under the back) to give it a little more stability.
Once I had the poles laying in there I bent them to what I deemed an appropriate angle. what do i know though, this is my first time donig this.. .
Step 3: Make the Diffusion Panel
Next, (once i had the measurements) I cut out a square of my white fabric. Actually I cut 2 ssquares simultaneously. I didnt think it was diffused enough. In retrospect, i would have only used one sheet.
Step 4: Trim the Panel With Tape for Stability
After that i taped the edges of the material with duct tape to give it a little strength. I used 1/2 the width of the duct tape on each side so that it kept the 2 sheets together nicely.
Step 5: Trim and Rivet
Once i had all 4 sides done, i went back over it on one side with a full width of duct tape to finish it off and make it look good.
The next step was to put gromments in each corner with my trusty tool kit. The kit includes everything but the hammer
Finished with the front panel. My theory here is that the gromments are going to hold dowels coming out of the tent poles and keep everything square.
Step 6: Secure Front Panel to Frame
Now, i cut a 5/16 dowel into 4 pieces about 5" in length and put them into the metal ends of the tent poles. Generally, this is where you'd put the other pole to extend it through the tent.
Once that was done, i threaded the dowls through each of the gromments and then cut the duct tape off to test my theory on it holding together... It seemed to work great.
**NOTE** you can see in the picture above how the tent poles were arranged in the housing.
Step 7: Status Pics
This is a pic of it at this point with a regular incadecent bulb installed and a horrible white balance setting on my camera...
Step 8: Make a Canopy
This part is easily the hardest part of the whole process.... making the sheath that conceils the rest of the light!
I can't sew for crap, so i elected to use mroe duct tape. You will without a doubt, get a better result with a sewn canopy but like i said.... i can't sew.
Basically what i did was cut 4 trapezoids and taped them together... haha. I know that it's ghetto, and I'm working on a better solution because this one isn't cutting it for me. I think I'll have my grandma sew me a sheath.
To attach the canopy to the frame i extended 4 tabs of duct tape off of each intersection of cloth and put another gromment in. This way i could stretch the gromment over teh frame and thread the forward facing dowl into the gromment and it would be stable.
My craftsmanship on this portion was less than perfect. It was 3:15 AM and I was tired. I'll be redoing this to make it fit better (apparently my forward measurements were off by about an inch). There are currently some light leaks, but that can be fixed with some velcrow for the time being until i get my new sheath.