Instructables
Something a little more professional looking than a bunch of foam board stuck together... Costs about $40 bucks.
 
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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.. .
pdub771 year ago
This is really nice. Thanks for sharing this!
pcooper22 years ago
How do you pronounce "$40 bucks"? Is it "forty dollars-bucks", or is it "forty bucks-bucks"?
"Dollars forty bucks" obviously. Cut the monster some slack, there are worse things in the world than being part of the department of redundancy department.
you guys are being really rude...why dont you ask questions of intelligence instead of criticize how someone spells...until you both come up with and post an instructable or more, quit insulting our 'iblers...how would you like it if someone did that to you?

@mr2monster: awesome 'ible! its great as is, and i cannot wait to see what kind of mods you make...are you going to add a flash trigger to it? are you going to sit down and sew the fabric for more durability?...like i said, cant wait to see your mods!
I am NOT being rude, sokamiwohali.

It gets interesting when you see something placarded in a store as ".10¢ each" and you offer the seller 1¢ for ten pieces. Ambiguity or lack of precision in written communication can lead to legal problems. On the other hand, lack of precision in written communication in technical subjects can lead to unsafe situations: A misplaced decimal point on an engineering drawing can cost human lives.
**This comment is not written with anger or with any implied attitude**

i understand numbers just fine, thank you. I am a former pilot, and a current Tractor Trailer Operator...of all things i know its numbers...in aviation, just mistaking INCHES on the height of a communications tower on final approach can mean the difference between walking away safely, or putting multiple lives at un-necessary risk...same with a Tractor Trailor...mis-judging distance while at highway speeds can mean the difference 'tween the child in the back seat of the car ahead living or being pre-wrapped in a metal coffin.

last i checked the most writing "$40 bucks" will do is make someone think "that aint right"...or make the person go to the nearest price checker...the project your looking at aint an engineering diagram. what your arguing is a mute point. there is not a life at risk, there is no threat of loss of limb, or simple, moderate, or severe injury...so your argument does not stand well...and the .10c thing...thats just common sense...it is rather rediculous to think someone would .10c for .01c/10pc. sorry i dont know how to insert the "cents" sign.

like i said...you were being rude. this site is about sharing projects that one makes for others to see and be inspired to make things better...its not a spelling-bee contest website, or numerical accuracy forum...STOP treating it as such...i could understand if a measurement was a little off in the writing from what is shown on the picture, and you were POLITELY trying to clear up any descrepencies, but your not.

Point of the novel is that if its not CONSTRUCTIVE AND POLITE criticism or suggestions and is destructive criticism, than you ought not write it on here. because someone such as myself will come up and correct that.

Please do not write something on a 'ibler's 'ible if your not going to be constructive, helpful, and corteous (i think i spelt that wrong...sorry).

I would love to see what ideas YOU have pcooper2. i am not being sarcastic either. i love looking at other 'ibler's 'ibles. it would be nice to see some numbers below your picture.
atkulp7 years ago
Nice idea. Looks like it came out pretty well. I wonder if the duct tape will come apart over time with stress of the poles though. Thanks for sharing!
if its good enough to go to space and patch holes in the space station its good enough for me! duct tape is mans greatest invention.
janak9992 years ago
hey , great help with posting this DIY . I have to make a softbox for a school project and i stay in Dubai and was wondering where exactly i can get the flood light kit , it would be really kind of you to post a link . Thanks in advance
SplineGod4 years ago
whats the name of the fabric you used?
Thanks!
wjparris4 years ago
Great idea! Would definitely want to add some heat resistant fabric on the inside. Instead of  the flood light maybe keep the housing and attach a thermoset medium base clete socket - then use a E-27 adapter to use with  g-6.3 or g-5.3 two pin halogen type bulbs. Then you could use Ushio DVY 650 watt Halogen Lamp. Also, instead of the "white fabric" you could use Lee 434 quarter grid or Lee 432 LIght Grid Cloth or Lee 430 Grid cloth. Attach velcro to your filter and your box so you can easily switch out the diffusion. All these items can be purchased online at filmtools or look for a cheaper option else where online. Might be difficult to find cuts of the diffusion but would be well worth it!
hedgiehog5 years ago
I noticed when i was in Canaidan tire that when they sell tents, they have little tiny models of them, about the same size as yours, if you could get ahold of one, and put in a new bottom, you'd have a softbox, i guess
 AWESOME! Hegeiehog, you gave me a great idea! You can get small tents for kids at IKEA that would be perfect for this! PERFECT!  FWIW I have a Ible on a much more work but brighter softbox here 
medaltaman6 years ago
Check Step 5, 'next step to put gromments in each corner'; Step 6,'the dowls through each of the gromments and then . . . ';Step 8, two more 'gromments'. Sorry, but they so tend to distract from your presentation I felt someone should mention it.
medaltaman6 years ago
Nice idea -- detailed steps, however, Y not use a deevise kalled spelchek? Aside from the typo's, what about e.g. 'dowls', 'chord'and'gromments'?
mr2monster (author)  medaltaman6 years ago
What's a gromment? I don't see that anywhere in my instructions.
sparkster6 years ago
Great idea! Have you thought about attaching your light to some kind of tri-pod?
laernmoer7 years ago
How'd your shots come out? If your head shots look good, then this thing works fine. I do agree that the 300W lightbulb may be a fire hazard, but just don't leave it on for long periods of time - you may have some problems with browning on your diffusing material.
mr2monster (author)  laernmoer6 years ago
The pictures didn't turn out too bad, but I opted to buy a softbox anyway because of the light leak and better diffusion material. Unfortunately, I dont have any pics because my laptop crashed and took them all with..
I also wanted to see how the photos came out. I would like to see what effect this causes on photos.
clicheasfuc7 years ago
what about an emergency blanket? on the inside? so it would bounce off more light and not catch on fire? not sure if emergency blankets catch on fire though. just a thought.
looks really cool but i wouldnt leave it on when ur gone and keep a bucket of water by your bed lol i would suggest either addapting it to a bunch of bright white LED's or puting one of those flouresent bulbs that go in normal sockets in cause both of those create much less light than an incondesent
Hmm, good idea. Those twirly fluorescent bulbs make a whiter light, maybe that's what you'd want.
jammis7 years ago
good job i like it. Nice to know people around here just want to hate on you. :(
friezer7 years ago
I applaud your efforts, but there's a lot more to a softbox than simply stowing a light behind a diffusion panel. A run of the mill softbox is generally parabolic in shape. Your design, even with reflective backing, won't efficiently use all of the light your pumping out of that 300W bulb. Not that efficiency is your primary goal... still, you'd get essentially the same effect (with a lot less ghetto factor) if you simply positioned a difussion panel in front of a bare bulb. Heck, if you made your panel larger, the effect would probably be even better.
Alex.Mik7 years ago
EXTREME FIRE HAZZARD!!!! and with that said, you want to go to a craft or costume store and purchase metalic fire-resistant cloth. This will not only help you not start a fire during your photo shoot, it will reflect all the light out the front for a true diffusion effect.
mr2monster (author)  Alex.Mik7 years ago
I've had it on for more than 3 hours at a time now and I've had no heat issues with it. I'm using a 300 W incadecent bulb, so it generates some heat, but the cloth stays cool due to the window at the rear. also, I plan on using a car window reflector to cover the inside.
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