We had a simple need. When you run a theatre company, it is best to know what you have in your props and costume inventory. Clothing can be registered on a spreadsheet, photographed on mannequins or actors. But smaller items need special attention.

So we built a lightbox. From an IKEA hamper.

This lightbox is portable, inexpensive, and when you're not using it for photography ... well ... who doesn't need a laundry hamper?

What will you need for this Hamper Light Box?

Well, there's the hamper. This is the SKUBB from IKEA. It is described as a "Laundry Bag with Stand," and it comes in two colors. Seeing as this is meant to be a light box, go with White.

In addition, you're going to need a medium-sized safety pin, a 1.25" binder clip, a small desk lamp ... and your choice of either a sheet of poster board (white, 24" x 36") or a piece of drawing paper (white, 22" x 30").

Oh, and a tripod.

For the camera, of course, because photography is the point, after all. (My tripod is a Proline by Dolica, but any tripod will do.)

To review:
- hamper (SKUBB from IKEA)
- medium-sized safety pin
- 1.25" binder clip
- small desk lamp
- sheet of poster board (white, 24" x 36") or piece of drawing paper (white, 22" x 30")
- tripod

Step 1: Prepare the Hamper

The SKUBB hamper is collapsible. As such, it comes flat in a plastic bag. But as with all things IKEA, ten seconds alone with the SKUBB is enough to realize that you have two wire-braced reinforcements attached to the base of the hamper. These unfold and are secured by velcro flaps. Now we have a box, so we'll refer to it as such.

Turn the box on the side. At this point, it looks more like a light box, but we're not done.

The box has a weighted fabric lid that will now be on either the left or right side of the box's opening. We could let this hang open, but why not be tidy? So roll the lid around its weight.

Roll the lid tight and secure it to the side of the opening with your binder clip.

You'll only need the one.

<p>As an employee of IKEA and a fellow photographer.. No worries folks. we have a whole line of SKUBB products that will work for this project with minor modifications. Thanks and keep on sharing!</p>
<p>they no longer sell that hamper. Bummer.</p>
I think that you should be somewhat level with the object, otherwise it simply looks as though you put it on a piece of paper. The point of it is to get a seamless backdrop and a shadowless object, right?
Like I said, this is not perfect. Just something simple, costing less than $15 (and items you might have around the house). That said, how could I improve it?
Oh no, I didn't mean the soft box itself. I meant the angle that you shoot the picture at. Normally the picture is shot with the camera at an angle where you would normally see the "horizon", for lack of a better term. The box is meant to make sure the background is devoid of irregularities like creases, corners etc. Without the correct angle, it looks as though you shot it on plain 'ole computer paper! Not knocking your 'ible, just saying to fix the photos. Cheers!
The optimum way to take these photos is at a 30 degree angle, I paid for a professionally made light box and lights and everything I have read up on this (including the instructions for the light box) recommend that angle. Instead of paper/card at the bottom of the box you can buy and use more of the white material the rest of the box is made from. This way the background blends out and doesn't attract your attention at all.
Not to sound stupid or anything: Why is the paper at the bottom not flat?
Appearance. Angles, corners and creases would result in visual "clutter" that would detract from the image composition.
Dude, are you serious? There is no way you cme up with this!! That's awesome...
Looks a lot nicer than my beer carton light tent ;-) I may have to upgrade...
this is a really cool idea. i might use this for taking pictures for my Instructables.

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