Introduction: Professional ART Tracing Lightbox FREE in Under 15 Minutes!!! ($100 in Stores)

Picture of Professional ART Tracing Lightbox FREE in Under 15 Minutes!!! ($100 in Stores)

Attention
all artists, architects, photographers, and hobby enthusiasts: Have you ever found it difficult to trace over artwork, photos, or other media?
Have you ever worked on an art piece and found tracing paper to be inconvenient, ineffective, or just too messy?
Well, now you can create your own light tracing box in under 15 minutes with just some simple materials you can find around the house!

What you'll need:
1. An old (or new) picture frame of around 18 by 24 inches or some other similar size.

2. An old (or new) cardboard box (try looking for a decent sized ones, usually from mid-sized appliances) that is slightly smaller than the picture frame in opening size and will fit under it. My box was found in the attic and used to contain a Canon laser printer.

3. A old (or new...) lamp that can give off a decent amount of light.

4. A razor-blade cutting tool

5. Around 6-8 pieces of 8.5" x 11" copy paper

Congratulations, you're all set to go!

Step 1: Let's Make Sure We're Ready to Start

Make sure to prepare all your materials according to the photos in the introduction page. Quickly make sure the following are done:

1. The lamp dimmer/head is taken off (usually unscrewed by hand)
2. The cardboard box's flaps are tucked neatly inside the box, as shown in the photo.
3. The photo frame's back side (the rigid cardboard side) is taken off so that only the outer frame and glass remain.

So far so good! :D

Step 2: Cutting Grooves/slots for Picture Frame and Lamp Power Cord

Picture of Cutting Grooves/slots for Picture Frame and Lamp Power Cord

Now, we have to make SIX cuts into the cardboard box to essentially make a "dock" for our frame. We don't want our frame to be sliding around on top of the box, or else that wouldn't be very good. We will make:

4 cuts on opposite sides of the box's top for the picture frame
2 cuts on a third side of the box's top (not the same side as for the picture frame) for the lamp's power connection/cord.

Remember, keep the glass rested on top of the frame, so place the frame upside down on top of the box.

You may use glue to permanently bond the picture frame to the box, but be sure to place your lamp in the box first. We're almost done!

Step 3: Finishing Touches

Picture of Finishing Touches

Finally, you may place your pieces of paper on top to slightly dampen the light (or you can just leave the light box as it is, without any paper on top). Make sure all the parts are put together, plug in the lamp to a wall outlet, and magic! A FREE lightbox made in 15 minutes that would normally cost around $100 in art stores! Congratulations!

Now you can start tracing artwork, overlaying designs, or just experimenting with visual art design. I quickly drew an instructables logo to test out the results. The light box is perfect - I can clearly see other pieces of paper on top and trace even on top of thick cardstock paper. This lightbox works remarkably well. Enjoy!

Also, be sure to check out my artwork (for the 2009 scholastic high school art/writing awards submission) at:

1. OvationTV: http://community.ovationtv.com/service/searchEverything.kickAction?keywords=liurichard10&includeVideo=on&includeAudio=on&includePhoto=on&includeBlog=on&includeUser=on&includeGroups=on&includeMessages=on&as=16878

2. Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVWtaRwxXA8

Thanks for reading & looking,

Good Luck on making your tracing box!

Comments

diyaggie made it! (author)2017-10-05

Thank you! I needed a light box for quilting so I could trace designs onto freezer paper! Had it made in just minutes. Instead of using an electric lamp or anything electric for my light; I used a battery operated led lantern! Perfect because it makes it portable!

craftyv (author)2011-02-12

Smashing, literaly. Having seen my son put his hand through a glass window I immediately saw the danger of leaning onto a sheet of glass (which you have to do to trace), so I would personally suggest perspex (or similar) instead. Having said that I think the idea is very good and quite doable for everyone. Well done.

jlhart1982 (author)2009-10-07

 instead of glass,  use white acyrlic, or diffuser, and it will make the whole surface light up, hence the diffuser, it diffuses the light across the whole surface and you get no hot spots.

Richard_[UK] (author)2009-04-30

Would this be make better if I spray painted the insides of the box a reflective silver?

Trebawa (author)Richard_[UK]2009-07-05

That's a good idea. It would probably distribute the light better, too.

aluminum foil

TeachNdahood (author)2009-07-01

awesome. I did something kind of like this when in college except I cheated and used an end table that had a glass top and just used a desk clamp light and hooked it up underneath it. The only problem was that bad boy would get HOT!

JoeAnthony. (author)2009-05-05

Dude! i just made this right now and it totally works. hahahaha. gracias!

meddler (author)2009-01-24

This is sweet. Simple and effective.

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