This instructable shows you the easy, inexpensive, and quick way to create a light box that can get you the same photographic results as a 150 dollar light box. The only difference is that this one can ultimately be built for under 10 dollars. For those of you out there that don't mind spending a few extra bucks or for some reason hate recycling, you can spend up to 30, but hey, its still cheap and way less than those "official" light box rip offs.

Step 1: Get Materials

Refer to the image for materials.

Keep in mind what you may plan to shoot pictures of, for it will be a good factor in deciding how big you want your box to be. Since were laying poster board in the box, I would recommend that you keep the boxes' dimensions within the width of the poster board. The two colors of poster board I would recommend getting are white and black, but of course its also good to experiment and I find that blue and red also make good backgrounds. But, use any colors you wish. The color of the poster board sets the "mood" for the picture i.e. black background would be for like sleek watches or high dollar items, where as white may be for something like a vase with flowers, or something "light" and "airy"
<p>Haven't made it yet, but the instructions seem very straight forward. Thanks!</p>
<p>Aaaaand I made it! On the right is the outcome without much editing.</p>
<p>So awesome! Thx!!! :D</p>
<p>Thank you for your assistance! Came out great! Now I need a bigger lightbox to take a pictrue of the lightbox ;)</p>
<p>Excellent instructable. I like the idea of re purposing a box, as some of them can be folded without being damaged, so this is lightweight and portable. I would suggest to stick the diffusing material from the inside, or paint it white. This is to avoid weird lines on shiny round objects.</p>
I would think wax paper would be way too fragile. I think baking parchment ( sold in same area as wax paper) would work better, as it's sturdier, but still pretty economical.
I am a jewelry designer/craftsman of custom made high end fine jewelry. I photograph each piece as soon as I complete it. I use a homemade light box consisting of 4 white painted dowels placed in drilled holes in a wooden base with a section of white ceiling tile on top the base. A white pillowcase is slipped over the dowels like a tent. A slit is cut in one side for the camera lens to be poked inside. I use colored construction paper or wallpaper scraps as a seamless background and a bent straight pin stuck through it into the ceiling tile to support the piece upright in the photo.
Awesome! I've been looking for instructions for one of these forever! Yours are the easiest and most effective!! Thanks!
Great instructions, I made one with stuff I had on hand, an old white plastic tablecloth works great too. I'm so glad I found this site, you saved me alot of money. Thanks!
Would wax paper work? Like the kind used for cooking, and if it's not big enough would you want to overlap or have seams?
This is fricking awesome. I already have pure white CFL lights made specifically for artists. They run cooler and use less energy. I'm going to make one of these light boxes later today. However, I'm not going to cut the bottom hole. I'm going to add a piece of cheap wood to give it some weight. I feel that if I cut the hole, the bottom might warp a bit and not give me a sturdy surface. If I use the double-thickness cardboard box, I could fasten the vinyl with pop rivets. Either way, thanks so much for the instructable.
loving this, I am an architecture student and need to photograph my models. I've never had even halfway decent results yet but this will help a lot. Now I just need a mmuch bigger version, which easily folds up and stores away..hmm <strokes chin contemplatively>
White Vinyl shower curtain was such a great tip! 1.90 at walmart! Thank you!
This looks ideal for me to create; certainly more affordable than the simple set-up on ebay that someone was selling for £122.00. Silly question time: I am red and green colour-blind and I bought what I thought was a white shower curtain but it is in fact light green. If I used this on my box would it give the item I am photographing a green tint? I wouldn't notice it but others would. I will post some of my pics when I try it out later. Thanks for such a nicely explained article
Yeah I made one of these with five small canvases that were £1 each from a cheapo shop, put a daylight bulb up top and this was great because there was light ccoming from the top but with soft shadows or none meaning all the stuff came out great.
Great Instructable I made Your design but with Foam instead of Poster Board and it works out great!
Here's a link to a photo set on Flickr where I used your light box design on three of the four shots:<br/><br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://flickr.com/photos/dmlandrum/sets/72157602019838167/">http://flickr.com/photos/dmlandrum/sets/72157602019838167/</a><br/><br/>I'm very pleased with the results. Getting the exposures right took some trial and error, but it was well worth it. Now I want to build a stouter version using Masonite.<br/>
Very well put together Instructable! There are a few commas that might make reading easier, but there's nothing unclear or confusing here. Ironically, the only real error is your final sentence: &quot;needs revised&quot; needs revision.&lt;br/&gt;Also, &lt;a rel=&quot;nofollow&quot; href=&quot;http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/07/how-to-diy-10-macro-photo-studio.html&quot;&gt;Strobist's macro box&lt;/a&gt; has a different set of photos and even a YouTube clip of a light box, if anyone wanted to look at variations &amp; c.&lt;br/&gt;<br/>
lol figures right?
This is really cool! Very, Very, Very well-made all-around! I hope you continue to make Inst. of such high quality to the table. -Brennn10
Awesome instructable. Great in just about every aspect!

About This Instructable




Bio: Junior in the school of film and photography at MSU in Bozeman, MT.
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