This came about when I was shopping around for photo supplies and was dumbstruck by the prices. I figured I would do a small grid but decided to go big. I figured it would give me more creative leeway. The grid can be used as a background or a diffuser.
Step 1: Materials
Clear Plastic Bottles ( I used 144 bottles for this one)
Adjustable Halogen Lamp or Slave Flash
Step 2: Prepping and banding the bottles.
Take labels off of bottles.
Band 12 bottles together alternating the height of the rubber bands, this will create one row.
Take the rows and band rows together on top, where a supporting band exists on the top. You do not need to band every bottle, You can band every 4th for support.
Band the bottles at the end of rows on top and bottom, for structural support.
As you do this the grid will form and will be able to support itself.
Step 3: Place light source near grid and shoot accordingly.
You can see the difference of shooting with and without the grid. In the before picture, the light is harsher and creates a shadow. In the after picture, the grid softens the lighting and evens the skin tone.
When using as a background, the placement of the light will affect the look of the grid. You can also add gels or colored plastic to change the color.