Introduction: Action Light Softbox & Light Stencils

About: I play with light

I love playing with light and using different light sources in my photographic adventures. So it was only natural that when I got my little action lights like LumeCube and LitraTorch I made modifiers for them and used them for light painting. I love soft light and sometimes my lights are a but harsh for the Fx I want. A softbox simply diffuses or softens the light, helping to fill in the shadows a little bit.

In this Instructable I will cover how to make a soft box for action lights and how to use it for light stenciling when light painting.

Here is one of my favourite images using this set up. This was made moving the stencil with the light on during a long exposure. The images was then animated in Plotagraph (I will make a separate Instructable on the animation process)

These two images (Sunny & Light) were made by just clicking the light on and off while the set up was on a small tripod and no digital manipulation beyond color grading, and cropping.



*Craft knife



Parchment Paper

Lighting Gels

Painter's tape

* I used a cricut air to cut the template so skip the knife and ruler if you have a plotter. Just import the template into your machine's software bundle.


Craft or binder clips

3 ring binder page dividers

Step 1: Template Prep

  • Download, print and cut the template
  • Transfer onto a medium weight cardstock
  • Cut out design

Step 2: Form the Basic Box

  • Crease all the folds
  • Start gluing at the back of the box (the narrow end) and work your way all around
  • Glue one tab at a time and hold in place for a few seconds to allow the glue to dry or use a small piece of painters tape to hold the tab in place
  • I like to alternate, one tab glued to the inside of the box followed by one glued to the outside of the box.

Step 3: Glue the Front of the Box

  • Fold and align all the tabs on the front of the box ( the large end)
  • Add a little spot of glue to at each corner and hold in place until dry
    • Use tape or craft clips if you have them

Step 4: Prep the Diffuser

  • Line up the Square frame to a piece of parchment paper
  • Cut the parchment paper to size
  • Glue together

Step 5: Glue the Light Mount

  • If you used tape in the inside of the box earlier, remove the strips now
  • Crease all the folds on light mount.
  • Add a little glue to the first tab and glue in place.
    • Pass the tab from the back of the outside of the box
    • fold over and secure in place
  • Repeat with all four sides
  • Glue the final tab in place to the side of the light mount

Step 6: Glue the Front

  • Remove the clips or tape from the front tabs of the light box
  • Run a bead of glue to the front of the light box (its the top facing the camera in the images above)
  • Align the diffuser in place and gently press into place
    • Use tape strips to hold in place

Step 7: Install Your Light

  • Slide the light into place
  • Line up the tripod mount on the light to the small square hole in the light mount
  • A LumeCube will fit snugly in place, however a LitraTorch is smaller and will need to be secured to a tripod tho hold everything in place
    • I will make LItraTorch specific version and update the Instructable week.

Step 8: Remove All the Tape

Remove any left over strips of tape and go shoot

Step 9: Lightproof As a Light Box

  • If you are planing on using the light box for light stenciling, use black gaff tape or electrical tape around the the front of the box and the diffuser.
  • Wrap around the corners to make them a little more sturdy as you will be using it in the dark and bumping into things.

Step 10: Prep Stencil

  • Take the square piece of cardstock from the template and use it to make the stencil

  • Cut any shape you'd like. I made butterflies

  • Cut your gels roughly the size/shape of your cut outs

  • Tape to the back of the stencil

NOTE: While I recommend using Rosco Gels,If you do not have any, you can use any colorful material that transmits lights, like plastic 3 ring binder dividers or candy wrappers.Because both of these lights have very bright settings, you can ever use painter's tape.

Step 11: Attach the Stencil & Shoot

Once your stencil has all the colors you want to use, just attach it to the front if the lightbox. I used Painters tape but if you use a stencil often, consider using a bit of velcro.

Now you are ready to light paint with your new light stenciling kit.

Let me know if the comments if I should prep a Light Stenciling Instructable and please tag me if you make and use this. I would love to see it in action.

Step 12: Go Play With Light

Put your camera on a tripod, use a long shutter speed (a few seconds) and turn the light on and off or use the strobe function to paint in your design.

Paper Contest

Participated in the
Paper Contest