Introduction: Cardboard Photo Box

About: Jewelry making tinkerer.

I wanted to take some nice clean photos and do some top down filming but I didn't want to buy expensive filming and lighting equipment so I made my own photo box from some cardboard I had lying around.


1 Cardboard Box

2 Pillowcases

2 Desk Lamps with Bendable Necks

White Paint


Sharpie Marker


Box Cutter

Step 1: Preparing the Cardboard Box

I had a large cardboard box lying around that was big enough to film in I cut off the top flaps using the box cutter. I left those off to the side to rest my paintbrush on for when I got to that step.

Step 2: Cutting Out the Side Panels

After I cut the loose bits off I used the ruler to lay out where I wanted to cut out panels that I would cover with pillowcases in the future. To keep the box from getting too unstable I measured 2 inches from the edge on all sides. Once I had all the lines laid out I used the box cutter to cut them out.

Step 3: Cutting Out the Top Down Filming Slot

Once I had the sides cut out I found the exact center of the box and measured out an 1 inch x 1 inch square which I then cut out with the box cutter. Now with all the holes cut out I moved on to painting.

Step 4: Painting the Box

I used acrylic paint to do the first base coat. It didn't cover that well but it was what I had on hand. After that I switched out a matte white outdoor paint that covered a lot better. I ended up having to do two coats of the outdoor paint to get the box as white as I wanted.

Step 5: Attaching the Pillowcases

When the paint dried I brought the box inside to attach pillowcases over the cut out sides to diffuse the light coming in allowing for less shadows and even lighting. I used double-sided tape to attach them along the sides because it was what I had on hand. I recommend something like a hot glue gun for really secure holds.

Like wrapping a present I laid out a few strips of double-sided tape and then pressed the edge of the pillowcase against the tape to get it to stick. I started at the top of the box lining it up with the top cut out then let it drape over the cut out side panel.

Once again, I laid out tape along the edges of the cut out panel then pressed the pillowcase down making sure to pull the pillowcase taut. When I had the panel covered I folded the pillowcase over the edges and secured it with tape to make sure it stayed taut.

Then I repeated everything on the other side.

Step 6: Setting Up the Lights

The box is almost done but I wanted to test it out with the lights I bought. These are LED desk lamps that cost about 7 dollars in the store. I plugged them in and put them about six inches back from the box to diffuse the light across the pillowcase.

These lights have a opaque covering over the LEDs to further diffuse the light which made them not as bright as I wanted. I worked carefully to remove that covering so I got more light inside for photos and filming.

Once the lights were positioned the Cardboard Light Box was done!