Introduction: Cheap Light Tent Alternative for Photos

About: I'm complicated. Former gypsy vagabond, now mother/wife & always an artisan, maker, music lover & supporter of peace.

Hi, this is my 1st instructable. I needed an low cost solution to take better photos of smaller items. So I made this light tent from materials around the house. In the end it cost me about 1.00 for a few poster boards. Everything else is recycled. But you can make one at a very low cost.

Step 1: Materials

In essence you only need a few things. Thin wood (1x1" or 2x2" should work fine"), some white paper or fabric, glue/tape, white paint and a few nails & hammer.
I recycled my "frame" from some broken baby gates. I cut all the plastic mesh off of them with an box cutter. But you could make yours from wood strips. Measurements would depend on what size you wanted your box to be. After I cut out the mesh I painted the wood white & set them aside to dry. Later, I pieced them together to make an open cube shape.

Step 2: Covering

Now, I used copy paper by using a glue stick to piece them together. So there are some noticeable seams on my paper, but it doesn't seem to affect the light coming through. Later I plan to replace it with a white fabric. But paper works fine, and you could use a roll of white craft/wrapping paper instead, you just want to make sure your lights will not be too close to burn it. Really either will be fine, as long as it's white so it can diffuse the lights. Then I just used tape to attach the paper onto the frame. You could use a better glue instead, especaily if you are using fabric.

Step 3: Use the Tent

I put the covering on the top, back and sides of the frame. I left the front and bottom open. Once you have the paper/fabric on the frame, put a piece of poster board inside it. By letting it lay at a curve it gives a nice illusion of a seamless background. You can use other color backgrounds, drape fabrics, whatever you like. By placing lamps around or on top you can control the amount of light "in" the box. So experiment with that, because that's what I plan to do!
So I took one quick pick to see how it turned out. Not too bad. In this pic is my sunglasses (to test the reflection aspect of close up pics...I ALWAYS had a shine off them, now, no shine!), the tape, and glue stick I used.
So that's it, a bit of recycling, bordom, and imagination, and now I have a light tent. Thanks for reading and if you have any questions, I'll try my best to answer them if possible.