Introduction: DIY Portable Macro Studio for Under $25 (Probably Much Less)

About: Those who know me know that I've always got some project on the go at all times. My interests are varied enough that I can jump from one to the next and not get bored. I seem to learn by doing and the best way…

This is my first Instructable and it came about based out of need for a simple and portable way to photograph small products. I had seen various instructables like this that were made from a cardboard box which are great but not very professional or durable. I had all the materials sitting around left over from a prior project so I thought I'd make use of them.


-Grey Plastic Electrical Conduit (Available at Home Depot)
*I think the sticks are 8ft lengths, two of them should be plenty
-8 PVC Pluming 90 degree Elbows 1" Diameter (Available at Home Depot)
-2 sq meters of white cotton, should be thick enough not to be transparent but light enough to let light through.

-Hand Saw (Band Saw is easier though)
-Sewing Machine
-Measuring Tape

Step 1: Cut the Pipe to Length

You will need to cut the pipes to the proper length now.

You'll need 6 pieces cut to 12" and 2 cut to 16"

Step 2: Fit the Pipes Together Using the 90° Elbows

Using the image as a guide assemble the pieces together to make sure that they fit. The frame should measure roughly 1' tall, 1' deep, and 16" wide. If the pipe fit is too loose you can shim it up by wrapping tape around the end of the pipe.

Step 3: Preparing & Applying the Cloth

There are two pieces of cloth, one will form the backdrop and the other will wrap around from one side across the top and down to the other side which we'll call the "wrap".

Backdrop - 16" wide 39" long*
The length of this one can be changed to suit your taste but the width should stay 16" to fit the frame. One end needs to be folder over and sewn to allow the 1" pipe to slip through.

The "Wrap" - 10 1/2" wide by approx 54" long*
The width of this needs to be about 10 1/2" to fit the frame but the length is a little more tricky. Start by folding over one side and sewing it to form a loop for the pipe to slip through. The same will need to be done to the other side but you'll need to do a "test fit" to see where the loop needs to be sewn.
Hopefully the images will show you how this all fits together.

As you can see you'll have to partially disassemble your frame to slip the backdrop and the wrap on.

*You may need to allow extra if you want to hem the pieces to prevent fraying, the dimensions shown are finished dimensions.

Step 4: Full Assembly

Your project should now look something like the images below.

In the one I made I didn't have enough 90 degree elbows so I used "T"s that I had laying around. You may wish to do this too so that you can add extra bars to hang lights from.

You also probably have some material left over at this point, it should be enough to craft a little carrying case. I haven't done this myself yet but I plan too.