Introduction: Do It Yourself Photography Light Box for Under $40

About: all you could want to know is on my website, it's a tech blog.

How to build a light box for doing still life and product type photography out of every day materials.

Step 1: Gather Materials

With the growth of, I decided I really needed a light box to take product photography. Of course you can buy a light box, but that’s no where near as fun as building one, and also not as cheap!

With that in mind, I got a mental picture of how I could create such a project, detailed out the items in my need and I headed down to Wal-Mart and picked up about $35 in supplies, all of which are detailed below:

  • (5) White Foam Core Board
  • (1) Roll of Carpet Tape - Two Sided
  • (1) Roll of Packing Tape
  • (3) Yards of Thin White Fabric - nearly sheer
  • Box Cutter
  • Scissors
  • (3) Pieces of Poster Board

Step 2: Building the Frame

Once we have done the shopping, we need to make a template for our cuts. Take one of the pieces of foam core, measure a 2″ rim around it, and cut it out. I cut mine with rounded edges for a little support.

Four of these pieces will make up the frame of the light box, we will simply connect them with packing tape. One of the pieces will need to be split in the middle so that we can make the top fit. I also cut some little extensions to make it fill out.

Once you start connecting the pieces they will look something like this:

Step 3: Attaching the Fabric

After you get all of these in place, it’s time to start attaching the fabric. I used carpet tape to do this. Then I sealed the edges with Packing Tape.

You will probably need someone to help you attach the fabric, it needs to be pulled very tight so it doesn’t sag anywhere. You will tack it into place with the two sided carpet tape and then just go over the edges completely with the clear packing tape. Once you have done all four sides of it, you will be nearly done.

Step 4: Curving the Back

In the picture of the complete box you will notice there is a space of the floor that isn’t filled. Starting there, and curving to the top, you will attach 3 pieces of poster board to create the curved back.

Once that’s in place, cover the top to the bottom, following the curve with the fabric so you have a seamless bottom. Once you are finished with that, you are done! You can see my box in the photo.

Step 5: Test It Out!

I used three photography lights, but you can use shop lights, 500 watt ones should work perfectly well. Remember to adjust your white balance for the kind of lights you are using. Here is what my first test shot looked like!