Low Budget Light Box




Introduction: Low Budget Light Box

About: I graduated from Cardonald College with an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design in 1999. He has worked as a Tattoo Artist, Community Artist, and Freelance Artist ever since. I like making instructables that ...


In this instructable I will show you how to make a really cheap but effective light box.

Its not the most glamorous of builds but it can be built from household objects and i have been using mine for quite some time with no complaints :)

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Step 1: Tools and Materials


Pen or pencil

Box cutter or craft knife


Duct tape

A sheet of glass from a clip frame or plastic sheet

A box lid big enough to accommodate your glass plastic sheet with enough room for an overlap (or any part of the box where its a solid panel)


A positional lamp (I'm using a daylight bulb but any bulb will do)

Step 2: Getting Started

Place your sheet of glass on top of your box and carefully trace round the edges (marked here in red for ease of identification) minding that if your using glass it can be sharp around the edges

Measure roughly an inch or so inside of the red line and mark a smaller square (marked here in green for ease of identification)

Cut out the smaller square

Step 3: Taping It Down

Place the sheet of glass onto the lid so that there is an even cardboard border around its edges and tape it down with half the tape on the glass the other onto the cardboard. I added additional tape to take the tape over the edges of the box (not seen here but you will next page)

Step 4: How to Use It

Once your glass is taped down simply rest it on your lap with the lamp below it pointing up or as you can see here i have propped it between my lap and desk and voila! cheap light box!

For even better results use the light box in a darkened room

Point of note: if you are using glass please be careful when leaning on it. This is meant as a cheap alternative to light boxes which are generally built to be durable.

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    6 Discussions

    Great idea, thanks for sharing. I've been planning to make myself a light box for awhile now, but keep forgetting to do it. This is a much simpler design than I had in mind, and I have some large boxes that will work. I'll have to rummage around and see if I have any bits of plastic or glass that will work.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Thats awesome innovation right there. u got my vote buddy :)


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea, and so simple!

    I made something similar a few years ago, using the glass out of an old printer/scanner. Worked great, and was just the right size too!