Making a Photo Light Box

I’ve been telling myself for well over a year that I need to make myself one of these – what I really wanted was to buy one, but they’re a little pricey. Not to mention the fact that my husband choked a little bit when I told him how much one would cost… Ah well. 

So I finally sat down this weekend and made one. Just a small one, and I still need to spring for some poster board to make my background sweeps, but I finally have my own tiny little light box! Here’s how it went:

First, was the box. This thing has been sitting around for over a month now and it didn’t even occur to me that it was just the right size until two days ago. Figures. It’s about 12 x 12, which I figure is a good starting place for small pieces like my thread crochet flower hair clips.

In order to reinforce the box, I taped up the edges and flaps of the box that would remain part of its structure. Then I drew lines about an inch in from the edges of the box to mark where I would cut. I got out my handy-dandy box cutter and set to work. What’s that? Are those pajamas? Yes, I’m afraid so. I was being both productive and lazy.Of course, I broke the box cutter in the process. :- /But I was able to patch it back together and finish the job. I didn’t completely cut out the sides because I wanted the box to remain as stable as possible while working on it, so I essentially just cut perforations. Unfortunately, I forgot to tape down the bottom flap, so I had to go back and cut it out, which was kind of a pain. We got there, though. Once all the sides had been perforated, I went back and popped out each one by sliding the box cutter along each edge. 

Then it was time to add the tracing paper. I tacked each piece on first with a piece of clear tape in order to secure it and trimmed each piece to fit.Once I had it where I wanted, I taped down the sides – but of course I ran out of tape. This project was just fraught with complications!The only other tape we had in the house was DCU (digital camo) duct tape, so I now have the most tactical photo box this side of the Mississippi!

I wish I had thought to spray paint the inside of the box white before adding the tracing paper, but I reckon I can add strips of paper to cover the interior edges of the box if I want to later. I’m not sure if it will affect the photography or not.Just to test it out, I used a sheet of watercolor paper for my background sweep. I need to pick up some poster board, so I can cut a piece to fit, but this should do for now. I actually meant to leave one side un papered so I can also use it outside by setting it down around a flower or on another background, but I forgot all about doing that. Oops.

Now, I’m all set up for my first little photo shoot! I used sunlight for this one, but hopefully I can pick up some lights to use this week and it’ll work even better. I still had to do a little editing, but the color was much better than what I usually see from my indoor photos. Now, I just need to get those lights!


4 responses

  1. I love it, I want to make one now!

    5 March 2012 at 1:18 pm

    • It’s pretty simple – just takes some time and the right supplies!

      5 March 2012 at 2:32 pm

  2. what a nice idea!! I want to make this!! Thank you for shareing a good idea!!

    5 March 2012 at 7:53 pm

  3. craftingismybliss

    I really enjoyed your tutorial complications and all. This is something I can use as well.

    9 March 2012 at 9:49 am

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