Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Build a Light Box

Hi! Today I want to just leave a quick post to share how I made my light box.  My pics aren't great, but it's so simple, I don't think the pics are that important.

All you need is a cardboard box, some white fabric or tissue paper, a box cutter and a piece of posterboard. My box measures12.5"*12.5"*19".  It seems to be the perfect size for taking pics of cards, but you can use what you have on hand.  Depending on what you are photographing, you may want your box to be smaller or bigger.

First, measure in one inch from the edges of the top and the sides of your box.  Cut a window on the top and sides, leaving that 1" border.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  I'm not good with a box cutter, so I just did my best. (dh watched me like a hawk, waiting for the blood to start spurting, but I insisted on doing it myself!)
Next, cut a piece of white fabric or tissue paper to cover the openings.  I used white flannel because I had it on hand.  
If you use tissue paper, you may have to  layer it to get the right light diffusion.  I used hot glue to attach it to the outside of the box.  Pull it tight. It shouldn't warp the box, but you don't want it so loose that it casts shadows.Cut your posterboard hot dog style to fit the box.  You want a gentle curve at the bottom back of the box, not a crease.  This will give you a seamless look.  I used masking tape to attach my posterboard, only at the tippy top.


Right now, I only have a few lights .  I point one in the top of the box and the other in the side.  I face my cards toward those lights.  Because I was only using what I had on hand, I just have CFLs in the lamps.  I will trade them for a daylight bulb when I get to the store.  I will also pick up a couple more fixtures, probably clamping shop lights from Home Depot or Lowe's.



This picture is shot in the box, using only my flash.  I wanted to see what would happen without the outside lights.  My flash really washes it out.  I do like how white the bg looks, though.








This is taken using the outside lights as well as the flash on my camera.  Some people will tell you not to use your flash, but with my camera, I get the best pics with it.  Maybe this won't be true when I get more lights, but for now I just do what works!  I will continue to tweak.  I hope this helps anyone who has been thinking of building a light box.

18 comments:

Cheryl said...

How great is this! I have some boxes in the basement and now I know what I am going to be doing this afternoon after school. :) Thank you for the great directions!

Cheryl said...

P.s. I hope my other comment when thru and is just waiting approval. Anyhow, I am going to post a link to this on my blog.

Jenn said...

Cheryl, thanks for the link back. If you come up with any questions when you make yours, let me know so I can clarify the blog! Thanks

my5bratz said...

wow, i was JUST looking at the boxes in the kitchen from when i got groceries yesterday thinking hubby hasnt thrown them out yet, now I think you've changed my mind on at least one of them, lol, thanks for sharing this :)

Crafty Creations said...

Thanks for this. I always struggle with my pictures. I'm even taking a photography class!! Hopefully I'll learn some stuff :)
Maria

jimlynn said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS!!! I've been searching the forums for some time on how to make one of these and this is, by far, the best instructions I've come across! As soon as I find the right box, I'll be making one. Thanks again.

Gina said...

Great directions. THANK YOU for sharing this!

sarahw said...

Jenn, thanks so much for the directions. I will give this a try. :)

C.C. said...

Thanks so much for sharing those directions on how to make one!!

Jacqueline (Scraps of Life) said...

Great little tutorial on creating a light box! You did fantastic with yours!

Cindy said...

Very good directions. Thanks for sharing this!!

Vickie Y said...

Thanks for sharing your lightbox directions!

Jess said...

That's awesome!!!! I'll have to add you to my Blog Roll. :)

Rae Anne said...

Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial with us! I always take the worst pictures, so the help is more than appeciated!

Suzanne said...

Great tutorial! I have been meaning to try this out! Great card too... :)

paperpedaler said...

WOw! The find of the day. Thanks for sharing your creativity.

Martha said...

great tutorial, I will have to try it.

Michelle Forrest said...

Jenn, this is a great idea! I made a light box before out of white foam board, but it wasn't such a success. But I saved it . .. you know . . . just in case. This weekend, I turned my foam board light box into a box like yours. Now I just need to play with it and get my lighting right. Thanks for the money saving idea!