DIY: Photography Light Box For Under $25

One of the biggest struggles I have with this blog is the photography. I work a full time job during the day which limits the amount of time I have to take picture with daylight. This becomes a bigger problem when I try to document recipes. I cook at night and often battle the yellow and bar lighting in the kitchen. It’s nearly impossible to get a good picture without spending hours in editing.

In an effort to increase my photography skills and reduce my photo editing time, I built a photo light box today. It cost under $25 and it’s easily moveable all over the house.

I took a few test shots of the Gratitude Jar in the office and I think it was a wise investment.

Here is the gratitude shots from this post. This was taken in the exact same spot as the next photo during the afternoon. It was the best light I could get that day and I had to do a lot of editing afterward.

Gratitude Jar

Here is the after! I took this today, same spot and time as the above picture, but inside the light box. It made a world of difference. Editing took only a minute on this picture.

Light Box Test Photo

There are a lot of tutorials on the web on how to make these boxes. I did my own research before I started and followed the basic directions found via Google. However, I did make a few adjustments, especially in how I hang the lights. In stead of taking up a lot of space on countertops or rigging up chairs with the lights, I found a way to hook them directly to the box.

Step 1:

Collect your supplies.

  • Medium Cardboard Box
  • Duct Tape/Packaging Tape
  • 2 Clip Utility Lamps
  • Piece of scrap wood slightly wider than the box
  • 2 Daylight Light bulbs
  • Tissue Paper
  • Box Cutter
  • Ruler
  • Pencil

Photography Light Box

Photography Light Box

Step 2:

Using the packaging tape, close the bottom of the box.

Photography Light Box

Step 3:

I cut out a large hole on three of the sides of the box. To keep them even, I used the ruler and pencil to mark off the cut lines on all three sides. I used a box cutter to cut the box.

Photography Light Box

Photography Light Box

Step 4:

Cut off the flaps is the easiest next step. I wanted a little more support for the edges, so I cut them down and folded them back. I used White Duct Tape to secure all the edges. It doesn’t matter what color you use. I had the white on hand from a project that didn’t quite happen so I thought now would be the perfect time to use it. Duct Tape will give you good support, but use what you have; masking tape or painters tape work well too.

Photography Light Box

Step 5:

Tape a few sheets of tissue paper over each opening. This will diffuse the light created by the lamps. Of course you can also use white linen or other fabric as well.

Photography Light Box

Step 6:

Next I cut slits big enough to fit the thin piece of scrap wood across the back of the box.

Photography Light Box

Photography Light Box

Make sure the piece of wood is long enough to clip the lights on either side.

Photography Light Box

Step 7:

Attach the clip utility lamps.

Photography Light Box

Step 8:

Using the back of a piece of wrapping paper, tape the background to the wood plank across the back. The great thing is, I can change out the color anytime I want and the scrap wood makes an easy place to hang the paper.


Project Cost Breakdown:

Medium Cardboard Box (Home Depot) = $1

Duct Tape/Packaging Tape (Already Owned) = $0

2 Clip Utility Lamps (Lowes) = $15

Piece of scrap wood slightly wider than the box (Already Owned) = $0

2 Daylight Light bulbs (Lowes) = $6

Tissue Paper (Already Owned) = $0

Ruler/Pencil/Box Cutter (Already Owned) = $0

Total Project Cost: $22

4 responses

  1. Pingback: January 2012 Recap | Changing My Destiny

  2. Pingback: DIY: Organizing Printed Photos | Changing My Destiny

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