DIY in Around 15 Minutes Photo Lightbox

I have been wanting to get a light box for like ever but haven’t been able to decide on one. Then my dad said he would build me one but his work got busy and he hasn’t had the time. Plus what kind of daughter would I be to ask him to build something for me when he is clearly exhausted from work. So I built my own last week or was it the week before (this ear issue is playing with my head). It’s not nearly the work of art I am sure his would have been but I did it with stuff I had laying around the house and in less than 15 minutes. It will work until the time that he either has time or I finally make the plunge and purchase one off Amazon.


The only thing I purchased special for this project was 2 Daylight light bulbs from Walmart. They were only $2.50 each and can be found in the light bulb aisle. Make sure they say DAYLIGHT. Soft white gives off a yellow glow but daylight is perfectly bright white.

k2-_14bd40a3-cff1-429a-814a-866f5dc9e26e.v1From around the house I collected:

A large deep cardboard box.
2 normal desk lamps
White paper
Shiny wrapping paper- aluminum foil would work too
wax paper

cloth to use as backdrop – can be changed out – tissue paper works well too if it isn’t all wrinkled (more on that later)

Step One:

Cut two large openings in the sides of the box. Leave an inch or more on each side and cute out the whole middle.

Step Two:

Cover whole box except for openings in the white paper. You could also paint if you wanted to. Not sure if this is needed but it made the box look better.


Step Three:

Cover openings in wax paper. Only one layer.


Step Four:

Add your shiny stuff to the inside roof. I used shiny wrapping paper because it was handy but aluminum foil would have worked fine.


Step Five:

Tape in your back drop. You can change this out as needed. White paper works great for this too if you have one BIG piece that can be bent instead of folded.

Be sure that whatever you use isn’t wrinkled or this happens. This is Tissue Paper.


This is cloth. I picked a nice flowered pattern for not one good specific reason except it was handy and ready to use for testing.


Step Six:

Set up two desk lamps, one on each side, pointing at the wax paper. This illuminates the wax paper and it softens the light which in turn bounces all over the inside of the box including your shiny roof.

Step Seven:

Test it out. It may not be pretty but it works like a charm.


With very little post picture editing, you can have sharp, clear, and colorful images.


Bonus tip:

Download Picasa. The fill light feature is AMAZING. It’s completely free and hands down my favorite photo program. And even with a hundred lights there will always be that one picture you wish was a little brighter.

New folder9

This was taken outside but I just wanted to show the difference that Picasa can make.


4 thoughts on “DIY in Around 15 Minutes Photo Lightbox

  1. Very cool! My husband surprised me with one for our anniversary. He had made it himself. I love it!

  2. I love this Becka! I’ve been wanting to make one myself! I photograph mostly at night when the kids are in bed so lighting is usually bad.

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