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40 mins

Take professional looking photographs with a DIY light box.
This photo wasn't taken in a studio. It was taken in my kitchen with a light box I made with household items. I've been testing out a cheap solution to take better pictures of craft projects, but this can be used for anything. If you don't have any of the materials, just head to Bed and Bath and you can get this stuff for around 20 bucks or less (save those coupons in the mail). Most of us typically have at least one of these items somewhere in our house.

I used this tutorial on Switchboard called "Taking Professional Looking Photos without a Professional".

Posted by Natalie Zee Drieu from San Francisco, California, United States • Published See Natalie Zee Drieu's 5 projects »
  • How to make a light box. DIY Light Box - Step 1
    Step 1

    Lay the plastic bin on a table or flat surface. Insert the poster board (or fabric) in the bin to be your backdrop. Lay the interfacing around the bin and clip the 2 lamps on either side of the bin. You really can get by with using just 2 clip lamps. I like them shining in from both sides. (The lamps I use have 60 watt bulbs.) Also, try moving them around in terms of direction as well as placement. For some items shining the light down from the top looks best. If you think you need more light, another lamp can be used.

  • Step 2

    When you are ready to take pictures, make sure you have a tripod for your camera. It will give you the stability you need for a clear shot. Make sure your flash is off. Next, turn up the white balance to a level that looks good on your digital camera and shoot away. Take a lot of photos and test to see which setup works best for your photos. You can also take your finished photos and modify the levels in Photoshop or do any kind of cropping/masking. For this shot, I only adjusted the levels a tiny bit.

  • Step 3

    What's great about the plastic storage bin is that I can store fabric in it when I'm not taking pictures. It is a great space saving solution.

Made this project? Share your version »


crafty_puppy *.
crafty_puppy *.
thanks so much for posting this. this will be really helpful. =) hope you're having a CRAFT-astic week!
DIS.AR.RAY · Las Vegas, Nevada, US · 32 projects
This is brilliant! I am always trying to find a way to make my crafts look good, but I always wanted that white background thing [I've been using computer paper, lol]. so this helps bunches!
Emily · Springfield, Missouri, US · 8 projects
this is magnificent and surprisingly easy! thanks : )

Natalie Zee Drieu
Natalie Zee Drieu · San Francisco, California, US · 5 projects
In terms of patterned fabric, i don't think that would work because the light needs to be softened to shine through, that's why the interfacing works. But it's worth a try if you want to have a patterned fabric in the back. Just make sure it's not too thick.
Twiggy · Chillicothe, Ohio, US · 12 projects
Great idea!
Shivi · Perth, Western Australia, AU · 14 projects
thankyou, this is brilliant! if you used a patterned fabric for the background would the photos still work out?
Debbie C.
Debbie C.
This is a great idea. I have put off building a light tent out of a box or pvc piping and what not because I don't have space to store one like that. It's not an issue if I can just store stuff inside the light "tent" itself. Thanks!

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