Want to up your photo game on social media? Making yourself a DIY light box will change how you take photos to post on your favorite social media platform!
Here’s how to make a simple and easy light box to add to your work space for photo taking!
5 foam boards (I used 20″ x 30″ boards, but the size of light box is up to you)
White tissue paper ( I used 20″ x 20″)
2 work light casings
2 fluorescent light bulbs, daylight, between 60-75 watts
Regular Scotch tape
Something to write with
Step One | Cut Side Panels to Size
First, set aside three of the five foam boards as you will only be cutting two boards down to size. The other three boards will remain at full length.
Using a ruler, measure the same distance length wise as the width of the board, and draw a cut line on the board. For example, if the width of the board is 20 inches, measure 20 inches in length.
Using a straight edge, cut along the cut line you drew, and set the board aside. Now repeat these steps for a second board.
Step Two | Cut Center Square Out of Side Panels
Using the square side panels you just cut to size, measure a 2-3 inch inset on all sides. Draw cut lines on all sides, cut along the lines and remove the center piece. This will create a frame and will make room for the tissue paper.
Repeat this step for the second side panels.
Oh, and queue the selfies with the frames you just made. It’s okay, I took full advantage of the opportunity, too!
Step 3 | Add Tissue Paper to Side Panels
Once you have cut a center square from the side panels, it is now time to add tissue paper. Tissue paper is a great diffusing paper for the light to give you evenly distributed light within the light box.
Line the opening in the frame with one layer of tissue paper. I like using the 20″ x 20″ size because it will cover a large area with a single piece. Trim the excess, and adhere to the frame of the board using regular Scotch tape.
TIP; Be sure to pull the tissue paper tight to reduce the wrinkles/lines. This will create a smooth film on each side.
Step 4 | Assemble Light Box
With the side panels complete, the hardest part is now behind you, and it wasn’t even that difficult! Now it’s time to assemble the rest of the light box pieces.
Assembling the Side Panels to Base
Start assembling the side panels to the base board by adding packing tape to a single edge of each side panel. Then, line up the taped edge to the short edge of a full size foam board. The full board will become the light box base. Tape the edges together to create a corner. Do the same process for the other side.
With the side panels assembled to the base of the light box, it should resemble a U shape.
Assembling the Back Panel
Now, using another full size foam board, it’s time to assemble the back panel. Making sure to align the short side of the new foam board with the side panels, and aligning the long side to the base of the light box. Using the packing tape, adhere the edges together to create corners.
Your light box should have three sides, two short and one long side with a base.
Removable Top Panel**
The final foam board will be used as a removable top panel. This will allow you to add a top panel to reduce overhead shadows, or use it as the final side panel for top-down photos.
**This piece is completely optional, but I highly recommend it for consistent light balance and reducing shadows.
You have completed the steps for building your DIY light box! The final step is to assemble the lights.
Step 5 | Assemble Lights
Gather the two light bulbs and work light casings. Add the bulbs to the casings, and using the clip on the work light, attach it to anything to create a sturdy base. I used scrap wood to create bases for my lights.
Keep in mind, you will want to move the lights around to create different lighting effects, so whatever you use will need to allow for movement.
With your new DIY light box, you can now begin taking some pretty awesome photos! If you want to change up your background, you can pick up colored poster board or decorative poster boards from your local craft store.
Now, you are all set to take better picture for your social media and/or for general product use. Whether you use your smartphone or a camera, your photo game just got an upgrade!
I have loved using a light box to improve my photos for social media photos! I have received many complements on the photos I share, and quite honestly, it was all because of this nifty light box.
I hope this was helpful, and I hope you will feel comfortable making your own light box to up your photo game in a pinch! Be sure to watch the full tutorial video below.
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