Make a Lightbox


1st lightbox

A lightbox can mean different things in the world of photography. Originally it was a box with a glass top with light bulbs inside to view slides.  But the kind of lightbox I am talking about is like a mini home studio where you can take photographs of items with soft, even, diffused light, and a seamless background…  

You can buy a lightbox.  There are many very nice ones. But you can also make one that will work nicely for very very cheap.  Strobist has a set of directions for making a lightbox with just a carboard box. Check out my original box to the right :) Most of my lightbox shots have been done using this simple box…  

The time came though when I needed a sturdier, more versitile, AND collapsible lightbox for easy sotrage and portableness.  My hubby came up with a genius design. Let me show you …  

My Homemade lightbox!  ( I know I need better lighting…)

My light box!  

To make this 2 ft lightbox frame you will need these items:  

4 pieces wood = 24 x 1.5 inches,  8 pieces wood= 10.5  x 1.5 inches, 3 pieces wood= 21 x 1.5 inches, 12 hinges, 4 locks, furniture dowels, wood glue, and tools of course ;)  

assembleThe two sides of the box are assembled like the diagram to the left.  It is best to router out the wood where the hinges are needed so that the pieces of wood lie flat against each other. Both left and right sides should bend inward toward the center when the locks are not fastened. When fastened, the trunk locks keep the legs of the box upright.  

Once these 2 side panals are built, all you need is the 3 beams that hold the box together. Notice in the diagram that there are peg holes in three of the corners.  Take the remaining three pieces of wood and,folded using your drill and wood glue, add dowels to each end. Now the box is easy to assemble and disassemble!  When taken apart the box frame will look like this…

And when using the box you can get results like this :)  



Mackie Mack  

Having a lightbox is essential for product photography. Recently I shot greetings cards for the company Mackie Mack and she needed straightforward shots of her products for a catalog.  The lightbox was invaluable.  But you can do many creative things with a lightbox too…  


Here are some fun things I’ve done with mine :)   

saku sm Saku2 sm  Martini Rose Flake swirly mugs  

Visit my lightbox / Products gallery, or  

See more lightbox shots in my posts :)   

17 Responses to “Make a Lightbox”

  1. Glad you did the lightbox “how to and why” thing. I want one. lol. Can you make me one please. Oh, and can you ask your friend if I can borrow Mikan too. That humster looks the coolest. :)

  2. Maybe I want one for each hand. Lol. ;)

  3. Yeah if i would do those things, i mean tiny studio work, i would do a lightbox too :-) Nice Work!

  4. […] customer and her products I thought it best to have something a little more professional than my cardbox box. I wanted something sturdy, and about 2 feet tall and wide. Since our home is small though, and I […]

  5. I see you have different coloured background. Do you achieve this by changing the colour of the cloth, or is something done in Photoshop?
    I made mine a different way, but now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have done it like yours. Nice job.

    • Hi Dave. Actually the background colors are just different pieces of posterboard. I keep a few different colors as inserts for my box depending on what I am shooting :)

  6. […] year I did a shoot in my lightbox with my friend’s hamster, Mikan. The name means orange in Japanese so we thought the little […]

  7. This is definitely an
    interesting post my friend…


  8. Just stumbled across this… Great post!

  9. this was a great article,very helpful! exactly what i was looking for.Thanks

  10. Can you tell me where you found those lights?

  11. I should have added, great article, I’m going to try it.

  12. […] sources: Aswirly, LegoDifferential Posted on July 16, 2013 by […]

  13. I might try this for photographing my paintings. What I do never seems to work well. Thanks!

  14. Love this!! How do you get the slight reflection??

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