Friday DIY: Build your own lightbox

Professional photographers often have a great deal of kit they consider essential – everything from backgrounds to studio lights. But don’t worry, you don’t need to have a professional’s kit to take high quality photos of items for your DaWanda shop. Today we’ll be showing you how to make your very own lightbox.

Let there be light
If you need to take photos of products which are shiny, or products which need uniform illumination, then a light tent (also known as a lightbox or photo box) is a good choice. You can achieve this by reflecting your light source(s), or by shining the light through a translucent screen onto the product.

Below are a couple of different ways in which you can make your own lightbox/tent on a low budget, with the things you have handy.

Lightbox from a Cardboard Carton
You will need: Cardboard, scissors/craft knife, tracing paper or thin white fabric, sticky tape, background paper, fasteners (e.g. velcro, string or tape).
Cost: approx. 3 Euros

Step 1: Take a cardboard box which is big enough to photograph your product inside. Cut large square holes in three sides of the box, leaving only a thin frame of cardboard on those sides. The bottom and one side of the box should remain intact.

Step 2: Now take the tracing paper and cut it to size – it should be able to cover the three ‘open’ sides of the box, as pictured below. Make sure that there are no wrinkles or creases in the paper, then glue it carefully around the outside of the box, making sure it does not overlap anywhere.

Step 3: Grab your background paper and hang it from the top-back, so that it flows down, as pictured. You can fix it in place with tape or velcro dots – these make it easy to switch your background.

Light Tent from a Laundry Bag
You will need: a laundry bag (IKEA Jäll model), background paper, fasteners (e.g. velcro, string or tape).
Cost: approx. 4 Euros

Step 1: Put the laundry bag on its side, as pictured.

Step 2: Stick your background inside. You can use velcro dots, pins or even duct tape.

So as you can see, making your own lightbox is easy peasy. You’ll get great photos in no time!

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Post from Azra

write at 09.11.2012 - 17:47.

About Azra

Azra spends her time talking to, writing about and shopping with the talented designers on DaWanda's English platform, and occasionally baking the odd cake. » more from Azra


  1. Naomi (09.11.12 17:56 Uhr)

    I love it :) Great idea , I also use only long carton paper in white and its also doing the job but the only thing is I cant photo in the night, so maybe with this it will be easier :)

  2. Sarah Robinson (Mouflon) (09.11.12 18:30 Uhr)

    Help please, I made a light box but couldn’t get the lighting bright enough…what do you suggest as a light source?

  3. Azra (12.11.12 13:02 Uhr)

    Hi Sarah, if you don’t have access to a bright enough light source, then we’d suggest using several different light sources at once. Grab all the portable lamps and flashlights in your home and space them evenly around your lightbox. Hope that helps!

  4. Azra (12.11.12 13:03 Uhr)

    Best of luck Naomi, let us know if this works out for you!

  5. Clare (14.11.12 08:21 Uhr)

    Hi Azra,

    You are so kind to share your DIY photo box!
    i am new here and have ZERO idea how to take care of shadows :(

    Happy to know you and wish your business success!


  6. Clare (14.11.12 08:22 Uhr)

    Thanks Azra,

    Looking forward to see more of your post :D


  7. Azra (14.11.12 18:12 Uhr)

    Glad to help Clare. Have fun making your photo box!

  8. Sarah Robinson (Mouflon) (19.11.12 12:12 Uhr)

    Thankyou I will try more light sources :-)