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How to Make a Light Box With Paper (DIY Photography)

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DIY enthusiasts and photographers will love this quick, easy method for making a light box out of paper.

DIY enthusiasts and photographers will love this quick, easy method for making a light box out of paper.

Learn How to Make a Light Box With Paper!

There are several ways to make a simple light box at home using a few materials—and they're both cheap and easy to put together yourself.

Save Money With a DIY Light Box

Professional home studio kits are expensive. Why spend hundreds of dollars when you can get quality results by using some simple DIY photography techniques?

This article will explain how to make a light box with paper (and a few optional materials). Before we begin, check out the materials required in the photographs below.

Make your own DIY light box

Make your own DIY light box

Materials to Make Your Mini DIY Light Box

  • 3 sheets of paper
  • 1 light
  • 1 photo object
  • Tape (optional)
  • Extra lights (optional)
The only materials required to make a light box.

The only materials required to make a light box.

Step 1: Choose Your Paper

Knowing how to make a light box with paper is relatively easy and straightforward. To start, you will need three sheets of white A4 paper.

White works best since it reflects the light better than other colors and it will flood your photo area with the most light. As a result, your photos will appear more professional.

Fold both sheets of paper in half.

Fold both sheets of paper in half.

Step 2: Begin Folding

Take two sheets of paper and fold them both in half. Assemble them together by attaching one folded half to the folded half of the other sheet. This can be done with or without tape.

In my setup, I didn’t use any tape and the paper provided enough support on its own. Stand the folded sheets up together on a table or desk—upright so that there are three sides.

You could also set in on the floor if that angle is more convenient when you add the light.

Attach the two sheets. (Tape is optional.)

Attach the two sheets. (Tape is optional.)

Step 3: Create the Backdrop

Your mini DIY photography studio is almost ready. Next, take your third piece of paper and attach it to where the folded areas meet on the other two sheets.

Again, tape application is optional here as well. Curve the piece of paper slightly so that it forms a seamless backdrop for your light box.

It may take some adjusting, but the end result should look like the picture below.

This is how the paper light box should look when assembled.

This is how the paper light box should look when assembled.

Position your light and set the white balance.

Position your light and set the white balance.

Step 4: Add the Light

With your mini studio assembled, now all you need is to setup your light in the appropriate area. It works best if the light is closer to the light box so that it floods the entire area; however, feel free to experiment.

The proximity depends on the intensity of the bulb. You can use a fluorescent or incandescent light bulb. Just remember to set the proper white balance in your camera before photographing anything.

Place your object inside and take some photos.

Place your object inside and take some photos.

If you actually use a candle, be careful not to light the paper on fire!

If you actually use a candle, be careful not to light the paper on fire!

Step 5: Add Optional Materials

You may want to include these two optional materials.

Tape

Using tape for assembling your mini DIY light box will help keep the paper together, though it isn’t absolutely necessary. Some people prefer the simplicity and ease of using just the paper to hold it together.

Extra Lights

Adding another light or two will add to the intensity of the light. Try experimenting with a few more lights and discover what works best for you. By directing a second light along the backdrop it can significantly reduce shadows and improve the overall results of your shots. Just make sure the lights are all the same type and luminosity or else it the color will look unnatural.

Step 6: Photograph Objects

Finally, the last step is to take some pictures! Since the surface area is small, you will need to find smaller objects that will fit in the space. It’s an ideal size for things like fruit, coins, stationary, tiny plants or other small objects for product photography. The mini DIY light box is quite useful for both hobbyists and photo enthusiasts.

That's all there is to it. After following these simple steps, you should be able to fully understand how to make a light box with paper in no time.

You can fold it up when you're finished!

You can fold it up when you're finished!

DIY Light Box Poll

VIDEO: How to Make a Light Box for Less than $10

Comments

Light Box from NY on May 22, 2015:

very good article for sharing, thank you

ledlightboxes.org

peachy from Home Sweet Home on April 01, 2015:

this is way so cool, I always having problem with perfect backdrop

RTalloni on February 19, 2014:

Thanks!

CraftytotheCore on December 10, 2013:

Wow that is cool! I had never thought to do this before, and I take a lot of photos. I'm always looking to find the right backdrop. Thank you for this clever idea!

TeaPartyCrasher from Camp Hill, PA on June 21, 2013:

I will have to try this!

wiserworld (author) on June 21, 2013:

Thanks for the comment. It's probably the cheapest way to make a light box for sure. In the shots, I just used one light and the results turned out alright. Though by adding a second light directed along the backdrop it should make the background completely white -- which should improve the quality a lot I think. Glad you like the idea!

Jayme Kinsey from Oklahoma on June 20, 2013:

Wow, that sounds like fun. Lighting is always an issue in my house. This would be great for all the small, neat stuff that I try to photograph on my counter. Thanks for sharing!