Monday, 17 June 2013

DIY Light Box

Morning! I've decided to dedicate a whole post to the DIY light box that I've been going on about for the past few days! I know there a lots of 'how-to's out there, but I thought I should contribute my method, since it's a lot simpler than others. Plus I only used materials that were lying around the house, rather than having to buy fabric and special paper etc.

The equipment:

10" x 9.5" x 8" cardboard box 
10 sheets of A4 paper
Gaffa tape 
A clever boyfriend

The box we used (I'm using 'we' very lightly here... I didn't actually do anything other than observe the process, as is obvious in the images!) was from a recent delivery. It's the perfect size for this sort of thing, but any size of box can be used, although a big box = big sheets of paper. It's best to search around for a box that's around the same size as A4... I guess a shoebox would work!
Anyway, once we'd found a suitable box, we fixed the flaps together with gaffa tape, making it a good few inches deeper.
Once fixed, we measured around three sides of the box and marked it out. The parts we marked were the top, and the two sides. A ruler can be used for this, or anything with a straight edge (we used a piece of wood that was lying around).
When everything was marked out, we cut out the shapes. Use a good pair of scissors for this, or a sharp knife, as you don't want to rip towards the edges.
So this is what your box should look like. I recommend 'sturdying' up any edges or loose bits, because you don't want it to suddenly bend or collapse.
As you can see, we taped over the flaps at the back of the box, and around every single edge. It doesn't look pretty, but it really strengthens the structure. Then we took out our A4 paper and began to fix it into the windows.
When all of the windows were filled, we took another piece of paper and placed it inside the base of the box (you can see a tiny bit poking out in the picture!) With the rest of the paper, we stacked it together so it was thick and bendy, then lay it in a curve inside the box. If you have a malleable piece of card, or a good quality cartridge paper, this would probably work better. But, as I said before, we refused to go out and purchase anything for this project, so stacked A4 paper had to do!
You can see inside the box in this photo, and how the paper curves from the top to the bottom. I didn't worry about any of the edges or gaps, because I knew I'd only be photographing the very centre of the box in my nail art pictures. We placed the final box under a desk lamp (any lamp will work), et voilĂ !
Here's the proof of how well my light box works. Both the above and below photos were taken with my iPhone 4S, and they're my 'Proud as a Peacock' nails. In the top image, the lighting is rubbish, the picture is grainy, and the beautiful colours of the manicure aren't done justice at all! But look how well it photographs inside my light box...
It's kind of a no-brainer. 

Making a DIY light box is soooo easy to do, and as you can see, the results are amazing. If you're a nail artist, or even a blogger who likes to take review products like makeup or jewellery, then I really recommend taking the time to make your own mini studio. It will make your images look so much more  professional!

What do you think? Have you made yourself a light box? Are you going to try?


  1. This is pretty much how my lightbox looks, it doesn't look amazing but works SO well :)

    1. They're amazing aren't they? :) I guess I could decorate around the edges if I was extremely bored one day... x

  2. I didn't know you could make such a big difference with a lightbox!! This is amazing ♥

  3. I am definitely going to make this!


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