How to Make An Inexpensive Light Tent - DIY

How to Make An Inexpensive Light Tent – DIY


DIY Light tent

The following tutorial on constructing an Inexpensive Light Tent was Submitted by Jeffrey Bail. See Jeffrey’s Flickr Account here.

Note: while this is a great DIY tutorial that thousands of our readers have used – Amazon has many inexpensive Light Tents here that will get you some great results.

If you’re like me, you don’t want to spend money if you can do it yourself and yield the same results. One day I was at my local photography store I saw one of these “Pop-Up” light tents. It consisted of a collapsible white fabric box with a hole in the front and 3 lights – used for photographing small objects in photographic studios (like the shot of the chocolate reindeer to the left).

I was going to purchase it until I saw the $100 price tag. No way I am going to spend $100 on some fabric and 3 lights when the material costs far less. So I set off and built one of these light tents and it did not come out bad at all.

Materials Needed:

Step1Box1.) A Box – It could be any size you want as long as you can light it! I prefer it to be as square as can be. You can find boxes anywhere for free. I got mine from work in which they throw out anyway. You can also find boxes in the back of strip malls, grocery stores, appliance stores or basically any place that makes or sells products. Thicker the better! (Free)

2.) Fabric ‘ This again could be any type. In my box I used white muslin fabric that is found at your local arts and craft store. Buy enough to cover the entire box. ($4.00 US or $1.99 a yard) People suggested other fabrics like White Nylon and white fleece. If your extremely cheap and have some white under shirts laying around. Cut up the sides to where you have two halves of the shirt. If you use multiple shirts, be sure that the color matches or your end result may not turn out as you like it

3.) Tape ‘ I use tape to secure the fabric to the sides of the box. Reason being is that In-case you want to try out different fabrics. I use regular masking tape. ($1.00 US A Roll)

4.) Glue ‘ You can use a “Glue Stick” ($1.00 US a Stick) or spray adhesive ($5.00 US per Can) to stick the lining in the box.

5.) White Bristol board ‘ This will line the inside of the box and will also serve as your back round (.50 a sheet X2). I would suggest to buy 2 or 3 sheets as you will be cutting up two to line your box (Could be more depending on the size of your box) and one for the back round. Bristol board is a heavyweight paper (.006″ Thick) that is used in drawing/art. The name came from where it was originated, Bristol England. If you wanted a different back round you can also pick up different colors.

6.) Lights ‘ You will need to light this box and this could be the most expensive part of the box unless you already have the lights. In my opinion lighting is the most important part of this box. Without it you will not get the picture you desire. I went to my local hardware store and picked up some “Daylight” Bulbs. Using regular light bulbs will cast a yellow light and should be avoided. I purchased “n:vision” 90 watt equivalent compact florescent bulbs ($7.00 US). Basically any “Full Spectrum” light bulbs will do.

Also suggest a lighting fixture. If you have a one of those desk work lamps, It will work fine. If you don’t I suggest getting a “Clamp On Work Light”. At my local home depot they only had two kinds, A smaller reflector dish (5″) for $5.99 (US) or the 10.5″ reflector for $11.99 (US).

7.) Miscellaneous Tools ‘ Tape ruler, Ruler or any straight edge, scissors and knife


Now that you have the Materials I will show you out to make a light tent step by step. When your done you can take nice clean and crisp product shots.

Step By Step Process:

A) Take your box with a tape ruler and marker and measure in 2″ from the side of the box marking multiple points with your marker. When your done you will see your border, connect the points using your straight edge to where you should have a nice looking square/rectangle in the middle of the box with a 2″ border around it. Leave the top and bottom of the box alone as you will not need to mark it


B) Cut out the boxes you’ve drawn. Repeat that to the sides of the box where you have drawn the boxes. When you’re done, cut off the top of the box or remove the flaps on the top of the box. LEAVE THE BOTTOM INTACT!

C) Now take your Bristol board and make lines with your marker for every two inches 16 times. Then proceed to cut out 16 strips with your scissors.

D) Glue the paper strips into the box. Make sure the side with marker goes against the cardboard so it can not be seen.


E) Take another piece of Bristol board and cut is so the width is the same as the inside of the box and the length is much longer then the box.

F) Place the long piece of Bristol board into the box to where the piece curves to the bottom. Avoid creasing as it will show up in your photo. Cut off excess paper that is sticking out the top.


G) Cut your fabric to where it will cover the holes. Then cut a big piece to where it will cover the top of the box.

H) Tape the fabric to cover the holes in the box except the one that is facing your background. Then tape the top piece on.



Now all you got to do is light the top of the box and start snapping away!


There are many variations you can do to get the photo you want. If you’re having a shadow problem I suggest lighting the other sides of the box. If you’re getting vignetting I suggest a lens hood or moving the lens more into the box. Photoshop could be a handy tool also! Since my lens and camera are not the cleanest I tend photoshop the dust that is sitting on or in my camera. I also adjust the levels so it’s brighter.


Camera sticking into the box

 Dps Tent Softboxresult

The Light box in action

 Dps Tent Lindt

Another Result of the above light box

Note: while this is a great DIY tutorial that thousands of our readers have used – Amazon has many inexpensive Light Tents here that will get you some great results.

Enjoy this tutorial? Get more every week with our free email newsletter.

Also check out our other DIY Flash and Lighting Hacks for Digital Photographers.

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

Some Older Comments

  • Dawn Braun September 26, 2013 10:33 am

    The bulbs I purchased were (2) GE Reveal 100W full spectrum (clear,not soft) and no where on the packaging does it mention Color Temperature. I used the clip on utility lights and expected great results and discovered the white balance was way off and was really disappointed with the results.

    Would someone be willing to offer advice? I would very much appreciate it!

  • Willfull September 23, 2013 02:57 am

    "Daylight" lamps can be found at Wal Mart or a typical Home Center. Home centers generally have a larger selection. Look for "Color Temperature", it is usually expressed as 2700* K and higher. The range can be from 2700* K to 10,000*K. I use 5500*K to 6700*K in a 100W equivalent (23 to 26 watt compact fluorescent). I have three which are mounted in inexpensive 8" aluminum clamp lights. The top hole cut in a cardboard light box is small enough that I can rest the edges of the clamp light dome on the box. I have seen long cutouts on the sides and top of boxes that helps accommodate lighting placement, thinking in thirds.
    Lenses: consult the lens manufacturers specs for minimum focus distance.

  • Willfull September 23, 2013 02:15 am

    I've made these same light boxes in various sizes in the past. I've also placed tiles of various colors, sizes and textures on the bottom of the box to add interest. Quartz, Granite, Marble, Ceramic, etc. This would be the most expensive addition to a project of this kind, but the result can be dramatic.

  • Kurnia September 14, 2013 04:40 pm

    What focal length is good for product photo like this? My current prime lenses are 30mm f2.8 macro and 50mm f1.4. Which is better for this kind of shoot? Thanks

  • Di Vapor August 20, 2013 11:57 pm

    That light box is ingenious, saving a good £50 there. Well done.

  • Karen Henderson August 2, 2013 11:26 pm

    Easy to understand and construct. Thank you.

  • roger July 26, 2013 01:45 pm

    I found clamp on lights at Habitat for Humanity building supply store today. I am not finding full spectrum light bulbs. What am I misunderstanding? Any one out there photgraphed coins with an Ipod touch. I am loolking for Macro lens recommendations

  • Dan Oksnevad Photography July 26, 2013 09:05 am

    Wow, amazing results! I'm totally building a DIY lightbox this weekend!

  • Roger July 22, 2013 07:12 am

    Art supply section of Hobby Lobby. They also had the tracing paper near by and all of it aon sale right now.

  • Stephanie July 21, 2013 08:39 am

    Where did you buy the White Bristol board?

  • Roger July 18, 2013 07:30 am

    Great Idea and instructions.
    I just started the tent. I don't know how this will turn out, but readers may want to fold flap of box top down into the box and trim them to size of side openings. I think doing so will greatly strengthen the overall structure of the tent without any downside.

  • jorge davalos July 10, 2013 03:28 am


    what reflective material could i add to the bottom of the box, so the product gets reflected on the surface.

  • Peggy July 3, 2013 12:44 pm

    Thank you so much for the info!!! I will definitely be making one this weekend!

  • Melissa July 1, 2013 10:01 am

    I will deffently be giving your tutorial a go. Can you use any study lamp or do you need special bulbs?

  • Scott Kim June 16, 2013 06:18 pm

    I tried something really simple myself and your blog was a big help too. Check it out.

  • Natural Rene June 1, 2013 05:28 pm

    Wow Very neat Thanks for the info~ I love Photography..HHBR Natural Organics

  • Adeline May 30, 2013 04:00 am

    Someone essentially lend a hand to make seriously posts I would state.

    This is the very first time I frequented your website page and up to now?
    I amazed with the analysis you made to create this actual put up extraordinary.
    Magnificent activity!

  • Jeanne April 30, 2013 08:35 am

    Very nice. I made one a couple years ago out of foam board and vellum paper. Hot glued and taped the edges together. White foam board makes the bristol paper unneccesary.Sometimes I use a 12" x 12" slate tile for the 'floor' and it gives a nice contrast when I'm photographing at an angle (silver, copper and bronze jewelry). I've used fabric backdrops to get the continous look and fishing line along the top of the box to hang earrings on. I think it cost under $20, and some of that was for my craft knife solder tool which makes cutting through the foam board smooth like buttah.

    But I made it a little small, and I think a bigger box may be in order. I like the muslin fabric idea along with the Bristol board.

  • Daniel Kucer April 3, 2013 12:19 am

    Thank you for posting this, I am up for the challenge of making this because as a small business owner I must be conscious of the capital expenditures for my nascent

  • Lori March 24, 2013 03:36 pm

    Nice idea, thanks for sharing! I'm was also considering the ezcube but this is much more economical ;). Thanks for the DIY tips!

  • Ian March 20, 2013 01:06 pm

    This was fun and really easy! I have been wanting to do this for quite some time but figured it was gonna really cost some cash. Nope, this is on the cheap!

  • Mirna Scagliotti March 12, 2013 04:19 pm

    Hello, I have wondered about purchasing the software DubTurbo Beatmaker and was hoping somebody could give me an actual bona fide assessment of the application. Many of the websites that give experiences are in reality online marketers endorsing the software program so that i doubt that the evaluations are truthful. Thanks in advance for virtually any insight everyone can offer.

  • Lindsey February 23, 2013 05:11 am

    Thanks so much! I love this. I'm such a beginner, and I know lighting makes a huge difference. It is exactly what I needed - budget and otherwise. :) Thanks for the detailed explanations/photo tutorial.

  • Malumbo Simwaka February 20, 2013 08:16 pm

    This is what i have been looking for and am glad you shared.....

  • Sheri February 16, 2013 10:38 am

    You are an angel! I have been struggling for months. I even stood out in the snow taking pictures tying to get better lighting.

  • Polly Green February 3, 2013 10:56 am

    Wow - thank you for sharing this simple, effective step by step instruction.

  • Charlotte January 31, 2013 10:58 pm

    saw a piece on the one show about these small pop-up light boxes great for taking pics of jewellery etc and went online to research how much they are, too much, then I found this article. I much prefer to make than buy if I can help it and I have most of the items in the house already! Will def be making one of these as at the moment my pics suck (old small digital camera), this should make a vast improvement. looking forward to playing around with props too!

  • theoni January 26, 2013 07:59 pm

    thank you very much!
    (i going to change all my e-shop's photos!)

  • Cyndee December 31, 2012 05:27 am

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us! I really appreciate it!

  • sharmaB December 27, 2012 01:55 am

    Thanks a lot !!!! Was very helpful.

    Here are couple of photos clicked by me with "Light Tent"

  • Dhini December 24, 2012 07:29 am

    I want to know...which stetting do you use ?

  • jacky December 22, 2012 11:37 pm

    Brilliant - thank you!
    Have been thinking vaguely about building a light tent - now I have clear, step by step instructions and I can't wait to build it. Many thanks for a really useful tutorial.
    Thanks to Mart too, for the tip about tracing paper.

  • kelly gregory December 22, 2012 09:06 am

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Was nearly about to fork out $85 for a light box set up when I stumbled upon this article and after reading it, I feel slightly silly for not thinking of it myself. Champion effort, guys! You just saved me a packet :)

  • Jasmine December 2, 2012 04:59 pm

    Hi, Just want to know what kind of camera you are using? I like the one you have on the stand.
    Please let me know, thanks

  • Dave Ruel November 8, 2012 10:28 am

    Really when someone doesn't understand afterward its up to other users that they will help, so here it happens.

  • builders November 2, 2012 04:42 am

    It's actually a cool and helpful piece of info. I am satisfied that you just shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Mart October 20, 2012 10:56 pm

    You don't need full spectrum bulbs, just adjust the white balance in the camera. Fabric is very thick, some tracing paper works better.

  • Chrystie DeSmet October 16, 2012 04:59 pm

    Is there a reason to cut the hole in the back if it's then covered w/paper?

  • Janet October 14, 2012 01:46 am

    Sorry - just bugs me - your in many places in the post should be a contraction - you're as in you are.

  • sadee October 11, 2012 06:51 pm

    Can i take a white background pic with my nikon D3100?

  • Alec R. Hosterman October 1, 2012 11:13 am

    Great tutorial and very easy to make. Hardest part was patiently waiting until it was finished before I could use it...that and the cats wanting to play inside. Here's the finished deal:

  • Tom Lewis September 20, 2012 01:20 pm

    FInished building my tent. The lamp I started with is an "OttLight", providing very nice daylight illumination, but wasn't happy with the QUANTITY of light, so I went out & got a CLAMP light that can handle a 100 watt daylight CFL. MUCH better! Very glad I decided to make it this big, by the way . . . (I'd post a pic if I could figure out how!)

  • Lennier September 18, 2012 01:58 am

    Awesome guide. I guess we all know what we'll be doing weekend :)

  • kamagra September 14, 2012 07:48 pm

    Great video. I have a "20 something" nephew in boot camp at Ft. Jackson, SC even as I am typing. He is planning to join the National Guard in Texas. We salute you Jeremy. Thank you for training to fight for us and keep us safe. God Bless all of our soldiers who are serving and have served.

  • Andy September 13, 2012 07:31 pm

    Great need one of these for years
    Thankyou very much for your great article, you’ve inspired me. I am now totally committed to
    making a lightbox of your design.

  • MiKa September 9, 2012 05:57 am

    Great Job ! I will try to do the same.

  • Jerry Gibson September 7, 2012 02:48 am

    I found the article interesting as I'm searching for this type of fixture the problem I have I need a much larger tent say 4 ft x 5 ft x 3 ft high as I'm trying to photograph Scottish bagpipes and their engraved silver mountings which involves fine detail I [presume I use your above listed principals plus a say card table to make one for my application

  • Billie Hillier September 5, 2012 01:19 pm

    Reporting back --- this is so easy, my daughter made it for me! {not to say she isn't smart - she's brilliant but still...}

    Thank you so much again!

  • Catherine Black September 3, 2012 11:32 pm

    Thank you for this, I've just completed mine and taken some much better photographs along with sharing it on my Facebook pages. To let you know, I also shared your link! Thanks again

  • Kelli c. September 1, 2012 03:09 am

    I think this is an en genius idea!!! Not to mention how cost efficiency it is.
    I now laugh at all the people that rather spend $40-$200 for a more professional cube. I say if you can DIY, then do it. Why spend money when you don't have to?

  • Billie Hillier August 26, 2012 05:22 am

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for this.

    I had looked on Amazon for light text / boxes and couldn't be some of the prices --- we are making our light tent this weekend.

  • Tom Lewis August 25, 2012 01:58 pm

    Building the tent this weekend. Have cut the box. . . . One question: Bought a lamp with daylight-rated bulb, but what LUMENS would you recommend? The bulb I have is putting out 900 lumens, and I was thinking maybe it should be brighter.

  • Mark S August 22, 2012 04:01 pm

    Very good tutorial man. It looks pretty fun to do as well but as an alternative light box, you can find some of these collapsable light tents on eBay selling for only $20. Some of you folks might not want to spend the time building one of these yourselves.

  • Sandra Harriette August 22, 2012 11:11 am

    Thank you for the tips! I have taken pictures using this method with the only exception that I used a clear storage bin instead.

  • Jai Catalano August 16, 2012 09:29 pm

    It is very impressive. I remember reading this. It's great if you don't have a lot of money or you love to build things because you can control what you do.

  • Lisa August 8, 2012 03:31 am

    I loved making my light box. It was a fun project. I used velum paper instead cloth for I had read that velum diffuses light very well. I used one ott light on the top. The pictures did fine but needed more light. So I bought two moe ott lamps and placed them on either side. The light on the objects were great! BUT when I went to take the picture ther were scrolling lines that appeared on the camera and on the photo. So what happened?

  • Shelley August 6, 2012 06:57 am


    I am just starting to sell my jewelry online. I recently started to take the pictures and was looking for a inexpensive way to photograph the jewelry that i design. I tried the box and it was great! I then went to the dollar store and found a pop up white and black laundry basket. You cant use the mesh ones but the second dollar store i tried had the baskets that were just a very very thin layer of material. It is longer then what i need but for a $1 it works so great ! All I do then is put a desk light on the top at the back of the basket. I place my item towards the back and start shooting. I got the idea from a toy box that my son had. It looked similar to the light boxes that are being sold for $40 on ebay and amazon .

    Hope this helps any one.

  • Brad May 19, 2012 10:48 am

    Built mine this afternoon! Works great! Thanks for the awesome tip.

    Some of my first shots-

  • Ryan May 14, 2012 11:28 am

    is it possible to make one of these with black instead of white

  • laron May 2, 2012 06:22 am

    I FINALLY DID IT but with a smaller box, and even my iphone can produce studio images!!!so cool! thanks!

  • azita April 27, 2012 12:05 pm

    Super useful tutorial! I have everything except for the clamp on lamps and that should be easily remedied. I'll be using this for food photography for my blog - can't wait to give a whirl. Thank you for the post.

  • Peggy April 25, 2012 06:18 am

    Thank you for this tutorial. I am looking forward to building this box!

  • Hatty James April 20, 2012 08:19 pm

    Don't you reckon that the saying a poor workman blames his kit is the most silly ever. In my personal view if you don't have the right equipment for the job and a toolchest to store them, you just cannot do it right. If you agree and are looking for a place to buy tools online, can I suggest Thank you.

  • PG April 17, 2012 01:23 am

    Also, want to use a black background, any suggestions for materials that will still look black under such bright light?

  • PG April 17, 2012 01:21 am

    Thank you!! This is awesome, had everything at home except for the lamp and bulbs, using a 100W, works great! :)

  • Shia April 12, 2012 09:09 am

    Hi, just made my box and i am getting somewhat of a vignette overcast.could it be the lighting I'm using- halogen flood full spectrum light 75W?

  • Chanda Hutten April 12, 2012 08:24 am

    There are some attention-grabbing points in time on this article however I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There's some validity but I will take maintain opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we would like extra! Added to FeedBurner as properly

  • Eric @ Packaging San Diego April 4, 2012 09:04 pm

    Yes!! A little bit of creativity saves our money as well as efforts. According to your information, if we purchase this type of light tent from market defiantly we pay more money as compare to our own creativity with fabric boxes. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Waqas Ahmed March 27, 2012 04:18 am

    Hey thank you so much. . i just want to know which light should we use for that? can we use savers instead?

  • Nic Barella March 24, 2012 09:12 pm

    No way!! I have loads of 40 x 40 Elinchrom light boxes with busted poles and useless shells! I can use those parts to make a sweet light box! Great idea!



  • Carmen March 21, 2012 06:28 am

    This is a great idea. I too was going to pick up a lightbox kit but couldn't justify spending the money on one. This will come in handy when it's time to photograph my jewelry!

  • Almas March 19, 2012 06:26 am

    Just made this, it came out perfect! I used vellum paper that I already had instead of tracing paper. Thanks for the easy to follow tutorial.

  • Anna Winter March 17, 2012 05:04 am

    Thank you for providing simple instructions for a project that can be completed in a short period of time no less! My website is under construction and I want the lighting to be excellent for highlighting my handcrated jewelry. I expect to obtain excellent results using this light box. Thanks again.

  • Diego March 10, 2012 06:55 am

    Ikea sales clothes organizers for under $20 that are great for small objects (boxes are 12" square) and some bigger ones for a bit more and since they are white polyester they work very good

  • Carol March 9, 2012 09:11 am

    Thanks for the turorial. I happened to get a big swaure box yesterday and have started to follow your step-by-step instructions. Is there a reason that you cut out a square from the side of the box that will be covered by the Bristool Board "ramp? It seems like cutting out 3 windows should be enough. I'm marking them now, and I think that' cutting them out with a craft knife will be the hardest part for me. I'm very optimistic to give this a try.

  • Oshi March 7, 2012 08:18 pm

    I mentioned your tutorial here: " How to build a light box in a cheaper way!! It all starts with a coffee box!! For professional pics! :):) Take a look! "

  • McKL March 6, 2012 01:19 pm

    Great article and how to... I was looking for a Jewelry box but this one beats it!. Thank you.

  • manan doshi February 16, 2012 07:11 am

    hi mate, just tried setting a studio, i am from mumbai , i have a canon 550d i have a 18-55 len i mount on canon do i need to get a 100mm .do i have to take that damage.or theres a option . i just want to click photos for my website thats been made.kindly enlighten me on this . greetings again

  • Jayne February 9, 2012 09:23 pm

    Thanks so much for this tutorial.Its by far the best I have come across for DIY Lightboxes. Really appreciate you sharing this knowledge

  • Hilary Cam January 31, 2012 04:20 pm

    This is a wonderful idea! I cant wait to try it!

  • Denise January 31, 2012 09:14 am

    Just found this tutorial cannot wait to try it, really needed something like this but could not see buying one, have all the materials on hand already and cannot wait to see how things turn out.

  • Philippe January 27, 2012 04:33 am

    Very easy to do

  • Terri January 24, 2012 10:56 am

    Thanks for the instructions! I made a lightbox today and am in the process of photographing some new items for Etsy. I'd add one thing: since you'll be dependent on the light from the lightbox and your flash shouldn't be going off, it's important to use a tripod to get the clearest photos and eliminate the blurriness most of us create without it!

  • Alicia January 23, 2012 03:19 pm

    AWESOME tutorial! Just completed mine and took my first set of photographs. My cookie colors pop and the possibilities for background changes are limitless. Funny thing about the price of Bristol board. It was approx. $.50 when you wrote this tutorial and I paid $1.50 per board this past weekend. Inflation! Total cost was only $13 including the light.

  • Natalie January 18, 2012 03:02 pm

    I'm in the process of putting this together but I'm having a lot of trouble finding bristol board. Is there any other type you reccomend? Where is the best place to get the board?

  • Ralph K January 15, 2012 08:16 am

    Terrific tutorial. I was looking around to see if I have all the right materials, and I'm curious if white tissue, like the kind used in gift packing, could be used in place of fabric, or if the fabric has some properties which help with light diffusion?

  • Jess Dahle January 11, 2012 01:55 pm

    I just wanted to let you know that I absolutely love this idea! I originally saw it from a pin on Pinterest, and I couldn't wait to try it. I tweaked a few of the steps and overall I love the result! I have had so much fun having photo shoots in my light tent. Here is the link for my version of this project:

  • Rob January 9, 2012 05:35 am

    I have been trying to make this for a day and a half now. and for some god awful reason the Glue will not hold the bristol board to the box. i have tried the glue stick, and spray adhesive ( not on the same pieces of course) and neither one will actually hold the bristol on. even after letting it sit over night a few of the pieces still are falling of.
    staples wont work, super glue will bleed through the bristol board, what do i do?

  • sa January 8, 2012 11:46 pm

    Excellent article. Though I have been visiting site very often for my own learning, this is the first time I am posting my comment and the acknowledgement. I am also reading the book Problogger by Darren Rowse and in process of setting up a photo blog. The book gives great ideas. I have been experiementing on Water drop photography and smoke art for some time. I have even developed a complete kit for water drop photography. Details are in my

  • marsha December 31, 2011 09:04 am

    I love my light box - thank you and have a very happy new year, Marsha

  • Feed Mill December 30, 2011 12:37 pm

    Total cost was $12.73 and the box is great! I have several coins for sale and now should be able to fetch top dollar due to the buyer being able to see the details in them. Will try out different backgrounds too, thanks again for this simple to make photo studio. BTW, I have enough materials left over to make 2 more boxes since mine is only a 12? box .

  • udaybhanu moharana December 13, 2011 04:03 pm

    Excellent article. Though I have been visiting site very often for my own learning, this is the first time I am posting my comment and the acknowledgement. I am also reading the book Problogger by Darren Rowse and in process of setting up a photo blog. The book gives great ideas. I have been experiementing on Water drop photography and smoke art for some time. I have even developed a complete kit for water drop photography. Details are in my website


  • Martin Lee December 3, 2011 06:08 am

    My eldest son is really into origami and I have been building up an album of his work. Unfortunately I have always had difficulty dealing with the background and sides trying to angle the camera so as not to distract from the small objects being photographed. I knew there must be something on the internet dealing with making a 'light Box' without going into much expense. How fortunate I was to come across this web site. Not being particularly 'crafty' I found it so easy to make my box and it took next to nothing. I covered the sides and top with Muslin cloth and now have to experiment if i have to use a single sheet of the material or use it doubled up.
    What a marvelous nand inexpensive photographic aid.
    Thank You

  • Bob Andrews November 26, 2011 05:34 am

    Thanks for the good writeup. It in fact was a leisure account it. Glance complicated to far brought agreeable from you! By the way, how can we keep up a correspondence?

  • Mr bean Games November 21, 2011 06:01 am

    I am running the RockinNewspaper theme, which is completely different from my first theme, but I must say I love the 3-column theme. i am very interested to play mr bean games.

  • Brock November 19, 2011 07:15 am

    I built this box today without reading any of the comments left for you by others. Total cost was $12.73 and the box is great! I have several coins for sale and now should be able to fetch top dollar due to the buyer being able to see the details in them. Will try out different backgrounds too, thanks again for this simple to make photo studio. BTW, I have enough materials left over to make 2 more boxes since mine is only a 12" box.

  • Mark Berg November 17, 2011 01:51 pm

    What are the best Nikon lenses for wedding photography?

  • Troy November 16, 2011 01:35 am

    I made a makeshift version of this lightbox yesterday to shoot jewelry for a friend's website.

    I improvised a lot. I actually didn't spend a dime and the results were pretty amazing!

  • leiann November 13, 2011 07:03 pm

    Wow! I will tell these to my cousin...:) thank you for the great tutorial! i'll try to make one..

    Just want to ask one thing. Can i use this for studio light? (like umbrella)

  • Don November 11, 2011 03:36 am

    Excellent article. I have smaller items that I list on eBay and haven't been satisfied with the quality of the images when take on a bigger table. It's usually the lighting that seems to be off, and even with a macro setting, some of the detail is missing because the camera is too far away from the item. I've been interested in trying out a setup like this, but the price for light tent always put me off.

    Looking forward to building this setup and seeing what the image quality looks like. Thanks for posting the article.

  • Giselle November 9, 2011 04:51 pm

    Thank you for this great tutorial! I'm definitely going to make my own. I just need a box like that.

  • Kratom November 3, 2011 01:52 pm

    This is great thanks! Started building my box today... have been whiting out backgrounds on photoshop
    forever and its a pain! This is much better!

  • D Babbit October 29, 2011 04:15 pm

    Great tips, and just in time! I need a light box to take photos of my jewelry this week....Thanks!

  • Matt October 22, 2011 01:05 am

    @danceswithcuttlefish: I haven't used that particular bulb, but i understand what you're saying with the extreme yellows and blues. I find that 5000K fluorescents seem to work the best for most applications. The image of the light bulb that you see in the link was taken with 6000K fluorescents inside a light box. Having been in the lighting industry for years, i would suggest 5000K's for general use.

  • Linda Anderson October 10, 2011 01:21 pm

    Great tutorial. I love the simplicity of it. This is definitely going on my to do list.

  • DancesWithCuttlefish October 4, 2011 08:51 am

    @Matt: Have you used those particular bulbs, and if so, do you have any examples of the photos that you've taken? I've been using some 6500K CFLs that work okay, but need a soft white type to help cut the harshness of them. It's really difficult to find anything between tungsten yellow death and OH GOD MY EYES around here, so I've been having to compensate a lot with my white balance. I'd rather just be able to have the proper lighting.

  • Matt September 30, 2011 04:51 am

    Great idea! I really enjoy experimenting with the type of light bulb being used. High kelvin CFLs seem to give out the best color when you're using a setup like this on a budget.

  • Melissa September 27, 2011 06:18 pm

    AH! Awesome timing!!! I have been looking at these and it just seems everyone is so proud of their little popup light box that I was struggling to write the check. Thanks so very much.

  • Eva September 14, 2011 01:46 pm

    Fantastic, thank you for this simple tutorial. I will share with my friends at Etsy.
    I will definitely make the box now.
    I usually shoot my jewelry outdoors and the light it is very unconsistent.
    Thanks again

  • David Grant September 12, 2011 08:36 pm

    Great L Lens you have there, what do they cost $1600? - Nice

  • Shirley from Funchkins September 6, 2011 04:35 am

    What a great tutorial. I need to make a box for my knitting and I'm gonna try this.

  • Dharlee September 4, 2011 06:09 pm

    I made and love this light box. The only problem I have is that sometimes I feel I am getting too much brightness on my sterling silver pieces. It's almost like the have a white glow to them. I tried filtering the light more, but it doesn't really seem to help. I use a point and shoot Kodak Easy share, and can't afford a new camera yet. Thanks!!

  • Debra Johnson August 28, 2011 10:31 am

    Thank you sooo much! I just finished my photo box. I had a small box around the house and a old white t-shirt,tape,paring knife,measuring tape and a old price list from my hair salon(Iused the blank back side of course). I took photos of a bracelet. It is so clear and crisp is what first came to mind. I'm going to make a larger one. Thanks again for sharing!

  • Anika August 25, 2011 05:42 am

    Does anyone know if using PVC: does the fabric go "outside" i.e. around the PVC? or is it sort of suspended tautly within the PVC frame? Thanks for such a great tutorial!!

  • Ed August 25, 2011 01:29 am

    Awesome, going to tackle this over the weekend.

  • Meaghan August 6, 2011 06:05 am

    FANTASTIC tutorial. I'm extremely happy with the results. I got a clamp on work light from Walmart and a 100 watt lightbulb. Excellent results for less than $60!

  • kan August 2, 2011 09:31 pm

    this is awesome and inspiring.. never easier
    thanks a lot

  • Natural Gumption July 31, 2011 03:04 pm

    I've been looking at this for a while, finally decided it was better to make this than fork out $50 on amazon to buy one. I have to say i am stoked with the results. Nice work!

  • Texas July 29, 2011 11:26 pm

    Great idea!

    I have made something similar although not as good!

  • TEND July 18, 2011 03:31 pm

    It's powerful and save my money a lot thanks.

  • July 11, 2011 12:20 am


    Thanks for the great instructions. I followed your steps and made one for myself. I have some pictures to share here:
    Thanks once again!

  • JohnTIEW June 22, 2011 11:08 am

    Brilliant idea bro, thanks and appreciated indeed.

  • david June 20, 2011 12:06 am

    Hi Sam,
    Many thanks for your reply. I am using canon 1000D (an entry level) with 18-55 kit and 50mm fix lens.

  • Sam June 19, 2011 11:14 am

    -> David, if your camera has a white balance setting on it you can try changing it. If your camera has the ability to use a "gray card" and you have one you can use it to set the white balance on your camera. There are many things which effect the colors like type of lights you are using to the cloth you use to diffuse the light. What camera are you using? Someone may be able to give you more advice if they use the same camera. Good luck. Sam

  • david June 18, 2011 12:49 pm

    what setting do you use on your camera? i have trying to shoot many times yet i haven't got a pure white background, i got greyish background...

  • LarrysLeatherWork June 15, 2011 12:30 am

    I made the box but totally lined with paper and the front open with the lights shinning inside it... then took my picture. I am going to make this one and try it. Your photos look great. thank you so much for the help.

  • Evan June 13, 2011 01:55 am

    Great work on the box! I've made one specially to help with my mother's bakery business, and it worked out great! ;)

  • Terry June 6, 2011 06:48 am

    Absolutely fantastic!

    I have needed something like this for years but never actually got round to buying one, this has enabled me to build one without having to pay for it - great stuff thanks

  • JenD June 3, 2011 01:21 pm

    Just an odd little note, but I use my white bathtub as a light box. It's 100% free with a couple lights. Mind you, it's been refinished, so it's not very glossy and it's not perfectly flat, so it doesn't cause reflections. Voila!!!

  • Handyman May 24, 2011 07:35 pm

    This is similar to the set-up I advice my clients to build only I'm sure your article explains it much more then I could. A change some might want to make is cutting two sides of the box right down to the floor. This allows for quick placement of the products if you have a lot of products to shoot.

    Set the camera on auto-shoot and just keep adding moving the product in and out of the box as the shutter fires. I also have this set to the computer and each image is processed, renamed and stored in the correct format for uploading to the website :-) I can easy do 1000 products a day.

    Now getting that into your shopping cart application ? well the images are stored in the folder - do a Dir /B on the folder to produce a listing of the images. Put that in a text editors to add the store image paths and then into excel to create you csv import.

  • Guy Labbé May 20, 2011 09:43 pm

    I would be interested into translating this post in French, and post it to my blog with a strong reference to this page... with pictures of my result of applying this tutorial... if interested contact me by Email

  • ULJUH April 14, 2011 03:18 am

    Dude I just wanted u to know that ur simple cost effective invention ideas are helpin [people as far as India...Rock ON \m/

  • Dale B April 11, 2011 05:32 am

    Too cool. I just made one using a box from my garage and a Miller Light T-shirt I got from the bar! Still playing with the lights but I think the effect is great! Thanks for the tutorial!

    [eimg url='' title='il_fullxfull.234807612.jpg']

  • Anne Mason April 5, 2011 11:34 am

    Thanks so much. I make jewellery and it has helped so much to get the best pics so far. Fantastic!

  • Adam March 27, 2011 10:25 am

    Awesome guide. I just used it to make my own softbox! Detailed steps here:

  • Happy March 26, 2011 10:30 pm

    Great tutorial! I only need to photograph so rarely but every time I do, I wish I have a light box. I have to try this and make one! Thanks!

  • Bernadette Dean March 19, 2011 05:13 am

    Thanks for the great info!!!

  • Michael Stagg | Maikeru Foto March 13, 2011 01:48 pm

    Awesome guide! Hmmm...I wonder if I could get away with using a collapsible laundry hamper?

  • Tania March 9, 2011 06:03 pm

    Thank you very much!

  • J nicholson March 5, 2011 08:46 am

    This is the ultimate in diy, could save a little money as well!
    Thanks for the great idea!

  • Kel Michelle March 3, 2011 02:11 pm

    Super useful, I like! ~<3~

  • Al March 1, 2011 09:31 am

    For jewelry I use tungsten 500w (above) 75w and 150w at the sides and corrected with tungsten light in camera or, as Karen says, correct level in photoshop (if needed), here's a good page for that:

    some times i take pics with ISO 64 tungsten kodak ektachrome, for really detailed stuff, u can add a A80 filter for more yellow correction.... also a topic here 80A filter vs. post balancing.


  • Melissa February 25, 2011 01:59 am

    This worked totally awesome! I was a sceptic from time to time- but it works great and was super inexpensive to make. Easy, too! It will absolutely change my business! Thank you!

  • Liamz February 23, 2011 12:45 pm

    Excellent tutorial, here's the one I made following this guide:

    I left the top of the side panels open to accommodate a string running through to shoot hanging objects like earrings etc.

  • Jennifer February 23, 2011 08:14 am

    question...what if the object isn't heavy enough to weightthe 'curve' in the Bristol paper down so it just slides to the front of the box?

  • perawatan vagina February 21, 2011 12:47 pm

    Thank You for such a great idea!....

  • Karen February 19, 2011 05:06 am

    This is to Tracy Lewis:

    There are two things you can do to get rid of the "yellowing" effect you're experiencing.

    One: Make sure to do a "custom white balance" on your camera before taking your photos - set it using the white background of the light tent.

    Two: Use "Levels" or "Curves" in Photoshop (or another photo editing program - Gimp and are free programs you can find online) to whiten your background even more.

  • Mike February 16, 2011 12:05 am

    I build this one 2 years ago and it's still great. I used it every weekend 3 - 5 times :)

  • Dermot February 15, 2011 07:20 am

    Hi Darren ,
    Didn't know where to get a light box , but u have created this "magic box" to save people the expense of the real thing ..... brilliant ... greetings from Ireland .........thanks again

  • Mike Behnken February 12, 2011 06:57 pm

    This is great, I was going to spend several hundred dollars for something I'm not sure if I'll make any money off of and now I have more money for cool stuff.

  • Mike Kochever February 11, 2011 09:13 am

    What a great idea! So simple and so affordable. The examples look beautiful.

  • Penny Kitzmiller February 8, 2011 02:57 pm

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I am going to make me one for sure!!!

  • Ari February 7, 2011 07:41 pm

    This rocks hard, very good idea and it is cheap! thanks!

  • CosmicCupcakes January 31, 2011 06:16 pm

    cheap suggestion that I wanted to add. White tissue paper instead of fabric. 99 cents a package. the dollar tree's tissue paper is thicker than hallmarks brand and work's marvelously.

  • Tracy Lewis January 31, 2011 06:10 am

    I just built a light box/tent as described in this article. It turned out great. I am, however, still getting the yellowing effect and I have tried several kinds of light bulbs, including the ones mentioned here. I make custom jewelry and I would like to be able to photograph small pieces with a lot of clarity that shows off the detail of the jewelry. Any suggestions to help? Thanks!

  • Mike January 29, 2011 03:01 pm

    DIY projects are so much fun(proably why I like The New Yankee Workshop so much) this one is simple and it is a necessasity if you plan on selling small objects on Ebay.Nice and concise article.

  • Cindy January 26, 2011 06:57 am

    I build one of your light tents and it looks totally professional!
    It makes beautiful photos, thanks a lot for this "how to"

  • Mike January 20, 2011 10:57 pm

    Saw this, bought this!

    But, I think you've done a great job with your home-made box.

  • Anna January 18, 2011 09:20 am

    Thank you so much! It works wonderfully! My pictures are like from a magazine! You are a life saver! Thank you for sharing this idea with us. May good things return to you to fold.

  • Alison January 13, 2011 04:27 am

    How do you get such a bright white background?

  • Itiel January 11, 2011 06:43 pm

    Better photos is one of my top 3 goals for my business for 2011. I am glad I found this post. I shared it on my blog-

  • Brittany Taylor December 30, 2010 06:45 pm

    Awesome!! I've been looking for a cheaper alternative to getting professional looking pictures. Thank you very, very much.

  • Brittany Taylor December 30, 2010 06:44 pm

    Awesome!! I've been looking for a cheaper alternative to getting professional looking pictures. Thank you very, very much.

  • Rodger - Décoration africaine December 29, 2010 03:11 pm

    Thank you for all this advices. I make my light tent and it work perfectly. I am very satisfy. My images are perfect.

    Thank you !

  • Nicole December 23, 2010 01:48 pm

    Where do you buy the bristol board in California?

  • Silke O. December 11, 2010 03:31 am

    I used this box for my ebay auctions and i really get a little bit more money for my useless crap.

  • l.neuner December 8, 2010 11:12 am

    thanks! I am certainly going to do this. i have been photographing jewelry i make to put on sell on a website with terrible results- this is going to make them look so much better and (hopefully) sell better!

  • Julie Chai November 15, 2010 08:46 am

    Just want to thank you for info on making the photographic tent box. It iwll help out pottery photos on my site a great deal. Thanks! julie :)

  • Flirt November 14, 2010 06:11 am

    Amazing lightbox, very easy to build and cheap but makes beautiful pictures with my canon. Thanks a lot!

  • Rings November 14, 2010 05:37 am

    Great advice. What camera would you recommend and how important did you find photoshop in getting the white back ground white. Thanks again.

  • Creative Shooter November 12, 2010 08:20 pm

    It's great tutorial, I'm looking for studio for making photos for client's products, Thanks

  • Neil mackenzie November 12, 2010 07:07 am

    Great work, love the idea

  • Tom November 1, 2010 01:08 am

    Hi, I've made a replica of the one you've shown us to do but I'm trying to take pictures of miniatures but because the Bristol board curves down from the top I find it hard to get the model to stand up.. It could be me not reading the instructions properly but it shows that the Bristol board is on a slant from the top. Do I flattern it or find a way to make the model stand up on the uneven surface?

  • superman October 26, 2010 02:26 pm

    I did lot of work on this to get it right ...but this idea rocks...thank you

  • Kitty Mccall October 24, 2010 01:07 am

    This will be perfect for my website, I am going to give it a go today for our new products.

    Keep an eye on for results.

  • Shavonne October 23, 2010 03:14 am

    Wow! I am going to try this out. I am starting a stationary line, and looking to take some pictures for my website. I will report back with how I did!

  • Gloria Farrant October 15, 2010 03:17 am

    Thanx great tutorial. I made a small one of these some time ago and made a simple adjustment. I made a slit along the back top edge wide enough to pass your back ground paper through. That way you can add different colour background sheets including graduated ones.

  • Todd J. List October 13, 2010 04:38 am

    I have a client who makes lots of small jewelry items, and I didn't know how to get good photos for her website without spending a fortune. I will definitely try this! Thank you!


  • Kat October 11, 2010 04:24 pm

    wow this is fantastic thanks for the tip, I sure am happy to have found this information! I am going to make mine right away.

  • Brian October 8, 2010 04:55 pm

    I was pointed here from the recent mail shot.
    Just one quick question.
    For this settup, would you advise setting a manual white balence based on the light within the empty box? I always shoot in RAW but the custom white balence is something I have been playing with recently.

  • fifi October 7, 2010 12:37 am

    Thank you so much for posting the instructions and your step by step photos are super helpful.
    Much apperciation!

  • beekeeper October 3, 2010 03:31 pm

    This is good!!

  • Cathy October 2, 2010 04:05 am

    Thanks so much for posting this tutorial!!!!! I had been having problems with my product photos not coming out right. The color was off because of bad lighting. This box is the perfect solution as I didn't have $100 to spend on a store bought one. THANKS!!!

  • usagi October 1, 2010 05:47 am

    wow it really does make a BIG difernce
    heres a pic without my lightbox

    the close up doesnt show much detail and the further one is not lighted enough

    heres the second image with the lightbox

    the color is crisp and no fuzzy lighting or too much flash and you can see the detail and the vivid colors

  • didier September 30, 2010 12:25 am

    Many many thanks for this cool tuto !

  • Simon September 21, 2010 08:59 pm

    Thanks for this great idea, it really works..

  • Travis T September 18, 2010 11:49 pm

    Works great! I feel like a professional. Thanks.

  • Courtney September 15, 2010 09:00 am

    Cool...I was looking for something on a slightly larger scale but this is so cool and inexpensive that I may just build it!!

  • Jenn September 9, 2010 10:04 am

    Works like a champ! Spent $1.37 USD and had all the other supplies on hand as an artist. Thank you!!!

  • Engagement Rings Ireland September 8, 2010 04:47 am

    Thank you so much for sharing, I cant find a light box for jewellery anywhere. Followed your instructions and have a really great one now. Fantastic.

  • Vlad September 7, 2010 11:39 pm

    An indispensable tool for every photographer. Whether you're selling stock photos, or taking pictures of products to sell over the internet, or making a catalog of a product, using a light tent is the best way to take photos.

    how to build

  • Monica Krueger September 5, 2010 12:06 am

    Awesome inexpensive light tent. This really makes it possible for me to photograph jewellery and other small items with excellent results! I covered the interior with white wrapping paper and used a lamp I already own as the light source. Ail in cost was AUD $12. Thank you Barren!

  • Bullardino September 4, 2010 07:12 am

    I built it and it really works very well. Thank you :)

  • Food Lover September 2, 2010 11:21 am

    Really amazing, and the result is great, it doesn't cost much, you're a genius Barren :)

  • John Knorr August 27, 2010 07:36 am

    This is great info. I needed soft diffuse lighting to photograph jewelry, so I went ahead and took the suggestion of making a frame from PVC pipe, and a slip cover from a white nylon fabric. The project (not including lights) was less than $40 and is a more sturdy and collapsible than cardboard. Bought 3 5.5" clamp lamps, 6500k CFL bulbs and bristol paper (<$25) to complete the job.

    Parts list:
    (3) ½” x10’ PVC Pipes; (8) ½” PVC 3-way Elbows; (8) ½”- ?” PVC Adaptors; (2) ½” PVC 90° Elbows; (2) ½”; PVC Tee Elbows; (4) ½” PVC Caps; (1) White fabric, 2.5 yards length; (3) 5½” Clamp Lights; (3) 6500k Daylight CFL Bulbs; (1) Piece of smooth, white Bristol paper

    1. Cut (8) 18”, and (4) 16” lengths of pipe.
    2. Attach adaptors to each of the 16” lengths.
    3. With 3-way elbows, connect 18” lengths and 16” lengths w/adaptors to assemble box frame.
    4. Cut (4) 10”, (2) 30”, and (1) 38” lengths of pipe.
    5. Connect 10” pipes with tee elbows, and place caps on each end to assemble the base for the light stand.
    6. Connect 30” lengths to 38” length with elbows and insert into tee elbow on base to complete the light stand.
    7. Cut fabric, and sew together to form slip cover; Pull slip cover over box frame.
    8. Place Bristol board into box.
    9. Attach clamp lights to light stand and position over box.

  • Mar August 25, 2010 09:24 pm

    @Tommigril -- The deserts sure look like they could use a lightbox like the one tutorialed here, but that won't make it any less tantalising! They look nice!

    & I've been looking around and the 'professional' light tents are all priced above what I believe they should cost (SGD$150 - $300~), so here's a welcoming guide. Thanks DPS!

  • Thazin Htun August 13, 2010 09:39 pm

    Very Good Technique..

  • corinna August 13, 2010 01:42 am

    I used this tutorial to make one for my craft images. THANKS so much!!

  • mehdi August 12, 2010 04:47 am

    thanks very well .

  • Projector Screen August 2, 2010 05:17 pm

    We carry a huge selection of LCD and DLP projectors, projectors screens, projector mounts, projector lamps and projector bulbs.

  • TommiGirl July 30, 2010 01:29 pm

    I ams so glad to have found this site! I follow ProBlogger and happened to click on a link that brought me here. I'm newer to blogging but I make divalicious desserts and blog about them at The Desserts Diva. Unfortunately, I'm not a photograher so in some of my posts, the pictures need a little help. The canvas tent is a great idea and I'll try it going forward and I'll come back for more great tips. Thanks for your help.

  • Rene July 25, 2010 04:27 pm

    Thanks for the tips, and the tutorial. It will help many people save money and take better photos. (Plus, it looks like a kinda fun thing to make!) Thanks again.

  • hidy July 18, 2010 05:59 am

    Awesome tutorial, I did try but it didn't really work. What kind of light do we need to have for the lightbox?

  • Sacramento Wedding Photographers July 16, 2010 03:25 pm

    Thanks! I'm going to attempt to make one this weekend.

  • Sacramento Wedding Photographers July 16, 2010 03:23 pm

    Awesome tutorial, I'm going to attempt to make one this weekend. Very complete instructions and nice effect. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Miki-D July 16, 2010 11:52 am

    Thanks for this tutorial! I just finished making my light tent as per your instructions and it's terrific!

  • Brett July 14, 2010 10:41 pm

    Thanks, Nick! I'll be making it today.

  • Nick Ryan July 13, 2010 11:34 pm

    Brett, Use different coloured backgrounds to vary the shot or provide contrast & colour to the object.

    Regards, Nick

  • Nick Ryan July 13, 2010 11:32 pm

    Brett, if you make the box using a translucent plastic box from a 1$ shop you can put a bulb either side and it will shine through the box spreading the light evenly and naturally. With light available from either side you have much more control and do not need to do any cutting keeping the box's rigidity.

    I just lent mine to an avid ebayer and they created 720 images for a mass ebay hit. Said the box was a joy to use and so simple. Some people commenting on here claim to buy these professional boxes for $20 but never give us the source so stick with a $9 box from GoLo a piece of pine and two light batten mounts $5 and you will be laughing, box can be used portrait or Landscape depending on object size. Good Luck.

    Regards, Nick

  • Brett July 13, 2010 05:26 am

    Does anyone know if it is necessary to cut the sides out of the box? What if the inside of the box is already white, do I need to cut out the side walls?

  • Quillin July 7, 2010 02:26 am

    cool picsxxx

  • salman July 3, 2010 01:55 pm

    wonderfull tips.thanks.

  • Cheryl Demaree June 24, 2010 02:21 pm

    This came at the most opportune time. A friend referred me to your site, as I want to start a website for the jewelry I make. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You're the best!

  • Nick Ryan June 22, 2010 03:08 pm

    Well Richard Crowe, why not post the link to the seller so that people unable to make their own lightbox can get one as easily as you have? Thank you.

  • Richard Crowe June 21, 2010 03:31 am

    I BOUGHT an inexpensive lightbox from an ebay vendor. It was less than $20, folds up like a car windshield shade and came with free background materials, white, black, blue, red and gray.

    IMO... while I appreciate the imagination and work done by the poster, and also appreciate the energy that was put into fabrication, I personally don't believe it was worth the effort to save less than twenty bucks and to come up with a less efficient product...

  • Alex June 17, 2010 11:37 am

    I bought a set on ebay for $89. I got three light stands two studio boxes and two sets of backgrounds. I think it was a good deal

  • Jayson M. June 17, 2010 02:47 am

    I'll be honest. I didn't read your instructions on how to build the tent. Your photos were so good I built my own tent just by viewing your pics! Thanks for the info, you just saved me a bunch of money--and my shots are better than ever!

  • Price June 10, 2010 07:28 pm

    That's good job.Thanks for your post.I will make it.

  • Dana June 10, 2010 11:43 am

    I just made this today, and it works wonderfully so far! Thanks!

    Here is my first test image:
    [eimg url='' title='21kkpc6.jpg']

  • Dana June 10, 2010 11:39 am

    I made this today, and it works wonderfully so far! Thanks so much!

    Here was my first test image:
    [eimg link='' title='Test shot.' url='']

  • jong June 7, 2010 01:31 am

    thanks for that great idea..i will try this

  • Alia June 5, 2010 10:47 pm

    Thank you. I so look forward to making a box for my little blog as my pictures SUCK! Thanks for the know how!

  • Prits June 4, 2010 07:10 pm

    simply gr8 idea... surly will use this.. thanks

  • Mel June 4, 2010 07:30 am

    Thanks Darren! That was very useful and resourceful!

  • Janice May 31, 2010 05:45 am

    Thank you so much for this great idea. I'm almost done making mine. In the meantime, I was wondering if anyone had an opinion about whether the light box made this way is better or the light box found here.
    It seems like you have more control over the light using the one with fabric rather than just foam core board.

  • Gem May 26, 2010 11:05 pm

    Hi, I've added a link to your tutorial to my blog, great work!

  • john erwin May 24, 2010 10:45 am

    This is great and can't wait to make it and it is so simple too


  • Buy Used May 24, 2010 05:38 am

    Really great explanation....! Awesome blog.


    Classifieds India
    Buy Used

  • Orange County Wedding Photographer May 19, 2010 02:42 pm

    Thank you for posting this information. I have an offer to photograph watches and only have experience photographing people. This will be helpful

  • waycar71 May 18, 2010 02:01 am

    Thanks for the great info. I made one this past weekend, and it works fine.

  • jong May 14, 2010 02:00 pm

    great idea...thanks for sharing

  • BibsyP May 13, 2010 11:11 pm

    Love it when expensive or costly stuff like a light box can be made from a card board box and some tape at home. Thanks.

  • Roger Booton May 12, 2010 07:07 am

    What a brilliant idea

  • Nick Ryan May 9, 2010 09:30 pm

    My box has transparent sides so i can side light, it is rectangle so i can have it wide and low or tall and thin, Total cost inc. lights, 2 batons screwed to timber AU$22, Box was $9 from the $1 shop.

    Regards, Nick (down under)

  • Luci Crossman May 9, 2010 04:38 am

    This is such a great idea- thank you very much for sharing. I made one this afternoon, and am already up and running with it... photographing my cupcakes for my new website! Definitely looks far more professional.

  • Terence Campbell May 8, 2010 02:25 am

    Great idea for D.I.Y. light box im going to try this with a cordless strobe unit,give me a reason why it wont work.

  • Chuck A. May 7, 2010 01:46 am

    You would remove the sides so you could light from the sides also. Some remarkable effects can be achieved with different lighting and background colors. Try shooting in a dark room and backlighting a transparent object with a small LED light.. Play'll find some fun effects.

  • magi May 6, 2010 03:32 am

    thanks for sharing :> you can see my result here. with some Lightroom editing on the exposure. [eimg url='' title='20100505131226_snim_5095.jpg']

  • Nick Ryan May 4, 2010 09:25 pm

    Good Light Box, don't forget to choose good linings, I use a graph sheet for technical shots to add that engineering look, you can use anything.

    Keep the ideas flowing,


  • rob May 4, 2010 06:55 am

    cheaper then a light tent

  • Nicole May 3, 2010 09:54 am

    Awesome, just in time for an assignment! And it works perfectly too......

  • Rhonda May 3, 2010 06:40 am

    Just wondering why the sides have to be cut out and then material taped to them?

  • Danny May 1, 2010 04:29 pm

    Hi, I have seen shots that has a black background. And it has a mirror image below it. Is it the use of a glossy black surface? Any difference in making this kind of box?

  • Robin May 1, 2010 04:34 am

    I really appreciate this. Thanks so much!!

  • Wedding Photography London April 29, 2010 07:10 pm

    That's a great tip - so obvious when you think about it for a second. Just be careful that anglepoise doesn't over heat.


  • mumudog April 28, 2010 10:09 pm

    hi can i get same results if i didnt use slr, i have canon powershot sd780 IS. thanks

  • TopKat April 28, 2010 05:27 pm

    Finally built my light box today. Wow! Why did I wait so long? Great how-to article. Thank you for sharing!

  • Di Wayne April 24, 2010 10:41 pm

    Thanks have been needing to make a light box

  • Photography Instructions April 21, 2010 11:57 pm

    That is so amazing. Such a very creative idea. Thanks so much. You're idea inspires a lot.

  • Vanessa April 18, 2010 02:46 pm

    Wow, thank you so much. I need one of these and I don't have to spend to get one now. Thank you so much...

  • Nichole April 17, 2010 02:00 pm

    Thanks for the article, I made mine today and it turned out great, I found my lamps at lowes for $7 each and used GE 100w daylight light bulbs. You can see mine here on my blog!

  • Randy Randle April 13, 2010 04:44 pm

    Thanks.Thats a cool idea.
    I will definately try it for macro/closeup work.
    I have a similar type idea for an instant front soft light for portraits.
    Instead of paying $300.00 for a studio light I built one really easy for $60.00 (including stand).

    First you go to your local music store and buy a cheap mic stand with boom extension . Then stop by the office depot and get a cheap clamp on hooded desk lamp with swingarm, plus 2 large and 9 mini binder clips.Next stop the hardware store to pick up a "cool" running halogen that throws daytime light...not the awful yellowish nightime type bulb. Make it a 120-200 hundred watts if you can. Next you drop in at the fabric store and pick up some sheer white material 20" x 50". Now you have all your materials....the rest is really easy (and portable). It looks fairly pro

    Raise and lock the mic stand with arm extended out. Now drape fabric over arm so hanging ends meet evenly. Now take the 2 large binder clips and fasten them at top of fabric (over the arm) then use all the mini clips to join the outer edges on the 2 layers of fabric. Now for the light...just take your swinglamp and clamp it to the mic stand . Position it so its shooting straight through the centre of the fabric (6 inches away). Now place it about 5 feet in front of your model (a little to one side to make room for yourself) .......Ready to Go!

    You can use a even cheaper idea for backlights with 2 smaller swing lamps, smaller mic stands and lower watt cool bulbs (40watt) (fabric right over the lamp face ). Shoot them upwards towards backdrop. In total I was able to build all 3 of these studio soft lights for around $100.00. The results would rival a 500 investment and it doesnt look too cheap in my studio.

    If there are enough requests...I will do a photo step by step article on this topic in a future post.

    Randy Randle

  • Kimberly April 9, 2010 10:07 pm


  • Bacardo April 7, 2010 12:01 pm

    Thanks! I'd done it today, and the photos are great, the portability is awesome.


  • Umar Channa March 30, 2010 09:09 pm

    It helped me get done with one of my project.
    Thanks a million once again.

  • Anina March 30, 2010 11:11 am

    I sell on ebay so I decided to build my own light box. I used your instructions to build the light box including the type of light you used but 100w instead of 90w and everything came out beautifully thanks.

  • maryon mayor March 28, 2010 11:21 am

    nice.... do you have any other tutorial for any DIY.... thanks... really appreciate it...

  • jane March 24, 2010 08:35 am

    This is exactly what I've been looking for! Thank you so much! :)

  • Alida March 19, 2010 08:03 am

    Fantastic tute, thanks very much!!!

  • Tham March 19, 2010 12:45 am

    Thank you for sharing... it's really bright!

  • Kaitlin Dietz March 17, 2010 11:16 am

    Thank you so much for this. You saved me so much money.

  • Gloria Westerman March 15, 2010 11:58 pm

    Thank you so much.......I need to make one for I know how......thank you again....

  • Parentingasdkids March 15, 2010 09:28 pm

    Simple design, easy to use = excellent!

    I liked the idea of having maximum effect for minimum price. It's been fun experimenting with the lighting from above and sides.

  • Daniel March 12, 2010 03:37 am

    I made one using half of a ball i mean like the health balls i don´t know the name, but it was a nice and smooth outcome.
    What would be the camera settings
    and Shutter speed
    since the photos i took tend to come out yellowish

  • Rick March 9, 2010 12:55 pm

    If you cut a hole in the bottom, and place the box on a light bow, shadows would be eliminated.

  • March 8, 2010 11:49 am


  • Tonya V March 5, 2010 01:24 pm

    Woe we are just getting started and good pictures are so important. This has solved my problem. Now if I can just figure out how to get my youtube videos in that box hummmmmmmmmm

  • Ramesh C March 5, 2010 12:41 am

    Nice posting, Thank you

  • Tech March 4, 2010 12:31 pm

    Nice guide. Both cheap and easy to do.

  • Nil March 3, 2010 01:53 am

    great tips!! Thanks!!

  • Lowrance HDS February 17, 2010 05:03 am

    Great photo, good article, very interesting. Thanks

  • isle of man mansions February 15, 2010 07:04 am

    Is this better than a cheap one you buy? I bought one and it looks less deep than this. .

  • Casey February 5, 2010 12:46 pm

    Thank you! I am totally going to try this out. I like taking pictures with natural light, but that is not always possible.. Like, at night. :)

  • James K January 26, 2010 12:44 am

    nice tutorial.

    i've got a few of these in my cellar! great for taking ebay product shots etc.

  • BMoore Photography January 24, 2010 01:12 am

    This was not the type of lightbox I was searching for, as I was looking for one I could adapt to scoring rifle targets. However, as I also shoot with a camera as well as with a rifle, I was very interested in the instructions given, and have since built a light tent similar to the one described. It worked very well, and I was pleased with the results. I also use a similar technique to the one described by several posters using PVC pipe, connectors, and fabric to make my own portable portrait backdrops. I just increased the size to fit humans instead of small things. I built an A-frame using the PVC and connectors, with the appropriate fabric draped and posed my subject in front, outdoors, using natural light. It works well for me. Of course, I cannot speak for others.

  • Water damage Elk Grove January 22, 2010 08:54 am

    Wonderful - thank you. I own gold coins and want to start selling them on Ebay and this will go a long way in providing good light for photographing them.

  • rayman January 22, 2010 06:08 am

    Great instructions. Did it myself and it worked great ;).


  • lazcaz January 20, 2010 06:28 am

    I use one of those plastic storage boxes the opaque white ones add a background &lights, try it out works fine and they come in lots of sizes

  • surrati January 18, 2010 05:01 pm

    I would like to know which are the setting of the camera for this picture, such as the exposure time, aperture, iso, white balance selection, focal length.....ect ect. and also what type of Lens is used, General Purpose Lens 15 - 150mm or dedicated macro lens 200mm

  • Chelsea (CLR Photography) January 17, 2010 06:48 pm

    great idea. im going to do that.!would you do the same thing with the black background

  • Chelsea (CLR Photography) January 17, 2010 06:47 pm

    great idea. im going to do that.!

  • Karen January 9, 2010 11:06 am

    Great tutorial!

  • Romantic Love Poems & Love Quotes January 3, 2010 10:06 pm

    It's really amazing how focused the light is in the box. Awesome for presenting new products. The idea here is really hands down inexpensively amazing.

  • karine Huard January 1, 2010 04:27 am

    Wow I was looking exactly for this kind of post to help a friend you sell her hand made jewels on her site. Thank you so much!

  • Curtis Wallis January 1, 2010 01:31 am

    DIY is the beginning of most photographers careers. Nice to have quality demos for young photographers

  • Abby December 31, 2009 11:32 am

    Thanks sooo much :) I needed one but god they're expensive!!

  • Charlie Hutchinson December 28, 2009 01:35 pm

    Great info. Really appreciated, works and looks great.


  • mood booster December 27, 2009 11:36 am

    Thanks for that great DIY post. I'll try to replicate that. That's awesome!

  • Carina December 26, 2009 07:20 pm

    I'm using nylon fabrics for backgrounds and white worked perfect, but when i used any other color like black, and i light the sides of the box (instead of the top) there are bright spots where the lights are hitting the black fabric so that its not really black.. what am i doing wrong?

  • Lisa December 23, 2009 04:13 am

    This is awesome! Thanks for the step by step instructions and I love that you included all the photos of the process too. Wondered if you had a DIY way to expand this to be a portrait studio in a room to take portraits?

  • redbaron December 22, 2009 04:42 am

    Very creative!!!! Thank you very much for sharing your time and effort.

  • Deeziner December 20, 2009 04:32 pm

    Thanks for this great idea - I was about to spend too much money on the same thing, then had the AHA! moment realizing I could do this myself. I appreciate your ingenuity, and willingness to share :-)

  • Megan December 20, 2009 11:50 am

    Thanks! The dark spirit who's darkening all my photos is gonna be SO PISSED!

  • Tony Bryan December 18, 2009 11:34 pm

    I used a larger version of the lightbox in 1968 on a week-end photography course at Chelmsford (England)
    Tech. College. I used a Technica Plate camera for my project , it was a great result and often over the years thought that I would make a lightbox of my own, but never got round to it.
    Where I live in Spain it's not possible to buy these sort of things, but then it's the thrill of knowing that you made it yourself.
    Thankyou very much for your great article, you've inspired so many people. I am now totally committed to
    making a lightbox of your design.

  • Tony Bryan December 18, 2009 11:25 pm

    I used a larger version of the lightbox in 1968 on a week-end photography course at Chelmsford (England)
    Tech. College. I used a Technica Plate camera for my project , it was a great result and often over the years thought that I would make a lightbox of my own, but never got round to it.
    Thankyou very much for your great article, you've inspired so many people. I am now totally committed to
    making a lightbox of your design.

  • Kistner December 14, 2009 08:45 pm

    tesekkurler harika bir sey bu

  • Jennifer Thacker December 10, 2009 06:37 pm

    I did this project and it came out perfectly. The tissue I bought came folded and creased, so I just ironed it on a medium high setting, directly on the paper, and it made a very smooth screen - obviously you keep the water away during this. I also bought both silver and gold tissue paper (semi-transparent) for a dollar each to attach to the "doors" to play around with reflective techniques. I didn't have a real reason to make it but it was fun to do anyway. Great tip, thanks! [eimg url='' title='photo.php?pid=65150&l=d8d1a6812f&id=100000328003070']

  • georgeg December 10, 2009 04:50 am

    @darren . . . . some folks cannot afford $14, believe it or not (and in some countries they are much more expensive than that) and how have you "waste[d] an entire day" if you end up with a light tent at the end of it?

  • Jeannette Ulrich December 9, 2009 11:31 pm

    How would you photograph artwork
    thank you.

  • designfollow December 7, 2009 08:33 am

    great idea

    thank you

  • darren December 3, 2009 08:40 am

    you know you can buy one of these for $14, and it's collapsible, and it doesn't waste an entire day to make

  • Kreuzfahrten November 30, 2009 04:58 am

    Great idea, it looks very good. Thanks

  • Gobo Fraggle November 29, 2009 01:00 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing! Made mine as seen in like.


  • georgeg November 27, 2009 01:32 pm


    see bryan's post above re paint. The strips of card are just to reflect inside, instead of having brown/beige cardboard :o)

  • georgeg November 27, 2009 01:31 pm


    see bryan's post above re paint. The strips of card is just to reflect inside, instead of having brown/beige cardboard :o)

  • GeorgeG November 27, 2009 07:14 am

    Great idea. Thanks for taking the time to share this,
    Just one thing - what is a "back round"?

  • Tim November 27, 2009 05:36 am

    I don't get what to do with the strips of bristol board or what they are for. I'm trying to make the box and this is what I'm stuck on/

  • Patrick George November 25, 2009 06:43 am

    I posted a comment but was not approved? I figure this will be moderated and it was just my thanking you for the tutorial. Since this will be moderated can you please e mail me and let me know why it was not approved?

  • Jaime November 20, 2009 01:06 pm

    "Thanks!" for the great tip! I sell a lot of small items on eBay and I've always wanted a good way to photograph them to show all the detail.

  • San Diego wedding photographer November 10, 2009 01:47 pm

    Wow! That's a priceless idea!

  • Jason Collin Photography November 10, 2009 03:09 am

    Wow, love this. So simple and clever. Just need to find a suitable box now!

  • Hugh November 8, 2009 08:24 am

    I built this pretty much according to your instructions and the results are super! Busily shooting stuff to go on eBay. Thank you for a simple and very effective idea.


  • Jo of Knotty Girl Kreations November 8, 2009 12:50 am

    Awesome post! I'd been thinking of coming up with something like for a while - thanks for the step by step.

  • Steve Alder November 7, 2009 10:38 am

    Cool! I sell a lot on Ebay, so this will be great!

  • Colapietro November 7, 2009 07:10 am

    Really think we have to look at all options in this day and age. It is also important to consider what the current economic conditions will allow - I still think we may have reached the bottom of the cycle, but will take a lot longer to improve. yellow tail wines

  • YH November 6, 2009 11:21 am

    That's so damn cool. It will save my money!


  • Clay Pylant November 6, 2009 07:36 am

    Awesome, thank you! I am going to make this!

  • Frank October 24, 2009 09:43 pm

    Thanks for the great tip! I've always been disappointed at the photos I take for eBay auctions. I tweeted this post, BTW.

  • Sweet Doane October 23, 2009 06:48 pm

    B-E-A-UTIFUL!!! thanks for the tips' I'm sure it will come out the best. How about doing it in a big room for persons? CAN YOU HAVE SOME TIPS ABOUT IT PLEASE...

  • Jonathan October 20, 2009 07:15 am

    You can place heavier objects in as the poster will curve a lot so you will have a lot of room too, if your box is big,.

  • Lori Delaney October 20, 2009 03:34 am

    Thanks for the tips and really easy instructions!

  • samuel October 19, 2009 02:12 pm

    hi, i just wanna know how you would place heavier objects on the paper without creasing it, is it possible to put some sort of block under it to give it some support, as in put the block under the sheet ?

  • Kathy October 17, 2009 05:23 am

    Nice post, but I have to say this. It's background. Not back round.

  • Tymm October 13, 2009 12:03 am

    Thank you for sharing this article. I design jewelry and although I am good with my camera, lighting is always a challenge when photographing my jewelry. The instructions on building a light box has helped tremendously.

    I'm off to build my own.
    Thank you for posting.

  • life quotes October 9, 2009 09:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing this informative article.

  • Trish October 7, 2009 05:32 am

    Thanks so much for posting information for a cheap lightbox. I finally did it. It works great.T

  • James October 4, 2009 07:54 am

    Just was told about this and made me one. Works like a champ.. I used parchment paper instead of a white cloth to cover mine, lights up very well and pictures came out great

  • Shai seymour September 27, 2009 01:42 am

    WOW!! Thanks sooo much! im goin out to find a box!!


  • Francis Jason September 24, 2009 07:28 am

    What a brilliant idea! That is so cool. Have anyone tried using black instead of white as the background?

  • Stephanie September 19, 2009 09:08 am

    Such a useful post. Thank you.

    This light tent would be particularly nice for online "sellers" (ebay, CraigsList, etsy, etc.) to have around.

  • Gen September 15, 2009 12:13 pm

    Wow thanks! I just made this and it's great. It cost me nothing to make! I think I'll make another one.

  • montreal florist September 6, 2009 11:18 am

    It is funny and useful. It could be good photo box. Thanks

  • Aredent Photog August 28, 2009 12:29 am

    Thank you! I was just trying ot figure out how to get a light box effect for some fruit I'd like to slice and shoot, without having to actually buy a lightbox. Thanks again!

  • xtcommerce August 24, 2009 12:15 am

    Nice tutorial! easily usable for beginners and professionals alike… and people who like to use their hands to build!

  • T Schulz August 22, 2009 06:42 am

    Hey gang, try this....

    If you want something a little more sturdy and collapsible for portability, try making the frame out of PVC. Go to Menards (in Wisconsin) or some other local hardware superstore as that will probably be cheapest. Buy 3 ten foot poles of 1/2" PVC, 8 three way corners, and 8 adaptors for the corners (since one of the three holes will be smaller than the other two). You cut the poles into 2.5 ft segments. Put all these together to form the cube.

    You can then buy either white nylon fabric or white muslin (cheaper) from Jo Anne's and sew a slipcover that fits over the cube leaving one side open. If you want to get more creative you can sew a "sleeve" around the edge of the open side in which you can put a drawstring to close that side a little tighter around the PVC.

    I made a light frame that sits over the top of the cube. Two 42" poles, 1 48" pole, 2 Elbows, 2 T-Elbows, 4 End Caps, 4 one foot poles. This will make a squared "arch" with T shaped legs on each side which will go up the sides and over the top of the cube. Then I bought 3 small little 7 inch aluminum work lamps with clamps. They clamp to the top and sides of the frame and shine through the muslin. I use 5000k+ daylight bulbs.

    If anyone wants me to send them a diagram I came up with along with a list of parts and instructions just email me and I'll be happy to send you something.

  • CT grandma August 21, 2009 10:43 pm

    I could kiss you!!!!! This is wonderful! I'm off to the store!

  • xtcommerce Templates August 19, 2009 04:55 am

    woow, thats a cool tip, never seen a cheaper trick to do it . Cool thanks for sharing this cool articel.

  • Dani C. August 18, 2009 09:47 am

    Thank you so much! I have a jewelery photo shoot next week and you just saved my ass to be perfectly frank. This is brilliant!

  • DIY August 11, 2009 11:04 pm

    Just used that method to take pictures of tools on my site.

    Looks pro! Nice one.

  • Coco kaori Schoppert July 28, 2009 06:54 am

    Thank you !!! Thank you.
    I was about putting my jewelries on but my photo came out awful with a lots of reflections of lights and flashes. plus it did not come out the color that i wanted. i even tried to shoot under the 96 degrees Florida summer. but result was not great . So someone suggested me to buy a photo shed for $59.00 9just tent) and when I went to local Ritz camera they are asking for $299.00 including 2X dinky lamps.
    I already got lamps and my budget was super tight. then.......What ah !! I found this site by accident!!
    All I needed spent was $4.00 for muslin fabric at local Joann's ( i used 40% off coupon i found on the
    cutting table which someone left there for some reason).
    So..I came home and made it with free cardboard box.
    WOW WOW IT TAKES WONDERFUL PHOTOS !!!!!! I just can't believe it.
    So Every one DON"T just get fooled by system of the commercialism !!
    Get back to standing up on your feet !

  • Randy July 28, 2009 03:16 am

    Thanks. I will be building one of these for some small eBay items. Great post.

  • fashionfancy July 26, 2009 05:12 pm

    Outstanding and simple breakdown, easy to follow. Now all I need is the right box before they take them to be recycled. Thanks.

  • Trockenfutter July 23, 2009 07:08 am

    muy bueno blog

  • Kirk Padmore July 22, 2009 10:37 am

    Great!!! I'm going to build mine this weekend, thanks bro

  • Trockenfutter July 22, 2009 08:23 am

    Super guide!

  • Landscape Photography July 18, 2009 11:29 am

    wow, really simple and effective! thanks so much for sharing. I also really like the idea some of the readers have in using the plastic tubing with connectors....

    Looks like i'm gonna be off to the hardware and fabric store this weekend!

  • mobile phone July 17, 2009 12:53 am

    That’s great! Thanks so much for sharing all the details for doing this.

    Read more:

  • gemal July 15, 2009 10:47 pm

    hey, thanks much for this great post. I saved much money with this.
    at the moment i make pictures for my online store.

  • mymoen July 15, 2009 10:45 pm

    Great tutorial — text and pictures. Looks like it produces wonderful results and it’s easy to make. Thanks for the neat idea!

  • Love poems & Love Quotes July 6, 2009 04:17 am

    The light box is impressive! I really enjoyed this post.


  • Snippety Gibbet June 21, 2009 09:48 pm

    That's great! Thanks so much for sharing all the details for doing this.

  • Brandon Cage June 20, 2009 04:24 am

    I put a light tent together using white PVC tubing, 90 degree elbows and a few end fantastic. All parts I picked up a the local Home Depot, The best thing is, I can break it down by removing the legs which makes storage easy. However, this box idea is the ingenuity.

  • T Schulz June 16, 2009 02:08 am

    You should be able to get Bristol board at most arts and crafts stores. They may not specifically call it Bristol Board. Any large sheets of relatively stiff white (or colored) paper should do the trick. The thicker the better. Essentially, you just don't want to crease it. But rather you want it stiff enough that you can place the top edge near the top/back of the cube and the bottom edge at the lower/front part of the cube in suck a fashion that it will gently curve down toward the lower/back of the cube without creasing.

  • Jonathan June 15, 2009 07:20 pm

    I am already done with some of it but I need to know where to get the Bristol Board. Thank you ahead of time.

  • Jeannie June 12, 2009 11:13 am

    Dude you rock! This is a great set up, and very economical. Thanks, a million times thanks. I shoot jewelry and this will make my life soooooooooo much easier. I have an MFA in photography. Sometimes, one can have too much training - and lose track of the forest for the trees.

  • T Schulz June 12, 2009 04:44 am

    Linda, right on with the PVC route. Me too. I have a 30" box. Here's what I did for lighting though. I wend to Menards (or you can use another hardware store) and built a lighting frame. Basically, it's an upside down U with T-connectors at the bottom of the legs to hold the feet that support the whole thing. I then bought 3 of those little 7" sixty watt aluminum work lights - the ones with the squeezy hand clamps on them. I picked up 3 Fiat energy efficient natural light bulbs. They are rated for 5000º Kelvin, only slightly less than sunlight. You then clamp one to each leg of the frame to shine in the sides of the cube and one at the top of the frame to shine down. You want to build the frame so you have about 1 ft clearance on the sides and top to make room for the lights to fit between the frame and the cube. I leave the frame unglued so I can disassemble it when I'm done and pack all the equipment in a duffel for easy portability.

  • June 11, 2009 04:01 am

    I bought a small light tent from America a while back but I need a much bigger light tent for items I have and I can't really afford the big light tent right now so this is a very good idea. Thank you very much.

    Incidentally, I saw a similar version of this post on another blog a few years ago and that was very good too. In that version grease-proof paper was used to make the light tent instead of the Bristol board.

  • Snippety Gibbet June 10, 2009 09:21 am

    What a great DIY tutorial. Thanks so much for posting this. jan

  • HT June 9, 2009 07:45 am

    hey, thx for this great post. I saved much money with this.
    at the moment i make pictores for my online store.
    it was hard for me before to make new pictures from my but now its very easy.

  • Jim Oleachea June 8, 2009 02:56 am

    Wonderful article! Saved me quite a bit of money, thank you.

  • Tracy M May 29, 2009 02:17 pm

    Great tutorial! I was able to make my own tent, thanks to you. :D I can't wait to use it!

  • CharlieJ May 29, 2009 12:38 am

    I made a light box "area" for shooting various size objects. Items needed: A large plastic cutting board ($8), two small 2mm thick plastic cutting boards (white $3 ea), black fabric ($3), a 2-bulb florescent light bar ($8).

    The light bar was attached to the bottom of the upper portion of my desk's storage shelf. The flexible cutting surfaces or black fabric were used as background material. The thick cutting board was used as the bottom of the light box area. The nice thing is that all of the materials are interchangeable. The off-color of the florescent is easily overcome by post processing.

    Some examples of photos taken in this light box area are in the following sets:

    Feel free to send questions in the form of comments on my Flickr pages. I'll gladly answer and help any way I can. I hope this information is useful to you. THANKS!

  • Costas Roma May 27, 2009 04:27 pm

    Thank you for all the useful advice that makes things simple.

  • ROB May 26, 2009 11:49 pm

    Great Article. Going to make one later this week. What kind of Lens setup do you have on your camera there?

  • Ogie May 25, 2009 11:08 am

    Thank you for the Idea about the lightning effect on the Box, I am a new here hoping to learn more about phography even I am only using Sony Cybershot DSC-S780, I know that its not the Camera that matters its the user that has a heart of being a photographer. More Power Mr. Darren Rowse

  • elephants and asses May 19, 2009 05:48 am

    I just usually bring a magazine to bed, lower the light and within a few minutes Hey Presto! a tent.

  • Will Cooper May 5, 2009 12:26 pm

    Thank you so much for the excellent instructions! This worked great. This was so nice of you to map out these instructions.

  • Angie Crowe May 4, 2009 12:14 am


    I am a photography major and in this weeks assignment we have to master white on white. So this was an excellent guide for me. Can't wait to see how they turn out!!!!!! Thank you for spelling out how to do this!!


  • Mr. Arkie May 3, 2009 02:22 am

    Don't know what camera your using. If you can change the white balance that may help. Or if you have a "preset" feature. I just built a box and had the same problem. I adjusted the white balance using the preset on my camera and it made a lot of difference. Also the cloth you use for your box will have an effect on the light getting through... you may not see the yellow in the cloth but it may be there and the camera is picking it up. Good luck.

    Mr. Arkie - An yes, I am from Arkansas.

  • Jillie April 30, 2009 11:53 am

    I love it! What a great idea. I can't wait to create my own. I've alway wanted to buy one I am so glad now that I waited. Your so creative. I would of never thought of this.

  • Mark Helm April 27, 2009 11:38 pm

    WoW !! I love it and was just in the middle of building my own so this has helped LOTS !! thank you so much .... now any tips on building an EOS $50D rather than buying one ? I have some nice small boxes and bottle ends ?

  • sufyan qazi April 27, 2009 01:54 am

    wow, i was in need of such a thing. wonderful explanations


  • Sarah April 21, 2009 02:52 am

    Genius. Thank you so much. If you helped noone else, you have helped me with this!

    I am so glad I found this. :-) Thanks for making my day!

  • Mimi April 15, 2009 04:06 am

    Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions. I recently made a lightbox in order to photograph some jewelry pieces. The pieces themselves come out very clear; however, the lighting is still terrible. The lighting looks yellow in most of the photos, and if I'm lucky I get a whitish-gray. I'm definitely not getting the nice white background shown above. I used a 100watt daylight bulb, and I also tried a 100 watt flouresent with a worse result. Any tips?


  • Steve April 14, 2009 01:31 pm

    From July 2006
    The original

  • Olimpia April 14, 2009 06:14 am

    This was so helpful, thank you so much. I'm starting a small gecko breeding buisness and I needed a way to get good pictures of my animals with a nice clean white background but didn't want to spend a lot of money on a light box. This is perfect, thanks again!

  • Shannon Kish April 14, 2009 04:09 am

    I'm going to try this right now! I take a lot of pics of my handmade jewelry, so I really like to get the detail of a piece. I'm also trying to cut down on the amount of background fixes I have to do in Photoshop, dust and dirt and shadows and what-not. I've been searching for an inexpensive and easy way to do create a light box without spending $50.00 to $100.00 (for a cheap one!) Thanks for sharing!

  • Jo Ann M April 13, 2009 11:49 am

    Wonderful information for light box and suggestions for better ebay photographs. However, I'm still not certain as to what type light bulbs I need. The info. on N.Vision bulbs seems to vary as to size, etc. Hopefully, someone can clarify this for an absolute novice. All suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks, Jo Ann M

  • Des April 11, 2009 11:50 pm

    Love the simplicity of how you created this light box. Gotta create one.

  • Linda J April 10, 2009 09:59 am

    Any tips on photographing sea glass. It looks better in natural sunlight but there must e a bulb or technique to simulate sun......

  • digital photography April 6, 2009 02:03 am

    Nice tutorial! easily usable for beginners and professionals alike... and people who like to use their hands to build! :D

  • Deco Alley April 4, 2009 04:39 am

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Raven April 3, 2009 01:59 pm

    This is a great tutorial! Thanks so much for putting in the time and effort.

    One small annoying editor's remark: it is "background" not "back round." Or maybe it's just my computer ignoring the letter "g" for some reason?

    Be well and thanks again!

  • Annie March 29, 2009 03:02 am

    Fabulous info, You have saved me so much, the hardest part is finding the bulbs. You're a star!!

  • Ian B-M March 22, 2009 02:30 pm

    Thanks for this detailed tutorial including such helpful pictures. Although I found your instructions here six months ago, I finally got around to making mine today! Here's the story on my blog.

  • Lavinia March 14, 2009 02:11 am

    Thank you for this step by step tutorial, I need to make one for myself. Thanks!!!

  • Bryan Hanson March 13, 2009 03:33 am

    I used a 5 gallon bucket and cut a hole by the bottom and mounted my drop light to the top.
    Works great for my jewelry store on ebay.

  • Ace March 12, 2009 08:36 am

    How well does this work for photographing reflective objects like bottles and liquids. I don't want to see myself or the camera in the image. Great idea though.

  • HHB March 11, 2009 04:09 am

    does anyone have any experience with taking great pictures of coins?
    I use a Canon G10 14 MP

    thanks to all this is a great site

  • CD March 11, 2009 02:54 am

    I'm not sure if there is a fix for photographic highly reflective surfaces.

    One thing I tried in order to vary the light was to cut small rectangles in the top of the box frame so I can attach the work lights directly to the box at any angle.

    I found when shooting flat 3D objects like soap I needed light from 3 directions or the non-lit faces of soap would be too dark.

    I am going to buy some bulbs for a third light soon but here is an example of a usable image I took with the two lights I currently have. You can see it isn't perfectly white even after some tweaking.

    Fortune Cookie Shaped Soap

  • Deb March 5, 2009 05:18 am

    Awesome tutorial for those of us on a VERY tight budget! Thanks so much.

  • atzokas February 26, 2009 01:29 am

    A very clear, is to do and useful tutorial!
    Thank you so much!

  • Archie Lukas February 25, 2009 01:30 am


  • william February 19, 2009 01:00 pm

    Not sure CD, im getting a slight blue hue myself, i treid without fabirc at all and its still there, it could be my paper im not using the stuff he suggested jsut because i thought i had some but do not so ill pick some up tomorrow.

  • CD February 17, 2009 07:24 am

    Great tutorial. I am using a 15x15" box with tissue paper. I bought the 100W equivalent N:Vision bulbs and am using the smaller 5.5" clamp light reflector from Home Depot. Using one lamp it still looks like a low light condition in the box. Also, when the object is more reflective I can see the lamp in a small circle reflected on the object itself. I'm going to try a larger reflector. Any other ideas?

  • Abdul Quddoos February 14, 2009 05:45 pm

    One of the most productive post for me on digital photography school. Thanks!

  • Gerri February 11, 2009 01:55 pm

    I can not believe that I finally found a great do it yourself light box!! I can't wait to make one of my own and hopefully take a decent picture of my jewelry for my website. Thanks so much.

  • jack February 10, 2009 07:35 am

    This is fantastic!! what kind of light would be a good choice and cost effective??

  • Sunny February 9, 2009 08:31 am

    This is a very cool idea. I am looking forward to photographing Chocolate truffles. Thanks so much Jeffrey,
    You Rock !

  • Marylyn February 5, 2009 08:01 pm

    I wonder how people get a photo shot with a white background.... now with this DIY light box, I can save more money and start my project... can't wait to do it. Thank you for the sharing.

  • Leslie February 5, 2009 02:53 am

    Ohhh my I cannot wait to try this!! I have wanted a light box for so long but did not want to spend the money. This is fantastic!! Thank you so much for the tutorial!!!!

  • Darder February 2, 2009 11:13 pm

    Great article, I went out and bought the supplies with my wife in tow looking very confused. I had it all assembled and ready to go in almost no time. I used a 18x18x16 box, which I think is going to be a little bit too small for what I really want to do, so I'm going to try and find a larger box. I also couldn't find bristol paper in individual sheets just a 300 sheet pack that was about $20. Well anyways great article, keep it up. Oh and before I forget heres my link to my pictures Darder Photography

  • Brendan January 30, 2009 03:59 am

    im going to get and make myself one.

  • Andrew Clark January 30, 2009 03:23 am

    Great project. Just came upon it now. Judging by all the comments the main thing, it works. One idea that might work. If you cover the bottom in material as well and plave the box on a light box, you could also light difficult objects, thus eliminating a lot of shadows. What if one was to light either from the top or sides using a flash gun, either triggered by a sync cable or a slave unit? Just a thought and any comments would be great. Thanks from a sunny South Africa

  • Peggy Duncan January 28, 2009 12:54 pm

    I saw an article about this at

    I'm not an eBay seller but John at ColderIce always has some great business tips. One major suggestion for you: Put your URL at the bottom of the box instead of that DuPont info. You missed a golden opportunity to self-promote.

  • Kellygirl January 25, 2009 11:53 am

    Thank you! I made one today and it worked great. Very easy directions.


  • Frank January 24, 2009 05:39 am

    Another idea about ligting: GE makes a daylight CFL color balanced to 6500K. The 100W and 60W equivalent bulbs put out much light and not much heat.


  • Candice January 23, 2009 09:26 am

    This is great! Thank you for sharing. I'm looking forward to trying your technique. :)

  • Jessica January 23, 2009 09:17 am

    Just finished making a box from this guide - quick and easy, thanks! Now to go test it!

  • Pickled Beatnik January 21, 2009 06:18 am

    Thank you so much for this! I love photographing things close up, but my camera sensor is too weak so most of the time I have to do it in direct sunlight. These are awesome tips and I can't wait to try them :)

  • Deirdre January 18, 2009 01:36 am

    My girls and I just made one out of things we had lying around the house. We had an old sheer curtain and attached it to our box with duct tape. We didn't have the right size box, so we taped the flaps of another box open to give us more depth. This is a really fun winter project for cold climates -- something to do when it's too cold to go out. The girls love taking photos of their toys in there.

  • Rodolfo January 15, 2009 11:42 pm

    Great practical economical idea.

  • Phil Holland January 6, 2009 07:04 am

    Thanks for putting up this how to. Awesome!

  • Roberto Teneos January 2, 2009 05:19 am


    Thats my version of Light Tent.



  • Tim January 1, 2009 02:53 pm

    This is pretty cool if you are poor and have a lot of free time. If you have any job... then just buy one from ebay. Cheap..

  • sandra December 31, 2008 07:05 am

    luv it! luv it! luv it! u rock

  • Nokia Photos December 30, 2008 01:04 am

    Excellent idea & tips! Thank you so much for sharing!

    King regards!

  • Charlie Combine December 25, 2008 11:36 am

    Thanks for the tutorial. As your student I certainly learned a lot.

  • LisaT December 17, 2008 04:57 am

    Thanks for this great tutorial! I need a box/tent setup for photography of my handmade greeting cards and other papercrafts for my blog. I'm keeping my eye out for the right sized box now!

  • D C December 17, 2008 01:59 am

    Do know where you are getting the bristol board. A 2x3 2mm cost me $ 4.79 each.

  • shlomi December 16, 2008 06:12 am

    Briliant. It'll help me a lot.

  • boroscope December 9, 2008 01:39 am

    i'm going to give this a go - i've seen a few vresions of this and this seems the simplest

  • joao December 3, 2008 09:05 am

    This is awesome !

    I have been looking to buy a photo tent for taking pictures of my products for sale on ebay and other online stores.
    my blog

  • El Artista de Barrio November 15, 2008 04:12 am


    Great Job. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Alex November 7, 2008 04:56 pm

    Fantastic idea. I've been wanting a light tent but the cost has put me off. I'll be trying this out! Thanks a heap

  • Phong November 6, 2008 09:02 am

    When you use this light tent, is the flash on the camera still used or just from the overhead light?

  • E.Anwer November 5, 2008 04:39 pm

    Very nice article.After reading this one can make photo light box easily.

  • docdis November 4, 2008 03:33 am

    To get fiber optics, go to nearby telephone cabling company, or network cabling company. They have a lot of DISCARD fiber optics cable, believe me. Those large black piece of cable contains 12-48 real fibers inside. You just pry of the protective skin out ...

  • Bored November 4, 2008 02:18 am

    this is pretty awesome imo. definitely a way to make photographing common items around the house more fun.

  • Myron Tay November 3, 2008 12:34 pm

    Fantastic idea. can you suggest any easy and cheaper alternatives to a home studio setup if you're into amateur portrait / pet or modelling photography?

  • wanda newton November 3, 2008 11:50 am

    Rexy; unfortunately I lived on a fixed income as I am "older" in years/not in spirit. There is no way I can buy the type of lighting you mention. Is that the only suggestion you can offer? Thank you for taking the time out to write and give me the info but I just cannot afford this at all. Wanda

  • Rexy November 3, 2008 09:33 am

    HI Wanda,

    For jewelry I use a fiber optical light, the one I brought was over $2800aust and has four fibre optical cables, the tiny lights you get out of the fiber optical cables is perfect for lighting under the gem stones like diamonds to bring out that special sparkle you want to show off.. this unit is a copy of the german made fibre optical units that used to sell for over $30k usd. I brought mine from dragon image but I cannot find it on their website, but they do have a demo unit in their Melbourne store in the showroom there. I use this unit to light all our studios jewelry clients images with, they love them!

  • wanda newton November 3, 2008 08:30 am

    Thank you for your instructions. My husband is in the process of making my photo tent. I needed a tall box and one that was a bit wider. Finally he went to the UHaul store and bought a heavy duty box for $5.95.

    My question is what type of lights do you use for taking photos of your jewelry. That is what I mainly want my light for as I have never been able to take outstanding photos of the jewely I design. The stones are never the true color and the crystals have an ugly glare on them. So I am truly hoping this will help to enable me to produce the look I want. I have noticed on ebay they speak of LCD Projector Bulbs. I would like to know if this is what you use and where the best price to buy them at a lesser price? Thanks for anyone's comments and especially the one who so graciously gave us all the instructions.

  • Danny November 3, 2008 02:06 am

    This was really good thanks sooo much...!!!! here is my picture that came out of light box!


  • bryan October 31, 2008 11:22 pm

    You can use two coats of high quality white latex paint for the inside of the box instead of using several pieces of bristol board.

  • Ahmjauk October 31, 2008 06:08 pm

    Thanks for idea

  • daniel October 31, 2008 12:31 pm

    Don't forget to use a white cloth around the front to minimise reflections from you and your camera.

  • Goliat October 31, 2008 11:20 am

    Great for Ebay photography!

  • Rexy October 31, 2008 08:28 am

    Sweet - and i found the lights i needed in Australia at - they have some sweet deals on the day light kits over there.. recommended you check out their fluro banks which are daylight balanced and cheap as!

  • Henrik October 31, 2008 07:41 am

    Very good idea and easy to make!

  • Ozlat October 31, 2008 07:32 am

    Very cool DIY idea... will have to try it !!

  • Angela October 31, 2008 01:49 am

    I think I've seen this before, but I'm glad to see it's reposted.
    Because this is awesome. And it's super easy to make.

  • stephen October 31, 2008 01:30 am

    recycling old stories I see...

  • Aamir Chaudhry October 31, 2008 01:24 am

    Thank you very much, This is very useful tips for people like me who wants to do experiment on Low Cost.

    Thanks again and hope to get more useful things from you.

    Aamir Chaudhry

  • Stuart October 31, 2008 01:08 am

    I looked into various methods of making a light box myself a couple of years ago. However, I found the New Generation 36" soft box for sale at US$36 and bought that instead. Unfortunately, it seems not to be widely available, and at Amazon is out of stock and much more expensive ( ). If you don't make your own box and can find this one cheaply, I highly recommend it. (Search on EFPHTENT.) For lights, I use three 85 Watt CF bulbs from Topbulb, mounted in large clamp-on reflectors from the hardware store. These bulbs are equivalent to 300 W incandescent, but use less electricity and run much cooler so they can be placed close to the fabric of the box. They have a daylight color temp., but more importantly a colour rendering index (CRI) of 86, which is much better than most CF bulbs. I set my Nikon D80's white balance to read a shot of a white card in the light box before shooting.

  • Subash October 31, 2008 12:55 am

    Hi Jeff, that was really great and thanks a bunch for sharing.

  • CreativeGoddess October 31, 2008 12:45 am

    I made a lightbox earlier this year and it seems a bit clumsy. Looks like I'll be updating it -and soon! Great ideas.


  • sedie October 31, 2008 12:12 am

    Thanks! I so needed that! I am now going to be scouring for a box so I can get started!

  • Debbie October 30, 2008 11:41 pm

    This was great! I will be tweaking the lightbox I made this summer. Thank you for a great toot!

  • Alicia @ The Soft Landing October 30, 2008 10:57 pm

    Wow! Thank you so much for this DIY project! We offer some pretty obscure and unique products in our store that come from manufacturers who don't bother with high quality images. We always seem to end up with kind of mediocre images and I've never know how to remedy that - but now I do thanks to you :)

  • Earldean Reyes October 30, 2008 10:47 pm

    thanks for sharing!
    this is a really cool DIY project!

  • Lyla October 30, 2008 10:18 pm

    Great DIY tutorial. I'm going to send it to my husband so he can take some great shots of our new wedding rings! Then I will show them off on my new blog with the hope that he just might read it : ).

  • Pat Verner October 28, 2008 06:18 am

    Hi! My nephew could really use this info. He takes pics of all kinds of things for his Ebay, but not good ones. I see that there's no way to forward this to him. Could you send this back with info how to send it? Maybe he could ex-
    plain it to my sister. She takes pics of the jewelry we make.

    Thanks for sharing this free with others.

  • Hellokevin11 October 23, 2008 04:12 pm

    The key is the N:vision bulbs. Only found at home depot as I can tell.

    N:vision comes in soft white, extra white, and daylight (blue). You need the extra white. ISO from 50-80 worked best depending on the item size and color.

    They have 120Watt (equivalent) for $9.00
    and a four pack of 60W for $9.00

    They have aluminum light shrouds for $5.95

    and for cloth I used apack of xxl haynes t-shirts. (one shirt did a very big box)

  • Ana October 17, 2008 04:39 am

    You saved me a lot of money! Thank you for sharing this with us! It is a great easy to follow guide!

    thanks again!

  • Gerry V October 3, 2008 01:02 am

    I'll be out looking for a box. Your tip is took good to pass up. Much appreciated.

  • Smylo September 29, 2008 05:05 pm

    Thanks a lot for this great guide!

  • jay September 26, 2008 09:16 am

    what is blistor board

  • Janice September 26, 2008 12:57 am

    I am so happy you shared this tip with us! I'm going to get started on it right away and I hope to post my results.

  • Lynn September 23, 2008 06:45 am

    Lynn Says:
    "Great idea! Now if I could only figure out how to adapt this to fit my grandkids in so I can photograph them. Oh - and I’d have to find a way to convince them to sit still…LOL"

    I did it! And the pics turned out great. :O)

  • colleen September 22, 2008 10:58 am

    I am a total amatuer and made one of these boxes this weekend and shot some jewelery I made. Really super nice results! Nice, clean professional look and good color. Thanks a million for the awesome how-to!!

  • kay August 31, 2008 02:39 am

    Thanx for this great tutorial.It can be so easy:-)

  • Misha August 25, 2008 12:36 pm

    I like the idea of building my own, but also recycling a cardboard box, rather than buying something made from plastic.
    Very cool.
    Thanks for taking the time to do a step-by-step, Jeff!
    Much appreciated!

  • Ed August 21, 2008 07:08 am

    Jeff, Thanks so much. I've been fighting the right light for jewely for a long time. This works super. $16.00 invested. Thanks again.

  • Linda August 19, 2008 06:18 am

    Just made this box using PVC pipe, hot glued and white wedding dress material from a local fabric store on sale. The material is great and has a stiffness that made for easy tight sides and wonderful diffusion of light.
    I made hanging drapes in the front panel that can easily lifted or pulled out of the way to get large items in or out and then flipped down when photographing.
    My 24x18x18 box cost
    PVC pipe and fittings $9.40 Two yards material $4.21
    and $2.03 for glue sticks (I already had the hot glue gun)
    TOTAL... $15.64
    Still need a couple light bulbs, but my large box is outstanding and more reasonable than the one's for sale and honestly better quality.
    Thank you!!!

  • Christina August 18, 2008 08:23 pm

    Thanks for a great tutorial. Could you tell me what the best camera settings would be for best results? I apologize if I missed this in the tutorial.

  • Megan August 15, 2008 12:49 pm

    This was awesome!! It has improved the quality of pictures on my site 100%!

  • Carol August 12, 2008 09:57 pm

    Thanks for sharing this, very good to know, so very helpful!

  • Liad August 6, 2008 04:43 pm

    Wow! Wish I woulda read this before buying all kinda stuff!

  • jerome July 12, 2008 06:21 am

    I use the same for food photography, very helpful. Thanks

  • D.T. July 4, 2008 03:34 pm

    thanks for the detailed instructions. It's SO HELPFUL. I've tried making one of this today and it's so easy. Thank you so much!!!!

  • Akua June 23, 2008 01:31 pm

    Brilliant! Much thanks for sharing! I need this!

  • sp June 17, 2008 02:27 pm

    Thanks so much for this tip - it sounds so simple.

    I purchased a light tent (and paid a lot of money for it) and it's been an absolute disaster. I can't get in close enough b/c of the zippers everywhere... This is tomorrow's project and based on all the reviews I can't wait to see the results.

  • Sony Alphah June 14, 2008 09:23 am

    Thank you very much for digital-photography-school. this site has provided me with an understanding of lighting, It's just what I was looking for!

  • Kevin June 13, 2008 01:46 pm

    Thanks so much. Reads the post last night, made it today, the first results are very nice. Question for anyone whoi has an idea though... I'm getting a black reflection from the "Door" the camera is sticking through. I cut another piece of white cloth as a 'screen door' with a slit for the camera which helps, but any wrinkle in this 'screen door' gets reflected as a white swirl on big cabochons, etc... any other ideas?

  • Julia June 8, 2008 03:00 pm

    You are the smartest man I know!!! Thank you so much!!! :)

  • Sue June 6, 2008 02:58 pm

    Wow, I had no idea how to make one of these, but it's so simple. Thanks for sharing this knowledge!

  • MrCrafty June 3, 2008 09:09 am

    I'll try it....
    Need better shots for my web site. I will post pics soon


  • Rhonda Ray May 25, 2008 05:15 pm

    Thank you so much with your inspiration. Some of the prices for the tents on the market are crazy. This was much easier and creativity is endless.


  • mass May 23, 2008 01:24 am

    very nice tutorial!! i really need one of this
    i think im going to try to make a box with heavier material, attaching two laterals neon light on sides.
    i'll let you know :)


    playmos mediastudio

  • mass May 23, 2008 01:23 am

    very nice tutorial!! i really need one of this

  • Sandra May 20, 2008 09:20 am

    This tip is a life-saver.

  • christina May 19, 2008 10:45 pm

    Hi there,
    This is great, how would i go about making a larger size one to fit a dress mannequin in it?

  • Mitch May 18, 2008 07:38 am

    Thanks for the instructions!

    Here is my first shot using the light tent!

  • Jann May 9, 2008 10:58 pm

    Imagine, me the most inept person for any craft imaginable. The only project I ever tried was sewing a poncho in school, which I sewed to my skirt! I gave this a try and if I did it, anyone can! Thanks so much for sharing this info!!
    It works!

  • Victoria May 6, 2008 01:02 am

    Great job.

    I think it would be better to add 2 more lights to the left and right side. That way you won't see the shadow in the picture of the watch.

  • John April 18, 2008 01:11 am

    Good tutorial but one question: why would you cut those strips for the bottom of the box? Why wouldn't you just cut one piece to fit in the bottom? Your curved background is going to cover most of it so why would it make any difference?

  • Anna April 18, 2008 12:25 am

    This is exactly what I have been looking for! Thanks!

  • Scott Hopper April 15, 2008 04:14 am

    What type of camera, lens, and lights did you use to take the pictures?


  • hiker April 14, 2008 01:12 pm

    Anyone know how to make the background to be black instead of white ? I tried change the background paper but still the same.

  • dotie April 14, 2008 08:54 am

    wow thanks alot for this! its great, made one! :D
    have no used it yet, but im sure when i do, it will work just perfect.

    oh also, i used tracing paper and not fabric... is that still alright?

    anyway thanks alot for this!

  • Anne April 9, 2008 11:12 am

    Thanks so much for this! I just finished making mine and it came out great. However, I did make one modification. I hung a flap of fabric over the front that I can clip back when the box is in use. That way I can keep out dust or other particles when it's not in use.

    Thanks again!

  • Dan April 8, 2008 04:33 am

    I tried this last night and got decent results. Thanks!

  • anime_t April 4, 2008 12:03 am

    my gosh that is a brillient idea thanx....

  • maria~ April 2, 2008 01:42 am

    Ohhh, love this! I've been thinking of buying a light box but hell! $100 for a few pieces of cloth and some wood? Thanks for your tips, I hope I can find some Bristol cloth soon ;)

  • Haley March 25, 2008 06:33 am

    How dumb I wanted a tent to sleep in but it could be usefull in other ways but it is still kinda dumb because for 1 Why would people use it and how can you tell if it is weight or a tent with ligt in it and 2 when people want and/orneed they want to finf it quick and easy and like me I was wanting a tent you can sleep in. NOW do you see my point?!?!?!?

  • Quentin March 18, 2008 11:01 pm

    Sheer brilliance!! (no pun intended) - Thankyou!

  • Justin March 13, 2008 12:58 am


    Very helpful, though

  • Glenna March 12, 2008 10:22 am

    Thank you so much. I have been trying to figure out how to take decent pictures of my handmade jewelry and I think this will work great. Definitely a cheaper alternative and was so easy to make. Thanks Again.

  • CentralParker March 10, 2008 09:52 am

    can't wait to try this out, makes such a difference.

  • jsmith March 3, 2008 03:28 pm

    excellent tut. i made one and i got amazing results

  • addi February 27, 2008 12:42 pm

    Hi Guys - any recommendation for a digital camera and lens. It would mostly be for jewelry photography. I was leaning towards Nikon D80.

  • Amy Kuczewski February 27, 2008 07:53 am

    Thanks for the tutorial- I'm SO making one of these. Depending on sunlight in winter just doesn't cut it when you're photographing glass. Very helpful!

  • Robert February 26, 2008 09:50 am

    Very nice, thx !

  • Robert February 26, 2008 09:47 am

    Very nice, thx !

  • Ben February 25, 2008 07:42 am

    Just made it. Looks pretty messy, but it was fun and will come in handy! I used a GE Reveal bulb, which worked out nicely.

  • david February 24, 2008 08:13 pm

    very cool. i've made a similar light box at home ... alternatively, a big sheet of white paper, curved, can work just as well. although, the light box is better for diffusing light.

    you also need to make sure that the back is well lit.

    great tips though.



  • Darrell February 23, 2008 10:02 pm

    Hey Betty... I find that if you just edit it with Photoshop (or in my case, Windows Photo Gallery) you can get pretty decent results from a not-so-decent picture. I haven't built this yet, but yesterday I took pictures with two house lamps (from end tables... yellow light!) against a sheet of white paper cut out of a text book (I don't even have printer paper). After taking the pictures, I realized that it wasn't very well lit and that it had a yellowish to it, even after setting the white balance on my camera. If you haven't done that, I suggest you do that. Anyways, I took the picture and opened it up with Windows Photo Gallery. I turned up the Contrast and Brightness. I then adjusted the Color Temp and Tint. Once you've got a good white background, then adjust your saturation to obtain true colors. If you are taking pictures for an e-bay auction, you don't want to misrepresent an item. You might have to compromise with the background color to receive the best overall color. Hope this helps!

  • angie February 19, 2008 01:43 pm

    Now,tell me what kind of camera you are using.

    I had the same idea because the prices of a light studio
    are ridiculous high priced.


  • osiantis February 15, 2008 03:32 am

    Thx very much, today I made one. :)

  • Jamie February 4, 2008 09:43 am

    great info!....I am always trying to figure out how to photograph my jewelry...and I will not pay the high prices for a photo tent online....but my question is about lighting......What is the best lighting and wattage for jewerly so that I do not get any shadows!!!!! Help! Oh, and I noticed that you do not have any other lights on in the room where you are taking your photos, just the photo light itself?


  • TOTO February 3, 2008 03:52 pm

    Thank you…
    So appreciated…

  • Betty January 23, 2008 03:42 am

    Hi. I've followed all your instructions and I am using the "reveal 120W" indoor floodlight full spectrum but my pics show a pink background instead I using the right light?

  • Charity cds January 21, 2008 06:32 am

    Thank you so much. I was tempted to buy a light tent but the costs were ridiculous. Now I'll be able to play around with this one and see what results I can get - thanks again.

  • Pugalenthi Natesan January 18, 2008 10:15 pm


    thanks for the great idea posted here.

    I tried this using (1/2") PVC pipes, that was easy to make and was inexpensive too.

    Just bought 2 x 6 feet (half inch) pvc pipes, and the required connectors (elbow etc..) and cut to size and joined them to make a hollow cube.

    I haven't glued the joints which makes it easy to take apart and store it in a bag.

    Just wanted to thank everyone for the ideas posted here.


  • Elsie January 18, 2008 12:05 pm

    Thank you for your tip!! I love taking product and food shots, now I will not have any problem with this light box...

  • Kugelis January 16, 2008 11:15 pm

    Any ideas what size box do I need if I'm going to photograph objects from 10 mm to 500 mm ?

  • alex January 7, 2008 03:22 am

    Really nice tutorial , a well done light box , usefull for many begginers and why not professional photographers!! CHeers!

  • Pugal December 25, 2007 08:47 pm

    This is awesome !

    I have been looking to buy a photo tent for taking pictures of my products for sale on ebay and other online stores.

    The price tag of the ready made tents is quite shocking and made me put put off my purchase.

    I'm gonna try this today, will keep you posted of the outcome. The instructions are so easy, I guess anyone can do it (me included).

    Thanks for the instructions.

  • Richard Altenburg December 25, 2007 01:18 am

    Thank you for this wonderful guide, Jeffrey.

    In all its simplicity, a light box like this has helped me to take far better pictures of my wife's miniature teddy bears than before. Other teddy bear artists now ask us how we did it, so we point them to your web page nowadays.

    It was fun to create this solution, and to be able to finally get those great pictures on eBay and our own site, without anyone knowing how cheap the solution was (well, the bulbs were not that cheap, about USD 25 each).

  • bob hatcher December 8, 2007 08:55 pm

    Thank you, Thank you very much. I have a project that I need to photograph over one hundred die cast race cars that I am going to put on ebay to sell. This project will save me time and money and at the same time make the product look good and everybody will want to buy.

  • hiker December 7, 2007 01:42 pm

    i had made one of this box too but not sure how to take the black background like sduncan's shot... any guide ?

  • Angel December 1, 2007 01:46 pm

    EXCELLENT!!! Thanks so much!

  • Lynn November 30, 2007 11:11 am

    That was very cool...if make that rod black your friend would appear to be hanging in mid-air!

  • sduncan November 30, 2007 02:29 am

    This was really helpful, thanks for posting it! I had to make some modifications because my subject had to be suspended from a rod, but the results were still pretty good:

  • crylic November 23, 2007 07:25 pm

    thanks a lot for sharing this tutorial, this is very interesting... and useful ;) Thx !!

  • Joel November 23, 2007 03:38 pm

    Wow!!! Great post!!

  • Clemens Roether November 23, 2007 03:56 am

    Great tutorial -- text and pictures. Looks like it produces wonderful results and it's easy to make. Thanks for the neat idea!

  • Barik Al-Samarrai November 21, 2007 10:35 am

    that is great .. I will made it ..

    thank you .

  • Cody November 21, 2007 02:46 am

    I've been putting off buying one of these for months... I think I'll try your method and make one first! Thankx for the tutorial- What a great idea!

  • Babak November 21, 2007 12:43 am

    That is a really inspiring article, very useful. thank you

  • Lynn November 21, 2007 12:37 am

    Great idea! Now if I could only figure out how to adapt this to fit my grandkids in so I can photograph them. Oh - and I'd have to find a way to convince them to sit still...LOL

  • Olivier H November 20, 2007 05:08 pm

    Cool tutorial, detailed on every aspect!
    Careful not to mix different types of lights, though if you aim to have more lighting power, because it would lead to issues with white balance.
    With one type, color balance is adjustable at will (especially if you shoot RAW).

    Also read something similar here :

  • Stephen November 20, 2007 01:10 pm

    This is pretty cool; I'm going to have to give this a try!

  • PRH November 20, 2007 12:24 pm

    Great tutorial! A few questions before endeavoring to make my own.
    I'm guess there would a problem with colour cast with the lamp you use. Would you manually set the white balance in the camera or do you use photoshop (or other software) to deal with this?

    Would the weave of the fabric cast unusual shadows on the item photographed?


  • mike November 20, 2007 11:35 am

    I did this, and It is one of the most used items I have! I love it!

  • PerJr November 20, 2007 04:12 am

    Super guide! - I just found out what i'm gonna do next weekend :)

  • Olli November 20, 2007 02:19 am

    I also did this a few days ago, if somebody would like to view a german Version:

  • Ramón November 20, 2007 02:11 am

    Perfect timing! Thanks!
    I had been looking at Lastolite's products for a few months, but I couldn't justify the prices either.

  • jeroen November 20, 2007 02:06 am

    haha I made a couple weeks ago the same box only i didn't had the back of the box cut out and used it as the bottom and used the box horizontal. some results of my sudio are at my website:

  • Tina November 19, 2007 10:36 am

    Thank rock!!
    So appreciated.....