DIY Photography Lightbox

I have a confession. I love browsing through Pinterest, but most of the time I don’t end up making anything I pin whether it’s a cool craft idea or a delicious-looking recipe. For almost a year, I have been wanting to act on a pin to make a homemade photography lightbox. I thought there was no better day than the present to finally build this incredibly useful and cheap photography tool! I followed WikiHow’s instructions here almost to a tee, but I thought I’d walk you all through the process anyway.


You will need:

1 cardboard box (I used an 18″x18″)
1 matte black poster
1 matte white poster
4 sheets of white tissue paper
Box cutter
2 lamps with natural light bulbs
Yardstick or ruler


1. Find a sturdy square box. The size really depends on your preference, but I think it’s best to err on the side of caution and get a bigger box. This will give you more flexibility in what you can photograph inside the box. If you don’t have one lying around, I recommend that you ask around at local stores because they’re bound to have plenty of extras.
2. Lay the box on its side with the open part facing you.
3. Mark lines 1.5 inches inside each edge of the box with the ruler. You’ll create a box shape inside, sort of like a picture frame. You’ll do this on three sides (top, left, right).
4. Using the box cutter, cut along the lines. I actually used a kitchen knife because the box cutter I had didn’t have a sharp enough blade.
5. Cut off the front flaps with the box cutter or scissors. I left one flap remaining in the front to more easily drape a longer poster board, but that’s completely optional and not necessary.
6. Drape one layer of tissue paper over each of the three box-shaped openings in the box and tape them securely into place. After you finish the box, you may need to add another layer of tissue paper to achieve the desired effect.
7. Cut a piece of the matte white poster board so that it fits perfectly in your box.
8. Then, insert the white poster inside, curving it upwards toward the top of the box. Curve gently; don’t crease.
9. Place the black matte poster on top of your box. Don’t tape it down because you may want to block light from certain angles to achieve the desired effect.
10. Place one lamp on either side of your box.
11. Snap some sample shots and adjust lamp placement, amount of white tissue paper, and black poster as needed.


That’s it! You have now created your own personal photo lightbox without breaking the bank. This cost me less than $3! I’m still figuring out the correct lighting (I may need to remove a layer of tissue paper or get brighter bulbs). But this is still a big improvement for me. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions on making your own!


7 thoughts on “DIY Photography Lightbox

    1. I still haven’t figured out a permanent resting place for mine, either! It’s still sitting on the dining room table. I’ll have to figure something out the next time we have company over!

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