Monday, June 15, 2009

How to Make a Light Box

Simply put, it is a photographer’s aid, a plain box with the sides and top cut out and covered with a light-diffusing fabric or translucent paper. Objects (such as this chess piece) photographed inside the box will have a clean and professional appearance with virtually no shadows.


  • Sturdy cardboard box
  • Thin, white fabric (muslin, T-shirt, interfacing, old sheet, nylon) that allows light through
  • Heavy white opaque paper (poster board, butcher paper, interfacing)
  • Glue Stick
  • Utility knife
  • Scissors
  • Marking pen
  • Tape measure
  • Swing-arm lamps


Obtain a sturdy box, preferably with a lid. The box used for this demo was a Banker’s Box, but you can use any size box. Don’t go too small.

Cut out all 4 sides of the box with a utility knife, leaving 1½” rims. If you use a regular cardboard box, you’ll need to cut off the top flaps. If you use a Banker’s Box, it won’t have top flaps.

Line 3 sides of the box on the inside (or outside, if you’re lazy) by gluing white fabric or light-duty paper to the box. Leave 4th side open. That’s the opening where you’ll place the camera lens to shoot your pictures.

Carefully cut out the bottom lip at the FRONT of the box. You'll be inserting a long piece of paper next, and this will allow the paper to stick out the front of the box.
Cut heavy paper to fit into the bottom and back side of the box, starting at the front, and CURVING UP AND OVER the rim at the back. This will create a seamless backdrop, so be very careful not to crease or wrinkle the paper. Secure paper to the back of the box on the outside.

If using a Banker’s Box, cut out the center of the lid, leaving a 1½” rim. Cut fabric or paper to fit lid and glue to inside of lid. For regular cardboard box, just glue fabric or paper directly to top of box

Finished box. To take pictures, shine lamp through top of the box. If you need more light, shine additional lamps through the sides.


NinaP said...

Hi Sherrie! Thanks for posting this.

Xray Amy said...

This is really a great tutorial!

Mutuelle sante said...

Thank you it has been a wonderful support, now to make a light box is definitely simple utilizing your guidance. Thank you