Video: How to make a lightbox for next to nothing

Improve your product photos for under £5 (we reckon) with a cheap and super-simple lightbox.

Shoot at any time of day, better control the light and help your products pop out using this how to.

What you need…

  • Cardboard box
  • White tissue or tracing paper
  • Scissors
  • Ruler and pen
  • White card
  • Sticky tape
  • Box cutter or scalpel (optional)
  • Two lamps

1. Remove the lid

Cut the flaps from the top of the box, leaving the bottom (which should be taped) intact.

2. Create light windows

Make three large ‘windows’. One on the top of the box, and the other two on opposing sides. Leave a 2cm border on each of them.

Use the scissors, scalpel or box cutter to cut out the three windows.

3. Tape down tissue paper

Cover each window with tissue or tracing paper, cut to fit, then tape down each side from the outside.

4. Create the background

Cut the card to fit the width of the box. The card length should be about a third longer than the box’s height.

Fix the card into the box. It should cover the two non-windowed areas.

5. Position the lights

Place the lamps to the left and right of the lightbox, facing inwards towards your product.


Still after more?

Check out our photography series, including cake and general product photography advice, Moonfruit’s best website templates and image copyright help.

Time to start making that craft website (for free with Moonfruit)!

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8 Responses to “Video: How to make a lightbox for next to nothing”

  1. Karl

    My curiosity got the best of when I was wondering what on earth is a lightbox? Interesting video, but boxes are quite often hard to find as they normally get crushed/destroyed and seems like a lot of energy creating this for just a few photographic shots – for £5, wouldn’t a small clear plastic storage box with 5 sheets of white paper achieve the same results?

    • Marcel Reinard

      Hello Karl,

      Lightboxes are an interesting one: some people like to make them (in all different ways) others prefer to buy.

      It took us about 30 minutes to make one of these. The paper walls could be replaced with a white sheet or old t-shirt (though we didn’t check how well this would diffuse the light).

      A clear plastic box may do the job too. At a guess it would depend on its density and the light it lets through. Let us know if you decide to give us a go!

      Or, you can pick up a ready made light tent. Prices and quality of course will vary.

      • Heather McCall-Rhyne

        sounds like a great idea, but for those of us who are visual learners why don’t you add photos of each step and finished light box..

  2. Gail Veasey

    If you have an android tablet you can download a free lightbox app for nothing. Obviously size of the lightbox will be the size of your screen.

  3. Rosie

    I have box (free) tissue paper(free) large piece of card for£2.20 from local craft shop, bargain! Guess what I’ll be making today?


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