DIY Photo Light Cube

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Like many Etsy sellers I understand the importance of a great photo. I am constrained by time, finances and the lack of professional photography training. I have a small point and shoot camera, and no budget to buy expensive photo accessories. Limitations aside, my photos could be better. I did take a 3 hour class on product photography and that lit a fire under my behind, so I made a homemade light cube. Being the maniac that I am, I challenged myself to make it with things I already had at home, plus the baby was sleeping, so it’s not like I could run out to get supplies anyhow! Here are the tools and materials:

MATERIALS:

  1. cardboard box
  2. packing tape
  3. tracing paper (other materials that would work… frosted shower curtain, wax paper, white t-shirt or other all white fabric)
  4. white paper large enough to seamlessly line inside of box (I used a roll of newsprint)
  5. wire (I used 20 gauge galvanized)*
  6. piece of wood for dowel (I used driftwood because that’s what I’ve got)*

TOOLS:

  1. utility knife with fresh blade
  2. cutting mat
  3. ruler
  4. pencil
  5. wire snips*

 

HERE’S HOW: Cut the windows out of the top, 2 sides and front. I just used the width of my ruler as a guide. (Hint -It helps to leave all the windows in place until they were all cut, for stability).

Then tape the tracing paper to the 2 side windows and the top.

*This next step is optional; I cut a hole at the top and center of each side by swiveling the utility blade and inserted a dowel (a piece of skinny driftwood). I made a hook from the 20 gauge wire and attached it to the dowel in the center of the box to hang small things from the “ceiling”. (There is a shot of this a few photos down where a mobile is hanging.)

For the lining of the interior I used a piece of paper from a roll of newsprint. I would have used a nicer paper, but this is what I have on hand. I taped the top corners to the inside of the cube and did the same to the front by rolling the tape and sticking it to the back so it is not visible.

The set up was next. I need to buy lamps, but again, I’m just using what’s immediately available so the sun will have to do!

This a what a mobile looks like hanging from the dowel and hook. A darker paper would do the lighter glass more justice.


Here is a pair of earrings. Not bad for an homemade light cube, natural light, a simple point and shoot camera, and no tripod. (I think my styling could use some help though!)

I will be making a much larger cube for my big mobiles, and some accessories for shooting jewelry… so stay tuned!

If you don’t feel up to the DIY project, here is a great company that sells all kinds of photography goodies Table Top Studio.

 

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