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As I mentioned yesterday, I finally built a lightbox.  It’s something I have had in mind for a while, but was never sure just quite how I wanted to do it.   I finally decided to bite the bullet & do it.  I once again hit the faithful internet, most high font of ideas, & then whipped one up with items I had on hand.  FREE!

my collapsible cardboard box baseThe secret to an easy, free collapsible lightbox is a collapsible cardboard box, so that’s where I started.  I had one I had been saving for some nonspecific need I knew I would have in the future.

materials for lightbox


I also used two sheets of white poster board, clear packing tape, Elmer’s Glue All, scissors, a ruler & a measuring tape, a pencil, & a goose neck clip on desk lamp.  I wish I had had a yardstick for a straight edge, but I made do.

cutting off the top flaps of the boxI cut the top flaps off the box with a pair of a sturdy scissors.


box with flaps taped shut


My box had handle flaps, so I used the clear packing tapeto cover those & added a few short pieces to the back flaps to help stabilize it & even out a leaning issue.



two sides covered with white poster boardI didn’t have enough poster board to cover all the inside, so I decided which way would serve me best, &  I measured the inside & cut two pieces out for the inner sides.  I covered the back sides of the poster board & a little on the sides of the box with glue, & then carefully smoothed them in place.  I made sure it fit snug to the back of the box & the bottom to prevent slips showing in the photographs.

I would have preferred using a glue stick or spray adhesive, but my glue stick proved to be a little too old to be useful >_<  & I don’t have any spray adhesive.  If you use white glue, be sure not to use too much because it will warp your poster board & that could show up in pictures.

When that was done I had a couple of scrap pieces I was able to tape together for the top.  Their size, plus a bit of tape along the front held them in place.  I didn’t want to glue it in because I’m going to replace it later when I get more poster board.  Then I can use the box both ways.  I also plan to buy some other backdrop colors, including a fluorescent green poster boardfor making easy shots for digital backgrounds.

I measured the inside width, & cut the other piece of poster board longways for the The back drop in place.back drop, which covers the entire back & bottom.  It needed a good fit, so when cutting I erred on the side of caution & then trimmed it down from there.  I fitted it to the top of the back & gently moved it into place along the side.  I let it curve out at the bottom rather than fitting it to the corner for no creasing & a smooth look in photos.


Now all that wcompleted box with lightas left was to add a light & voila!

I had a goose neck clip on desk lampI use for reading & crocheting when I need extra light.  It’s only rated for a 40w bulb, but – & what is important here – it was a Reveal bulbfor truer colors.  (If you’ve ever painted your room red, you know they are the difference between red walls & orange.)


earrings photographed inside the lightboxSuccess!

Here is a bonus shot of the finished box collapsed with the backdrop removed.  I finished box collapsedhave mine stored behind the head of my bed.



Before building my lightbox I researched the process across the internet. I didn’t use any of the tutorials, but they did inspire my process.  Every one I looked at didn’t Make it to Pinterest, but here are the ones I pinned to my How-to board.

Source: curbly.com via Joy on Pinterest

Source: joeturic.com via Joy on Pinterest

Source: wikihow.com via Joy on Pinterest