How to Create a Lightbox from a Cardboard Box

You may not have the money you need to get started with photography. Tabletop photography is one thing you can do to get your foot in the door without going broke. In fact, photography has an entire DIY culture that loves to share its expertise around.


  1. Image titled GetBox Step 1 2
    Get the cardboard box that you will be using. Mark out where you will be cutting. You will want to leave yourself 1.5 to 2 inches (3.81cm to 5cm) on each side.
  2. Image titled CutSides Step 2
    Carefully, cut out the sides of the box. It is up to you whether or not to cut the third side. Cut out at least three sides of the box.
  3. Image titled DiffusingMaterial Step 3
    After removing the sides, start recovering the sides with whatever diffuse material you have chosen. The material in this screenshot is a very inexpensive shower curtain liner. Continue doing this for at least three of the sides. The fourth side will need to remain open.
  4. Image titled AddPosterPaper Step 4
    Find something to put in your softbox for a continuous background. This image has white poster board taped together. Admittedly, the image here is not the best look but it gives you the idea; check out the introduction image for a smoother finish.
  5. Image titled GetSticks Step 5
    Optional: to add stability for you lightbox get some sticks, cut them so they would fit the opening of the box.
  6. Image titled PlaceCorners Step 6
    Place them at the corners of the box.
  7. Image titled TapeIt Step 7
    Secure them with tape.
  8. Image titled Lighting Step 8
    Continue experimenting with various lights to get the right look you need for your photographs. While this article has explained how to create a softbox, it's quite something else to use one and that's best done through experience.
  9. Image titled GetSubject Step 9
    Get a subject or any item you can use to try your new lightbox.
  10. Image titled SeeResult Step 10
    See results and enjoy!

Things You'll Need

  • Fairly sturdy cardboard box
  • A diffusion material. This article uses a shower curtain liner
  • Sturdy tape

Article Info

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Categories: Featured Articles | Photography Lighting | Photographic DIY