How to make your own lightbox.
Once you’ve gathered all the materials you need to create a photo lightbox, it’s time to put it all together.
1. Cut your door.
Take your cardboard box and remove one of its sides completely — usually one of the sides that opens. “That’s the opening where you shoot into the lightbox,” photographer Laura Murray says. Be sure that you don’t cut the side across from the opening, as that is the backside of your entrance.
2. Add some windows.
Measure and cut out windows into the other sides of the box. Use a ruler and mark a point that’s approximately 2 inches from each edge on one side of the box, and connect the ends using a pencil. This will give you a rectangle-shaped area with space near each edge that you cut out with either a box cutter or a sharp pair of scissors. Repeat on the opposite side. These windows will be where the primary light source shines through.
3. Line it in white.
Trim either a white poster board or thick white paper to fit inside of the box. Place the paper over the top of the box and use your scissors or box cutters to cut away the excess edges. The paper should be the width of the box and about twice as long on the top side, so it covers the entire interior without creases. “You want to have a clean sheet of paper, and depending on the scale of your lightbox, you want just one sheet that can reach the top of the back and come to the front of your lightbox,” Nocero says.
Be careful not to wrinkle it while you tape it to the top edge and bottom of the box. Note: Clear packing tape is a good option. If you use duct tape, ensure it is only on the back side of the paper to keep the interior of your lightbox bright and white.
4. Hang the curtains.
Cut out pieces of whatever fabric you chose to cover your windows. This acts as a diffuser of the light that will shine into the box. These coverings should be about one inch bigger than the windows you cut. Use the piece of cardboard that you cut as a guide in how big the “drapes” should be. “White tissue paper brightens the image and diffuses the light coming in, and it works perfectly,” says Murray. Once you’ve figured out how big they should be, tape or glue them to the sides of the cardboard.