Cardmaking · Planning

First attempt at making a lightbox

So I’ve been threatening to make a light box for a while now after being consistently fed up with trying to get good pictures of my cards for here and my etsy shop.

After reading a couple of things online and seeing an article in an issue of Do Crafts magazine I finally decided to give it a go in my week off and figured I’d get a blog post out of it, for those of you also maybe hoping to make one at some point. It’s not perfect, and I’ll certainly make another soon, but it definitely improves the look of my photos (as you’ll see in my next post, one of the cards I made in my week off). So, onto how I did it:

Items needed

IMG_2001– A box (obviously). This is a good size but as I found out, isn’t exactly sturdy.

– White paint and paintbrush. I went for chalky white from Wickes to minimise reflection and a cheapo brush from The Range.

– White poster roll. Easily the most convenient thing to create your background with.

– Velum paper. I don’t think this is necessary, but the tutorial I followed suggested it. It does mean I can move the light source if I so wish.

Step one: getting the box ready

So for the lightbox I needed one completely open end and three windows. The end with all the flaps seemed the logical place for the open end. The windows either side I measured to be just a bit smaller than a4 (as that’s where the vellum would be going) and the window at the top I wasn’t particular about the size as it’s just where the light source was to go, so I just cut out a rectangle in the middle. I probably didn’t do it the safest of ways but I basically got a metal ruler and a stanley knife to cut out the windows, and ordinary scissors for the flaps.IMG_2003

Step two: playing with paint

Fairly self explanatory here. I covered it in two coats of paint.IMG_2006As you can see, the box was starting to lose structural integrity so I had to use a glue gun to add some extra cardboard round the windows to keep it sturdy.

Step three: adding the vellum and background paper

I attached two sizes of A4 vellum using sticky dots to the inside of the side windows and then cut out a length of poster roll. I tried being precise about it and cut it ever to slightly too wide for the box and so the second time I just cut out a length vaguely the right width. I then put glue dots at the top of the roll and fixed it to the top of the background ‘wall’. Then all I needed to do was arrange it in the box so it was flat at the bottom (so my cards would stay up) but bend in the corner so there were no harsh lines. I then fixed it in place at the bottom with a bit of washi.IMG_2008

Lighting

So initially I was going to just buy an anglepoise lamp as the tutorial I was reading suggested but then I’m lucky enough to have an electronic engineer for a boyfriend who just happened to have a string of self adhesive LEDs that he could wire to a 12v power supply to attach inside the box.IMG_2034

So that’s five strips of LEDs in the box, three along the top and one either side. It creates a great effect and have saved me around £15 on a lamp. Like I said before I probably will make another one when I come across a more sturdy box, but for the time being this is perfect for me. If you take a look on over at my shop you’ll see my cards are much better presented now.

What do you think? Have you made a lightbox?

Em x

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