Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Making Your own Cheap Photo Box

So I'd been thinking of investing in a proper photobox (still might for all that) when I came across this guys tutorial on making your own. You can find it here. I decided to give it a go.
All you need is a cardboard box, some tape, sharp knife and some fabric.
First cut windows in the top and sides. Leave the base and back solid.

Then cover with white paper.

Even the sides..

Then hang fabric in the windows...
(this is upside down btw; remember you want the base solid.)

Turn it right side up and hang a piece of fabric or bristol board from the top back to the front so that it drapes. You can cover the whole outside with fabric as well but I haven't.

So it looks kinda like this when you have your card inside:

 Here is the finished card (an older one; don't want to ruin any surprises ;-) using the photo box.

If I was to make another one I would do some things differently. 
*I would make it bigger. This size barely gives you enough room to breathe. And as for the draping fabric well you have to push it back to get your card truly inside the box. Which in turn exposes the sides of the box. Bummer #1.
* I would use a fabric that doesn't wrinkle so badly. I ironed this fabric and I can still see the wrinkles and unfortunately they do come out in the photographs as well. Bummer #2.
*It doesn't collapse for easy storage. So would be inconvenient for small spaces. Bummer #3
Bottom Line: You get what you pay for. LOL 
 It's pretty good actually,  it just has some quirks. I think it would be great if you lived in a place where the lighting is undependable. Here at my craft workstation I have good lighting with windows all around me so that I think my normal way of taking pictures ( 4 sheets of white cardstock propped up) doesn't look much different that pics taken with this photobox.
But if any of you need a photobox and can't afford one, this is really pretty simple to make.
So will I buy a photobox?
Weeeeeell I may just invest in a large piece of posterboard to eliminate my "seam" when I take pics with my cardstock. 
59 cents and my troubles are over! Packs flat too. :-)
But it was cool playing around!


Boxofcolours said...

I've got a collapsible cube and I actually get better photographs without it, I just couldn't get enough light even with the 2 daylight lamps it came with - so I went back to 2 white foam boards and my normal studio lights.

Stacey G.- 2 Craf-t-4u said...

Very cool! I think I am going for the poster board too! Tired of the seams as well. Wish I had some now as I am trying to work on my candy display! Thanks for sharing!

Kim Dellow said...

Great Photo tent thingy! Great idea Dorcas. Kim

Anonymous said...

I spent all day a few months back making on, himself stood on it thinking it was just a box waiting for crushing and burning.

Just bought a light box & lights set up.. used his card... he wont stand on it this time haha


Cheryl said...

Hi Dorcas, thanks for your idea's and tips on this subject. I am trying at the moment to take better photo's and you have helped me with a few options tfs.
Hugs Cheryl

Rachel said...

My hubby bought me a light box for Christmas. I do use it...It does have quirks, too. And I always have seams...drives me nuts and I go back and forth on whether I like my cards on white backgrounds or DP backgrounds. I liked reading all your bummers though....very funny!

Debbie said...

Great tutorial..thanks for sharing..just invested in a light box and am just getting the hang of it. Love the way you described putting it together, really funny

Hugs Debbie

Iulia said...

Hi, Dorcas! I've never used a box before but seems to be great idea! Thus you never get to photograph the mess your child made in the room...lol.
Thanks for sharing sweetie!

ChickieChirps said...

Hi Dorcas,
I tried this a while ago and had pretty much the same problems as you... I also couldn't find good lights to use here in Greece so my photos come out a bit yellowy when I use it... I think I might try and buy the collapsible one I've seen online.


Marilyn Webb said...

Hi Dorcas
Just stopping by to let you know, it would be great for you to link up with my tutorial for paper beads. Thank you very much for being interested.
Love your tutorial for the light box! Have a wonderful day.

Tine said...

Hi Dorcas. I have been using a collapsible photo cube for a couple of months now. I got fed up of chasing our little bit of sunlight around the house!
Don't have fabby lights for it, just a couple of old very mis-matched desk lamps. Whilst it seems a great idea for it to fold down, in practise it stops up the whole time as the fabric on the inside creases badly when put away, plus I always have a card on the go! Consequently, it gets in the way a lot. LOL.

Linda w said...

I have poor lighting and made my light box using two pieces of A3 white cardstock. My photos, are slightly better, and it collapses....I do like yours though. Hugs lin

Anniebee said...

Hi, Dorcas! This is really good information to have and I thought about purchasing a photo box several months ago (prior to being laid off) but never did. Maybe I'll try something like this or maybe I'll do what you're going to and just get a couple of pieces of foam board and tape the edges together to form an "L". All I have been doing is using a daylight lamp and draping some fabric or something behind and beneath my item to be photographed. Cheap! I did finally invest a couple of bucks in a mini easel to prop my cards on and that has helped. Thanks for sharing this tutorial.


patriziawithaz said...

A great idea Dorcas x Popped over to say THANK-YOU for your visits and lovely comments. I hope you know I appreciate it very much. Sending you hugs xx

Alice Wertz said...

thanks for the tutorial, Dorcas! i am waiting for a bigger box to turn up so that i can make one for myself. thanks for the warnings and tips! =)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the directions, I need me one of those, lighting in this room is horrible as with most of our home, windows to high up.

:) Lori m

Laura said...

Cool tutorial :) I just use 2 A3 sheets of shimmer white cardstock :P. I place them wherever I see the best light (though that's not always enough for my cards). But Picasa does wonders LOL

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for the great tutorial. I might try to make one!
Hugs, Elizabeth

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