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PVC Light Box

Anyone will tell you…light is the key to amazing photography. My photography is less than amazing and the fact that I have to take a lot of my photos at night creates real problems. Enter the light box…
There are dozens of ways to make a light box. I decided to go with PVC. It’s lightweight, portable, and something that’s easy to assemble. I wanted to make a 2′ square light box. That meant I needed twelve 2′ long pieces of PVC (I used half inch PVC pipe) and eight 90 degree elbow joints. Because of the length the PVC pipe came in I also used couplers to make three of the 2′ lengths. (It was less expensive to buy the couplers than an additional length of PVC.)

Working with PVC is a snap. You can cut it with a hand saw but I actually used a special tool made for cutting PVC. (Ask and the store may cut yours for you!) If you’re planning to do a project like this it might be easiest to go into your local home improvement store with a picture of this box and ask for help. They’ll be able to help you find exactly what you need. (Make sure all of the fittings you purchase are slip and not threaded. That just means they slid onto the PVC rather than screwing on.)

The next step is covering three sides of the box with muslin. You’ll need two yards to wrap around the three sides of the box. Use hot glue to secure the fabric around the box, pulling the fabric as taut as you can while you glue. You only need to attach the fabric to the top, left and right sides of the box. (I had leftover fabric remaining and just glued that to the back as I was finishing the edges.)

Attach clip on lights to shine through the top and sides of the box. I recommend 100 watt equivalent daylight CFL bulbs.

Turn on the lights and you’re ready to snap! The 2′ size of the box allows you to work with fairly large objects. You can even turn the box on it’s end and take overhead shots. Poster board, scrapbook paper or even the floor can be the surface for whatever you’re photographing. With these easy to make light box you no longer have to fear the night time photo shoot!

As The Bunny Hops®