Bored At Night? Build A Softbox!

Last night I decided I need a small softbox for my flash. Something light, that can be taken apart and constructed from things I could find in my house at 11pm.

Bored At Night? Build A Softbox!

First, I cut out the bottom of a plastic food box. I then cut out the shape of the flash in the middle of the plastic sheet at the bottom of the box, so that it would fit snugly on the flash head. While heating it over the stove, I shaped it into a flowery shape and cooled it down under running water. (If you are going to do this please, please! be careful)

An Evening DIY Softbox, 1

Using a metal string, I tied the sides of each plastic corner to create a channel that would house a wooden skewer.

An Evening DIY Softbox, 2

I took 4 wooden skewers and soaked them in hot water for a few minutes, bent them a bit and tied to a round object, to create a small curve. When they were dry, I took them off and cut them to size.

An Evening DIY Softbox, 3

The skewers could now be pushed into the plastic channels and create the skeleton of the softbox.

An Evening DIY Softbox, 4

I traced the size of each side of the skeleton onto a piece of paper and cut out the different shapes out of a silver/white lycra fabric (light-proof).

I cut the shape of the front square out of white silk.

After sewing the 5 pieces together, it looked like this:

An Evening DIY Softbox, 5

An Evening DIY Softbox, 6

The final step was to turn the fabric inside out so that the silver side was on the inside of the softbox, to dress the skeleton with its new outfit, and to mount the whole thing onto the flash.

An Evening DIY Softbox, 7

An Evening DIY Softbox, 8

A test shot was then taken on my roof, in the afternoon sun (sun is behind the model).

An Evening DIY Softbox, 9

About The Author

Ben Saar is a photographer and DIY-er based in Tel-Aviv, Israel. You can follow his work here.

  • Andy

    Well played, Sir. I was thinking about a similar setup with tent poles, but wasn’t sure how to mount them to my flash head. Thanks for the idea with heated plastic!

  • Toast

    Totally inspired from this post, today I discovered a snare drum makes a wonderful impromptu softbox.

  • Guest

    Great project, this is right down my alley!

    Thanks Ben!

  • Stephen Oravec

    Great project, this is right down my alley!

    Thanks Ben!

  • Tammy

    good job!

  • Stacy