DIY: Small Circular Softboxes

DIY: Small Circular Softboxes

Photographer and design student Hunter Frerich came up with this really cool DIY for building a small circular soft box. It kinda resembles one of the first projects on DIYP (which is the one that actually pushed me to start the site) but is waaaaay nicer and probably gives way better light. It kinda resembles the Honl Traveller8, but exchanges the high $$ for sewing skills.

It is pretty light weight, so it can go as an on camera flash diffuser, but using a Gorillapod or a Nastyclamp, you can stick one pretty much anywhere.

DIY: Small Circular Softboxes

You’ll Need:

  • A sewing machine
  • Spray Glue
  • Velcro
  • 12”x30” of black fabric for the body
  • 12”x30” of aluminum foil
  • 11”x11” of textured plastic or white fabric for the front diffuser

DIY: Small Circular Softboxes

Instructions

Download and print this template. It’s 11”x17” but if you only have a standard printer just print 1/2 sheets at once.

DIY: Small Circular Softboxes

Spray-glue your aluminum foil to the black fabric being sure to coat both pieces.
Spritz some glue on the body piece templates so you can temporarily attach them to the fabric and remove them after cutting.

DIY: Small Circular Softboxes

Sew the sections together, always fabric touching fabric and allow a 1/4” seam.

DIY: Small Circular Softboxes

flip the sections inside out, fold the seam flat and throw a stitch down the middle.
Continue for all 6 sections but don’t close it up just yet.

DIY: Small Circular Softboxes

Sew a simple hem on both ends.

DIY: Small Circular Softboxes

If you have a standard flash just sew on two opposing Velcro tabs to the skinny end before sealing up the circle.

DIY: Small Circular Softboxes

If your flash already has a strip of loop-velcro mounted around it’s end you may want to just sew hook-velcro around the inside.

DIY: Small Circular Softboxes

If you choose the latter, be sure and fold over and sew the hem.

DIY: Small Circular Softboxes

Now close up the body.

DIY: Small Circular Softboxes

For a beauty-dish effect, cut out an 11” circle of textured plastic and spray-glue a 4” paper/fabric circle in its center.
For a more center weighted, yet diffused effect, just use white fabric.

DIY: Small Circular Softboxes

Sew or pin it in place before attempting to sew the full circle.

DIY: Small Circular Softboxes

Lastly, fold your previous hem over and sew down another full line around the circumference.

DIY: Small Circular Softboxes

Done! Now go try it out.

DIY: Small Circular Softboxes

I always keep at least one in my camera bag because they fold down to almost nothing. To get it back into shape, just push the sides outwards through the hole in back.

On-Camera Examples:

DIY: Small Circular Softboxes

Notice the large, round catch-lights in the eyes, softer cast shadows, and even skin tones.

DIY: Small Circular Softboxes

DIY: Small Circular Softboxes

Thanks Hunter for letting us post this tumblr tut.