There are certainly several ways to make your own softbox on a budget. But in this video from Major Hardware, you’ll learn how to do it for almost $0. You most likely have all these items at home, and you can turn them into a DIY studio light for portraits or product photography.
You will need:
- A lamp with LED bulb
- Two cardboard boxes
- Aluminum foil
- White trash bag (or white fabric/tracing paper)
- Hot glue gun
- Clear tape
- X-Acto knife
- Ruler and pencil
As I mentioned, you probably already have all these items at home. You might need to buy a lamp though: this one was used in the video, and it costs around $12. Keep in mind that incandescent light bulbs can get hot, so be careful when making and using a softbox like this. Go with LED lights, or even make a softbox like this for using it with speedlight.
How to make:
The box in the video is 18” x 18” x 16” and the first step is to cut it so it’s 10” high. However, if you can find a box that already is 10” high, it will save you some time.
Next, mark the middle on the bottom of the box and cut the hole in the middle. This will be the place to put your lamp, so make the hole only slightly bigger than the lamp. Even if you cut a bit too much, don’t worry – you can always fill it in with hot glue and get it sealed. It doesn’t need to look fancy.
Now, it’s time to make the reflectors on the inside of the softbox. Take the other cardboard box and cut out four trapezoids:
You will line them around the lamp in the softbox and fix them with clear tape, shaped like this:
Now, take the aluminum foil and line up the inside of the softbox, fixing it with hot glue:
Finally, stretch a white trash bag across the box and tape it down. You can also use white linen or tracing paper to make the light softer.
Since this DIY softbox is dirt cheap, it sure seems like a good idea if you’re on a tight budget. Also, you don’t have to follow the exact steps. You can use it merely as a guideline and build on it with your own ideas: use a larger box, a speedlight instead of a lamp, tracing paper instead of a plastic bag etc. Personally, I think I’ll make something like this for a speedlight. And if I do, I’ll share the results with you. And if you have already made something like this, feel free to share the results and your own tips in the comments below.
[How to build softbox lights | CARDBOARD BOX to BAMF LIGHTS | Major Hardware]