How to make DIY 2-in-1 reflector in 5 minutes

Mar 17, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

How to make DIY 2-in-1 reflector in 5 minutes

Mar 17, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Today I got an idea for a quick and simple DIY 2-in-1 reflector, and I’d like to share it with you and create my very first DIY article. It has a white and a silver side, it takes two ingredients to make, and it cost me about $20, along with the hot glue gun (this DIY project finally made me buy one). If you already have the hot glue gun, then you’ll make this for even less money. And it’s so unbelievably simple to make, it would be a pity not to try.

I got to the idea pretty much accidentally, while I was in a store similar to Home Depot. I saw a roll of some kind of strong silver foil. I didn’t know what it was for, but I knew that silver mans – reflective. Since I need a large reflector to play with at home, I quickly got the idea to make my own. So I got some of that foil, a board of styrofoam and the hot glue gun, and headed home to see if my idea will work.

You will need

You can choose the size of all materials as you like, and the price will vary accordingly. I used a 5 sq ft piece of styrofoam (0.5 sq meters). I bought 11 sq ft (1 sq meter) of reflective insulation and I even have some left for another project. It was around $2 all together, and hot glue gun was $18.

How to make

The build is simple and it literally took me 5 minutes to get it done.

1 – Cut the reflective insulation to the size that fits the styrofoam/foam core board.

2 – Heat the glue gun for 2-3 minutes. Mine requires 5 minutes, but I wanted to avoid overheating the plastic. Otherwise, it could melt the styrofoam, and you want to avoid that. This not only makes it hard (or impossible) to stick to the insulation, but also produces harmful fumes. So, keep that plastic moderately heated, and try it first on a small piece of styrofoam to see if it will melt it or not.

You could also use glue, but it’s tricky to find one that doesn’t melt styrofoam, yet glues it to anything. This is why I opted for the gun. If you know about a universal glue that doesn’t burn styrofoam, feel free to let me know.

3 – when the glue gun is heated, apply the melted plastic onto the sides of styrofoam and glue the insulation. Press firmly along the edges and leave it dry for a minute before you go to the next edge. Keep it nice and tight.

4 – great success!

And now, for some test shots

As you can see, I’m not really good at taking selfies, so I took a couple of test shots with some objects. I used white paper as the backdrop, with window light on the left, and reflector on the right.

I’ll show you the photos without the reflector, and then those with the white and silver side of it, so you can compare. I edited them slightly in Lightroom (cropped and adjusted white balance), but I applied identical changes to all of them so the results of the test are relevant. Here they are:

Without the reflector:

White side on the left, silver side on the right:

Without the reflector:

White side on the left, silver side on the right:

And now, my favorite figurine. :) Without the reflector:

White side on the left, silver side on the right:

Although these are some pretty quick and almost SOOC test shots, I think you can still see the difference and the impact of the reflector. The downside is that it may not be practical for carrying since it’s not foldable. But for taking products shots or (self)portraits at home, I think it can really do the work. I hope you found this helpful, and I hope you’ll make it, too.

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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3 responses to “How to make DIY 2-in-1 reflector in 5 minutes”

  1. Christian Lainesse Avatar
    Christian Lainesse

    for a second I thought this was about making a C3P-0 out of reflector and hot glue

    1. Dunja Đuđić Avatar
      Dunja Đuđić

      Hahaha that would be cool! :)

  2. droy0521 Avatar
    droy0521

    Ok