About two weeks ago, I asked DIYP readers where are you getting their daily DIY supplies fix. I did this because some of the projects like the flash diffuser and the DIY backdrop had supplies that were not trivial to come across. Image by Alistair Craven
everyone US residents, it turns out you can get most of the stuff in the store next door or from the web (or in most cases, both). European DIY photography hackers will find it a bit more difficult. (The good news is that LightingMods has a great Euro Strobist list).
No doubt the big two winners were Lowes and Home Depot. It makes perfect sense that DIY lovers will feel right at home at a hardware/DIY store.
1. Home Depot
The undisputed king of DIY. When I walk in one of those Giant Oranges, I usually take a sleeping bag and my favorite pillow. The overstocked shelves offer cheap lighting for DIY PVC fixtures and lighting experiments. They also hold a verity of backdrop materials, tapes, home fixer tools and more. In fact Home Depot has so much to offer that the strobist did a full week on his Ideas for the Big Orange. (Plus, this is the spot to get your plungers for the rocking Plunger Backdrop Stand).
This is the place to get PVC pipes for your Ghetto Studio, Backdrop stand or your reflector stand. You can also get washers, nuts and bolts there for any projects that requires a bit more them glue and scissors. Even if your need is as trivial as a 10 cent washer, you can get it at Lowe’s.
3. Hobby Lobby
Hobby Lobby is another small paradise for the DIY Photographer. Aside from getting the basics like glue, scissors and tape. You can find foam core boards here good for building a v-card (+ a nice video on using it). Wanna make a flash bouncer? This is the place to get foam paper for ABBC cards. Hobby Lobby is selling on-line via Crafts Etc! So this is the place you want to check as well if you are surgin’ the web.
4. Jo Ann
Joann is the place to get your stuff if you are doing any of the lighting projects that require some Rip Stop nylon such as the Ghetto Studio, or any other PVC constructions for that matter. If you are doing any backdrop project that require you to have a wide seamless piece of fabric.
If Home Depot is the DIY king, then IKEA is the undisputed DIY queen. If you’re a DIY freak your head will spin so fast you’ll dazzle. And there is nice bonus – it is a multi-national. Photography-wise it means that all over the world everybody gets the same parts. For example the laundry hamper, and backdrop mount are exactly the same in the US store and in the Sweden store (And in the English store and in the German store and in the …).
Check out their Lighting department, their curtains department (and don’t skip the little stand where you can cut your own size) and their bedding department (Hint – bed sheets make great backdrops)
Aimed at the DIY addict or the aspiring artist they have every material tool you can imagine In fact, other then my local office supplies store, there were the only ones to hold polypropylene sheets in stock (yes, this is the notorious plastic/paper I use for all the projects that need something a bit more durable then cardboard.
And HEY!! US Guys!!! They ship overseas :) Never thought I’d say this about shipping that way around.
7. Radio Shack
I could not complete the list without noting Radio Shack. If you are a bit more into electronics, and tried one of our electronics related projects (Power Pack Flashes, High Speed Photography, or hacked gadgets flash slave) this is the place for you.
Of course, this is the place for you if you’re into R/C cars, Helicopters and such.