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How to Make a Light Tent

Best utility for taking quality photos

A light tent can be expensive to purchase, but a DIY version can be done for a few dollars and an hour of your time.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

1. 1 square box, PVC pipes to create a box shape or a plastic container to ‘house’ your product while being photographed.
2. Enough muslin fabric to cover the entire light box
3. Masking tape
4. Spray adhesive glue, glue stick or hot glue gun
5. Bristol board used to line the inside of your box (white is the most commonly used, however, if your items are white you may want to have a couple other colors handy)
6. Clamp on or Desk Light (with full spectrum light bulbs to avoid any yellow hues)
7. Tape Ruler
8. Ruler (or any straight edge)
9. Scissors
10. Knife
11. Optional: reflector dish


On each side of the box, measure 2” in from the edges all around and use the ruler to connect the dots as to create a border. Repeat on all sides, leaving the top and bottom of the box alone.

With 2 borders drawn, cut out the boxes on the sides. Then cut the top of the box, leaving the bottom untouched.

Set the box aside for the time, and measure 2” stripes on the Bristol board and cut to get 16 strips.

Glue the stripes of Bristol board into the box, with any marker lines facing the cardboard so they cannot be seen. This will cover up the cardboard box, so everything inside is white.

With another piece of Bristol board, cut the width to the same width of inside the box, with the length longer than the box and place inside the box so the piece curves to the bottom. Make sure not to crease the board as it will show in your photos. Cut off any excess paper sticking out on top.

Take your fabric and cut it so it will cover the holes, except for the one facing your Bristol board background, and tape it to the box. Then cut a big piece to cover the top of the box and secure it by taping it in place.

That’s it! With the light fixed on the top of the box, you are good to go for taking pictures! If more light is needed, add them to either side of the box.

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