How to make your own Lightbox

The idea of a light box is to disperse light evenly within a space so the object you’re photographing can be seen clearly and usually with a solid background being white of ecommerce or another colour backdrop of your choosing. That makes light boxes perfect for taking product pictures which is what we are all about at Photo-Light.

So for those of you on a tight budget or just like the idea of building your own here we are going to give you the step by step guide (originally published here, this is our tweaked version) , here goes!


Materials list:

  • 5m of ½” PVC pipe
  • 4 x ½” CPVC / PVC 3-Way fittings
  • 1 White bed sheet (a twin is fine)
  • Heat bond tape (no-sew hemming adhesive)
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • White poster board



My plan calls for 8 sections of ½” size white PVC pipe, each 22” long. I used PVC cutters to get clean cuts, but you can also use a hand or power saw. You can find PVC cutting tools at the hardware store from around $10. If you ever expect to do another PVC project again, they are worth the investment. Most hardware stores sell PVC pipe in 10ft lengths, so I bought two and ended up with some leftover after cutting my 8 pieces.


When your pipe is cut you can start fitting the frame together. The four 3-Way fittings serve as corner pieces at the top of each of the four legs. I chose not to glue these together, because they fit snuggly already, and I have the option of taking the box apart for travel. Once the frame is assembled, set it on a flat solid surface and press down firmly on the top of each of the corners. This should level it out and make sure everything is firmly attached.


Light boxes rely on light being able to penetrate the walls, so whatever material you use, it needs to let some light through. I chose to use white bed sheets because they are thin and can be purchased on the cheap at my local thrift store.

The easiest way I could find to create the drape was to cut two pieces of fabric from the sheet. The first should be 75” x 26” and the second should be 26.5” square. The long piece will wrap around the frame to create the right side, back, and left side. The square piece of fabric will form the top. This way we only have to bond three sides of fabric together.


I decided to use a quick no-sew method to bond the two pieces of fabric together. You can find no-sew hemming tape at your local craft or fabric store. It’s super easy to use. Just cut a piece and place it between the two pieces of fabric you want to join together. Then run a hot iron over the top of both pieces of fabric. The glue strip melts and cools to form a strong bond. Try to run the tape along the very edge of the fabric, so your drape fits over the frame and stays the correct shape. 


Once your drape is “sewn” together you can flip it inside out. This gives the outside appearance a clean finished look. Slip the drape over the PVC frame. It should be a nice fit.

I used the left over parts of the bed sheet under the bottom of the box to keep everything inside a uniform white. To create a smooth background I placed a white poster board in the back of the light box. Use a support placed behind the back sheet to hold the poster up so it curves down to create a smooth look from the background to the foreground of the box. 


Luckily we already had some nice big florescent lights to use with my box. If you’re doing this at home you can use desk lamps or direct table lamps so they shine through the fabric into the light box. Usually you get the best effect by positioning bulbs directly outside (but not touching) the top, right, and left walls.

Watch the video version of the guide here

If all that construction seems a bit hard you can always buy a lightbox from us at  For free shipping always use promo code 'FREESHIP'!

Source. This article was first published by