You are my Sunshine, (light box tutorial)

My only sunshine, You make me happy when skies are gray, You’ll never know dear, how much I love you. Cause you make my picture turn out great! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)

This is my light box. I have named her Sunshine. She is my sunshine in the rain, at midnight or even at noon when skies are gray.  She has changed the way I take pictures FOREVER! This post is not filled with perfect pictures because I did not have my light box to put them in so please forgive me.

Want to see the difference she makes?

Both pictures were taken the same way and tweaked the same. Can you guess which one was in Sunshine? You got it! The second photo was taken in the light box!  Want to make a light box for yourself? It is simple and fast!


5 sheets of White Foam board 20 x 30 x 3/16”
Masking tape or Duct Tape-I used white Duct Tape
Sharp knife

Before we start let’s talk tape. I looked online before I made this box. I read about different tapes that were recommended. Some people recommended masking tape and others recommended painters tape because they are easy to remove and reapply. This would be good if you don’t intend to leave your box set up all the time. If you live in a small space and want to take your box apart and store in a closet or under your bed, I suggest masking tape for you.

I use my box almost every day. I want a tape that will be sturdy and take the wear, tear, and abuse I intend on putting it through so I used duct tape. Choose what works best for you.

First, you need to gather all the supplies listed above.

Then, place one of the sheets of foam board on the edge of your table. The long edge should be hanging over the edge.

Next, you need a piece of tape the length of the board. I tried to hold two pieces of foam board and apply the tape at the same time and I quickly found an easier way. If you apply the tape to the edge of one board it will be easier to assemble. Leave about half of the tape hanging off the edge.

See! This is much easier that holding both and applying tape at the same time.

Make sure the edges are flush so the box will be sturdy. See the second picture for a guideline.

Line up the two boards and push down the tape.

Next, apply another board the same way you did the first two. When you get these three pieces attached set it aside.

For the next steps, you will need the ruler, pencil, tape, knife, tape and two boards.

 For the size foam boards I used, I need the sides to be cut into a 20” x 20” square. Cut your sides the size you need.

 If you are lucky like me your foam board will have the measurements on it. I knew mine would be 20” x 20” before I measured.

Now carefully cut the board with your knife. 

Once you get the boards cut, place tape on three edges.

Next, get the 3 full size boards you tapped together earlier and apply the 20”x 20” piece on one end.

Turn the box around and apply the other 20”x 20” piece to the other end.

You could stop there but my go big or go home attitude makes me apply more tape! I am going to hang lights to one side and the top so I need this baby to be sturdy!!!

More tape on top!

More tape in the corners on the inside!

I even covered the edge where I cut it with the knife with tape. (Insert the Tim the Tool man Talyor grunt here!)

Then you can insert your favorite background board. What? You don’t have one? I will do a tutorial on those soon so you can have your very own:)

Here is what my Sunshine looks like with the lights attached. You can use any lights you want but these work best for my needs. As you can see this is not attractive! This is a good reason to use masking or painters tape so you can break it down when your mom or mother-in-law comes for a visit.

I had a few questions about the lights I use so I thought I would share that information with everyone. I use clamp lights that I bought at Wal-Mart. You can also get them from Amazon or Home Depot. I use  regular bulbs with the wattage that was recommended by the manufacturer. I know these are not professional photography lights and maybe someday I can afford a studio with all the bells and whistles but for now, this is what I use and it works for me.

 I know most people are like me and have a hard time taking pictures this time of year. There is a very small window of time when the sun is shining just right to get a good cookie photo. Now I don’t have to watch the sky to see when I can take pictures.  I thought you might need a little Sunshine in your life and for your pictures!

NOTE: When you take photos in your light box, you need to set your camera’s White Balance setting to “Tungsten” or your photos will turn out yellow.

Happy Creating,