I built a light box

Problem: So I live in the beautiful state of North Carolina...in a small town with a lot of beautiful trees...so what does that mean for me?  It means very little natural light inside my home to take photos of my crocheted goodies. I had been taking some photos on a white sheet and Photoshopping until my eyes crossed in an attempt to make them even sort of presentable.

Solution:  A light box.  I Googled on how to make one and saw that most people used a cardboard box and cut out the sides and added lights.  Well, I wanted something that I could take outside for when there is a little sunlight in my yard and carry it inside for the other 95% of the day. 

So here is what I did:
Hardware Store Supplies (Lowes): 
Two 8ft lengths of 1/2 inch PVC          $1.88 each = $3.76
Four 1/2 inch side outlet PVC elbows    $1.18 each = $4.72
Four 1/2 inch PVC elbows                  $0.30 each = $1.20
2 Clamp lights                                  $9.81 each = $17.66
1 Pack of 2 100W Reveal bulbs           $4.48 each = $4.48
1 1/4 inch thick 2x2 piece of oak        $4.18 each = $4.18
Other Supplies:
1 large piece of foam board - about $2.00 at Walmart
Colored pencil
Stain or paint
Foam brush
Can of spray polyurethane - about $6.50 at Walmart
Long ruler




So I cut the PVC pipe in two foot lengths.  I had a table saw but they cut easily with a hand saw.  I assembled the PVC pieces together without gluing in case I wanted to take apart or change for some reason later.  The lights clamp on so that was easy enough although, I think I am going to put some foam or something on the PVC to help keep the light from moving.

So all that is left is the "decorative" features.  I wanted my floor to look like an oak floor but wasn't willing to pay for planks of flooring.  The next few pics show how I made my pickled oak floor.

I took my unfinished piece of oak and drew a line across every three inches with a brown colored pencil.  Remember to go with the grain like a real oak floor would be.  I went over the line a few times to make sure that it showed up.

Then I randomly added lines to look like two planks butted together.  In a traditional floor, they would be staggered so be sure to do that here too!


So I had this idea to score the lines to make them look more realistic...honestly I don't think it made a bit of difference!  I took a small headed screwdriver and ran it along my lines against the ruler.
Then I pickled my oak.  I didn't by stain because I wanted a light floor.  I mixed one part white with two parts water and painted it onto the wood.  I wiped away excess.
I did go back over some of the lines with the brown pencil but lightly this time.  Then I sealed it with a few coats of Poly.


Finished "floor"


So here is a sample of what my items will now look like in my light box.


Here is the same picture without cropping.  Ok...I did brighten it a hair but I did a lot less to it than before!
Yep... I am out on my porch at night.

Such a difference!  I hope that it helps you too!  Oh!  I forgot...the whole thing was less than $45 dollars.  The bulk of the expense was the lights so if you have some already, you are ahead of the game!