Thursday, May 14, 2009

DIY Light Box & Gift Wrap Giveaway!!

If you're not interested in my homemade light box and you're just here for the give-away, scroll down until you see the three pics of fuzzy mice - you'll find the details there. For the rest of you, here it is...

I found the instructions for this here (many other useful articles on this site as well) and I thought it could be really helpful for getting better pics for my etsy shop. Pretty much everyone will tell you that natural light is the best for photographing items, and while that is mostly true, natural light is just not a reality for some of us. So the light box is a pretty good alternative. I looked at some of the collapsible light tents for sale, and they are soo expensive! Especially for something that strongly resembles the kitty tent I bought at walmart for less than $10 - except it's white.  Thank heavens for DIY!

The box I used was a rectangular Fresh Direct box - it was the deepest one from my latest grocery delivery (dimensions are 18w x 14h x 10.5d). The tutorial recommended as square a box as possible, but I don't think mine suffers any from being non-square - though more height and depth would allow me more space to photograph larger items. 

I had never heard of bristol board before, but I went to an art supply store and bought some sheets of standard poster board - not sure if it's the same thing, but it worked just fine. I bought three sheets of white (only used two) and four different colors for backgrounds - pink, orange, purple and brown. The only muslin fabric I have is off-white, so I just used plain white printer paper on the sides and an old white T-shirt for the top. 

The instructions in the tutorial were great - really detailed and easy to follow. Cutting the box took me a while, probably because I was using scissors most of the time. I switched to a knife when I was cutting the top off the box and it was soo much easier - I wish I had used it from the beginning. Two sheets of white posterboard was more than enough to cover the inside of the box and make a background.

All in all, I paid a little over $8 to make this light box - including 5 different backgrounds.
- Box: Free
- Tape, scissors, printer paper, old T-shirt: Free 
- Poster board: $0.85 per sheet (white) and $1 per sheet (colored) + tax
- Glue stick: $1 + tax

Here is a sample picture of one of my most difficult to photograph items - a fuzzy catnip mouse. I think it came out a lot better than the pics I currently have up, and the colors are very true. 

And now for the giveaway details!
All you have to do to enter is post a comment here letting me know which of the above backgrounds looks best with my fuzzy catnip mice (orange, white, or pink). One person will be chosen at random to win *** a free small, medium, or wine bottle sized fabric gift wrap!***

To check out the wraps I have for sale, click here for the fabric wrap section of my etsy shop. Let me know if you have a preference for size, color, and print, and I'll try to accomodate you. For those too lazy to check them out on my shop (seriously, you should! there's lots of info there! - and I'm too lazy to re-type it all here :p ), here's a sample pic. 

Make sure you leave me your email, or else I won't be able to notify you if you win!! Don't worry, I promise I won't spam you.  :)


  1. Hi!! cute mice! I definately think the pink background ie best... i think it makes the colors of the mice stand out best... you can really see the blue in the mice and the tails look the brightest on the pink background too:) Hope this helps!!

    If I win... I would like you to surprise me:) y the way... I love your shop! Thanks:)

  2. I agree with the first poster: pink is definitively the best. The orange one takes too much attention from the mice and on the white backround they look too pale.

    You have lovely wraps. I like the lime green wrap most, but others are very nice too.

    By the way, thanks for the light box instruction, they seem helpful.

  3. Oh, and my e-mail is colibridreams[at] .

  4. I like the orange! It makes the whiteness of the mice pop, while not looking too busy!!

    Please surprise me, if you choose me! I like purple tho! ;)

    My eamil is

  5. I really like the soft pink color on the far right... It shows the all the colors of the mice the best...

    Nice work too!

  6. i really like the pink background myself - i'm a bit partial to pink!

    Angelene ( to contact or

  7. I like the orange, it seems to add a bit more punch to the picture.

  8. my vote's definitely for the orange background! ^.^

    katymcdougall at hotmail dot com

  9. i like orange the best! white is boring and with pink, the mice kind of blend right into it.

  10. I like the pink. I think the orange distracts from the mice too much and the white is a bit dull.

    elephunkstrunk AT

    If I win, I would prefer not wine-bottle sized. Anything else would be great!

  11. I think the pink background is the best.


  12. I like the orange background the best. it really make the photo pop and catch your eye. Thanks for this giveaway

  13. I like the peachy/pink background best (far right) -- enough contrast but not overwhelming.

  14. I Like that pink background the best as well!

    My Light box looks pretty much the same as yours & I thought the EXACT same thing about the kitty tents... if only those things came in white right??? Great job on constructing it. Yours looks a lot better than mine =P


Please feel free to comment! Be advised that any comments including abusive language and/or personal attacks will not be approved.