How to Make a DIY Light Box in 7 Easy Steps

Color Studies

The ability to add light to a painting during or at the end of your drawing process is something to celebrate! You can’t do this with traditional media, and it allows you to experiment with and give additional focus within your art during the production phase.

Traditionally, artists would paint thumbnail-sized painting color studies to determine the tone or value range of their painting before diving into a full-sized final piece. With digital art, we can make those decisions on the fly or after we’re done laying down the bulk of the piece.

That said, this doesn’t take the place of planning out a color palette. Aim for a harmonious palette with complementary color saturations that won’t compete with each other and then use the following techniques to throw your images over the top with creative lighting.

Let’s dive in! I’ll be using two paintings a

Let’s dive in! I’ll be using two paintings as examples. One is stylized, and the other is more traditional. I chose these because I painted both with a limited gamut, a limited range of color saturation, so they’re not overly contrasting. Once we add lighting effects, the contrast and saturation will increase. Staying within a limited contrast range allows you to maximize the amount of detail retained when ramping up highlights with blending modes. We’ll be using the Add Glow blending mode. In Photoshop, it’s called “linear dodge.” This mode affects the image in similar ways.


Step 1. Format your book to a professional standard (for free)

This is where we digitally typeset your book of choice and arrange the pages in a way that will help us seamlessly bind it. There are a few pieces of software that will allow you to typeset a book. However, we will recommend you use the Reedsy Book Editor, for three reasons:

  1. It creates professional-grade print-ready files that are easy to read
  2. It requires no training and has next to no learning curve
  3. It’s free

It just so happens to be made by our team at Reedsy — but that’s how we know that it’d be one of the best tools for the job, even if it wasn’t free. It automatically creates your copyright page and handles text like a dream. To see how to use the editor to format your book, check out this video made by our designer, Matt:

Tip: If you want to create your own special edition of a classic title, head to Project Gutenberg and download the text to thousands of titles now in public domain.

When you export your book, you’ll get a number of trim size options. Select Digest (5.5” x 8.5”), which is exactly the size of a piece of Letter paper folded in half.

Then, once you’ve exported your file as a PDF, you

Then, once you’ve exported your file as a PDF, you can then move onto the printing process.

Find out how to format your physical book to a pro standard (for free). Click to tweet!

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Step 7: Adding the Acrlic

The acrylic that I used is an opal coloured light diffuser . It does a great job of diffusing the LED’s and giving a nice, soft light.


1. First measure the dimension of the compartment. You want to have a tight fit for the acrylic so measure twice.

2. Cut the Acrylic. Ok so this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Best way to cut acrylic is with a band saw at a stretch but you could use a jigsaw if you use a fine tooth saw. You could also cut it by hand.

3. You next need to make a couple of cuts into the acrylic for the momentary switch and micro USB charging outlet. Make careful measurements and make the cuts.

4. Place the charging module against the wood and mark where the micro USB hits the acrylic. Be extra careful when you are making the USB slot. I drilled a couple holes and then filed the edges to make it but the first time I tried the acrylic chipped away. The second time round I used a small drill bit first and then moved up to a larger one which seemed to work ok.

How is it different?

The main advantage of our book cover maker is that it allows you the maximum flexibility of camera, lighting and shadows. Most of the competitors use static mockup templates and don’t let you change the camera angle, lighting, shadows or even the book size. We offer a dynamic environment where the book is automatically adjusted to the artwork you load, camera and lighting are under your full control and you can even adjust camera focus using the depth of field sliders!

Another advantage is the path tracing algorithms we use to compute realistic shadows by calculating all the light bounces between the parts of the book. Check the shadows at the bottom of the book or at the top near the headband — you will hardly find these somewhere else, especially for free.

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Step #3: Use Your Style Guide

If you’re creating an ebook for your brand, then you likely already have a style guide on hand. If you’re creating an ebook for a client, ask them for their style guide.

These will save you precious time and let you concentrate on making your content great. You can easily set up your Visme Brand Kit with your specific fonts, colors, templates and logos and use that while you create your ebook design.

If, in any case, there’s no style guide available, or you want to use a different look and feel for your ebook, then you must do the following:

Have all the styling information on hand along with the content. There’s no greater timesaver than good organization, and you don’t have to be a graphic designer to create a stunning, on-brand ebook.

Customize this ebook template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Step 5: Gluing the Inside Pages Together

The next step is to glue all of the inside pages together. This is similar to gluing the page edges together only this time you are doing to the inside of the book.


1. With a paint brush, add the mod podge glue to the inside, cut-out section.

2. Maker sure that all the exposed, cut pages are coated and also add some to the bottom as well. This will give the book some strength.

3. Place some weights along the edges of the pages so they are compressed and leave it for a good few hours.

4. Add another coat of glue if necessary

Prepare the Printouts

  • Bricks: Print out several pages of bricks and glue them onto the right, left, and rear walls. If your paper is not enough to cover the board, add a few more sheets while ensuring the bricks all line up perfectly. You can use paper or print the design on sticker paper.
  • Bookshelf: Print out the bookshelves and glue them directly on top of the bricks. Glue small pieces of the bricks onto the sides of the door frame and the window frame.

Note: Make sure that the printout sits inside the door and window structure.

Printable Bricks

Printable Bookshelf

DIY Light Boxes Examples

First thing you need to do is to find an appropriate position of the object. Shift the camera and the object. Stop when you see a clear picture without cardboard being visible.

I will unlock a small secret for beginners that fa

I will unlock a small secret for beginners that face difficulties in positioning the object in the DIY light box. It’s easy to get rid of extra items by cropping the image.

Read more about tablet top photography and how to take beautiful photos if you are a beginner. Creative product photography ideas to make your goods pop and stylish.

If you are thinking of setting up DIY light box ph

If you are thinking of setting up DIY light box photography, be mindful of high-quality lighting for the photo shoot. In such case, I highly recommend directional illumination instead of ambient one. The best idea is to use one light source per each window of the DIY lightbox. The lamps should face directly into the holes of the light tent. Remember about it while positioning the light sources.

The material of the box mustn’t be getting t

The material of the box mustn’t be getting too hot. A right choice is to put the lights at the distance from the windows all the time. This rule is important when you use the new lightbox for photography for the first time. You can experiment with lighting patterns by putting the light sources away or closer to the windows.

If you want to get perfect results from light box

If you want to get perfect results from light box photography, find light bulbs with a cool white color. They will prevent you from getting an unattractive yellowish tinge in the final pictures.

It isn’t challenging to buy low-cost office

It isn’t challenging to buy low-cost office lamps and use them for making a lightbox. You should also draw your attention to models that can be attached to furniture. You will find these supplements in many online shops and local stores. They are quite useful and have reasonable prices.

Materials You Will Need

You will need:

  • PVC board or cardboard
  • Box cutter
  • Superglue
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Printouts
  • Pebbles and small toys you can paint and use
  • Plastic cover/acrylic sheet for the windows
  • Battery-operated LED light

Materials You Will Need

Vignetting with Shadows

Now, let’s add vignetting with some shadow. I like to do this with curves, but there are lots of ways to do it. I add an adjustment layer from the layers palette > new correction layer > tone curve and make a quick adjustment there, darkening the painting so I can get a sense of what’s happening with it. Then l select the white area on the layer palette and clear it so that it’s not affecting anything, select my soft airbrush once more, zoom out, and paint in the little bit around the edges, giving the image a ring around the edge. In the same way that the light is giving us a little focus, little curves can also help accentuate where we want the viewer to look. Playing around with curves can shift the colors dramatically as well.

Before and After Blending Modes

Before and After Blending Modes

Reader Success Stories

Reader Success Stories

  • Light Yagami

Jan 18, 2018

    Light Yagami Jan 18, 2018

    “It was very clear and understandable. Most articles I saw on the Internet had so many loose ends, but this one was great. The tips are also more doable because it has the foundations first, then it progresses to the harder ones. This makes sure we have legitimate skills, not some newbie stuff that states the obvious. Thanks to whoever made this, nowadays it’s so hard to find good stuff like this.”…” more

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