Create a Mini Photo Studio

by Megan Hoeppner

DIY Mini Photo Studio


Did you know you're just a few raw materials away from having your own photo box--a place to stage, light, and take stellar still shots (pictures of your scrapbook pages, your hobbies, your purchases, and more)? With a light box, you can ensure your pictures are well lit, and you can even create some cool reflective effects with these simple tips.

Before we get started, I'll warn you that this light box is a heavy and requires a significant amount of space. If this doesn't sound like it's for you, never fear. At the end of this article, we link to light boxes you can purchase online, including a small, fold-up option, great for smaller spaces.

Okay, let's build a mini photography studio. Here's what you'll need:

  • A sheet of melamine, available at most hardware stores
  • A sheet of glass or acrylic
  • Basic tools (drill, power saw, and screws)
  • 3 matching sheets of cardstock
  • A white sheet (or fabric)

Step 1: Select sheet of glass or acrylic (also known as Plexiglas) to be used in base of box. Choose size that is big enough to support items you plan on photographing.


acrylic sheet

Step 2: Cut box base from melamine, measuring slightly larger than glass sheet in step 1. Cut three additional sheets of melamine for back and sides of box, and assemble (using drill and screws), leaving front and top of box open. Note: If you aren't comfortable cutting your own melamine, simply take your measurements to the hardware store and they should be able to cut it for you at time of purchase.

Melamine box


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As an alternative... can get melamine laminate by itself at some home improvement stores. Glued onto 3//8" plywood, it would be a lot lighter than melamine boards. One thing that the melamine 'studio' doesn't allow you too do, however, is light from the side or back. Sometimes that's necessary to bring out detail... I found a cheap photo cube of translucent fabric works well for pictures; the biggest problem is coming up with a proper base for the item to show it off well.
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