Let’s do this. This is going to be my first ever documented DIY tutorial so bare with me. We are gonna be building a large 98x68cm (38.5×26.5 inches) softbox out of a cardboard box :) Obviously the size of your softbox is gonna be determined by the size of the box you got laying around the house. I used the one that my kitchen sink came in, hence the big ass “BLANCO” logo :) Whole thing should not take you more than 2 hours to make, and the results are going to be kicking ass here and there believe you me.
What you will need:
Cardboard box (daa)
double sided tape (hope i got that right)
polybanner (for the cover)
velcro (black of course)
Let’s get started.
Now, use that double sided tape i was talking about and tape the inside of the box, that thing is going to hold the thin foil that we are gonna cover the inside of the box with. I got mine (tape) from a wide roll, if you can’t get it you can use the one that comes in a normal size roll and you should be able to buy it in any hardware store.
Tin man! Grab the tin foil and go wild, cover the entire inside of the box with that stuff until your eyes hurt :) We wanna make the inside as reflective as possible so that light can bounce around like crazy and maybe our little strobe doesn’t have to blast so much power to light the box.
Clean, cut, get rid of :) excess foil that hangs loose over the edges and once again grab the gaffers tape and tape it around the box near the edge. This does 2 things, first it’s gonna hold that edge and second we are going to tape the velcro to it, but that’s the next step.
Velcro. We’re going to use it for attaching the cover, in our case polybanner material (if you don’t have it, some silky stuff will do), to the sides of the box. Now, i bought velcro that you can stick to your cover material with a smooth iron but you can use any kind. I cut the velcro to small pieces and left the “female” side for the cover material and “male” side was taped to the side of the box, to do it i had to use that double sided tape and make them “stickable”.
Polybanner. I used the stuff for inkjet printing, got that laying around the workplace since i’m in the printing business. You can buy it at stores that sell that kind of material or you can head to your local sewing shop and get some silky material. The thing is, polybanner is pretty dense but still transparent. Measure and cut the piece and leave some 5cm (2 inches) on each side, we are gonna need it for our “female” velcro remember. If you got the velcro like i got, the one that sticks with smooth iron, iron it on, if you could not find that particular kind i guess you can sew it on, as long as it holds you are safe :)
Cutting a hole for a strobe. If you got 2 or more strobes, use the biggest flash for reference so you can easily fit all the others inside :) The hole is not going to be at the back as one would expect, no sir, that would be to mainstream and we’re all about original ;) Hole is going to the shorter side of the box and when you stick your flash inside you’r gonna point it to the back (the tin foil cover side) so that light bounces around and then goes out through the cover, this way it’s going to be even more soft then directly pointing the strobe to the polybanner.
VOILA! You got yourself a nice big softbox, that you can use as a standalone unit or you can have someone hold it thus making it a “hendheld SoftBox©” :)
Hope you had fun making this ugly thing and now scram! go make some photos! :)
These were all made with the use of this softbox, in some cases 2 flashes were used:
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