The complete DIY SoftBox 40cm*40cm (for less than 10$!!!)

Learn how to build this great DIY softbox. A 40cm*40cm Softbox from scratch.

softbox_from_scratch

Here’s what you need :

  • 2 carton boards 100cm*70cm
  • a good pair of scissors
  • one marker pen to mark the measures
  • Ruler (40cm or more)
  • A measuring tape
  • Tin foil (to act as the reflector in the softbox)
  • Strong scotch tape
  • An utility knife

Dig’n and start the project



When you come to think about it, there are some alternatives on the market for cheap softboxes, you might find this one fo example at amazon. For the last couple of years when the strobist way became more popular, poped up some cheap products that can offer great value for your money, no more 160$ softboxes, but also 40$-50$ options for a 20″-26″ softbox(CowboyStudio Photo / Video 16″ Speedlite Flash Softbox with L-Bracket, Shoe Mount & Carry Case). No more only Canon/Nikon Flashes while the Sigma makes the cheap alternative, but also some chieneese stuff that makes your money  well spent.I do on the other hand, love to do some things on my own, I did so with this very simple DIY project, for less than 10$ and some 30 minutes work, you’ll get this piece of art, ready to use softbox.Enjoy and let me know what you think about it!

Lets start:

The first thing we’ll have to do is getting 4 squares 40cm*40cm size.

So that’s how I did it:

1. Put a mark on the bottom wide side of the carton board every 40cm.Repeat that on the top wide side too.

measuring_1

2.Do the same for the short side of the carton board (this will help you get the right 40cm*40cm squares).

measuring_2

3.after you have those marks,draw the line that make the 40cm*40cm squares.

measuring_3

4. Use your utility knife to cut 4 identical 40cm*40cm squares.This what you’ll get then:

4_squares

5. On each square make a mark every 10cm as in the picture bellow (right and left sides):

2_measuring_1

6. At the bottom of the square make 2 marks 15cm from the left side and 15cm from the right side (that 10cm space will be where your flash gun will get into the soft box):

2_measuring_2

7. I missed one picture here,so I’ll make a draw of how each side of the soft box has to be cut.

4_squares_diagram

8.Cut those squares and you’ll get this  result:

4_squares_result

9.Now lets start putting them together.I taped two squares together and then taped them together to form the soft box frame:

putting_it_together_1

putting_it_together_3

putting_it_together_2

OK That the end of part I on DIY Soft Box 40cm*40cm for Less Than 10 bucks,

Part II

If you’ve got up to here are a step away from this:

final_softbox

After building the simple to do DIY softbox box,it is time to make the “speed ring” for the soft box and put the diffuser on.

What you need here is simple:

  • 40cm*40cm DIY soft box (you did it in part I)
  • A 10 cm diameter pipe :can be a plastic pipe,plastic jar of anything stiff enough to hold the soft box and about 20-25cm long.
  • A good Sellotape (masking tape).

what_you_need

and lets go

1. Get the “speed ring” ready to use:as a speed ring I used a small baby food can (I have a lot of them cause I a have a baby boy!!!).Open the bottom side of the can with a can opener.Drill a small hole it the middle of the can (thats where the tripod will attach to the can,so don’t make the hole too big).

SoftBox_preparing_the_speed_ring

2.Use the masking tape to attach your new speed ring to the soft box.Tape it good so it won’t come apart.

SoftBox_attaching_the speed_ring_to_the_softbox

3.For the soft box diffuser you can use almost every material,I used here drawing paper.Get a rectangle 50cm*50cm and cut at corners 5cm*5cm squares.Put it on the floor/table and at the center of it place the soft box.Glue each side of the soft box to the drawing paper.

glue_the_drawing_paper_as_the_diffusion_panel

Great by now you already own your first DIY soft box!!!

If you followed the instructions you should have this softbox ready to use:

final_softbox

Stay tuned for my first use of my first cheap DIY softbox:

Just some moments after I finished building it’I took some flowers shot,This is the setup:

flowers_setup

Share any tips or thoughts about this project!

27 comments

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  3. member

    I don’t mean to rain on your parade, but the irony of spending $400+ on a 580 and then hooking it up to something like that is just a little overwhelming. I don’t know what sort of stores are available in Israel or if you can order from B&H easily, but $60 is all it takes to buy the real thing: (flash speedring is included)

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/90032-REG/Morris_32600_Soft_Box_15x18_.html

    Cheaping out by buying junky stands or using tape instead of proper adapters is a sure way to end up spending even more later on just to repair your gear. And that’s all beside the fact that, if you really are a pro, there’s no possible way that I’d ever hire you if I saw you using a softbox like that.

  4. Samuel M.
    Author

    I belive I answered to that statement in the fredmiranda forum. But if there is some more room for more clarifications I’ll be happy to reply again: I don’t by ant means suggest not to buy pro equipment,I own this type of stuff (lasolite softbox, so you can’t say I’m cheap). I could not imagine going out for a shootout and usig this DIY softbox. BUT If I was a starter (and I once was,cause I didn’t born pro photographer) and I would find a way to build a softbox that will cost 1$-2$ and not 63$ I must admit you would choose this way. Anyway I hope you could enjoy other useful information in this site too.

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    • Samuel M.
      Author

      Hey
      Thanks for visiting my site.
      I’m happy to see that this tutorial helped someone.
      It is quit annoying that the small softboxes cost so much,so you have to improvise at the beggining.

      PEACE

  8. Very nice work, and never mind the comments about buying a new one, the creative mind know no limits, and needs to create, simple like that. Bye

    • Samuel M.
      Author

      Hey Tris,thank you for visiting.
      I know that there might be some negative respondes here,but I do what I enjoy ,so they can say whatever they want…
      PEACE

  9. Doug

    Please do not listen to the rude coments made by some. I know of some very profesional photographers who have a section of there webcast shows where they cover how to make and use everyday items in photography, like you said, the creative mind knows no limits, and it’s this kind of stuff that helps the newer photographer jump to other leves by homing there skills with stuff like this. I don’t know a beginner that spends thousands of dollars on equipment there not ready to use yet.

    Great idea !!!

    Thanks for sharing

    • Samuel M.
      Author

      Thanks Doug,
      That’s exactly what I direct to, I want to test things and experience before buying.
      Even when I have the better stuff, I still try to learn and enjoy with the DIY way.
      Enjoy!

  10. Marcin

    re: to first poster.
    DIY, the purpose is to spend $6 NOT $60 if possible. And you know what, it’s not the equipment that counts but the PICTURE. do you think someone will know what equipment was used for a given picture that was printed front page in National Geog.? The pricing of some equipment is ridiculously expensive with a markup of 10x.

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  13. Neeraj

    Great stuff. I was looking for this type of tutorial as I do not want to invest 50-60$ on softbox. I have already invested too much money on photography gears but due to lack of time, I have not earned a single cent. I appreciate your efforts and looking for more helpful stuff in future by you.

  14. Tina Raj

    Thank you! super helpful .
    – Hobbyists with lil money to get their pictures looking professional are so grateful. :)

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