DIY softbox, reflector and lightbox

Softbox function

- can stand on its own, horizontal or tilted forwards.
- can also be fastened to any "household shaft" (no need for a light stand)
- softbox opening can be resized from a narrow 30x55(115)cm to a wide 80x55(115)cm
- the flash or bulb can be fastened in front or back.

Example of sizes.

Example of ways to fasten the flash or bulbs, the flat wood piece also makes it easy to fasten multiple flashes or bulbs.



Reflector function

- silver or white reflector, examples of use below, can stand for it self or be fastened to a shaft,
  reflector size from 60x60 cm to 120x120 cm.

Lightbox function

- works well with an adjustable mirror in front of the camera flash,
  the background can be fastened to the shock cord as shown .

- 2 white styrofoam/polystyrene sheets ( 120 x 60 x 2 cm )
- aluminium foil
- clear packing tape + double adhesive tape
- white shock cord, 3-4 mm x 10 meter + 3 meter of 4 mm black shock cord
- 4 round wood sticks, 8 mm x 90 cm
- 1 (or two) flat piece of wood, 35-45 mm x 10 mm x 90 cm
- white nylon fabric, 130 x 90 cm
- rescue blanket (silver colour)
- plastic pieces from a plastic box and a schampoo bottle

How to make it :
1. Cut the styrofoam sheets into 4 squares (60 x 60 cm)
2. tape aluminium foil on one side (use the matte side, the shiny side will have uneven reflections with "hotspots"),
    and reinforce the edges with clear tape on the backside, fasten with a few pieces of double adhesive tape .   

3. Cut out the edge protectors (these are necessary to prevent the cord from cutting into the sheets) and
    cold bend them over a sharp edge (a steel ruler or similar).
    The material I have used is from a thin plastic box, cutting templates are here:

4. Cut out the "shaft holders" (material from a schampoo bottle, use one that feels stiffer/thicker) and
    fasten a short elastic loop at one end and a thin cord at the other end.
   (the left image shows the first prototype)

5. Cut the white shock cord into four 250 cm lengths (do not use coloured cords as they can be seen in reflections)
   fold the cord in middle,
- make the first knot about 10mm from the end and tighten hard, slide on two edge protectors as shown (fig. 1)
  Important! each knot must be tightened hard before making the next one.
- the second knot should be around 40-50 cm from the first (depending on cord hardness),
  slide on the "shaft holder" as shown in fig. 2.
- place the third knot about 15 mm from the second one as shown in fig. 3 and slide on the next two edge protectors,
- knot number four should be placed at the same distance as between number one and two (40-50 cm) and the
  fifth knot about 10 mm from the forth, cut off the ends and melt them with a lighter.

6. assemble the sheets as shown below and make the holes (where depends on how high your flash is, the flash head
   should be in the middle ( I placed the holes 5 cm from the front and 14 cm's from the back)
   the holes should have the same height as the rectangular wood piece and be about 3 cm wider.
   (use a new blade when cutting the holes and lube the blade with a drop of "food oil" between each cut)

7. Make the top, bottom and back covers ( see measurements here: ),
    tape the mini "hooks" to the back cover .

8. make the wood sticks and parts + the two stoppers

9. NoBall bungee ( DIY ball bungee ) can be made like this.
DIY ball bungee

The softbox was made for the "Build a softbox contest" at

Copyright Benny Johansson