Thursday, October 21, 2010

Some news and light box instructions

     Today marks the start of a new series of challenges over at Crafters Digital Arts Center.  Tracey is offering a free Fred, She Said digi that can be used in the challenge.  Make sure you pop over there and grab it.  It's a darling little fall pumpkin.  You can read all about the challenge details here.
     Papercraft Star is accepting applicants for some new Design Team members.  You can click this link to see all the details about that.
     I am making progress on the mini so hopefully my creativity (which has been miraculously abundant the last couple of days) will hold out and I can get it finished fairly quickly.
     Several people have left comments about the lightbox so I thought I'd do a little more indepth post about how I made it incase you want to try it yourself.

1.  The box was bought at Wal-mart.  You can find it next to all the envelopes and mailing supplies.  I couldn't find any measurements on the box so I took a picture of what's written on the bottom so you can find the right size.

2.  To cut out the three sides, I used a quilters grid.  The size was perfect for tracing to cut out the holes.  If you don't have one of these you can just use a ruler to draw your lines.  There's no set measurements for this.  I just eyeballed it.  NOTE:  I left the box UNFOLDED during the whole cutting process.  I slid a large cutting mat inside the flat box and used an E-xacto knife to cut along the lines I'd drawn.  Make sure you pay attention to where you mark your holes.  Three connecting sides need to be marked.  The back and bottom of the box remain solid.

3.  Once you have the three openings cut, you can fold up the box.  Use masking tape to hold the bottom of the box closed.  I tried marking the top without it being glued closed and it was hard to do by myself.  You might want to get a little help here.  I did not glue or tape these flaps together.  You're going to have to cut through both flaps to make your opening.  I did them one at a time.  you may know an easier way.  Don't worry about perfect lines.  Just keep it as close as you can.  Once you have the top cut out, you can use a hot glue gun to close up whats left of the flaps.
4.  For the inside of the box I just bought two sheets of regular white posterboard, also from Wal-mart.  It took almost a whole sheet to cut the strips to cover all the inside surfaces of the box (EXCEPT the back--that does not need to be covered.  You can get particular if you want. I just measured the individual edges with a ruler, cut a strip that wide width wise across the posterboard and ended up just trimming them a little here and there.  Once again it doesn't have to be perfect.  Your basically trying to make the whole surface of the inside of the box white.  NOTE:  I made sure the dull side of the paper was facing outward.  Most of the instructions I read called for Bristol paper which is dull.  The last part of the box is the curved insert.  I had to cut the second piece of posterboard lengthwise to have it long enough to fit in the box.  I hope you can see this well enough in the picture.  I didn't trim anything off of the ends.  You slide the first short end of the paper into the box and then let it naturally curl at the back and the other end will end up resting against the top of the box.  Be careful here.  You don't want to put any creases in your paper.  You're trying for a seamless background.

5.  All the hard works done now.  All that's left is to do any trimming you might need to do and then cut some pieces of thin white fabric large enough to cover the top and two side holes.  Use masking tape to secure the fabric pieces to the box and you're done!
6.  I purchased the clamp light in the hardware section at Wal-mart.  Most of the instructions I found called for special "daylight" bulbs.  I couldn't find anything that said daylight.  However, I did remember reading something about a blue tint to the bulb which cuts down on the yellowing in photos.  I found these bulbs at Lowe's and they seem to work well.
     You may want to experiment with your own box.  Some tutorials called for more than one light.  I find that all I have to do is open my photo in Photoshop Elements, click the quick edit and the automatic buttons for both Levels and Contrast under lighting and I'm ready to go.
If you decide to make one of these let me know how yours comes out.
     My post for Papercraft Star will be coming up tomorrow.


Kirsty Vittetoe said...

Great tutorial Tracy! Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

Couldn't agree more! Thanks! Ira

SAMARA said...

Hi Tracy...great tutorial! I saw it on Digi Doodles first (I love your site too!!) Could you please send me a photo of your box "with" the light attached so I can see how it ends up looking, in order to make my own. Thanks tons!!! Brilliant!

Sarah said...

Thanks so much! Just what I was looking for. Now I need to do some shopping!

Geri Neumann said...

Thanks for the tutorial, Tracy! I too would love to see how/where you attach the light to the box, please. I can't wait for Randy to get home so I can show him your tut. You're such a sweetheart to share your wealth of info with us (me) photo dummies! lol Sending big hugs and thanks, Geri N15135