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How to build your own DIY softbox

DIY Softbox that’s big, cheap, solid and foldable

Many people have asked me about the DIY softbox I made a year or so ago – lovingly nicknamed “the ghettobox” – so here it is, finally: The ultimate guide to making your own 30” softbox (that’s about 76cm, you could make it even bigger, though!), that – very important – is solid and portable. Yes, you heard right, you can fold it flat but it’s still solid. Plus: As a bonus you can also hang it from somewhere to save floor space.

In summary:

  • foam board based 30” DIY softbox
  • deeper form than most DIY designs (therefore a more beautiful quality of light)
  • materials cost: cheap
  • solid
  • big, but can be made flat and transported
  • possibility to hang it somewhere
  • optional: you can make a grid for it
  • difficulty level: easy

The design is essentially based around the one you can find here: DIY 30″ Soft Box that folds flat for travel

I liked the shape of it, which is deeper than other designs, and foam board is definitely a more beautiful and light material than cardboard. It also is more sturdy.

However, when I was looking at these plans, I had a feeling the box wouldn’t be solid enough, especially considering it is transported around, which is one of the big advantages of this one over other designs out there, after all. Another weak spot I identified is the part where you mount your light stand or tripod to. It has to support the weight of the whole softbox and is not supported enough in the original design, nor is the balancing point at the right place.

That’s why I redesigned how the single pieces of the softbox are held together, simplified the main box to only 2 separate pieces instead of 4, coated the inside with aluminium foil to make it more light effective and for more WHAM!, improved the mounting area and on top of that constructed a grid for the box.

But let’s get started!

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