DIY Lightbox


How to build a homemade lightbox for scanning your negatives

We are going to tell you our experience building our own home made lightbox.
All began when we tried to scan our “360º Spinner” negative film and realized we couldn’t do it because of our old scanner scanning dims. We liked some of the ideas left by other Lomo-friends (like “rietveltt”) but we wanted to be more creative avoiding screen pixels.

Materials needed:

  1. Carton box (we’ve used one 40cms long, 25cms wide & 20cms high)
  2. A silver paper roll (the one used for cooking…)
  3. Light; we’ve chosen 2 fluorescent halogen lights (35cms long)
  4. 1 multiple socket adapter for unifying both light sockets in one
  5. Wire for attaching the lights to the box
  6. Greaseproof paper (size DIN-A3) as light diffuser
  7. Extras (duct tape for toping, scissors, glue stick & an awl)
  8. Patience & lots of eager!

How to proceed:

1st of all, we shall line all inside the box wit silver paper(the glue bar works well for this). Be careful to avoid wrinkles on paper; a ruler helps with this.

Top the upper part of the box with duct tape to avoid damage on paper.

Use the awl to make some holes on the box to pass the wire for fixing the lights to the box. We’ve decided to set them on the box side walls, so they aren’t too deep and so light is distributed in a better way. Remember, that if the light chosen has a switch, you shall leave it on. It will switch on/off when plugged.

We will do, as well, a small hole on one of the narrow sides to get light wires through.

To finish, just set greaseproof paper carefully on top (will work as light diffuser) with duct tape; don’t forget to tense it.

Box cover will protect the paper when housing.

Now just plug it and begin working with your negative film.

Hope it helps! :D!

written by pingus on 2010-12-08 #gear #tutorials #film #tutorial #tipster #negative-film #scanner #lightbox #handicraft #materials


  1. kerpella
    kerpella ·


  2. shoujoai
    shoujoai ·

    ...and then you put the light box on the scanner and it works with every normal scanner? Or how do you do it?

  3. chaoticsense
    chaoticsense ·

    AWESOME idea, I have to try this!

  4. vgzalez
    vgzalez ·

    @shoujoai I think that it was intended just to visualize the negatives, not to scan ejem. But for sure, if you can make it light enough, it is a good idea using it as a backlight for any normal scanner.

  5. vgzalez
    vgzalez ·

    Ejem=them. Damn predictive mode...

  6. shoujoai
    shoujoai ·

    at least you can do a ghetto scan with it :) but I think it's made for real scanning? It says "How to build a homemade lightbox for scanning your negatives"
    As a light box it is great enough, but for a scanner it would be fantastic ^_^

  7. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    really brilliant! @shoujoai I think that the only way to use it to scan is to use a digital slr to capture the film. But if you build a smaller lightbox (like the size of a Digitaliza for example) then you can use it to turn an ordinary flatbed scanner in a photoscanner! Basically, my epson photo scanner is nothing more than a flatbed scanner with a lightbox in the lid!

  8. stouf
    stouf ·

    I want I want I want ! : )

  9. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    Really good idea. I will try.....

  10. cinzinc
    cinzinc ·

    now this is really helpful!

  11. adi_totp
    adi_totp ·

    thanks for sharing :D

  12. natalieerachel
    natalieerachel ·

    That box is so cute haha

  13. sobiksaabik
    sobiksaabik ·

    Great idea! I will made it for my scanner without uplight..

  14. fivedayforecast
    fivedayforecast ·

    I want that box.... with the giraffes and what not..

  15. beni
    beni ·


  16. lantz45
    lantz45 ·

    Hi - Help needed! I need a printer/scanner that/who can scan a continuous roll of B&W 120 w/o cutting the negative! thanks!

  17. lantz45
    lantz45 ·

    Hi - Help needed! I need a printer/scanner that/who can scan a continuous roll of B&W 120 w/o cutting the negative! thanks!

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