Wednesday, February 18, 2009

~Light Boxes~

After reading many posts in the Etsy forums and articles, I figured out the best success tip for selling online! Awesome pictures! Duh! Well, everyone knows that and there are so many articles out there about how to take pictures. This is one of my personal favorites from LiciaBeads' blog: Oooh, nice pictures.... how do you do that? Licia has beautiful pictures!

Then, my friend showed me this setup and tutorial for Swarovski crystals:

I want it sooooooo bad. But the whole kit is like $300. Just the cube (small for jewelry) is $55. So, I started my adventure for the ultimate (cheap) lightbox! There are so many tutorials out there, ones that use cardboard boxes , ones that use white boards, collapsible ones and even one that uses a cooler!

My wonderful fiance made one out of cardboard box for me. That seemed easiest and we have a lot of them lying around. I used tissue paper 'cause I couldn't find the cloth that one of the tutorial was talking about. Here's the end result and a picture taken using this light box.

I was pretty happy with it! But, of course, that didn't last long. There are a few flaws:

  • The lights weren't bright enough.
  • It's too fragile. My fault for using the tissue paper.
  • The bottom of the box is uneven so it's hard to position things.
  • My really shiny pieces reflect the brown edges of the box!

So, I started looking at other options (Sorry, baby, I know you worked hard on this). I wanted (my baby) to make the collapsible one but...that looks like a lot of work. I would rather make jewelry and he would rather play basketball. :)

One day I went to target and saw this white box. It's a little small, but I like how it has little holes at the edges. That can be good for hanging things. The box is around $12 I think. Still cheaper than my dream light box and no work involved!

Look at this. The same earrings in this light box. I didn't even realize how dark the other box was till I saw this picture!

Well, I am pretty happy with what I have for now. I think the lights are still not bright enough, so I have to do a little bit of touch ups in the pictures. It's a little small and the lights are in the way. I want higher wattage lightbulbs, but the lamps says 60W maximum to "prevent fires". Does that mean I can put 100W bulbs in as long as I am careful?

I also considered using these and shine the lights through the sides. These can also be found at Target.

The light box adventure pauses for now. I think it's time I work on other aspects of the shop like *gulp* inventory and accounting.

Ooo by the way, do you have any tips for me about my setup? Thanks!!!


Cristin said...

I think I put 100w bulbs in my light box lights. They're never on for more than 10 minutes at a time and I stay in the same room.
Fire hazard? Maybe. Just don't leave them on overnight ;-)

Happy Cloud Moments said...


I am going to try that. Thanks~!

GreenEyedGems said...

looks good! I found you on the Etsy forums - I, too, have made a cardboard box that I will probably switch out. I like your idea of looking at target :)

Ripper Arts said...

Very cool idea. Innovative way to save money and still get the effects you want.

Elena said...

Looking good! I got a cool little light tent from Think Geek for Christmas. You can find it here -

It works pretty well, although lately I've taken to using just the light tent, some large sheets of white paper & natural light when taking photos of my jewelery. You can check out some of my pics at my Etsy shop ( if you'd like.

Keep up the fabulous work!

Joyce said...

Thanks for the link Elena! I love Your etsy shop looks wonderful!

The Fab Miss B said...

My cardboard jobby (also made by my man friend!)is working well for the moment- I think there are lots of alternatives to the super fancy lightboxes if you employ a bit of ingenuity. Your photos look great!

Christine said...

Love the suggestion of getting a box at Target! I keep meaning to make a cardboard box light box but I haven't gotten around to it because I'm lazy, and I'm at Target like once a week anyway so I will just look for a box next time I'm there! Thanks for simplifying things. :)

♥ xtine

P.S. Love your blog, by the way!

FishStikks said...

Very interesting!

I initially tried the do it yourself cardboard box and ended up hating it as well. I used tracing paper, blech.

Been using my back porch and have been building all kinds of Light blocks for early morning and I'm afraid it's starting to look like the Clampettes live here,

Off to find a better solution myself!

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