Filed under: inspirations, materials | Tags: DIY, do it yourself, handmade, k'nex, kristin boehm, light box, light tent, lightbox, spinhandspun
After months of photographing my work with so-so results, I decided it was time to invest in a lightbox. And what better way to do it than to Do It Yourself? In search of the perfect supplies, I raided my parents basement and came across my favorite childhood toy: a box of K’nex!
If you’re wondering what a lightbox can do for you, look no further than my dingy-yellow digital ‘graphs in the K’nex building portion of this tutorial, then compare those to these images taken inside of the completed K’nex lightbox. Lightboxes keep your colors looking bright, reduce shadows, and make sure your images look clean and professional. Follow the tutorial below to create your own…
Knex structure without screen.
What You Will Need
|105||red rods rods|
|Remember! If you don’t have enough of a certain piece, improvise (e.g. two blue rods and an orange connector = one red rod)|
K’nex Lightbox Structure Instructions (with clickable images!):
My apologies for the yellowish image quality, but unfortunately I did not have a lightbox for my lightbox!
Note: In the first four steps, I have indicated places where blue K’nex/red or white connectors take the place of white K’nex/purple or blue connectors in the general model using an *asterisk symbol. These longer blue pieces are used as ground supports on the bottom, and as places where the eyelets of your screen will catch along the top or side of the structure (depending on which direction you are photographing). Furthermore, not all blue replacements have been indicated with an asterisk — just those that are hard to see. Keep an eye out for these subtle changes in the general structure!
- Make the bottom most piece (Note: here I have used two blues and an orange connector to replace eight red pieces where I ran out)
- Construct bottom supports, noting places where blue rods have replaced white ones
Inner Bottom (upside down)
- Join the two bottom pieces together so that blue rods slide into their red and white connector pieces, creating feet.
- Make for side supports as follows:
- Connect side suports to their appropriate positions on the bottom support
Bottom and Side Supports
- Make topmost piece (easy!) noting the asterisks where blue rods replace white:
Outer Top (upside down)
- Construct top supports, noting locations where blue supports replace white
Inner Top (upside down)
- Connect two portions of the top structure together, so that blue rods slide into place, while white rods make solid connections to the remainder of the structure
Top Structure (upside down)
Lightbox Screen Sewing Instructions (It’s easy! You are making an opened box shape!):
- Iron fabric flat
- Cut the following: One “bottom” square measuring 17.5″x17.5″ and Four “side” squares measuing 17.5″x20″. [Remember: Jersey material is stretchy, which is great for pulling the screen across the sides of the lightbox, but treacherous in the cutting department. Be careful not to pull the fabric while cutting or your squares will come out wonky-shaped.]
- Pin and sew all four side pieces to four sides of bottom piece (Using a 1/2″ seam allowance)
- Iron all four bottom seams flat
- Pin and sew adjacent edges of side pieces together (Using a 1/2″ seam allowance), thus completing the box shape.
- Iron all four side seams flat
- Pin and finish the circumference of the opening with 3/4″ seam by folding the unfinished edge underneath itself
- Iron the finished opening flat and trim loose thread
- Fit the finished lightbox screen over the K’nex structure with the opening at the top, and seams along all four corners
- For each side, pull the flap across the top so the screen fits snugly around the sculpture with two opposing sides overlapping their adjacent opposing sides
- On all four corners, use a pencil to mark the eyelet placement at all three points where the blue K’nex poke outwards from the frame
- Remove screen from K’nex structure
- Cut small holes at each point where you have made a pencil mark for an eyelet opening
- Hammer eyelets into each opening using a rubber hammer and an eyelet setter (Lisa at U*handbag has a great eyelet tutorial if you need a visual for this part)
Questions? e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org Otherwise, happy photographing!
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