How To Build A Quick DIY Light Box

Make this perfect light box for sketching in an afternoon. The best part is you don’t have to do any electrical work, because it works with off-the-shelf LED strips. Learn how to make a light box for tracing with these easy to follow plans.

Next Project

A few hours




With just a couple hours, some 1x4, 1/4-in. plywood, some plexiglas, and a cheap LED light strip, you can have a homemade light box for tracing and art projects. Let's get started!

Tools Required

  • dado stack
  • Drill
  • Miter saw
  • Table saw
  • Utility

Materials Required

  • 1/4-in. Plywood (2 x 4 ft.)
  • 1x4 board (8 ft.)
  • Foil tape
  • Frosted Plexiglas (18 x 24 in.)
  • Plug-In LED Tape Light (10 ft.)

Cutting List

Light Box Cutting List

Project step-by-step (7)

Step 1

Rip dadoes into the sides

DIY Light Box

Cut 3/8-in. dadoes into 1×4 stock, 1/4-in. from each edge.

Step 2

Cut sides to length

DIY Light Box

Cut the 1×4 board into two 24-3/4-in.-long boards and two 17-1/4-in. long boards. Cut the ¼-in. plywood to 18×24 in.

Step 3

Create a reflective surface

DIY Light Box

Attach the foil tape to the interior of the side boards and plywood.

Step 4

Drill the cord hole

DIY Light Box

Drill a 1/2-in. hole, 2 in. from the end of one of the long sides, to feed the power cord out.

Step 5

Fasten the box together

DIY Light Box

Assemble three sides of the box with the plywood in place and fasten it together with screws.

Step 6

String the lights

DIY Light Box

Tape down the LED lights to the plywood bottom and feed the end through the 1/2-in. hole in the side.

Step 7

Add the frosted plexiglas

DIY Light Box

Slide in the frosted glass and fasten the last side with screws. Start tracing!