When creating art, it is sometimes necessary to trace an image onto paper. Tracing paper can be a useful tool in this process, but another helpful instrument is the light box. Although they offer a convenient method for tracing images, they can be expensive and hard to find. This guide will help save you money by giving you tips on producing your own homemade light box for tracing.
Light Box Design
Light boxes allow the easy tracing of images onto plain or tracing paper by intensifying light onto a clear hard surface. These art tools can be made from materials such as a cardboard box, wooden boards or a gift box. The general design includes a boxed enclosure with a transparent glass or plastic top. A light source should shine through to the top from the bottom or the side of the box.
Light Box Materials
Keep in mind the size of work space you will need for tracing images. This determines the size of enclosure to make. If you will be doing intricate tracing or just prefer a more stable light box, wooden boards and glass are materials you should use. They will stand up longer than a cardboard and plastic version. The latter materials will work sufficiently when you have limited supplies and time constraints.
A window affixed with nails to a box of four adjacent boards is a simple and economical way of creating your very own light box.
The light source may come from a variety of objects. An effective and mobile light source that can easily be inserted into your light box would be a flash light. Most sizes of flash lights will work well with your light box by cutting a circular hole in the side of the enclosure. The flash light can then be inserted and secured with duct tape.
Securing the Light Box
Affix the boards of the light box with nails. Plexiglas and plastic can be taped or drilled to the box base. For glass surfaces, use a strong epoxy.