Easiest DIY Light Box Ever

Super Simple DIY Light Box | Mama Papa Bubba Blog

I’ve wanted to put together a DIY light table for Miss for ages now, but as simple as it is, it’s just never happened.  There are so many really easy tutorials on how to create light tables using plastic bins and portable LED lights {like this one from Teach Preschool and this one from Happy Hooligans}, but the problem is that I haven’t come across the perfect shallow plastic bin with a flat, clear top {or bottom}.

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Well a few months ago, Gracen and I were strolling through the aisles of Ikea {as you do}, and came across this interesting SYNAS LED lighting box {Canada | US | Kuwait}.  While it’s meant to allow children to showcase their artwork and prized possessions, I immediately saw a light table in our future!

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Now while starting with the SYNAS lighting box may be a little more expensive than starting with an everyday plastic bin, I’m quite certain that this is the easiest DIY light box ever.  In fact, all you need besides the box is 4 pieces of black card stock {Ikea sells that too} and some scotch tape.

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Ready for how easy this is? Because the box comes with lighting already built into the base, all you really have to do is direct that light upwards by covering the sides with thick black paper.  I did this by adding one sheet of card stock at a time, carefully placing the pages inside the box, creasing them at the corners, and sticking one piece to the last using scotch tape.

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Basically, you’re trying to make a paper insert that looks like this. When done, I slid it into the box and secured it to the top edges using a couple of small pieces of tape.

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And that’s it.  Put the lid back on top, turn off the lights, and start playing!

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I personally find that the light is diffused enough as is, but you could always cover the inside of the lid with a piece of parchment or wax paper if you wanted it to be diffused further.

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The best part?  Because it plugs in, there’s no need to ever buy new portable LED lights or batteries, and to me, that’s pretty huge since I’m terrible about keeping batteries on hand and replacing them promptly.

We’ve only just started exploring our new super simple DIY light box and I’d like to bring back a few fun manipulatives from Canada this summer, but so far, it’s been a ton of fun.  As of now, we’re keeping it in Gracen’s room for her to enjoy during quiet play time and I have a feeling that that’s where it will stay for quite some time. ☺


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10 thoughts on “Easiest DIY Light Box Ever

  1. Wow, had no idea they carried these! I’ve been using their large clear store tubs (clear lid) with Christmas lights inside for our makeshift light table, but this is great!

  2. Hi! Just curious… does it still work, the Ikea lamp? I had mine for a week before it started blinking, returned it, got a new one, a year has passed and now it blinks again. It’s driving me crazy :(

  3. Do they still make them? There are not on the website… :(. Is that the actual name of the table: SYNAS LED

    1. They don’t seem to make them anymore. I have one and like the above replies it started to blink after a few months. I took it apart and replaced the LEDs with some color changing ones.
      I suspect the lighting just causes too many problems so they discontinued it. That’s a shame though as it’s a nice little display box on its own.

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