Christmas Gift DIY: Photo Lightbox

created at: 06/10/2010

I love, love, love taking photos with my iPhone using my Hipstamatic App. I have several different photography apps, but it is by far my favorite. You can make lots of cool old looking Holga/Instamatic-type prints using it.

I wanted to actually get one of my photos off the phone and onto the wall! I used an inexpensive wall box, vellum, my printer, and a candle to make this take shape. It turned out really cool and makes a perfect holiday personalized gift to give!! Here’s how you can make your own!

Christmas Gift DIY: Photo Lightbox

What you need:

– Wall shadow box (mine was 6×6 and purchased in a set at Target on clearance! Only $3!)

– Hipstamatic photo with black frame edge (you can use another square photo if you don’t have a Hipstamatic photo)

– Vellum paper

– The Perfect Printing Pouch (seriously recommended)

– Double sided tape or tape runner for vellum

– Ruler

– Xacto knife

– Cutting Mat

– Photo processing program like Photoshop (you could also use iPhoto)

– Inkjet printer

– tealight (for safety reasons, you could use a battery operated one)


created at: 06/10/2010

1. Measure your shadow box.

created at: 06/10/2010

2. Open up your Hipstamatic image in Photoshop or other photo processing program you can use to adjust sizes. Fit photo to the size of your box (my document size was 6″x6″.)

created at: 06/10/2010

3. Since you’re going to be printing on vellum, it is helpful to use the Perfect Printing Pouch to prepare the paper. Basically, it gives the vellum a powder-like coating that makes the ink on the inkjet printer stick to the vellum. A lot of people have trouble with ink rubbing off or not drying completely and this does the trick! Of course, you can print on vellum without coating it first, but I didn’t want to risk it (and I bought this pouch like 4 years ago and have never used it, so I thought I would give it a go!)

created at: 06/10/2010

4. Use the vellum tape to go around edge on back of image.

created at: 06/10/2010

Use ruler and Xacto knife to cut out image. Apply image to surface and press into place.

6. I then added a tea light and it was complete! The finish without the light behind it is a little dull as you can see in the photo above (this is the nature of vellum), but it would still make a cool accent piece. Without the light inside it and with the overhead light on, you can notice the Hipstamatic number markings on the frame.

Here’s another photo of it finished.

created at: 06/10/2010

And, a close-up.

created at: 06/10/2010

Until next time Swellions!


P.S. I added this to the following linky parties!

Sumo's Sweet Stuff

DIY Club


  1. says

    I don’t have an iPhone- just an older iTouch. The new iTouch with camera is on my Christmas/Birthday list because I NEED to be able to use hipstamatic!!!

    GREAT project and easy tutorial. Thanks!

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