Providing that you have the determination to go out there and make your own DIY softbox, you can most likely save yourself a lot of money by just buying a couple of items off of Amazon or Walmart. YouTube Makeup tutorial artist Dorothy Jean Thompson did just that for under $20. She explains that she needed a softbox for her makeup tutorials and in that case, she also needed constant lighting.
She started by hacking a lampshade and getting a light fixture to stay inside. But of course, a softbox needs reflective properties on the inside of focus the light and make it directional–so she lined the interior of the shade with aluminum foil and also put a diffusion sock over the front. And like that, you have yourself a softbox.
The light worked well enough for what she wants to accomplish but it won’t give you results anywhere as effective as an actual softbox. Softboxes usually have very refined reflective properties and sometimes even have multiple diffusion layers to avoid hot spots. If Dorothy wanted even softer light, she could have gone for a bigger lamp shade or even a China ball.
Either way though, it’s a nifty trick and can still give you great results for the right subject. The video on how she did it is after the jump.