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Picture of Illuminated Diorama

I've been looking for instructable on how to make a light box but most of them required specific materials to complete the project. So I decided to create my own paper-cut lightbox with the materials I already have and spending little as possible. I'm a broken engineering student ;)

For the people who don't know what paper-cut light box is, it is a diorama make from layers of paper-cut which is placed in a shadow box, which is light from behind to create a scene or an emotion. The more layers you have, the better effect. Be careful! Too many layers can ruin the effect.

Warning: This instructable involves a cutting knife and a lighter. If you are underage and want to try this project, ask your parents to help you.

You: Can we do it?
Me: Yes We Can!!!

If you liked my instructable, consider voting for the Pro-Tip and Trash to Treasure contest!

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

As I have stated above, I wanted to spend as little as possible. So the majority of the materials listed below can be found in your home. I'll show you tools and materials I used to complete this project.

This is just a guide to show you how to create a paper-cut light box. At any given point, you can improve it by your own imagination and materials you have access to. Don't worry, non-creative and non-imaginative people out there, I will give you some tips on how to get started.

Things you will need

  1. White cardstock paper
  2. X-ACTO knife *
  3. Tracing paper *
  4. LED strip *
  5. Styrofoam *
  6. Pencil, Pen, Ruler, Glue

And the most importantly - your dedication!

*TIP: Alternative tools/materials for can be used.

  • Instead of X-ACTO knife, you can use a paper cutting knife, or cardboard knife (little tough but doable), or laser cutter (the best, no hassle - let the machine do the work for you lol)
  • Instead of Tracing paper, you can use opaque white plastic or a plastic/paper where light passes through but gives a soft blend.
  • Instead of using a LED strip, you can use Christmas lights or some sort of light source which doesn't burn the paper (you don't want your paper to burn by a light source, do you?!)
  • Now I did not have an option to go out and buy fancy foam paper if you do have access to it - great.

Awesome diorama, I really love how you managed to make contrast between the layers. Good job mate :D

Thank you for your kind words! I am definitely going to improve the design and structure significantly over the summer :D

No probs mate, you got my votes :D

Thank you for much! I appreciate your support mate :)

That is a very impressive level of detail.

Thank You! I tried to explain as much I could so people are well prepare to make one by themselve.