6 DIY Photography Hacks from Ikea That Help You Save Money

Everyone loves Ikea. Don't try to fight it; you know you do! They have everything you could possibly need for your home and also those Swedish Meatballs. But have you ever thought of all the things you can buy to create DIY softboxes and beauty dishes? Check out this video for six tips to help save money (and give you a valid excuse to shop at Ikea).

1.) Schottis - A paper pleated shade you can turn into a softbox: $2.99

2.) Glasholm - A black glass tabletop perfect for shooting products: $34.99

3.) Snudda - A Lazy Susan to add movement for shooting video: $7.99

4.) Blanda Blank - A metal mixing bowl you can turn into a beauty dish: $2.99

5.) Tupplur - A blackout curtain perfect for a portrait session: $19.99

6.) Drona - A collapsible storage box to be used as a laptop hood on the go: $5.99

I'm all about saving money when it comes to photo gear. Most of the items they used in the video can also be found at thrift stores, or maybe you already have a few laying around the house. The Beauty Dish requires a little more work and may not be the easiest to recreate, but then again, you probably won't care too much if you bang up a three-dollar bowl. I was most impressed with the beautiful light from the Schottis as a softbox. Compared to brands like Profoto or Westcott, a $2.99 "softbox" from Ikea is hard to beat! What hack are you going to try? 

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Miles Bergstrom's picture

Dagnabbit, now I have to go to Ikea.....

Alex Cooke's picture

Which one are you going to? Want to carpool?

Antony Gomes's picture

You'll not regret! =D

Antony Gomes's picture

Thanks for sharing our video!
If you have any feedbacks and comment feel free to let me know! =)

Fritz Asuro's picture

Lol. I remember when I can't afford a $370 Large Lastolite SkyLite (scrim). I went to IKEA, straight to the bathroom section, picked up a shower curtain and the 4 sets of the 3-piece L-curtain rod. TADA! A 1.5 stop large diffuser!
As much as I wanted to take a photo of it and show it to everyone, unfortunately, I already left in from my last house I stayed in Abu Dhabi.

Antony Gomes's picture

Great idea!

Henning Bonsi's picture

Mh... the last "trick" is a little inefficient. the icap is better for sun blocking ;)

Eric Lefebvre's picture

True but for those of us who already have some of those fold able cloth drawers at home it's a good idea. I have 4 of them so when I head out for a shoot I just throw one in the car just in case.

Michael Storz's picture

Thank very much for this post. But where do i get this flash mount for the diy beauty dish?

Eric Lefebvre's picture

You can get those for cheap online (amazon for example). Around 20$ - 30$

Just search for Godox S-type Bracket.

Antony Gomes's picture

You can adapt every mount.
Mine (on the video) was a cheap one purchased on Ebay.
I'm working on an video dedicated of the beauty dish=)

Chelsey Rogers's picture

Do share with us, obviously our readers are very interested!

Antony Gomes's picture

I will do it!

Eric Lefebvre's picture

For diffusion material you can use parchment paper used for lining cookie sheets in the oven. I sometimes use that to soften up clamp lights or in front of my worklights for video work.

The paper is heat resistant (it goes in the oven after all)so if you are using a really powerfull tungsten light light a 500W worklight you have less risk of it bursting into flames. :)

Paulo Macedo's picture

I've actually had one of those beauty-salad-dishes! The light was quite nice! :D

Sean Holifield's picture

Brb...off to Ikea for every single item listed

John Qoyawayma's picture

I have used the Glasholm for product photography now for about a year. Works really well. Does not have a double reflection on the glass which works even better. I finally broke down and bought adjustable legs from ikea which screw right into the glass. Its possible for one person to move it even with the legs attached.

Jason Brietstein's picture

Can also use that black box (drona) for low key product photos. Used it on a number of occasions.

I've got the silver bowl, actually its a lamp I need to dremel the hole though to make it bigger. I don't have a dremel, so I need to figure this one out still.

I've got the glass top and plan to use it this way also.

As you can see I love ikea hacks and I get them all in the scratch n dent section.

Kevin Twitchett's picture

Try this one, it is amazing for the cost! - http://www.instructables.com/id/IKEA-Speedlight-diffuser-Gary-Fongs-Ligh... - works far better than any commercial product i have bought and a lot more satisfying. At my brothers wedding a few monihs ago the pro photographer emailed me a week or so later and asked where did i get it cos he was jealous lol.

Kate Fox's picture

Thanks for the excuse to go to IKEA! (as if I need one) Another great hack for shortcutting the cloud or synching to view your photos on your phone: http://www.getyounity.com/blog/post-photos-stored-on-your-computer-to-in...

Steven Gotz's picture

I took three Tupplers, white, gray and black and mounted them to a white shelf from Home Depot. I drilled holes in each end of the shelf and I can easily lift it up and put it on two stands.

I did have to use some angle iron to keep the shelf from bowing, but it works great!