Seeing my son being tempted to put a sheet of paper onto a flat-screen computer monitor to trace a picture, I felt inspired to make him a tracing light box instead. I explained to him that the monitor surface would scratch if he used it to trace, and tracing is what he wanted to do. Remembering a pin on Pinterest, I decided to make a light box by using what we already had on hand, and I came up with this simple solution: A tracing box made from a clear bin and a flashlight! In a matter of seconds I simply put a flashlight standing inside a clear plastic container, and the light shining through made the picture visible through the sheet of paper placed on top.
When looking at my bins, I found that most of them had edges or ridges on the bottom that would make tracing difficult. But I also found that using the sides of a medium sized plastic container worked perfectly! Instead of tracking down a light bulb on a cord to make one like the pin on pinterest suggested, I just stuck a flashlight inside. A shorter flashlight that spreads the light out more evenly across the box would probably have improved the light box, but using what we had took seconds and worked quite well. My son did move the flashlight around a little bit to better light up the areas he was working on, but that was easy enough. The original pin showed a prettier box that probably will work even better, but it takes a bit more doing to make it; two hours, to be exact! So I thought our built-in-seconds light box was a great alternative.
All in all, making this tracing light box was done in seconds, very simple and cheap with what we already had in the house, and just as quick to take apart again. A flashlight, a bin, and that’s that. If all projects and DIY’s were this fast and easy, I’d be in heaven!