How to Build a Light Table for Drawing 

How to Build a Light Table for Drawing! Many art students are required to draw from life, which means that they have to use a light table. A light table is an essential tool for any artist or designer who needs accurate drawings. This article will teach you how to make your own!

If you are a visual artist, you know how important light tables can be. This article will teach how to build your own light table for drawing. It is not difficult and will provide hours of use.

How to Build a Light Table for Drawing 

Light tables are an awesome way to draw, but they can be expensive and hard to find. I will show you how to build your own light table with items you may already have around the house. This is a do-it-yourself project that anyone can accomplish in less than 2 hours!

How to Build a Light Table for Drawing

A light table is a great tool for artists and crafters of all levels of experience. It can be used to trace or draw designs, color in pictures, and more. Building your own light table is a fun and easy project that can be completed in just a few hours.

To make your own light table, you will need the following items

  • large cardboard box

 (The size of the box depends on how big you want your light table to be. The one I made was 12 x 9 x 18 inches.)

  • contact paper or wallpaper 

sample books that contain images or designs you can use for tracing, coloring, etc. Note: The contact paper or wallpaper should be at least twice the size of the cardboard box.

  • scissors
  • ruler or a straight edge
  • X-Acto knife or a sharp blade
  • LED light strip (You can find these online or at your local hardware store

Once you have collected all of the necessary materials, it’s time to get started on the construction of your light table.

Step 1:

Cut a hole in one end of the cardboard box that is large enough for the LED light strip to fit through. Make sure that the hole is at least as wide as the light strip itself.

Step 2:

Cut a piece of contact paper or wallpaper that is at least twice the size of the cardboard box.


Apply the contact paper or wallpaper to the top of the cardboard box. (If you are using contact paper, make sure that it is lined up evenly before sticking it to the box.)

Step 4:

Cut out a design from one of the images in your contact paper or wallpaper sample book. Peel the backing off of the design and attach it to the opposite end of your light table. Then, cut out a second image from another contact paper or wallpaper sample book that is identical to the first cut-out you made. Stick this piece on top of the previous piece so that it covers up all but a small border around the edge. This will create a translucent surface that you can use to trace or draw on.

Step 5:

Turn on your LED light strip and place it in the hole you cut in the side of the cardboard box.

And that’s it! You have now created your very own light table. Enjoy using it for all your tracing and drawing needs.

The End

If you want to make your light table even more functional, you can add a few extra features. For example, you could add a piece of plexiglass to the top of the light table so that it is easier to see through, Click here to find out why Plexiglass is used in photography. You could also create a stand for the light table so that it can be used as a portable work surface. The possibilities are endless! So, get creative and have some fun with your new light table.

Now that you know how to make a light table, you can use it for all sorts of tracing and drawing projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best light for a light table?

There is no definitive answer to this question as different people prefer different levels of brightness and color temperature. However, it is generally recommended that you use a fluorescent bulb with a color temperature of around 5500 Kelvin.

What is the difference between a light table for drawing and a lightbox?

The main difference between a photo lightbox and a light table for drawing is that a lightbox typically has an even, diffuse light across its entire surface while a light table typically has a bright area in the center with gradually diminishing brightness towards the edges.

What is the best way to set up a light table?

First, you need to decide where you are going to put your light table and what size it should be. Make sure that there is access for both plugging in your lamp as well as controlling its height if at all possible. Next, set up your light table with the metal grid attached. You can use thin white paper strips to hold up your drawing paper on the light table.

How long can I work on a light table before my eyes get tired?

This varies from person to person, as some people can work at a light table for hours without any problems while others will start to experience eye fatigue sooner. It is recommended that you take breaks every 20-30 minutes to give your eyes a chance to rest. Additionally, make sure that you are sitting in a comfortable position that will allow you to look over your work comfortably.

Thank you for reading this post…🙂

Note: Interested to know How to Use a Lightbox for Tracing & Drawing? Read here.