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Homemade Fold-Up Lightbox & Window Herb Garden

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You might have noticed that the terrible lighting in my apartment has a habit of ruining my picture quality. I thought I was doomed since I have as many lamps as space will allow and just couldn’t fix my lighting issues. Then I came across this post on Shrimp Salad Circus. Thank the good lord.

Lightbox finished

Her instructions are really clear, and she has pictures showing each step. It’s super easy to make one of your own. And just look at the difference!

Without LightboxWith the lightbox

Okay, so I definitely need more practice.

She’s got some great stuff over on Shrimp Salad Circus, lots of photography tips, etc. So be sure to take a minute to go check it out!

And because I love my new lightbox & tripod combo so much, I went ahead and made another tutorial for this week.

I found these miniature buckets weeks ago at Target in the dollar section.

Cute miniature pails

I knew there had to be something I could do with them. Meet my new Window Sill Herb Garden!


miniature pails or other containers

1 nail



wooden sticks or tongue depressors

chalkboard paint




First, I removed the ribbon that was serving as the handles on the pails because I didn’t want to deal with the ribbon getting all grimy. Then I stuffed a towel in the pail. This will keep your metal from bowing when you poke it with the nail.

Stuff Towel in Pail

Using your nail and hammer, create 3-4 holes in the bottom of your pail. This will let the water drain from your plant.

Holes in the pail

Done! Seriously. It’s that easy.

Add some rocks to the bottom to help with drainage, fill with dirt and plant your seeds according to package instructions. I’m planning to set these in the sink when I water them, so I don’t need a trough for them to drain into.

Now you just need to create some markers!

Chalkboard stakes

Take your craft stick or tongue depressor and cut the end into a long point. It doesn’t need to be perfect since you’re sticking it in dirt later. My paper scissors worked just fine for this.

Next, paint the sticks (or tongue depressors)! Because this is a grainy wood, the paint won’t go on smoothly at first. After my 3rd coat dried, I lightly sanded it with a fine grit sandpaper to smooth it out then added a 4th layer.

Condition your sticks by rubbing chalk all over them.

Condition stakes

Then stick them in the dirt and write the name of your plant on there.

With the lightbox

Done! Kinda cute, right?


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