Materials – paper cut light box


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This post will explain in detail the materials needed to make a paper-cut light box.

~ Paper

– Best when using quantitative paper 160g to 220g.
– Paper that is too thin will easily bend, too thick paper will block light.
– In addition, you need a thin sheet of paper about 70g (common print paper to make books) to put behind the last layer.

~ Paper cutting tools

– Cutting machines:
After payment, you will receive a compressed file including SVG, PNG and PDF formats. Most cutters use SVG files.
– Cut by hand:
You can print the file on paper and cut by hand.
Best when cutting paper with a scalpel and rubber cutting board (recommended: “cutting mat”)

~ The spacer

– Use foam board thickness of 5 millimeters to make spacer – to create distance between layers.
– This material is cut with a knife easily.
(If you don’t have a foam board, you can find another material of similar thickness instead – e.g. straws, 5mm thick sticky foam strips, etc.)


~ Glue or double-sided tape

– Use glue or double-sided tape to attach the spacers to the layers of paper.
– In addition, glue can also be used to create box frames if you make your own box frame. It helps to glue the pieces of the box together.

~ Box frame or Light base

Use foam board or wood to make box frame / lamp base. (Or you can find it on ikea.com)

With 1-sided paper cut light box:
– The box should have a depth of 7 centimeters (about 3 inches).

  • The depth of 7cm is enough for templates with 11 layers. (1cm = 10mm)
  • If the pattern has fewer layers, you can subtract 5mm from each layer to get the required box depth. For example, if thetemplate has 6 layers, the box frame only needs a depth of 5cm.
  • In case the box frame still does not have the required depth, you can use thinner spacers (3mm instead of 5mm).

– The box frame must have a size that matches the size of the cutting paper.
Square templates: Size of paper ~ 20×20 cm (about 7.9×7.9 inches).
Rectangular patterns: Size of paper ~ 25×18 cm (about 9.9×7.1 inches).


With 5-sided paper cut light box:
– You can make your own light base with materials you have.
– The simplest way is to make a box and place the led light inside it.
The photo below is a suggestion for you:


~ LED light

I will suggest you two common types of LEDs suitable for paper cutting light boxes.

1- LED lightings 3 modules:
– I usually use this type. It is a monochrome led, so for some templates, I need to coordinate different colors.
– The advantage is that the light is strong enough. If you ask me to design a portrait template for you with more than 6 layers, you should use this light.
– 12V led lights need to use 12V adapter.
If the light box has less than 8 led bars, you can use 12V – 1A adapter.
If the light box has more than 8 led bars, you should use 12V – 2A adapter.
– Because this LED light has a large capacity, I do not recommend using the battery, it will quickly run out of battery and is expensive.
Proposal link:
Aliexpress: https://bit.ly/3fN9pFT


2 – LED strip lights:
– There are 2 types of monochrome and multicolor, usually people will use multicolor lights.
– This type of light is weaker than Type 1, but it is easier to install, the color is also more diverse and variable.
– Typically, this Led light only has 5V, so you can also use a battery instead of using an adapter.


3 – Led used for 5-sided light box:

– Led has AAA battery power
Proposal link:
Ebay: https://ebay.to/35pSg3N
Aliexpress: https://bit.ly/3iojqeQ

– Led has CR2032 battery power
Proposal link:
Ebay: https://ebay.to/3m7yRdX
Aliexpress: https://bit.ly/33giFyl

~ Glass or plastic (with 1-sided light box)

You can see its position in the structural image of a light box.
Its effect is to prevent dust from flying into the light box. So you can still make paper light box even if you don’t have a sheet of glass (or clear acrylic sheet).


– With glasses:
You can go to your local store to ask them to cut a sheet of glass to the right size.


– With plastic:
You can search for the keyword phrase “clear acrylic sheet“, 1, 2 or 3 mm thick, depending on what you want.
It is a transparent plastic sheet. You just need to peel off the paper on both sides of it to use.


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Tag: tutorials, instructions

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