I made my way to my wife's home office/craft room and helped myself to some supplies we had for the middle school science fair. Duct tape (gaffer tape), 4 sheets of 20x30 foamcore (paper covered sheets of styrofoam) some clear packing tape, and a utility knife and permanent marker. Please note that I didn't say anything about plans, ruler or straitedge.
I must admit, I used the edge of one of the boards to draw my straight lines, but for my base, I eyeballed a 5 inch square. I measured it later and was shocked that I got it dead on. The next time I do this (and I will) I'm bringing a framing square (metal ruler) and will work towards more precision. I'm very happy with how it came out.
Next time thru, I'm going for portability (foldable). On this one (and future ones) I will incorporate either a real speedring or something that can add more durability to the base. The fabric I used for the diffuser is 1/4oz ripstop nylon, used for making ultralight kites. I've been told you can use an old t-shirt. Everything I used was here in my house so no shopping trip for me. Good thing too, the new studio is gonna cost me a lot to finish, but in the end, I won't have to fold up my backdrops when I'm done shooting. I treated myself to 16'x25' of my basement for shooting area as well as computer space for post-processing. My 13x13 has been taken away for the kids playroom.
Here it is FWIW. Critique is welcome, as sharing of technique. I'm quite thrilled with the quality of light, though I am considering doubling the fabric just to see what happens. It's not pemanently mounted yet (still trying to decide the best mounting method) but an investment in Velcro is probably in my future. The outer housing will probalby be sprayed black since it looks cool and professional, as well as traps light internally.
Edited by bikegod, 20 January 2012 - 03:10 .