This is a project I did for Mia earlier this year but I'm posting instructions so my sweet friend can understand my rambling :)
Anyway, I wanted something like this light box for Mia without the $200 pricetag (as an aside, there are actually some good deals on Amazon right now...it might be easier to purchase one now than make one...at the time I made this they were all $150+). That said, here's how I made ours (for around $25)...
- Plastic container. You can use any translucent container but keep in mind that it shouldn't be too tall (otherwise the light won't be very strong) and is big enough to hold your light source. Ours is about 6 inches high. Also, be sure to look at the BOTTOM of the container, since this will serve as the top of the lightbox. Be sure you can live with any weird logos or ridges :) Ours has a raised ridge all the way around the edge but it is fine (and keeps things in place).
- Metallic/Shiny Spray Paint The idea is that the paint will reflect the light back to the top of the light box. You could also probably get away with using aluminum foil or flashing instead. You may want to use Plastic Fusion but it isn't a must (I didn't...the store didn't have it and I was impatient to make the lightbox). If you only can find a clear plastic container, spray it first with glass frosting spray paint so the light can be diffused.
- Battery operated lights I love these ones because they have a remote control button you can stick on the side. I only used one and it works well (two might be even better, I'm just a cheapskate ;)
All you have to do is:
1. Spray paint the SIDES (not bottom) of the box with the metallic spray paint. Spray the bottom of the box with glass frosting spray if needed. Let dry.
2. Affix the light strip to the top of the the box. Stick the remote button on the side to serve as an on/off switch.
3. Gather up fun stuff to use on the light box! Marbles, plastic ice cubes, shot glasses.... :)
More ideas for light table fun:
Laminated tissue paper, leaves and toys from StrongStart
Colored Epsom Salt recipe from Watch Me Play and Learn
Color paddles, glitter sticky hands, and transparent blocks at Oriental Trading