DIY Flash Diffuser for Built-in Pup up Flashes

Often happens that accessories for external flashes are both for sale and homemade but for the built-in flash there are not so many. I’ve also noticed that many people besides me have been looking for ways to solve the problem of direct light blowing up and damaging our photos. That’s why I’ve created this DIY flash diffuser that helps A LOT when taking photos with little light!h

DIY Flash Diffuser for Built-in Pup up Flashes

DIY Flash Diffuser for Built-in Pup up Flashes #Tutorial #flashdiffuser #photography101

Here I’ll show you how I made a DIY flash diffuser for DSLR Cameras with built-in flashes. On the web there are other ways to solve this but I wanted one like a lampshade so I could concentrate the light and of course diffuse it.

What you need:

  • Gray cardboard with a thickness that fits into the flash slot
  • White and black cardstock
  • White glue or mod podge
  • Hot glue gun.
  • Cutter
  • Parchment paper.

First I made the pattern for the flash diffuser. You can download it here to print and cut.

I placed the pattern on the cardboard and transferred it with a pen including folding marks.

I cut the pattern helping myself with a ruler and the with an embossing tool I embossed the folding lines so the cardboard would fold more easily.

Once the whole shape was done and verified that it was fitting perfectly I glued the white cardstock to the “inside” side of the diffuser. I made sure every edge was well glued and with the help of a ruler I made pressure all over the cardstock to avoid wrinkles. Again with the embossing tool I marked the folding lines. I let it dry.

Luego recorté todo el sobrante de cartulina y marqué nuevamente los dobleces. La misma operación aplica para el otro lado del cartón. Usé cartulina blanca para el interior del difusor y negra para el exterior.

Then I cut all the remains of cardstock on the edges.

The same process applies to the outside of the diffuser. I used black  cardstock.

Once done, I glued both ends with hot glue and I reinforced it with a piece of black cardstock glued on the outside.

This step is up to each person. I used a piece of parchment paper a bit bigger than the wider opening of the diffuser. That way I could hold it to the sides of the diffuser. I preferred holding it on the outside with tape because that way is not so permanent and I can play with different thickness of paper or even colors to bring effects to the photos. Is not so pretty but it is functional.

If you want you can just cut on the edge and glue it so it looks pretty!

That’s it!!! There you go! To use it just insert flash through the small opening and insert the long piece in the external flash slot to hold it, and adjust as needed.

What do you think? Doesn’t it make a difference? I hate those super white boost of light on faces or objects. Have you used or made any flash diffuser? If so, share it with un in comments!

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My name is Camila Rojas but everyone call me Cami. I'm a mommy, blogger, baker, do it yourselfer, crafter and graphic designer. Owner and founder of The Crafting Nook {formerly TitiCrafty} and TCN Design Studio: web design for bloggers. Join me on my crazy adventures!

43 Comments at DIY Flash Diffuser for Built-in Pup up Flashes

  1. Camila

    What a wonderful and creative idea! Thank you for providing the download to print!

    I love the paragraph in Spanish, I am learning the language!

  2. Camila

    This looks like a great pop up flash diffuser project, Cami. Got to be better than the …..cut an old 35 mm film canister up to fit over the flash. I will have to check this out – thanks!.

  3. Camila

    hi there! i printed the layout for your light diffusor and its very small…did i print it wrong? what are the actual dimensions? i love love your idea but I’m not sure if i did something wrong

    1. Camila

      Hi Alicia,

      The Printable file is set to print on a Letter or A4 size without fit to page setting. It is small since it’s for your built-in flash on a DSLR camera. If you see my photos you can see more or less the proportions of the diffusor when I have it on my hands.
      Hope this helps!


  4. Camila

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I have been searching the net for ideas on how to make a simple pop up flash diffuser. I found all sorts of plans made up by individuals who made it so complicated, I gave. (mostly men, lol) Their instructions usually started with: “get a screw driver, a saw and 5 ft of PVC piping”. Ok, so I am exaggerating, but when I read your notes that said, get a piece of plain white cardboard, I almost cried! Brilliant! You are my hero! I made the diffuser and it works perfectly.

    1. Camila

      LOL You are so funny! THANK YOU!!! You just made my day with your sweet and fun comment. I’m so glad my crazy idea of a flash diffuser worked for you as it did for me. I rarely use flash but when I do I always use my diffuser. I actually should make a new one, mine is a bit aged to say the least LOL. I’m super glad, seriously. Knowing that you made it and it worked makes me so happy. You know sometimes we make something that works on our electronics or home and not always works for everyone else. In this case I have a Nikon and I have no idea if it would work for other cameras or other people! You made my day and put a smile on my face!

      THANK YOU!!!!

    2. Camila

      Hey Judy…… watch it with the “mostly men” stuff LOL :-)

  5. Camila

    Nive tutorial! The only problem is that i can’t print the pattern… So could anyone give me the sizes please?

    1. Camila

      Hi lucas. I checked the link and fixed it. Please could you try again? It should be working now. and I also realized that i need to update it since this pattern is from when I was blogging in Spanish. So where you read cortar. it means cut and where it says doblar, it means fold. Thank you for stopping by and letting me know there was a problem with the link! Let me know if it still doesn’t download and I’ll figure out how to fix it!

  6. Camila

    What a great, really easy to follow tutorial! A diffuser is so handy for those non-setup lighting situations – thanks for sharing :)

    Thanks too for contributing this post to The Sunday Brunch Magazine.

    All the best,

    Eliza & Bel x

  7. Camila

    I know I need a diffuser for my camera but haven’t gotten around to buying one. I’m pinning this so I can make one instead. Thanks!

    1. Camila

      It works wonderfully and you won’t spend hat much!
      glad you like this!

  8. Camila

    Love this! Can’t wait to try it out.

    1. Camila

      Thank you!!!!

  9. Camila

    Nicely done!

    1. Camila

      Thank you Diana! Appreciate it!

  10. Camila

    Such an excellent tip! Thank you so much for sharing at VMG’s Brag About It link party this week!

  11. Camila

    Congratulations for being featured over at the Snickerdoodle Sunday party! This is a great idea…thanks for passing it along to us!

  12. Camila

    Great idea! I’ve been thinking of buying a Light Scoop, but I think I’ll try this first! Thanks for sharing this great tip at The Pin Junkie party!

  13. Camila

    I’m thrilled to have run across your post for the diffuser. Will try to make one so I will have pretty pics, too. Stopping by from the Weekend Retreat Link Party …. thx again for this info. :-) Suz

  14. Camila

    This looks very helpful! I have encountered this problem many times and didn’t know what to do about it. Thanks for the tips! <3

  15. Camila

    I just started trying to really get good at picture taking, but sometimes rooms are just too dark, but I don’t like the flash either. I am definitely going to give this a try. Thanks!
    ps. I found you on the Be. YOU. Tiful link party.

  16. Camila

    Awesome idea! Thanks for sharing at the Be.You.Tiful Link party!

  17. Camila

    I just got a new camera, and the pop-up flash is so annoying! This is just what I need, so thanks SO much for sharing at Snickerdoodle Sunday! I’ll have to pop in more often. :)

    1. Camila

      Hi Dee!! This helps so much when the light is not good enough!!! glad you like it!

  18. Camila

    That is so clever!

    1. Camila

      Thank you!!!! =D

  19. Camila

    I’ve been struggling with the light in our apartment. It’s lovely when the sun is out, but when it’s hiding…it can be pretty dark photo-wise. I’ll give this a try before sinking $$$ into a professional lamp.

    1. Camila

      Hi Lydia, How great to have you here. This diffuser is a really help but it’s not like the main solution a good photo of a product should have an even light without too much highlights and shadows, So even if you try this diffuser I would suggest you consider the pro lamp, even if it’s not the most pro because that is a great help too. For example if you have to shoot and there’s no sun you can place lamp on a side a bouncer {can be a white or silver cardboard} on the other side and use the diffuser you will have an even light on the product you are photographing. Do I make any sense?… Just the light must not be hard or direct. Lamps with those diffuser are the best. You can even make your own lamp with the diffuser using this diffuser main idea. Glad you found this helpful, Thanks so much for your sweet visit!

  20. Camila

    Hi! This how to is awesome. It is perfect to me. But I need the pattern for cut on the cardboard. If you can upload in some place, I would be gratefully. Thanks in advance.

    1. Camila

      Hi Genesis, The pattern is on the post… You will see that right after the supplies you need it says that I created the pattern and you can download it “here”. I checked and the link works but if you have any trouble downloading just let me know!

      XOXO and I’m happy that you liked this post!

  21. Camila

    Fantastic!!! Thanks :)

  22. Camila

    Awesome! I need to make one of these!

  23. Camila

    This is really neat! My kids love photography so we will give this a try!
    Gloria 2

    1. Camila

      Yayyyy so cool! it is very good, I use it almost all the time. If you have any doubt building it just let me know I’d be happy to help :D

      Thank you for stopping by (happy dance)


  24. Camila

    Excellent job!

    1. Camila

      Thank you so much Diana!!! So cool to have you here!


  25. Camila

    Hi! You were the link before me at the new Weekend Creative link party! Just wanted to stop by to say hi! Great job on the DIY Flash Diffuser! Thanks for sharing!

    It’s Always Ruetten

    1. Camila

      Hello Julia, loved your blog, really! and your kitchen art are great! Thank you so much for stopping by and leave your kind words!

      Yayyy love to make new blogging friends!!!


  26. Camila

    This is a great idea!! Super easy too.. I will absolutely be trying it out :) Pinning!

    1. Camila

      Hi Jessica Thank you so much for stopping by!. It is really easy actually. Hope it works for you as much as it works for me :D I would love to see it when you make it.

      Thank you for pinning! Hope to have you around soon!


  27. Camila

    sencillo, fácil y una muy buena herramienta, gracias.

    1. Camila

      Gracias Dulce! Me alegra que te gustara y que te sea útil :D

      Espero verte pronto por aca!


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