How to Make a Pop-Up Flash Diffuser (Quick and Easy DIY in a Pinch)

If you’re just getting started with photography and don’t want to spend too much on gear, there are a few DIY tricks that can save you some money, and one of these is making your own flash diffuser.

A flash diffuser can be used with your camera’s flash or an external flash, and it serves to soften the light of the flash. This can be particularly useful in low-light situations where you want the results to look more natural and less harsh.

In the videos below, you’ll see the difference between taking a photo using the camera’s pop-up flash or using a makeshift flash diffuser out of things you may already have lying around the house.

Method 1: Use a Balloon

One of the easiest ways to mimic the results of a flash diffuser is to use a white balloon. Just hold the balloon in front of the camera’s pop-up flash and you will see a dramatic difference in results.

The only drawback to this method is that you will have to hold the balloon in front of your camera.

Method 2: Use a Cup

Another easy (and environmentally friendly) way to make a DIY flash diffuser is to use a disposable coffee cup. You’ll obviously want to make sure the cup is clean first.

Cut out the bottom of your coffee cup, and place it over the flash. It’s best to go with a white cup. There’s also some additional information on what you can do with your camera settings to ensure you get the best results.

Propping a cup over your pop-up flash also means you won’t have to hold it in place like you’d need to with the balloon method.