After a bit of trial and error, the author found a way to make a reliable and affordable photo enlarger.
Materials and equipment for a photo enlarger include aluminum foil, plate glass, a cable release, a 35mm camera, a tripod, a cardboard box, a light bulb, and a light fixture with cord.
PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER NYERGES
The "innards" of the enlarger box before it is sealed. The square hole at the bottom of the carton allows the light to pass out of the box and through the glass, negative, and lens ... and then project the image.
The author directly under the lens, at the point where the negative's image will appear. The camera — with the enlarger set on top — is attached to a tripod and placed face down. Note the cable release attached to the camera's top.