Smartphone projectors are a really cool thing to have so you can easily watch movies with any number of people all from your phone, but they can be very expensive. Instead, a much cheaper option is to make your own, using things that you probably already have laying around your house. All you need is a shoe box, duct tape, a magnifying glass, an x-acto or sharp knife, hot glue gun, a marker, and Legos. The Legos are used to make a stand for the iPod or iPhone but you can use other materials as well, such as play dough or I saw someone make a wire stand for their phone. Anything you have that you can use to keep the phone standing will do the trick.
1. Cover with tape.
If you have any holes in your box, cover them up with tape. This will prevent any light from getting in, which could affect how your projector works.
Trace the outline of your magnifying lens onto the shoe box with your marker. You’ll want it to be in the center of your shoe box, on the small side, so that there is plenty of space for the image from your phone to project onto the lens.
Using your knife, cut out the place for the magnifying glass. You want to do it as cleanly as possible, and you can use duct tape after to help clean up the edges. You can use any knife, but the sharper it is, the easier it is to cut. You’ll also want to cut holes for the speaker, and a place to put your charger so that it won’t die in the middle of your movie.
4. Place magnifying glass.
Now push in your magnifying glass and glue it in. You can also tape it in if you don’t have a glue gun. If there’s a handle, you just tape it to the inside of the box.
5. Line up your phone.
Line up the iPod or iPhone that you’ll be using and draw some straight lines with a ruler so you know where to place the stand.
6. Build a stand.
Your phone will be on it’s side, but you want it to be as vertical as possible, so here is how to build a stand using Legos. You start with a platform piece, and on the front of it, place a lego piece that will cover the whole span of the platform piece. It should be one lego piece wide and tall. Figure out how much space your phone will need, and then place a lego piece that is two pieces wide behind it, again spanning the whole width of the platform. Continue stacking until it is tall enough to support your phone or iPod.
7. Now test it out!
The darker the room, the better because the image will show up better. The image will show up better on white walls. Also, make sure your phone is upside down, or else your image on the wall will be. The farther away your projector is from the wall, the bigger the image will be, and vice versa.
A projector would be a great thing to have in your college dorm for those movie nights with all your friends, and it’s cheap to make and doesn’t take much time!