Tech How to Make a Simple Smartphone Projector

How to Make a Simple Smartphone Projector


You phone is smart enough to capture HD portraits, create panoramic images and even make slow-motion videos. You can see all those enchanting colors and research through your own digital memories anytime. What happens when you want to use your smartphone to watch a full-length movie with subtitles or close-ups? You can create a smartphone movie projector at home with a few essential tools.

This process takes around an hour of your time. Moreover, you can store the projector and later use it for further movie sessions. The DIY movie projector for your home is resistant and saves you a costly purchase of electric movie projectors from online shops. Having a projector also saves you time from copying images, writing them on a DVD and playing them on your tv. Also, you can even watch movies, videos or image slideshows on a larger screen that covers your walls.

1.      Prepare the Box

Your smartphone project is among the top DIY projector ideas. It only requires a shoebox, a magnifying glass, duct tape, a cutter knife and a pencil. After you’ve selected your favorite box, reinforce it by adding duct tape to the corners. You need to make sure that no light passes through the box layers.

The box needs to be taller than your smartphone. Also, the magnifying glass you will need to project the images needs to be smaller than the box. Make sure that the lens is circle-shaped.

Tip: To avoid having to cut the handle, you can purchase a handle-free magnifying glass.

2.      Cut the Box

Mark the spot where you place the magnifying glass. It needs to be on the center of the outside edge of one of the box’s short sides. Use a pencil to mark the place of the lens. Then, cut the circle and pop it. On the opposite end, cut a very small hole for the power cord.

Before gluing or duct taping the lens, ensure that no light passes through the hole. If the hole is not perfect, you can adjust it with duct tape.

Tip: If your box has brightly colored inside walls, you can paint or spray them black to enhance image quality.

3.      Add the Lens

Attach the lens to the box. You can glue it or duct tape it. For higher resistance, however, we recommend duct tape. Apply the tape around the edges of your lens. You can check again if there are any light holes and adjust the tape.

If the lens is completely vertical, the amount of tape you use does not influence its functionality. You can test this by using a ruler.

Tip: To make sure that there are no holes between the box and the lens, you can just place it without adding glue. If the lens stands by itself for a few seconds, then you have a perfectly round hole.

4.      Build a Phone Stand

There are so many ways to create a phone stand that it’s a matter of choice and style. You can make a phone stand out of cardboard, wood, metal, or even cut a membership card or just bend it. The phone needs to stand up for more than an hour so just placing it vertically inside the box might not be a solution.

The easiest way to create a phone card is to use a paperclip. Just bend the paperclip into a phone stand.

Tip: Don’t duct tape the phone stand in the box just yet. You will need to experiment with its position inside the box and how close the box is to the wall you project on, to focus the image.

5.      Adjust the Image

The phone projector uses the same mechanism as the human eye. Therefore, the image will be reversed. You can adjust it through several methods:

  • If you have an iPhone: Settings à Switch Assistive Touch ON à Tap the small circle that pops up à Device à Rotate screen.
  • For any other smartphone: Get an image rotation app from your app store. Ultimate Rotation Control has helpful reviews. However, it only features a 7-days trial version.
  • The easiest way: Just activate the image rotation function to your phone and make it wide. Then, place the phone upside down.

You can feel homey even if you’re on a trip just by watching your favorite movie on a smartphone projector. If you’re at a friends’ night, you can revive the atmosphere just by using this quick DIY project. Besides the above, you only need a white wall or a wall and a white bed sheet. The above project lasts for about an hour. During the remaining time, enjoy your movies, videos or favorite photographs!

Image from Pexels.