Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

How to make your own smartphone projector


Projectors - you don't need one, but you really want one. 

The good news is, you don't have to splash out a few hundred quid for wall-illuminating media kits. In true Blue Peter fashion, you can make your own projector with a smartphone and a few odds and sods.

No, it's not going to compete with a 'proper' projector - but it's a neat addition for that house party you were planning. 

What you need

- A cardboard box, ideally a shoe box with a tight-fitting lid

- A craft knife

- Large and small bulldog clips

- LEGO/A large paperclip

- Tape

- A magnifying glass, around 10cm in diameter

- A glue stick


Ready your box

Yes, that is an immature title - but you're going to need to cover every hole and gap in your chosen box. Make sure no light can get in or out. 

In one end of the box, you're going to want to make a circular hole a little smaller than your magnifying glass. Ideally, you'll want to pop the lens out of the glass (the handle will just get in the way), draw around it, and then cut slightly inside the line with your craft knife. You'll then want to glue the lens to the inside of the box, aligning it with the hole.

If you plan on watching films with the projector, you might want to cut a small hole in the side of the box to thread your charging cable through.


Make a stand

Not a political one, but rather something to stand your smartphone up horizontally inside your box. This is where the LEGO or paper clip comes in. 

If you're using LEGO, try building something that will see your smartphone stand upright without a hint of tilt. Likewise, unfold the paper clip and try bending it into different shapes - a simple solution is straightening out the wire, folding it into a right-angle and punching each exposed end through the bottom of the cardboard box to create a triangle.

Have a play.


Ready your phone

To ensure your projector emits a viewable image, you're going to want to tweak some settings on your smartphone.

Foremost, you're going to need to flip the image - else it'll appear upside down after passing through the lens. You should be able to find this option in the 'Accessibility' section of your phone's settings menu - or try downloading a flip app, like this one.

Next, boost your screen brightness to the max. If you've got a wireless speaker, be sure to connect that up as well.

Finally, you'll need to play around with adjusting the focus of the image. To do this, line your box up with the wall you want to project onto, turn off the lights, and - starting with your phone next to the lens - slide your phone (and its stand) toward the back of the box. At some point, the image on your wall will become clear. Mark this position in the box with a pen, pop the lid on and you're off.

For more help, try this brilliant free guide from Mat Bothell on Instructables.




The iPhone 6S Isn't Going To Bend


How To Fix A Wet Phone


How to make your phone charge faster


20 Best Cycling Gadgets


How To Stop Your iPhone Charger From Breaking So Easily


How to make your phone faster and cure short battery life



20 Things You'll Only Understand If You Owned A Nokia 3310

14 Feb 2017

The Nokia 3310 is getting a relaunch (yes, really)

The return of the King

by Gary Ogden
14 Feb 2017

The new iPhone looks like it's going to have wireless charging

A huge move from Apple

by Dave Fawbert
13 Feb 2017

Star Trek fans have a new reason to buy an Amazon Echo

They've done what you all wanted

24 Jan 2017

Watch Steve Jobs launch first iPhone 10 years ago

Today marks 10 years since Steve Jobs presented the world with this iconic product, but it could have been so different

09 Jan 2017

The best gadgets to launch at the biggest tech conference in the world

Christmas 2017 can't come early enough

by Joe Ellison
05 Jan 2017

16 best fitness gadgets to help you get into shape for 2017

Gadgets to get your sweat on with

by David Cornish
03 Jan 2017

An awesome paper cycling helmet wins Dyson design award

Only £4, and it'll save your life

by David Cornish
17 Nov 2016

Netflix finally confirms it's working on downloadable content

It's official, people

by David Cornish
03 Nov 2016

How Android users can now cast Harry Potter spells on their phone

Well this is neat

by David Cornish
02 Nov 2016