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



Amazon's new Alexa update means it can bring you beer in two hours

"Alexa, we're going to need more booze"

by Matt Tate
21 Mar 2017

This terrifying gadget allows you to make private calls in public

Be like Bane

by Gary Ogden
15 Mar 2017

You'll soon be able to pay for your shopping with your sunglasses

I'm still not happy until I can pay with my underwear

by Gary Ogden
15 Mar 2017

This iPhone case is actually just an entire new Android phone

A phone within a phone

by Gary Ogden
14 Mar 2017

There's a new app for opening bottles because everyone is lazy now

Put that wrist away!

by Gary Ogden
06 Mar 2017

These comments from 2001 about the world's first camera phone are gold

"Take pictures of friendly dogs I see when I walk around""I would use the camera phone to take pictures of my best friend, my dog Benson"

by Gary Ogden
01 Mar 2017

This projector turns anything into a touchscreen

We're living in the future

by Gary Ogden
28 Feb 2017

Everything we know about the new Nokia 3310

The brick is back

by Matt Tate
24 Feb 2017

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