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


Fidget spinners might contain deadly levels of lead

Is your toy slowly poisoning you to death?

by Gary Ogden
02 Jun 2017

We might be about to get smartphones that charge fully in five minutes

An Israeli start-up claims it's going to go into production next year

by Tom Mendelsohn
15 May 2017

5 of the best fidget toys on the market right now

Tackle your knuckle cracking head on

by Matt Tate
10 May 2017

Some Italians have created a phone cover that also makes espresso

No, we don't know why either

by Tom Mendelsohn
08 May 2017

New app will rebalance the London rental market in favour of landlords

Finally, the capital's hard-up property owners will get their due with Rentberry

by Tom Mendelsohn
26 Apr 2017

This knife-toting robot playing stabby hand will make you nervous

I for one welcome our new robot overlords

by Tom Mendelsohn
25 Apr 2017

Now you can turn your iPhone into a retro mac

For the man who has everything

by Tom Mendelsohn
21 Apr 2017

The best turntables of 2017

How the tables have turned

by David Cornish
20 Apr 2017

The Tamagotchi is back

Great news for fans of neglecting responsibilities and watching tiny creatures literally shit themselves to death!

by Emily Reynolds
11 Apr 2017

Self-healing smartphone screens could exist by 2020

Could it be curtains for shady smartphone repair stalls across Britain?

by Tom Mendelsohn
05 Apr 2017