DIY Dorm: Smartphone Projector

Nowadays, we can do almost anything on a smart phone: send emails, play games, and even watch movies. Sometimes, however, squinting at the small screen can leave our eyes feeling tired. Rather than watch a movie or show on the tiny screen, why not magnify it via your very own projector? Check out this fun and simple addition to our DIY Dorm series:

What You’ll Need:

  • Shoe box
  • Duct tape
  • X-acto knife (works better than scissors)
  • Magnifying glass (try a larger lens – aim for 3-4 inch diameter)
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Phone stand (or something to act as a stand for your phone)

What You’ll Do:

Duct tape any openings.

1.Cover all holes and gaps in the box using the duct tape. You don’t want to allow any light to enter or leave the box except for where you will place the magnifying glass.

Mark around the lens.

2.Go to the front and center of the box (on the shorter side). Place the magnifying glass there and mark around it so you will know where to cut. I suggest cutting a slightly smaller hole that you can push the magnifying glass lens into.

3.Using your X-Acto knife, slowly cut out the hole you just marked. Patch up any rough edges with duct tape.

Push the lens into the opening.

4.From the inside of the box, push the lens into the opening. Tape the handle to the inside of the box (to keep the lens in place).

5.Line up your smartphone or iPod with the magnifying glass and mark this space. This is so you will know where to place the phone whenever you use it. Place your “phone stand” on the spot you just marked and glue it down (if you’d like it to be permanent).

Phone Stands

6.You’re ready to use your new projector! Turn the screen brightness up to the highest setting on our phone and open the video you wish to view. You will have to place the phone upside down in order to have the picture appear right-side up.

** Most phones will continue to flip the image so it is right-side-up. Locking the orientation usually fixes this problem. Find out how to do this on the iPhone here.

7.Just turn off the lights and – voila! – you’re all set to go. A darker room will show a clearer image.

Fancy technology? Maybe not…but plenty of fun just the same! You may have to play around with the project and figure out what works best for you and the specific materials you have.

Try out this project for yourself and let us know how it goes! Do you have any tips to share? Post a comment below!

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