Looking for a fun weekend project? For less than a few bucks, you can turn a shoe box and your iPhone into a miniature homemade projector! It’s a great activity for those of you who want a lo-fi projector without having to spend a lot of cash. In this post we’ll tell you everything you need to know about hot to create this diy smartphone projector for less than $5!


For this project you’ll need to collect the following materials:

  • A shoe box or small box
  • A magnifying glass
  • We went with the smaller one in the end
  • A paperclip
  • A smartphone
  • An exacto knife
  • Duct tape
  • Black paint (optional)


Once you have gathered all of the materials listed above, you can begin assembling your diy smartphone projector.

  1. First take the box and paint the entire inside of it black. This is optional but it will improve the quality of the image once projected.
  2. On one side of the box, determine where the center is located, then use the magnified glass to trace a circle around the middle of the boxlike the photo above.
  3. Use the exacto knife to cut the hole around the circle that you just traced.
  4. On the inner side of the box, tape your magnifying glass. Make sure there are no light leaks around the magnifying glass and that it fits snuggly into the hole you created. You can tape the handle of the magnifying glass onto the box as well.
  5. Now, poke a hole on the other side of the box to let a cable cord through for when you need to charge your smartphone.
  6. Use the paperclip to fashion yourself a stand for the smart phone. Or if you have a small stand for your smart phone, simply put it into the box.
  7. Like any lens, light passing through your homemade projector will appear upside down. You’ll have to flip the screen to get your $3 home cinema to actually work the way it should. For an iPhone go to Settings > General > Accessibility and turn on Assistive Touch. Then touch the floating orb thing that’s on your screen and select Device > Rotate Screen. For Android, there’re apps like Screen Rotation Control and Ultimate Rotation Control that do this for you. While you’re fiddling with your phone, turn the screen brightness way up.
  8. Now’s the tricky part. Dim the lights in your home so that you can start to see the projection on the wall. Move your phone closer and further away from the magnifying glass in order to determine a proper place for it where your projection is the clearest image possible.
  9. Close the box, mark the place you found that works with the projector in focus, and find yourself a wall for the projection.

Now, don’t expect the best quality for this.  It is after all a simple makeshift. Now you can enjoy your very own DIY iPhone projector!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this DIY smartphone projector post by Protect America, leader in wireless home security technology. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates!