Introduction: Binder Clip Phone Car Mount

Picture of Binder Clip Phone Car Mount

Yo, this instructable features one of the most undeniably, infinitely useful office objects ever made: The Binder Clip. You can find them almost anywhere, and their uses, both intended and repurposed, are limitless. In this little 'ible, I'll show you how I made a phone mount for pretty darn cheap (college and having money don't usually go together). Read on!

1 Large binder clip
1-2 Rubber bands or hair ties
2 lengths 6 inches long of Paracord, color your choice

Notes on materials:
Binder Clip - size it to your phone, the handles should have to open a bit to fit the phone in
Rubber bands / hair ties - I used black hair ties (, not a girl, just have a sister) because i thought it looked more pro

Alright, grab your materials and lets start.

Step 1: Finger Prep

Picture of Finger Prep

In this step, we prepare the fingers that will hold the phone. I am referring, of course, to the silvery parts of the binder clip.

Even though this is one of the more crucial steps, it is very easy. Just take the two metal 'handles' off of the binder clip. Put them in a vice and clamp the rounded end up to where it bends. Tap with a mallet of hammer until you have about 20 degrees of bend in the part. Repeat for both fingers.


Step 2: Cover the Fingers

Picture of Cover the Fingers

Next we prepare the protective sheath for the fingers. Nobody wants a scratched up phone! For each of the lengths of paracord do this:
- Gut it: remove the inner strands of the paracord to make room for fingers
- Fuse or Seal it: Stop the fraying of the sheath by fusing the edge, you don't want to shut it of, just melt the edges. another option is fray check, but I thought it was easiest to insert the hot end of a soldering iron into the end for a quick second, then going around the edges and melting them
- Fish the finger through the sheath like pictured: try and get the sides even, at least for aesthetic's sake ;)
- Reattach fingers to binder clip

Step 3: Install Reverse Tensioning System

Picture of Install Reverse Tensioning System

That's fancy speak for put rubber bands on it. You may find that you have to take up some slack; in that case, simply put another loop over the finger, or find a smaller rubber band. When properly tensioned, the device should have a light tension with fingers resting on the sides of the binder clip, and should hold your phone snugly.

Step 4: Enjoy

Picture of Enjoy

One of the beauties of this mount is its easily reconfigured nature. If its not holding onto your phone, make the tension a little snugger. If you don't like where it is, find a different place. If you don't like people breaking into your car because they see a mount, take the mount down when you leave the car. If you don't like people breaking into your car because they see the ring that a typical GPS suction mount leaves, don't have to worry about that with this mount! Hurray.

Placement: The phone goes between the metal fingers, you can rotate your clip for landscape or portrait orientation.

FYI: Mine is certainly battle-tested, as I have been on multiple GPS intensive trips (like 20 house calls in a different city...that was fun). I attach mine to the console air vent; no over-heating issues on my phone ;)

PS: Also, my girlfriend thought it was funny that I started with she made a rap:

Yo this is my instructable, its so cool and doable, make a neat phone clip, your street cred surely wont dip, youll need paper clip and vice, if you miss you might need ice, dont forget the paracord and hair ties, scratching your phone wouldnt be wise


80$man (author)2011-10-25

My phone is quite wide, thus I modded in a third supporting arm to hold the phone's bottom edge, but all arms are still moveable. This is quite a usable ibble, gonna make a few and pass they out to friends. Spread the DIY love...

repeet13 (author)80$man2011-10-25

I'm interested to see a pic!

80$man (author)repeet132011-10-25

As per your request:

MohammadV1 (author)2016-08-08

I loved the rap ? ....oh.. and the phone holder too...

abrown435 (author)2015-12-23

I love this idea. I actually just used to top part of a selfe stick I found at the dollar store, unscrewed the handle from the top, and velcroed it to my dash. This isn't the same one I used but it would probbaly work the same:

Mo0k (author)2015-07-13

Great Instruct!

pbruns made it! (author)2015-07-06

Works as advertised, even with my Mophie Juice Pack. Great (and inexpensive) idea! Thanks!

mkaercher (author)2015-03-29

I love this phone clip. Very easy and adaptable. Thanks!

hholland419 (author)2015-02-24

Made it, like it a lot. Great for hands free in the car, charging port still available. Thanks!!

SarahT2 (author)2014-12-29

I found this post to be very informative and helpful. I will have to recommend you to my friends.I am very thankful to the you for giving this post.

ChooseMyFate made it! (author)2014-10-21

Doesn't quite fit my phone. I have a huge HTC one (5.41 x 2.69 x 0.37). But I'm wondering if I bent the clip too much. I have 3 more clips. This is my prototype. They didn't have black para cord so I went with red/black. Looks kind of cool actually. Huge thanks for this idea. I've tried many car mounts and hated every single one. Cheap garbage.

fu m4nchu made it! (author)2014-09-29

I really like how simple but effective this mount is. I wanted to be able to mount my phone either vertically or horizontally so I ended up making a completely separate mount you can see here! I added the surgical tubing so it could firmly hold the phone while in portrait mode.

eilu (author)2014-05-18

I made one with a 2" binder and some silicone rubber hair ties. Don't have access to a hairdryer at the moment, but I'll be adding heat shrink tubing when I do. Also, since I don't have a vise, I had to use a pair of pliers (one long nose, one ordinary) and a LOT of effort.

jbman2 (author)2014-04-21

Heres my idea,

Affixing a paper-clip to a plastic iPhone case with a pop-rivet

Total cost $0 (Free iPhone case from a lighting and sound gear roadshow)

the metal arms slide into the gap between the console and trim


mboris made it! (author)2014-03-26

Hi, when I saw this I thought what a great idea and made one myself. I used tubing(wasn't easy to get on) and some duct tape to prevent scratching. I looped a single regular sized band 3x and combined with the tubing provides exceptional grip. I can easily have this vertical going over rough terrain without it slipping.

mantony2 made it! (author)2014-02-06

I love this! It was easy to make and works really well!

Tomahawk92 (author)2013-02-26

I just made one with shoe laces instead of paracord. works great. I have realized i am seriously lacking in my supply of large binder clips =[... Gonna work on that third arm like 80$man's before i use it vertically.

ghwhitcher (author)2013-01-26

What a clever solution. This is a PERFECT instructable. Will do

toiletbowl martini (author)2012-11-21

Ever since I first saw this many months ago I've wanted to make one of these, and now I finally have. But instead of paracord I used electrical tape. Works like a champ for my Galaxy S2. Any ideas on how to use mount this onto a tripod?

Tripods are generally 1/4-20, so quick and dirty you could drill a through hole on one side, then capture the tripod bolt with a nut of your own. definitely a dirty solution though

zachaquack1987 (author)2012-08-08

Inspiring instructable. I used your base design to create a dashboard mount for my Navigator. I added a few of my own touches though: For cover I used braided rubberbands for better traction, and I needed to attach a couple of stops at the back to make the design hold the greater weight. But, It seems to be working out just fine.

nedfunnell (author)2012-07-31

I was thinking of where I could get some paracord, but then I realized that heatshrink is the best thing since sliced bread. PROTIP! Put a drop of dish soap into the mouth of the heatshrink before working it onto the wire. The first heatshrink tube took 5 minutes to work on. The second one, with a drop of soap, was on in 30 seconds. While you're in the kitchen, shrink it over the gas stove. However, work your way in from the center. You'll get a bubble if you go the other way, like I did. It snapped and left me a hole. Good enough!

damien381 (author)2012-03-07

The paracord looks very nice, however the combination of that and my silicon case was causing the phone to slide out a bit. I replaced the paracord with heatshrink tubing and KABLAM, problem solved. This material has a much better grip on the soft case.

girvster (author)2012-03-06

I love the look of this. i am thinking of making one later today.

It would be better if i could find a way to hold my phone both vertically and horizontally tho.

Any ideas?

repeet13 (author)girvster2012-03-06

I actually clip mine to the airvent on the dash, and mine rotates 360, so if i had one like above with three supports id be all set.

That being said, if you need to clip to a horizontal thing, but want it vertical, sounds like you might want to investigate clipping something else in, that has a skinny vertical piece to clip this one in. Only problem is that makes the whole assembly more rickety, so not so great if you are a spirited driver!

Let us know if something works out for you! We always love seeing pictures of someone making an instructable and hacking it for themselves!

redhousecat (author)2012-01-08

so, what does it look like with the phone in it? I'm assuming this is to hold some of the older model narrow phones since some of the newest smart phones are a bit wider?

jarcher12 (author)2011-12-15

I really like this, have made 3 already (2 for friends of mine) i used shrink tubing for electric wires, works well and looks nice. also if you add a little piece of aluminum to act as a "tounge" you can have it standing without adding another clip. the tounge makes it adjustable as well. and it can be placed inside the clip when not in use. you need to make it a snug fit and bend both the ends up so it doesn't get lost. will try to post some pics if anyone interested.

resol31 (author)2011-11-10

I'd love to see a picture with the phone in the mount.

repeet13 (author)2011-10-21

Apparently great minds think alike:

No offense to him, but I like mine a little better because its easier to make and cleaner.

badpanda (author)repeet132011-11-08

I made the lifehacker one right about the time it came out almost a year ago... it's held up well with the exception of swapping out for new elastic bands from time to time as they wear down/dry rot and everybody comments on it, but I do like the idea of using paracord instead of wrapping the wire bits.

repeet13 (author)2011-10-25

If you liked the instructable, I would appreciate your vote in any of the contests it is currently in! (Epilog, Mini, and Hack) Thanks!

repeet13 (author)2011-10-21

Also, my girlfriend thought it was funny that I started with she made a rap:

Yo this is my instructable, its so cool and doable, make a neat phone clip, your street cred surely wont dip, youll need paper clip and vice, if you miss you might need ice, dont forget the paracord and hair ties, scratching your phone wouldnt be wise

Hoopajoo (author)repeet132011-10-23


80$man (author)Hoopajoo2011-10-25


Hoopajoo (author)80$man2011-10-25


Browncoat (author)2011-10-21

I don't have any paracord, but I guess I could just wrap w/thread or yarn. Good idea!!

Hoopajoo (author)Browncoat2011-10-23

I did this last night using some old shoelace from a worn out pair of hiking boots instead of the paracord. This mounting system works better than some you buy!

80$man (author)Hoopajoo2011-10-25

I suppose you could also use heat shrink?... those plastic tubing that contracts when exposed to a flame...

repeet13 (author)80$man2011-10-25

hmm, i like the idea, most heat shrink is a little grippy too, although make sure to try and bend it beforehand, as some heat shrink isnt very bendy, or doesnt look good when bent/shrunk when bent

80$man (author)repeet132011-10-25

so you would bend the clip beforehand, then shimmy on the heat shrink, the apply flame, right?

repeet13 (author)80$man2011-10-25

i meant the bends in the heat shrink, like around the loop at the top and stuff

80$man (author)2011-10-25

Made it in under 60secs, had all the parts and tools on my making table except a vice, but I used a huge pair of pliers. Thank you of the great idea!

repeet13 (author)80$man2011-10-25

Props for having a making table!

80$man (author)repeet132011-10-25

Thanks, it's still a work-in-progress as is all the projects piled on top of it! The whole making concept is still new to me... been tinkering and fabricating for years but the online making community is very new to me, but I like it very much!

blinkyblinky (author)2011-10-24

How large is the binder clip?

80$man (author)blinkyblinky2011-10-25

2" worked nicely for my HTC Wildfire

repeet13 (author)blinkyblinky2011-10-25

Ideally, you should test fit your phone to size it. I'm not sure what (or how to measure the) size my binder clip is, but I believe its either the 1.5 inch or the 2 inch.

blinkyblinky (author)2011-10-24

"Voila!" Means "there is" in French...

Just a bit of info.

CaseBoy (author)2011-10-24

this was from life hacker

repeet13 (author)CaseBoy2011-10-24

thanks for looking
See comment below - i found his while searching to see if this was on instructables

About This Instructable




Bio: I love doing projects and this site is great for sharing mine and finding new ones!
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