Introduction: Cheap Simple Tripod for Your Pocket

Picture of Cheap Simple Tripod for Your Pocket

The "tripod" made from a string and a 1/4 inch bolt is a well functioning and cheap classic that every photographer should have in the photo bag. But I have always had a problem with the string entangling in their bag, so here is the solution that makes sure you always have a tripod handy and don't look like a fool unraveling strings...

Step 1: Material and Tools

You need the following material:

  • A rubber band
  • 3-3.5 m (12ft) of string – braided nylon works well
  • 40x80 mm 9 mm plywood
  • A 1/4 inch 37 mm bolt (1.5 inch)

You need the following tools:

  • A 7 mm trill
  • A jigsaw
  • Sanding paper
  • A hammer
  • A lighter
  • A scissor

Step 2: Template for the Coiler

Picture of Template for the Coiler

Print the template and cut it out.

Test if the bolt fits the camera's tripod mount and measure how
deep it goes. Use a marker to draw a mark on the bolt, where it sticks out of the mount. Lay the bolt with the mark on top of the template to determine if you need to adjust the size of the coiler. The coiler needs to start at the mark. The bolthas to stick out a couple of mm so it will screw into the tripod mount.

When you have determined the exact size, draw the template on the plywood.

Step 3: Making the Coiler

Picture of Making the Coiler

Cut out the coiler with a jigsaw.

Drill a 7 mm hole across the coiler according to the template

Sand the coiler's edges

Saw two narrow slits for the sting in the left and right side of the hole

Step 4: Fixing the String to the Coiler

Picture of Fixing the String to the Coiler

Pull the two ends of the string through the hole and fix them in the two slits

Push the bolt through the hole to fix the string

Cut the strings' ends so that there are only a couple of mm sticking out

Melt the ends of the strings with the lighter so they aline with the coiler and seal the hole

Step 5: Done

Picture of Done

Add the rubber band so you can fix the string when you roll it up on the coiler

You are done!

Time to test the tripod! Every camera has a different mount, so the bolt may or may not fit the exact depth of your bolt, but don't worry if it doesn't fit tight, it's not important for the stability of your tripod...

The image was shot at 1/2 a second exposure time at ISO 200 @ 28mm with the tripod – check out the 100% cut out from the center – pretty impressive! (Stability improves a lot if you place the camera against your forehead by using the eye viewer. Also using the self timer will prevent camera shake from pressing the exposure button...)

Use the tripod by standing on the string and pulling the camera upwards to make a tight triangle. This will stabilize the camera and make up for around 3 or 4 f-stops – enjoy!


tholopotami (author)2014-04-17

Old and tested trick. You implemented it very well. I have used the one foot version!

dsantil71 (author)tholopotami2015-02-27

you mean monopod

Luc Volders (author)2014-11-29

What a great Idea !!

Made one myself after a long search for a tripod screw as these are hard to get here in Holland.

I did it slightly different though: I designed and printed a base for the cam to be mounted on. Although the base is specific for my Canon SX110 cam you can download the files at my website:

Thanks for sharing.


inspiredwood (author)Luc Volders2014-11-29

Ha, ha, NICE! Thanks for sharing :-) Awesome!!!

craftclarity (author)2014-05-06

Thanks for posting this! A trick I'd not seen yet. Thanks for sharing it!

DarkHatter (author)2014-03-25

That's a bi-pod.

dummy1977 (author)DarkHatter2014-04-26

Either way, It makes it easier to search for by calling it a familiar term.

DarkHatter (author)dummy19772014-04-26

True dat!

keng (author)DarkHatter2014-03-25

I think that you are the third leg

mabreu francescoli (author)2014-04-20

thats not a tripod, but is another way to have a similar option, i used tripod with video camera, and the best of the tripod its hands free, good job!

legless (author)2014-03-27

Just a minor thing. It's a 1/4" bolt not a nut. Calling it a but is just a bit confusing.

inspiredwood (author)legless2014-03-27

Hey Thanks! English is not my native language, so I ll correct it right away

paulofilhojotaerre (author)2014-03-26


hermanwahsletn (author)2014-03-26

I have a string around my neck:

rose_adamaj (author)2014-03-25

So so perfect for me!!! I am disabled & have been looking for a way to steady my monocular & binoculars for birdwatching. I use a power chair & can only carry so many things, this will even fit in my cup holder. Thank you for posting this well done ible!!!

mickryobe (author)2014-03-25


String pods have been around for generations but your is the first I have seen that utilizes both feet. I shall have to try it.

A word of caution: Always use your neck strap with is device as it and gravity are conspiring to bring it to ground.


junkrigsailor (author)2014-03-25

I'm going to make one for my wife, she's the photographer in the family.

Cool – good luck!

Tipple (author)2014-03-25


dan3008 (author)2014-03-24

... Been looking for something like this for ages. Time to get making :D

nthom6 (author)2014-03-24

If you use a light chain, (step on one end) you can do away with the need to spool the string.

Blues Angel (author)2014-03-23

I totally agree with Mrballeng! You should put this on one of the crowd sourcing fund raising sites like Kickerstarter or Indiegogo and mass produce these. I use both sites but prefer Indiegogo to presell band CDs and Merch.

inspiredwood (author)Blues Angel2014-03-24

Thanks for the comments. It' to late – This tripod idea has been around for the last 100 years in many different designs... Check out Amazon for the SteadyWeb SC-019 Pocket String Tripod – just to name one example... But that one costs 18$ :-)

Mrballeng (author)2014-03-23

You should put this on kickstarter.

dengshuai0002 (author)2014-03-23

nice l like it

dmassote (author)2014-03-23

interesting. good job.

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