Introduction: Adjustable Arm Tablet Stand

Picture of Adjustable Arm Tablet Stand

Tablets are great for surfing the web and can help hours pass like minutes. But anyone who has held one for a while will know the 'arm ache'! If you find yourself wishing you could go hands free with your tablet then this is the project for you. Why buy an expensive solution when you can make one yourself? (way more fun)

In this project we'll show you how to create your own portable DIY stand by repurposing an unloved lamp. It's super portable too, so you can move it around the house as you need it — by your bed, at your desk or with your morning coffee :) It's time to give your arms a rest.

Kit List

An table lamp with an adjustable arm

Wire clippers

A tablet case

Screwdriver / hex key (to dismantle the lamp)

Some Sugru

Step 1: Video Overview

Step 2: ​Finding the Right Lamp

Picture of ​Finding the Right Lamp
  • You will need a lamp that has an adjustable arm, to give you free movement of the tablet when it's clipped in.
  • An added bonus (but not essential) is finding a lamp with an adjustable/twistable head — this will give you the choice of using your tablet in both landscape and portrait modes while it is clipped in.
  • For this project we rescued a Forsa IKEA lamp that we had sitting unloved and underused in the corner of Sugru HQ. Turns out it's perfect for this!

Step 3: Cut the Plug Off

Picture of Cut the Plug Off

Once you've found the right lamp — first things first, remove the lightbulb and cut the plug off the cable to be safe.

This will also make it easy to remove the full cable later on.

Step 4: Remove the Light Shade and Socket

Picture of Remove the Light Shade and Socket
  • Unscrew the fittings on the head of the lamp using a screwdriver / hex key.
  • Remove the light shade completely.

Step 5: Cut Off the Socket and Remove the Cable

Picture of Cut Off the Socket and Remove the Cable
  • Cut the cable to remove the light socket piece and remove the remaining wire.
  • Pull the remaining cable through the frame of the light's arm to remove it completely.

Step 6: Open Your Pack of Sugru

Picture of Open Your Pack of Sugru

Now that you should be left with the core structure of the lamp, find a suitable surface that you can attach the tablet case to.

For this project we applied one single use pack of Sugru to the black circular piece of plastic.

  • Cut open a single use pack of Sugru and roll it into a ball before applying.
  • Roll the Sugru into a thin sausage.
  • Lightly press the Sugru sausage onto the rim or surface of the part of the lamp you want to attach your tablet case.

Top Tip: If you're lamp doesn't have a suitable flat piece to attach your case to, don't worry! Sugru is mouldable glue so you can use it to fill weird gaps. So chances are you can attach your tablet case to most odd shaped pieces! Here's a short video to help.

Head over to our Tips Page for more videos from the Sugru Guru :) Or send us a photo on twitter of the lamp you want to use for this project and we'll help you out :)

Step 7: Attach the Case

Picture of Attach the Case

Top Tip: if you don't have a rotational head on your lamp, this is when you'll need to decide if this is for movies (landscape) or surfing the web (portrait!)

  • Line up your tablet case in the orientation you choose, making sure it is straight and centred.
  • Press down firmly and hold in place for a few seconds to make sure the case makes a good contact with the Sugru.

Step 8: Leave Your Stand to Cure

Picture of Leave Your Stand to Cure

That's it. Now just leave your stand somewhere safe for 24 hours while the Sugru cures and your new hands free tablet stand will be ready to go the next day.

Top Tip: If you're doing this for a larger tablet and the case is heavier, you may want to use some tape to keep it in place while the Sugru cures. Here's a short video to show you some techniques for leaving your Sugru to cure.

* Just got a great improvement suggestion by Ironsmiter in the comments:

"You may also need to add some weight to the underside of the base. It is designed to safely hold a featherweight light bulb, and a sheet metal reflector, not a multi pound tablet. A 2 or 5 lb barbell weight would probably fit inside the base, and work quite well to keep it from tipping over and smashing your tablet."

If you've done a similar project or end up doing this project yourself, we'd love to see your versions. Share a photo on Twitter or drop us an email at

Look out for more projects from us this month, we're looking at ways to make the most of your space at home — including 16 ways to hack your furniture with Sugru.

And as always, thanks for being part of the Sugru community :)


N3crojoker (author)2015-03-08

I guess is time for me to use sugru

projectsugru (author)N3crojoker 2015-03-13

it happens to us all, eventually ;)

jriddles sheffler (author)2015-03-08

I think I need to makle one of these for my 91 y/o mom. She loves her iPad, but holding it is really hard for her, and her eyesight isn't great. This would allow her to be able to keep up with her social media and mail... not to mention the crosswords! Great insturctions!

Hey jriddles sheffler your mum sounds completely awesome! Maybe a you could do something using this kind of flexible lamp arm? might be easier to move for your mum. Let us know if you do the project, we;d love to see

SalvadorM10 (author)2016-03-15

In case you do not know you can actually use the cable to transform it into an usb charger for the table while holded. I do not know if we can cite anothers projects here so I keep the information. I think taht you can find it in Google. Great project by the way.

jad51 (author)2015-03-18

That is awesome think i will have to make one of these, but reading your comments my mum will probably want one too :)

electro32 (author)2015-03-17

This is a great idea, will make one for my 2 year old since the wife's tablet its kind of heavy for her, thanks for the instructable!

puggirl415 (author)2015-03-08

This is neat. Because I do a lot of my tablet viewing in bed I'd love to figure out a way to mount it to the wall. Then I could move it to the side when I go to bed but still use it there.

projectsugru (author)puggirl4152015-03-13

ah yeh nothing beats a bit of Netflix in bed! you could try something like this that Sugru-er Vikas did

puggirl415 (author)projectsugru2015-03-15

Thanks for the link. That looks like a great way to work it out. I wish I had a head board on my bed but I'm confident I can work around that problem:)

gunnlaugursig (author)2015-03-08

Great idea! :-)

thanks gunnlaugursig thinking of trying it yourself?

I would if I had my own desk at home :)

gravityisweak (author)2015-03-06

An excellent idea! It would also be great to be able to adjust the height to your face while using a wireless keyboard. I like the suggestion about including a charging cable too. I'd also like to add that if you have to choose between landscape and portrait, landscape is the best choice. Even web browsing looks better in landscape (don't we all browse in landscape on the our computers and laptops?)

whoa! that's so true gravityisweak, we never really thought about that. Minds kinda blown right now :)

ironsmiter (author)2015-03-06

leave the cord intact and in place, but still remove the lamp socket.

Wire the cord end (where the socket used to be) into a replacement female plug (from a hardware store, usually used to fix extension cords). Plug your tablets charger into the outlet, and away you go!

You may also need to add some weight to the underside of the base. It is designed to safely hold a featherweight light bulb, and a sheet metal reflector, not a multi pound tablet. A 2 or 5 lb barbell weight would probably fit inside the base, and work quite well to keep it from tipping over and smashing your tablet.

tomatoskins (author)ironsmiter2015-03-06

That's exactly what I was thinking! Definately be able to charge it while on the stand.

projectsugru (author)tomatoskins2015-03-13

yep 2.0 :)

Yup, alternately you may be able to add some sort of clamp depending on where you will be using it. Or even bolting it down if that's what will work for you.

projectsugru (author)ironsmiter2015-03-13

great idea on the cord ironsmiter :) the base on this particular lamp is enough to hold the ipad mini easily.

ToHate-59 (author)2015-03-06

My thought to. Although I'd go for replacing the light cable with a standard iPad charge cable or usb lead. Great work. Check out my copper iPad stand... Same problem different solution.

projectsugru (author)ToHate-592015-03-13

hi ToHate-59 yep that's 2.0 :) loving the copper stand

bcavaciuti (author)2015-03-07

Nice idea I might make it for my mum!
Remember when removing the light fitting/socket if you can keep it intact do or at least leave enough wire on the fitting/socket end so that the piece can be rewired and reused as a light fitting which will come in super handy for many other projects!

projectsugru (author)bcavaciuti2015-03-13

Hi bcavaciuti, thanks so much. We'd love to see it when you're finished. Mother's Day coming up... :)

emilyvanleemput (author)2015-03-07

Oh, what a great idea!

hi emilyvanleemput, it really is, and it really wasn't our idea! Vikas is the genius who inspired us on this one :)

straydoggio (author)2015-03-07

Super idea - nicely done - wooo that's smart.

projectsugru (author)straydoggio2015-03-13

whoop whooop thanks straydoggio :)

deadsystem (author)2015-03-08

great idea

projectsugru (author)deadsystem2015-03-13

cheers deadsystem :D

Eh Lie Us! (author)2015-03-08

Right on but why do you cut the cord off? Can't you use the existing wires to charge your tablet device? I did this with a floor lamp (architect style) and thought of the wires after I had ripped them off the lamp. Next time...

projectsugru (author)Eh Lie Us!2015-03-13

oh and we'd love to see your floor lamp project sounds cool

maniacse (author)Eh Lie Us!2015-03-09

I have same idea: just cut cord - solder male USB, cut bulb socket - solder microUSB - charger done! Mainly, thanks for idea and ible! I need to find, if my lamp stand can carry my 10" Transformer...

projectsugru (author)maniacse2015-03-13

yeh that sounds like an awesome idea, we're hoping to see people adapt and improve on this project. That's the beauty of ibles :)

projectsugru (author)Eh Lie Us!2015-03-13

Hey Eh Lie Us! (great name BTW) yup one for us to try 'next time' :)

Tynker (author)2015-03-09

Great ible! Regarding the basic extension arm. I restore and create lamps & stage lighting; and (sorry, here comes the E-word) ebay does have a fairly good selection of vintage and/or antique industrial arms. Some are in the Buy Now category, so you don't need to mess with auctions. Etsy also has a smaller selection, but generally higher priced. Admittedly, the antique, highly-collectible, OC White brand is almost ridiculously expensive; yet many others are very affordable. Also available are similarly designed magnifier arms, and vintage scissor-style extensions.
I'd be happy to exchange or help with restoration techniques for anyone interested. Thanks again for an interesting ible.

projectsugru (author)Tynker2015-03-13

Hey Tynker, that's so cool where can we find out more about your work? sounds ace. And thanks for your support, glad you like the ible :)

barry_015 (author)2015-03-08

Looks great! I might need to try with one of these:

though I'd also like to remove the lamp w/o cutting it so I can reuse elsewhere...

GeekTinker (author)barry_0152015-03-09

I think this lamp would work well because then you could use a small weight disk as the base or just attach it to a desk or cabinet.

projectsugru (author)GeekTinker2015-03-13

hey GeekTinker, yep that's true — this guide might be useful for you

projectsugru (author)barry_0152015-03-13

yep that was the one Vikas (the real hero behind this project) used on his project that caught our attention

rmclean (author)2015-03-08

If you don't have Sugru, I've had great success with scuffing any mating surfaces and then using high temperature hit glue. I use 60-120 grit sand paper, clean with acetone (rubbing alcohol doesn't work well), then apply hot glue, hold for about 60 seconds and then use!!!

projectsugru (author)rmclean2015-03-13

yup that would work well, obviously we're a little biased ;)

GeekTinker (author)rmclean2015-03-09

A five minute epoxy would work really well, too. I also thought that Locktite or JB Weld has a product that would work. For real savings, a small kit for attaching a car's rear view mirror to the front windshield would be inexpensive and fairly easy to come by.

jptrsn (author)2015-03-07

If your tablet supports wireless charging, this would be an ideal application. Feed the charge cable through the lamp, and attach the charger coil to the back of the case, making sure it's correctly placed. This would keep the clean look and feel, while at the same time adding to the functionality. I'll be keeping my eyes out for a broken lamp suitable to this project!

projectsugru (author)jptrsn2015-03-13

ah yes we might need to get a 2.0 project planned :)

GeekTinker (author)jptrsn2015-03-09

Thats a great idea. If your tablet doesn't support wireless charging, there is (or will be soon) adapters for this purpose.

ringai (author)2015-03-06

That is a great idea! My desk is small and _very_ buried. I'm glad I forgot to toss my broken lamp in the trash this morning :-)

projectsugru (author)ringai2015-03-06

awesome! share a pic when you get round to doing yours,, we'd love to see

ringai (author)projectsugru2015-03-10

As soon as I get to Lowes. I very much dislike ordering online and Lowes is the only local store that sells it. How about pumping the chain operated craft store for business?

About This Instructable




Bio: The team behind Sugru, the mouldable glue that makes fixing and making easy and fun. Do-ers of the world it's time to get excited ...
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