Introduction: DIY Curved Phone Camera Slider / Tripod
This is a curved mobile phone slider idea that you can make out of common objects from around the house, it will allow you to switch between shooting from top view to front view or vice versa. I used this while shooting a stop motion video (second video attached) and needed to make this smooth camera transition.
In the attached first video you'll see many other cheap tripod/slider ideas that I used to make my stop motion videos. To view this particular slider, start the video at 2:18. You might not have the same items (substitute with similar ones) and it would be a lot more convenient and practical to use an actual tripod/slider, but these are for your inspiration, for that moment when you have an idea but no tools to do it. Tools shouldn't stop you! You can make anything out of anything!
Step 1: Things You'll Need:
Remember you can substitute any of these with similar items that you actually have!
- Mobile phone!
- A piece of thick Cardboard that is slightly wider than your phone
- Bendy metal ruler (it usually has a hole on one end)
- One Bolt and Nut that fits that hole
- A piece of thin paper with the same thickness as the ruler
- Long container with a lid (I used a Pringles container)
- Shorter container ( or you can tape two small Pringles containers together)
- Rocks, sand or any other heavy objects to weigh down the containers
- Thick rubber band
- Other heavy objects like batteries or random metal objects
- Boxes to adjust the height (optional)
- Earphones (optional)
- Glue gun - tape - pencil - cutter - scissors
Step 2: Making the Phone Holder - the Base
Cut a piece of the thick corrugated cardboard slightly wider and longer than your phone.
Step 3: Making the Phone Holder - the Sides
Cut another two thin pieces from the cardboard to make the sides of the phone holder, don't glue them yet to the base, but take note that you should be able to slide your phone when inserted between the two sides and that it should be a tight fit.
Step 4: Making the Phone Holder - the Ruler Slit
We want to make space for the holder to slide along the ruler. So now it's time to cut the thin piece of paper, you should end up with four pieces, arranged with a gap in between that is as wide as the ruler. In that example I put the ruler at the very end of the holder, but If I would do it again i would put the ruler at the middle (or slightly towards) so that it can give more support to the phone when added.
Glue your pieces in between the base and the two cardboard side pieces.
Step 5: Fill the Long Container With Pebbles
Weight down the long container with anything to make it heavy so that it wont move. You can use sand or even rice! I used some pebbles since I had a bag laying around.
Step 6: Fix the Ruler to the Lid
Drill out a hole in the lid of the long container, you can use a drill, dremel, or a cutter or scissors to do this. The Pringles lid is very thin so you can easily punch a hole through it.
Fix the metal ruler to the lid using the bolt and nut.
Step 7: Prepare the Shorter Container
Place some pebbles in a shorter container, the height of each container depends on your arrangement and the angle that you need. I used two small Pringles containers taped together for this one, I filled them both with pebbles as well. You don't need a lid for this container, as we will be inserting the other end of the ruler in it.
Step 8: Adjust the Height
You can use any boxes or any object to raise the height of the container and get the angle you need.
Step 9: Secure Your Phone
You might not need to add the rubber band if you made a tight fit holder, but just in case you can also secure your phone to the holder with a band or you can add a flap or sleeve piece to the holder itself. In any case make sure that you don't cover the camera of the phone.
Note: you will probably want to use your earphones as a remote to capture your photos or video instead of touching the screen. So also make sure there is room to plug in the earphones or even your charger cable!
Step 10: Counter Balance the Weight of the Phone
The phone is heavy so this will make the cardboard holder slightly bend down since it's not very stiff. Counter balance the weight of the phone by gluing the heavy objects at the other end of the holder. You can use anything, even glue a shorter ruler horizontally to the base of the holder case (as a lever) and glue a heavy battery to its free end.
Again, making the ruler slit in the middle of the holder will help eliminate this issue and you might not need this step.
Step 11: Slide Your Phone in and Voila!
Slide you phone in and put the other end of the ruler in the shorter container, make sure to fix the ruler end in the pebbles or sand so that it wont wiggle or move and change the angle of the arc. Adjust the angle of the arc as you need it by moving the containers further away or closer to each other and Voila!
Super easy and costs almost nothing! :)