Introduction: How to Make a Shoebox IPhone/iPod Projector (WITH TEST VIDEO)

Picture of How to Make a Shoebox IPhone/iPod Projector (WITH TEST VIDEO)

This guide will help you make an awesome iPhone or iPod Projector out of a few household tools!

Step 1: Supplies You'll Need

Picture of Supplies You'll Need

These are all the things you'll need to make the projector:
Construction Paper
Magnifying Glass

Step 2: Cutting the Paper

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Cut the paper to fit around the shoebox.

Step 3: Tracing the Magnifying Glass

Picture of Tracing the Magnifying Glass

Now on the length side of the shoebox, trace to magnifying glass and cut a hole into it. Make sure this is before wrapping it with paper.

Step 4: Positioning the Magnifying Glass

Picture of Positioning the Magnifying Glass

After this step, tape the Magnifying glass inside the shoe box, right where the hole is.

Step 5: Adjusting the Screen

Picture of Adjusting the Screen

Place the iPod/iPhone until it is focused with the magnifying glass, then mark it.

Step 6: Placing the Clay

Picture of Placing the Clay

Put the clay where your mark was. After this turn the rotation OFF. Now make sure that the screen is upside down in the showbox so it shows up normally on the projection.

Step 7: Personalize!

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Now feel free to decorate your box and make it look awesome!! Don't hold back! :D

Step 8: Finished!

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Now close the lid and your done!!! If you want you could cut a hole in the side for speakers, or just poke holes on the side. I hope you enjoyed this Instructable!! :)

Step 9: Testing It Out, (VIDEO)

Picture of Testing It Out, (VIDEO)
Heres the video of the projector as requested! The camera doesnt record well when the lights are off, but the projection is more bright and clear when you see it in person. P.S. Sorry for all the grains in the clip!


tina21lol (author)2016-03-26

You doo doo this is horrible this didn't work this is a scam this didn't work at all you need to tweak something with these steps because this is horrible.

Zoelove06 (author)tina21lol2017-01-04

No it works mine just came really works

Nathicana (author)tina21lol2016-05-19

I think it depends on the MG - some people wrote, that it works not, some are very happy with it.

lyssidris (author)2014-07-04

Mine won't work ToT like at all. i used 90mm magnifying glasses and adidas shoebox and my phone is samsung galaxy note 3. WHY T_T

lwog (author)lyssidris2015-06-30

Try using a Nike box.

Partha pratimB (author)lwog2016-11-29

(y) :)

SimpleProjects (author)lyssidris2014-07-24

Did you put your brightness all the way up?

KarelM9 (author)2016-11-09

Really, it works!

TricksH8 (author)2016-10-13

How to Make a Shoebox iPhone/iPod Projector

VishwasS6 (author)2016-06-03

Which type pf magnifying glass we should use?? And also tell me which range is good and is there is any special requirements in lens??

avatarawesome (author)2015-11-22

i saw this one before but this version is way better

Pesoen (author)2012-12-01

how would i know which kind of magnifying glass to use? and what side should be facing the phone?

sher179 (author)Pesoen2012-12-03

Any magnifying glass would work, and the flat side should be facing your phone. :)

NIkki_KittyMC15 (author)sher1792015-10-13

I did this project but the image on my wall is still pretty blurry no matter how close or how far I move my phone. Any suggestions to make it clearer?

krrish976 (author)2015-09-14

i use straight shank glass 75mm but it does not work,should i change the glass???

nickoenen (author)2014-01-25

Whats the best strength and size of magnifying glass to use?

AlexW19 (author)nickoenen2015-07-24

As the lens gets a smaller radius of curvature, the projector can be made smaller. But you will ay for the size picture quality and projection distance. As the lens's radius of curvature gets larger the projector will have to be made longer the distance that you can project will increase. With a larger radius of curvature, you'll also notice a decrease in the the effects of spherical aberration (you would notice this on the edges of the screen, where the image will sometimes bow outwards).

fud-din (author)2015-06-17

I made it and used a mirror to reflect the image on to the lens. that makes the text readable

fud-din (author)2015-06-17

daisy11718 (author)2015-03-30

if I did the project how does the light of my phone project itself to the wall and get large ?

sbb2001 (author)2015-02-27

For some reason, when I set up the shoe box, all that is shown on the wall is a white projected picture. It does not show any other picture. Any suggestions?


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bbritton (author)2014-10-29

Just made this. Works just fine though the focus is a little blurry no matter what I do. Needs a little tweaking (better magnifying glass perhaps) I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 and a cheap MG (.97 cents). I might have to try a stronger one next time!

heyyyehjhhe (author)2014-10-22

Mine wont work..

SimpleProjects (author)2014-07-24

I increased the size and brightness of the projection by adding a second magnifying glass behind the first one and it worked great. Thanks for the Instructable!

lshah2 (author)2014-04-27

Hey Sher great instructable. My image is quite sharp but very dark, i have turned the screen to full brightness. I suspect the culprit is the black box (using it for a pin hole camera as well). Do you agree or there is something else?

Arr0gantExp3rt7 (author)2014-01-02

I was thinking of doing this but make it somewhat permanent so you run a cable through so u charge it will watching. Plus I think there's a remote you can use for iPods/iPhones without the new charger

mehlani (author)2013-12-22

@lewiswheeler You can't "focus" the iPhone but you can reposition it inside the box (closer or further away from magnifying glass) as well as move entire box closer or further away from projection surface.

mehlani (author)2013-12-22

I made this projector and it did work for the most part. I used a cheap low power magnifying glass I think it was maybe a 2X. In a pitch black room I was able to project image maybe a 3 ft away for a ~32" projection. However no matter how much I tried it was really fuzzy. Tried tons of adjustments with moving iphone around I'm box and moving closer/further away from wall. No luck. The projection wasn't very bright to begin with even if the picture were sharp. Would definitely recommend trying a stronger magnification.

lewiswheeler (author)2013-11-18


Can you explain the focusing of the iphone step please - where do you look for the focus?


ameador (author)2013-09-14

This is so cool... Follow me I will have my first instructable up soon on making remote detonators from walky talkys!

mehlani (author)2013-09-11

This is great! I made something similar as a kid with a frenal? Lens and it was a failure.
This looks like it works a LOT better.

sasiedu (author)2012-11-01

Wow I will definitely be trying this! Cool post :)

sher179 (author)sasiedu2012-12-03

Thank you!

akhan48 (author)2012-11-01

you're so creative!! best of luck :)

sher179 (author)akhan482012-12-03


alaena04 (author)2012-11-26

What power magnifier have people used?

sher179 (author)alaena042012-11-26

I'm not too sure, you should ask them, :)

iTixle (author)2012-11-08

Will this work with an iPad?

sher179 (author)iTixle2012-11-09

I'm not too sure, as the magnifying glass is smaller.

maxtheax (author)2012-11-04

I had built one of these a while ago and am developing a commercial version.

sher179 (author)maxtheax2012-11-04

That's cool, but would it come as cheap as this one?

gmckee1399 (author)2012-11-03

How big of a screen does in project?

sher179 (author)gmckee13992012-11-03

Well if you push the box back further, then the image will get bigger, but the quality may be reduced. Thank you for the comment!

Gabrock (author)2012-11-03

Just tried. It work! Impressive. Now i'm able to view my movie from my mobile on the wall, in a kind of 2x dimension. Maybe i can try whit a bigger magnifing lens or with a series of mirror and glasses in order to improve the "power" of the box. Great Idea and Great instructables

sher179 (author)Gabrock2012-11-03

Thank you so much for your comment!

HSSK (author)2012-11-02

does the paper add anything except color?

sher179 (author)HSSK2012-11-02

Not really, it's just for decorative purposes :)

sher179 (author)2012-11-02

Thanks for the comments!

mkhan37 (author)2012-11-01

This looks awesome! Thanks for the instructable

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