How to make a projector for your iPod/iPhone for about a $1

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Picture of How to make a projector for your iPod/iPhone for about a $1
This is a fun easy project that anyone can make in about 15-20 minutes. The whole project only cost me a dollar and works good enough that I can enjoy an entire movie on it. The way it works is the light from your phone or iPod goes through the magnifying glass and magnifies onto the wall. The whole project is very easy to make and easy to understand.

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Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies
You will need a few household items to make your projector. Any supplies that you don’t have you can buy for very cheap. I completed the entire project for a dollar and the cheapest iPod/iPhone projector I could find online cost $90. For this project you will need:
•A shoe box
•A knife
•Duct tape
•A magnifying glass (this was the only thing I had to buy and it only cost a
•A marker
•Hot glue gun

Step 2: Prepare the Box

Picture of Prepare the Box
The first thing that you are going to do is cover any holes in your box to prevent any light from leaving your box or entering  by doing this you will increase the quality of your projector. Cover all the holes on the outside of the box with duct tape then cover them on the inside so none of the sticky tape is exposed. Cover up all the sides so no light seeps out.
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Sambo134g5 days ago
Mine was insanely blurry and you couldn't tell at all what was projecting onto the wall. Any way to fix this??
Sambo134g5 days ago
I love this instructable!!!!
littlej331 month ago

i want to make it so bad. to bad right now my ipod is broken. it was out in the snow/mud/water for 1 week anybody know how to fix it?

Darkflame704 months ago

I did everything required, flipped the phone over but the screen becomes flipped horizontaly. Do you know how to fix this? Thanks in advance!

Turn off orientation lock:

Well...Turn your device upside down.

jojo_unicorn4 months ago
Do I need to cover all my holes in my box?
EloiL5 months ago

Hi! Which magnification did you use to have a great render?

Best regards!

hqecigar5 months ago

I had buy a very cheap projector, only 39$, I think this is better then DIY , and not so expensive, why not buy? I buy at, I think it is good

Lilark3 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
nelsnils Lilark3 years ago
Somebody needs to learn resourcefulness.
-Shoe box. If you don't have one ask a neighbour.
-A knife. You don't have a 5 dollar knife laying around?
-Duct tape. If you don't have one, you need one. But ask a neighbour anyway.
-Magnifying glass. 1-3 dollars, can be purchased from a neighbour.
-Marker. Really? Really? Really. You don't have a marker. You need one. Buy a cheap one for a dollar max.
-Legos. Get from ebay (100 pcs for a dollar max) or ask a neighbour (seeing a pattern?)
-Hot Glue Gun. Must-have. Bought one for 3 bucks and a hundred sticks of hot glue for another 3 bucks. (20 pack for 1buck)

Total: Free-$5.
Please be more resourceful, this is DIY, for pete's sake.
I agree with you
no joking. why did he have to be a jerk the dude who made this is my brother
im3733 nelsnils3 years ago
Forget the legos, bend up a wire coat hanger, problem solved.

hot glue gun can be circumvented with a smaller hole, using friction (or tape) to hold the glass in place.

and the marker can be replaced with a pen/pencil/thumbtack/random nail that's laying around (all it has to do is make a mark in the cardboard, I've used each of those to make marks in wood, which is much harder than cardboard).

I ultimately agree with you, though, resourcefulness is a MUST on instructables.
For Lilark, a cheaper alternative would be to use glue from a tube, any good glue would work.

Anyway one thing is certain if one follows nelsnils idea it would be great to have Lilark as a neighbor as he / she must have billions knives, duct tapes, markers, etc, left over as he / she only uses them once for each project !!…
Come on, Nelsnils and Lilark. I am impressed with the 47,000 views so far, how many do you have? :) The prices are all pretty high on his list, but still way less than any projector for sale that I've seen.  You could just take the idea and how-to knowledge, and build it for way less that this person did.  Not bad for a first instructable. At least he's made one before criticizing others'. This isn't youtube :)
I love this instructable!
I just don't like Lilark's lack of resourcefulness :|
Okay, just making sure! :) See you around
jdonor nelsnils3 years ago
Yeah... Obviously yall aren't from Texas. I think I have all these things except the magnifying glass in my dorm room. And you wouldn't need legos. Anything that can keep it up would work :)
many people are gonna flag you considering your being a jerk to this guy
im3733 Lilark3 years ago
Where are you getting your shoeboxes? You do realize you don't need to buy new shoes for this, right?

Just go to a GFS or Aldi's (if they have them near you, bulk food stores), most of them reuse their boxes instead of using bags.
static Lilark3 years ago
Dude; there's a lot that could be said, but it wouldn't adhere to instructables commenting guidelines.
MattBothell (author)  Lilark3 years ago
pretty much every one has those things laying around all I had to buy was the magnifying glass and it cost a dollar.
GhanshyamR6 months ago

very nice

Usman553 years ago
Hello guys, I'm new here. Just wanted to ask, I just bought a Magnifying glass from a local retailer called Al-Rawnaq. It says something like LUPA 50mm on the package. Will it work? And also will this whole project idea work with the mobile N95 8GB instead of iPhone or iPod? Thanks in advance!
MattBothell (author)  Usman553 years ago
I am not sure about the magnifying glass but its worth a shot. and yes the N95 will work but you will have to make sure it doesnt rotate when you place it upside down in the stand
Hey Matt, I tried it and the picture quality is really dumb. Just some big dark colour blobs appear. I think the glass is not good enough. I also the the rotate error you're talking about (FLIPPED IMAGE).
MattBothell (author)  Usman553 years ago
The if you can focus it right you should be able to see a lot better than blobs. And I still haven't figured out the mirror image problem yet but i am working on it.
Focus? How?
move it around picture quality should get better. im answering questions because im his little brother
Tried again... Nothing's getting any better. I went in a room with no light source at all but the pic quality is not good at all. I can't even recognize any faces. Also, the picture is very dark.
hhmm89 Usman552 years ago
I had the same problem, but i followed the lines that i made using my phone and cut out the back of the shoe box accordingly. The problem is that the shoe box isn't long enough, so you need to cut out the back and move your phone further back.
Hey usman i also got this first don't worry try to make the distance between lens and phone larger!
you never know if it is the magnifying glass wont work
Hi, please answer me too!
I also need more better resolution and a little larger phone is note3 and got on output image of 11X19 inches....?

It's a nice method and thanks for the share. I hope it will work perfectly. It seems some people faced problems while making an iPhone projector using this method. I hope they will figure it out as early as possible.

But buying an iPhone projector is always a good idea as it is a perfect device for watching movies, making presentation, etc.

Nitidus1 year ago

It works pretty well... If your movie doesn't have subtitles. If your movie has subtitles, you better be able to understand the language without them! It is pretty hard to read in mirror.

nickoenen1 year ago

Can someone who tried this and got at least a decent picture quality please let me know what strength their magnifying glass was. Thanks

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