Picture of IKEA HACK: articulating tablet mount

Browsing on a tablet is great; there's nothing like digging into your favorite site while getting comfy. I find the longer I browser the more supine my posture, eventually my pose self-levels to lethargic mass lying on my back with the tablet above my face, making my arms tired. It would be great if I could combine my thirst for Internet and laziness so I can nerd out online while on my back. So I hacked an IKEA desk lamp into a tablet mount for bed time browsing.

You can easily make your own on the cheap. Articulating tablet mounts only need 3 readily available components to work, a tablet holder with a tripod mount, a mini tripod to act as a connector to the articulating arm, and an articulating arm from a desk lamp. There's countless variations for each of these, all of which can be inexpensive, so you can customize your tablet mount to suit your needs. You probably have some of the components on hand. I made this one for under $20.

Here's how I made it.

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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

  • Articulating Arm: TERTIAL articulating work lamp from IKEA - $8.99. This lamp is ubiquitous, and this design can be easily modified to suit your needs.

  • Tablet Holder: They make all kinds of tablet holders, the one we want is a variety that has a threaded connection embedded that allows it to be mounted to a camera tripod. Tablet case with tripod mount (1/4" - 20 threads) - price varies depending on tablet, $5.98 to $13.98

  • Mini tripod: There's plenty of types of these small and inexpensive tripod mounts.
    The type we are looking for has a ball joint on the attachment end that allows a free range of rotation. We only need the rotating head part, like this one for $4.

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Susitna1 month ago
That is just what I need to hold my Nook when I am recovering from knee surgery next Febuary. I think I'll try to make a 2nd one to hold a needlework frame.
Joefer1 month ago

Hi! I happen to make an actual 'STAND' for my smartphone using a combination of tripod and monopod ('selfie' stick). I bet this will work with tablets/ipads, too - just add the mount. Add a bluetooth speaker and you have a mini home theater system! Portable, highly-maneuverable and wireless!

Joefer Joefer1 month ago

if you want this to work with tablets though, i suggest you make use of a better monopod, those with tightening 'screws' per segment for added stability. Add Rubber sucking discs to the tripod's base, too. I might consider doing an ible but i'm not very good with paper works :)

Great idea just what I was looking for. It occurs to me also that if you swapped out the tripod head for a swivel hot shoe adapter, you could mount a camera to this light arm also.


porterhouse21 made it!1 month ago

this is sooo cool! I made it for my office desk for my Samsung Galaxy Tablet 7.7

mikeasaurus (author)  porterhouse211 month ago

Nice work. Having that at your desk is a great idea!

Thanks for sharing your project. Enjoy the 3-month Pro!

rrrickets5 months ago

I used a lamp arm mounted on the front of my nightstand with a hand mirror. the wife likes the tv on in the bedroom and I have a hard time laying on my back to watch it so I use the mirror to comfortably watch laying on my side, plus it gives me practice reading things backwards(lol). it was actually pretty easy to make.

mikeasaurus (author)  rrrickets5 months ago

That's a great idea! I'd love to see it.

If you reply with a picture of your version I'll gift you a free 3-month Pro Membership.

sorry about the quality of the pic's. took these while the wife was sleeping.. 1st one is trying to show the tv reflection. 2nd is turned showing the front. 3rd one is a back/side view, and the last one shows how i attached the mirror. the clamp is attached to the front of my nightstand using a piece of cardboard to prevent marring the wood. just cut down the handle of the mirror, drilled a small hole and used a long screw with a nut and washers/lock washer. easy peezy

mikeasaurus (author)  rrrickets2 months ago

So, you used a mirror to bounce the image from another source so you can watch in bed? That's pretty clever!

I love the way you did this, thanks for sharing!

Crimson13 made it!5 months ago

I made one! Great idea! My ipad with the holder I had, was a bit heavy for the arm, so I moved one of the springs from the lower section and doubled up on one side in the upper section. This seems to have worked well for now, but I may pickup another lamp to steal it's springs or try to find some at the hardware store. I attached the ipad holder to the arm using the connector that the lamp used, I just drilled two holes that line up with the ones in the mount and then used some pop rivets to secure it.

mikeasaurus (author)  Crimson133 months ago

Nice work! More springs are definitely a good idea, especially if your arm has a long reach.

Thanks for sharing your version. Enjoy the patch and the 3-month Pro!

mikeasaurus (author)  Crimson135 months ago

Nice! Thanks for sharing your version, enjoy the Pro Membership and digital patch!

lackley683 months ago

I am so excited to make this! I have an iPad mini for my art classroom and I'm teaching my students how to document their artwork for digital portfolios. I will definitely send photos!

CC-2224lCody made it!4 months ago

Thanks so much for this great idea! Finally I can watch movies and play games in my bed and on my desk (if it's occupied by the normal chaos of some potentially great projects :D I attached a QI-charger on it and use the standard powercable of the lamp to power it with a 5V charger at the other end. Like the others said: "simple and elegant" - "great job Mike" :D

mikeasaurus (author)  CC-2224lCody4 months ago

Adding a charger is a good idea. Thanks for sharing yours, it looks great!

aoleung made it!4 months ago

Made this and been using it while lying on the couch ever since (found an adaptable tablet/smartphone mount for switching between devices - just 'cause). Quick q: the machine screw diameter for the mini-tripod mount I used is way smaller than the plastic collar. I ended up wrapping a rubber band around the machine screw to bulk it up but it's not the most elegant solution IMO (see pics). Any suggestions from other makers how to improve?

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mikeasaurus (author)  aoleung4 months ago

A rubber band is actually a clever and inexpensive solution.

jeremy loa5 months ago

I think this will good for my dental business ..

3zuli made it!6 months ago

made one for my Galaxy S4. I used a phone tripod mount and a small
cheap tripod head, which gives me good positioning flexibility. I left
the original power cable in place, I will later solder USB connectors to
it and will use it as a embedded charging cable.

mikeasaurus (author)  3zuli6 months ago

Looks great! Enjoy the patch and 3-month Membership.

How's the bedtime browsing now?

3zuli mikeasaurus5 months ago
Thanks! Feels much better now and it works great for watching movies or youtube.
jpagano made it!6 months ago

We used ours last night for the first time. I used the same iPad case, ($16.98 from amazon...but I had a gift card!) Instead of the ikea lamp, I used a swing arm boom mic. It gives a lot better control for positioning, albeit a little more expensive (also had a best buy giftcard and found one on clearance!)

How awesome was it last night to snuggle up with my wife and neither of us got "Tingly Arms" from holding the ipad while we caught up on our favorite show.

mikeasaurus (author)  jpagano6 months ago

Oh man, tingly arms are the worst!

Thanks for sharing your build. I still use mine nightly. Enjoy the patch and 3-month Pro Membership.

craftclarity6 months ago


Don Diego6 months ago

Brilliant! I can't tell you how many times I've dropped my little iPad on my face reading myself to sleep. I start snoozing and suddenly I'm awake. I made one.

darkchino7 months ago

Can use the cable for charge the tablet ;)

dtchacos7 months ago

Does the arm swing aroung if you touch it too hard as with the weight factor of the tablet, the arm might be imbalanced and swing towards your face.

matson237 months ago
Great build! I don't know if mine counts as a stand, I made this a while ago so I could watch netflix in bed and not disturb my wife when she's sleeping, when it's not in use it folds up out of the way...the stand, not the wife ;)
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The wife folding up out of the way when not in use might be handy too. ;)

Maybe an instructable in the making... anyone?

mikeasaurus (author)  matson237 months ago

This totally counts as a stand. I made my tablet holder for similar reasons.

Thanks for sharing your build!

Thanks for the 3 month pro and patch mikeasaurus, very kind of you sir! :)
asteadman7 months ago

Yes. I will be making this! As a person who struggles daily with chronic arthritis, this will be a perfect addition to my nightstand!

Love it... but I do have some concerns about what this means for my future. :)

Ori Roundtree7 months ago

I have been looking for specific parts for a similar plan for some time.

How do you avoid the artists' lamp problem? Art lamps frequently begin sliding down or losing their preferred position over a relatively short time, even with the lightness of the lamp head. My Kindle Fire might outweigh a lamp head.

TLDR: What is your advice for preventing loss of your lamp arm's resistance to slippage?

A very quick method for beefing up the holding power of one of these is adding rubber bands in addition to the springs. Maybe not the prettiest thing, but it works.

mikeasaurus (author)  Ori Roundtree7 months ago

Replacing the springs would definitely help, either replacing your old springs with more robust ones or clipping your old ones a few coils shorter and stretching them to fit the free length.

I never considered modifying the existing springs. I will definitely let my brother know about this fix! Thanks a bunch.

gizmojo7 months ago
I also made the a similar modified desk lamp iPad holder but it was too heavy for the springs as well...
I didn't use the elegant tripod mount...might try again using a flexible arm
mjallo made it!7 months ago

Hi, got inspired by your design made mine out of a old lamp I had.

My sister loves it.

mikeasaurus (author)  mjallo7 months ago

Nice build. The connection detail you show is the most difficult part of the build, and it looks like you solved it perfectly. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy the patch and 3-month Pro Membership!

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