Introduction: Paperclip IPod Dock

Picture of Paperclip IPod Dock

According to a recent job satisfaction survey, I'm ready to leave my job at a moments notice, so I have nothing personal in my desk. In an effort to liven things up, I brought my iPod Touch to work.

There I was, bored, alone in my cube with nothing to entertain me but work and the movies and videos stored on my iPod touch. Alas there was no practical way I could watch my iPod and appear to be working. I searched my desk for something that might help.

At first, none of my office supplies seemed to be of any use unless I wanted to trust my iPod to some cheap transparent tape. There was one thing that seemed to have possibilities. A large metal paper clip. Not a binder clip, but a single piece of wire bent into a spring shape allegedly capable of holding a small stack of papers together.

What I came up with worked so well, I decided to share it with.. um.. The Internet.

Before we get started. I want to say that I did this Instructable at home because cameras are not allowed where I work. I may not like the place, but I do follow the rules, especially when potential witnesses are near. The only tool I used to create the original was my Leatherman. For the Instructable, I used a few extra items to simplify the explanation.

Here's how I did it.

I hope you find it useful or at least amusing.

Step 1: Gather Tools and Materials

Picture of Gather Tools and Materials

Here are the items I used to make the Improvised iPod Stand.

1. Paper
2. Pencil
3. Leatherman, pliers or anything that will help you make small bends in a paper clip
4. A paper clip

Optional - Board With a Nail in It
You can use a board with a nail in it to make some of the larger bends.

Step 2: Straighten the Paper Clip

Picture of Straighten the Paper Clip

Bend the paper clip as straight as you can, within reason of course.

Step 3: Measure the Paper Clip

Picture of Measure the Paper Clip

Mark the length of the paper clip on the paper.

Bend the paper so that the two marks meet.

Draw a small line on the crease.
Now you know where to make the first bend.

Yeah. You can use a ruler. You can use anything you want. I had no ruler and trying to eye-ball it isn't as precise as you might think. This was the quickest way I could think of to do the measurement.

Step 4: Bend It Like Uh... Somebody That Bends Things Well

Picture of Bend It Like Uh... Somebody That Bends Things Well

Using the paper as a guide, bend the paper clip right in the middle.

This picture doesn't look right. The plastic covering slid while I was bending the wire and made one end look a bit longer. Even so, precision isn't all that important as long as you're close. This is a pretty flexible design.

Step 5: Measure the Width of Your Device

Picture of Measure the Width of Your Device

My iPod is thicker because it's inside a clear acrylic case.

I measured the width by standing it on its side and marking the paper on either side.

We'll need this a little later.

Step 6: Bend the Ends

Picture of Bend the Ends

Bend the two ends over as far as you can.

Make the smallest "J" shaped bend you can.

Then use some pliers or a vice to bend it flat against paper clip..

Go ahead and bend it again at this point.

The idea here is to keep the sharp ends of the paper clip from scratching anything.

Step 7:

Picture of

From here on, it's pretty straight forward.

Using the marks you made earlier, figure out where to bend it so the whole thing wraps around the bottom edge of your device.

This is a whole lot easier than it sounds.

This makes a hook to keep the iPod from from sliding out of the stand.

Open it to a "V" shape for the next step.

Step 8: Bend Both Legs Out

Picture of Bend Both Legs Out

Bend both legs out, far enough to support the iPod at a comfortable viewing angle.

This took me a few tries before I got it just right.

Bend it.

Check it for balance.

Test it with the weight of the iPod.

Tweak it a bit until you have it just the way you like it.

Then... that's it.

You're Done!!!

Step 9: Smuggle It to Work

Picture of Smuggle It to Work

If you didn't make at your desk, you'll have to smuggle it in.

You could just put it in your pocket, your purse, your lunch box, your underpants or wherever you want. I'm pretty sure you won't get searched. Just do whatever you find most comfortable.

Strategically place the iPod on it's stand somewhere that passersby won't take notice.

In my case, i put it right in front of the monitor so it looks like I'm staring at the big screen. Little do they know the real show is downstairs. (Uh... That didn't sound right.)

Enjoy the show!

DISCLAIMER: I wouldn't presume to tell you where to stick it. If you get hurt carrying a bent up paper clip in your nether regions, it's your own fault. And another thing, don't blame me if you get a bad employee review because you were watching TV instead of working. Be responsible. Use this knowledge only for good!

BONUS: Give yourself 2 points extra credit if you know what movie was playing on my iPod when I made this Instructable.

(That's it. Quit reading this and go watch something.)

Step 10: 6-Step Paper-Clip IPod Stand Cheat Sheet

Picture of 6-Step Paper-Clip IPod Stand Cheat Sheet

Here's an abbreviated version of this Instructable in stick figure format.

I hope it helps to clarify the steps.

This thing is REALLY easy to make.

I'm just not very good at explaining things sometimes.

I hope this helps.


coleslaw3 (author)2011-12-10

thank you so much kipkay on youtube tryed to explain it but i find schematics easier to use

izzi303 (author)2010-03-16

The best way to make an iPod Touch/iPhone stand...out of a paper-clip!

koolaidman505 (author)2010-02-04

this instructable works great thank you my touch pro thanks you too

Thanks. Glad you like it.

- Chris

terrormachine (author)2009-12-14

This worked pefect for me. I only made a small modification  to the first bend...I took the elbow and bent it inward 90 degrees to make the stand less likely to topple right or left .

This also works as a great "tripod" for taking closeups with the camera.

wizard744 (author)2009-10-24

nice instructable =) im making something similar to this for my psp too and i have the exact same moniter does yours still have the little sticker of the birds on the back?

cooperkevin95 (author)2009-09-26

Works great, just one problem: It doesn't work too well when you stand the iPod straight, but works great sideways.

Yeah. It's not really made for anything more than keeping the iPod out of the way while making sure the screen stays visible for watching videos. It's great for that. :) This was made using what the U.S. Army calls field expedient methods. All that means is I made it using materials I had on hand at the time. A paperclip in this case. I think this basic design could be adapted to something larger, like a coat hanger. You'd have to make it tall enough to give clearance for the connectors on the bottom and stable enough that the iPod wouldn't fall off. Maybe you could make one and post an Instructable about it. Thanks for your comment. - Chris

Human Being (author)2009-06-23

if u put in ur underpants dont u think it would hurt???

christophor (author)Human Being2009-07-26

I'll never tell. :)

zeldagamer (author)2009-07-24

This is absolute genius. Thank you

christophor (author)zeldagamer2009-07-26

Aw. Shucks. :) You're welcome!

sharlston (author)2009-05-04


sharlston (author)2009-05-04

cool i made 1 for my sony erricson w910i

mango_2003 (author)2009-04-09


christophor (author)mango_20032009-04-10

You got it! Congrats.

hockys1 (author)2009-02-22

that works great

sebgonz (author)2009-02-17

This worked perfectly, and now I have a dock to watch my videos while I waste time. :)

christophor (author)sebgonz2009-02-17

Take that productivity! I'm glad I could help.

trenty996 (author)2009-02-13

That's cool

christophor (author)trenty9962009-02-13


Jr Hacking kid (author)2008-12-28

Thanks I'm making this right now on my new iPod touch I got for Xmas =) that quick sheet helped me slot LOL well thanks and good job on makeing this

dkfa (author)2008-12-07

woot! Ebay here we come! lol

scorpoistak (author)2008-12-07

i have the same monitor/moniter how ever you spell it

davidleung (author)2008-11-24

This is very nicely thought out and elegantly made. Thank you.

christophor (author)davidleung2008-11-25

Thank you.

hellpilot (author)2008-11-17

Im thinking about getting a case for my iTouch now, it fills

christophor (author)hellpilot2008-11-17

The one on my iPod is a Griffin iClear. (Had to look that up the other day.) Its good and solid. I also have a clear plastic film over the screen.

hellpilot (author)christophor2008-11-19

Yeah i have a tiny tiny TINY scratch on my screen (Side) so that film cover comes with it too :)

mg0930mg (author)2008-11-11

It's iron man!

mg0930mg (author)mg0930mg2008-11-11

Good Idea. Will use this in school XD I knew from pepper, I am a comic book nerd. XD

christophor (author)mg0930mg2008-11-11

You got it. I wish they had iPods when I was in school. When it comes to comics, I'm a DC guy. I'm a big Batman fan. Have been since I was a toddler. But Ironman was probably the coolest comic book movie I ever saw. The suit was great, but I wish I had his workshop to play around in. You get your 2 points extra credit. Don't spend it all in one place. :)

mg0930mg (author)christophor2008-11-11

weird. I'm on my iPod now. Yes, I'm more of a dc kid myself. Joker's asylum was the best mini batman series. It was six books each telling a little more about the character. I was two-face for Halloween. It was pretty sweet. I'll post pics when I get on my computer

mg0930mg (author)mg0930mg2008-11-12

Also, I can't get this to work, and I may do an I'ble. Though, It'd be hand-drawn since I don not have the stuff now.

christophor (author)mg0930mg2008-11-13

You can't make the paper-clip stand? I'll put up a crudely done drawing courtesy of MS-PAINT. It should be more clear than the photos.

mg0930mg (author)christophor2008-11-11

Here I am. You like?

christophor (author)mg0930mg2008-11-12

Nice makeup! My face hurts just looking at it. Good job.

Maybe you could make an Instructable about how you did it.

As for Batman Comics: You should check out the series starting with "Bruce Wayne: Murderer"? It shows Bruce trying to figure out which is the real man, Bruce Wayne or Batman?

I'll get Joker's Asylum next. Thanks for the tip.

Unrequested Advice: *sigh* I'm not a kid, just a 30 something geek who still puts Batman stickers on his stuff. When you said school, I thought you were talking about college. Take my advice. Don't use that thing in high school. I don't know if they confiscate iPods or not, but be careful. Have as much fun as you can, but stay out of trouble. lol

mg0930mg (author)christophor2008-11-12

Ah. I have cool teachers thus year. they don't mind.
I will check out Bruce Wayne:Murder. I forgot to say, the joker's asylum is about the Villains.
Gah! I had to type that 6 times, because my hamster wants to run on the keyboard

Is that a first gen ipod touch?

Yes it is. It has a Griffin iClear cover on it so it's a bit thicker than than an unclothed iPod.

HraaaRR (author)2008-11-10

I like it. I am going to make one right now.

christophor (author)HraaaRR2008-11-10


I'm going to try to make that origami one. i finally found some A4 paper. It's not that common at our office.

Origami is cool.

Hands Without Shadows (author)2008-11-10

Iron Man. I guessed this from looking at the second last picture, then I scrolled up to look for any more pictures confirming it. The first pic is a give away.

You were right. 2 points to you. It took me three tries to get a clear shot of the iron man suit. The one with Pepper and Tony talking was just luck. I love that movie. Thanks for guessing.

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a computer technician with a background in electronics. I live in St. Augustine, FL. I've been a computer guy since around 1984 ... More »
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