Picture of The DIY Cheapskate Laptop Stand via TheClosetEntrepreneur.com
UPDATE (11/19/2008): I've created a printable PDF template that you can use to help with the cardboard cutting process. The dimensions of the template are slightly different than the instructions since I decided to make the front hooks that hold the laptop in place a little larger and taller - the notches are also slightly larger.

- The DIY Cheapskate Laptop Stand PDF Templates

If you decide to print out the templates, be sure to use 8.5" by 11" sheets of paper and print the templates at 100% - any scaling may alter the dimensions of the templates. Also, only pages three through five of the PDF template document need to be printed, and consider the environment by reusing scrap pieces of paper to print on. ;)

Note that I have not used the templates to create a stand, so please let me know if you have any issues or if you are able to successfully build a stand for yourself - I would really like to know if the templates work! :)


This is the DIY Cheapskate Laptop Stand that I created for my home office.

This stand and two other sub $10 DIY laptop stands can be found at The DIY Cheapskate Laptop Stand.

The laptop stand has held up well so far and served its purpose, which is to raise my laptop monitor height to a comfortable viewing position.

BTW, this is my first instructable so please forgive me for any errors and please feel free to leave a question or comment if any of the instructions are unclear.

Step 1: The Obligatory Disclaimer!

Picture of The Obligatory Disclaimer!
Please see the attached image for all the disclaimer info. Also, be careful not to slice your hands up in the process of cutting any cardboard - please be safe!
saurabhj84 made it!5 months ago
Thank you for the excellent instructions. I used them as was able to put together my laptop stand.

I didn't use the print outs - just did the raw measurements on cardboard and cut it out. With every DIY, this one too had trial and error bits but the concepts were quite easy to follow to hack away.

I think one bit of information that would be helpful is the angles on the edges. I had to wing this to 30 degrees but as you can see, it has made the stand quite steep and I had to knock off 6/8" from the bottom to align it (sort of) with my monitor.

Thanks again for posting this. Really appreciate it.
juelle made it!1 year ago

I made a tablet stand! It's not exactly the same but I used your instructable as a guide and made a few revisions. Anyways, Thank you!

2014-05-02 14.58.37.jpg2014-05-02 14.59.12.jpg
since76 (author)  juelle1 year ago

Nice stand! That looks like a Wacom tablet ... glad you were able to make creative use of it!

Sagz4 years ago
Hmmm. I've been needing an iPad 2 stand. Wonder if that will work? Cheap to try it out I guess. Thanks for the instructable!
since76 (author)  Sagz3 years ago
Any luck on a cheapskate version of an iPad stand? :)
knobit4 years ago
what screensaver?
since76 (author)  knobit3 years ago
Sorry for taking so long to reply, my Instructables notifications went AWOL for some reason ... anyway, the screensaver is by Simon Heys and it's called Word Clock - http://www.simonheys.com/wordclock/
knobit since763 years ago
No problem. Thanks a lit!
PSPerson3 years ago
Hm. I have made mine and I like it a LOT. I may need to chop it down a little though, as I set my laptop on top of my iHome speakers. I'll post some pics when I'm done.
Messy desk, but you get the point. I actually use my trackpad without issue. It is pretty stable.
since76 (author)  PSPerson3 years ago
Thank you for sharing the photos of the stand in action! :)
vicsar4 years ago
Awesome! You saved me :)
I will rebuild this using wood.
keithme4 years ago
WOW! Great.. def worth trying in thin plywood... :)
kost5 years ago
Thank you!

I made my own stand, based on these templates. I have a bigger laptop, so I made side panels a little smaller, and made cross parts to have some extra crossing between them.

since76 (author)  kost5 years ago
 Hi kost, glad you were able to make use of the templates and nice job on your custom stand -- oh, and thanks for sharing the flickr photos!  :)
geetz6 years ago
The one I made is not as cool, but I did mount a fan on it pointing into the intake on the laptop (and made a seal with squishy foam weatherstripping). The fan in the laptop was starting to fail (BIG pain to replace) and it was making noise. Now it never comes on; the external fan keeps things cool. Next time, I'll do it before the fan starts to fail. Nobody puts the fan behind a little removable panel like they should. Those things go bad all the time.
since76 (author)  geetz6 years ago
Bummer to hear about your fan troubles, but glad to hear that you were able to figure out a way to cool your laptop! I'm not sure if you've ever seen the way the fans are shoved inside a MacBook, but if they crap out, I'm screwed! :)
wanderlima6 years ago
good work, tks!
since76 (author)  wanderlima6 years ago
Thanks wanderlima!
gmjhowe6 years ago
Nice work, a good idea, i would use some of my gmjboard(see my ibles to find out more) which is strong enough to probs offer a warrenty! I suggest adding some printable templates? (if thats not alot of work) no doubt more people would make it then.
since76 (author)  gmjhowe6 years ago
I was thinking of creating some printable templates but wasn't sure what the best way to put them together was? I'm assuming it's not as difficult as I'm making it out to be and I can just use Photoshop, Illustrator, or MS Visio, but my only concern is making sure that the template prints out true to size on everyone's printer. Good idea, I'll have to look into this for sure. :)
gmjhowe since766 years ago
Well, its easy enough, most people will use .pdf files here, so in illustrator just choose pdf under the save menu. So essentially make it to fit A4/Letter, but have it so people have to stick a few sheets together. Put a little note telling people to make sure they have it printing at 100%, and it should all work smoothly. then people can make them out of wood, or perpex, what ever!
since76 (author)  gmjhowe6 years ago
Hey gmjhowe, that sounds perfect, thanks again for the suggestions and help!
uguy6 years ago
Nice ible. Great idea. Templates would be great. Thanks for sharing.
since76 (author)  uguy6 years ago
Thanks uguy! I have a buddy who works in the design world that I've pinged about creating a template so look for one soon. :)