Introduction: DIY IPhone Tripod Mount - Easy and Cheap!

After browsing lots of instructables on various ways to make a tripod mount for my iphone I decided i needed to invent my own.  The primary feature I wanted was the ability to have a secure mount that didn't require me to remove my case.  I also needed it to hold my phone in both the horizontal and vertical positions.  And I didn't want to pay more than a few dollars for it either.  Well, I found my answer while browsing Home Depot.  This mount holds my iphone so securely that I can even rotate my tripod 90 degrees and take time lapse of the clouds or the ants if I want to and there is not even a mark left on the screen or the case.  Read on to see what I found...

Step 1: Materials Needed

1 - Tarp Shark - $0.97  Link to product on HomeDepot.com
1 - 1/4" x 20 nut - $0.06  Link to product on HomeDepot.com  - This is a link to a box of 100, but you can buy just one at Home Depot
1/2 stick Mighty Putty - ~$5.00 Link to product on Amazon.com
1 - box knife - Example of the kind of knife I used
Wax Paper

Time Required: 20 minutes assembly, 24 hours to let the putty cure

Step 2: Cut 1 Stick of Mighty Putty in Half

Open the tube of Mighty Putty and cut the stick in half.  Rewrap the half you are not going to use tightly with saran wrap so it doesn't dry out.  Massage the two colors of putty together until they become a gray blob.  You will feel the ball begin to heat up in your fingers.  This is an exoethermic chemical reaction taking place in the putty and is normal.  

After the blob is uniform in color, mold the putty around the half of the tarp shark that looks like the tail.  This is not the side with the teeth.  Make sure to cover all of the plastic with the putty and tap the shark on a piece of wax paper on a table to flatten out the bottom of the putty.

Step 3: Insert Nut Into the Putty

Insert the nut into the bottom of the putty and shape the putty around the nut so it is encased in putty.  Make sure there are no gaps between the nut and the putty.  Use the box knife to trim off excess putty from the face of the nut.  Also, make sure no putty is gumming up the threads of the nut.  You may have to use the box knife to clean out the threads.

Step 4: Level the Putty Using the Iphone

You can just eyeball this step or you can be precise by putting the phone into the teeth of the shark and leveling the mount.

Gently screw the mount onto your tripod and using a leveling app for your phone, you can ensure that the putty dries vertically.

Do not overtighten the mount on the tripod.  This could pull the nut out of the putty at this stage.  Just screw the mount on enough to be able to mold the putty so it hold the phone level.

Step 5: Allow the Putty to Dry

Depending on your environment, the drying time will vary.  I allowed my putty to dry for a full 24 hours

Step 6: An Extra Fancy Option

I didn't do this step, but this could be a nice addidtion.  Depending on how the shark fits your phone, you could dip the teeth into Plasti Dip found at the Home Dept.  The could help the shark hold the phone even more securely.  If the phone is small enough, though, you will be able to engage the tightening nut (the fin) and clamp the teeth down on the phone.

Comments

author
superman23mj (author)2014-05-05

I'll give you this, it's pretty damn ingenious to say the least. Like your description said, I to have seen Many....no..no.... Many How To's of people making their own & have bought several mounts to my dislike & the basi of all things I wanted was exactly what you were looking for. Quote: "The primary feature I wanted was the ability to have a secure mount that didn't require me to remove my case." Out of all my searching & buying & testing, that's the one fundamental thing everyone of them fail to have & you'd think it'd be a No brainer that it'd be easy to pick up one. Out of maybe 10 people I know with an iPhone, their might be 1 (not sure) that don't always have a case. I know none, who want to have to remove it every time they wanna use a mount, as I do...To go thru that, I'd rather do it freehand or another way. We invest in so many small purchases to keep from scratching it, it blows my mind that's the very flaw in making so many of them on the market & not even offer an alternative of with or without a case adapter! We're up to iPhone 5 & fixing to put out 6...They can't come up with better Idea's? How about starting there! Thanx for your project, I think I'll get some time & try it out. thanx

author
javelin200 (author)superman23mj2014-05-05

Let me know how it goes. I made this back in 2011 and it still works great. I had a 4 when I built this and have a 5S now and the slimmer phone works even better. I may make another one just for the heck of it as I bought some moldable plastic and am looking for a project to use it with.

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