Introduction: Cardboard IPad Stand for Stop Motion Videos

If you are just starting to make stop motion videos with your iPad, you've probably already discovered how much better they are when you can keep the tablet still when taking pictures. That's exactly the observation my Kindergarten students made while creating their movies.

But rather than run out and buy an iPad rig that would keep it stable during our shoot, we decided to try designing and building our own out of the supplies that we had with us -- cardboard!! The result is a stand that is easy to make, easy to store when not in use, and incredibly good at keeping the iPad still while you move your characters around!

Note: This invention was completely created by my Kindergarten students at the Mount Vernon Presbyterian School. It is important to me that I give credit where credit is due, and all of the credit for this device belongs with my students. While I may have done the cutting of the cardboard, the idea, design, modifications, and operation of the stand is completely theirs. You can read and see more about the learning experience on my website if you are interested. Any comments and/or suggestions left on this Instructable will certainly be shared with these little innovators!

Step 1: How the Stand Works

The stand has a triangle shape to it, with supports on the back, arms on the side, and a longer floor in the front.

As my Kindergarteners describe it: "The triangle comes up to hold the iPad still, and the cardboard on the front makes it not slip and fall down when you are taking pictures. The arms on the side help you point it in different directions so you can get a good picture."

Not a bad explanation, eh? :-)

Step 2: Cutting Instructions

The image above shows you the basic cut out of the stand before it has been folded up to support an iPad. What else is cool about this design is that when it isn't being used, you can fold it flat again - which makes it super easy to store!

When we were making the stand, we just happened to have pieces of cardboard that seemed to be the right size for our prototypes. As a result, we don't have exact dimensions or measurements. Doing a little google-research on iPad dimensions and looking at the photos however, I would guess that the sizes are as follows:

  • Entire length (with supports & arms): approx 17 inches
  • Length of supports & arms (they are the same): approx 5 inches
  • Length of floor: approx 7 inches
  • Width of floor: approx 3.5 inches
  • Width of supports: approx 2.5 inches
  • Width of arms: approx 1.5 inches

Find a cutting surface, a utility knife, and go to work!

UPDATE (2017-04):

I needed to make a lot more of these for a new project that my students were doing. To speed up the process, and take advantage of the laser cutter that we have, I created this .svg file to use with the machine: Cardboard iPad Stand Laser Cutting File

Step 3: Make Your Stop Motion Videos

That's it!

You've built it!

Now you just have to use it! Our favorite Kindergarten stop motion app is Koma Koma, but there are lots of others out there too.

Let us know if our idea was helpful, or if it inspires any new ideas for you!