Introduction: Smartphone Charging/Alarm Stand: Cheap and Easy

Back to school and you've finally saved up enough for that smartphone. If you're like many college students you probably also use that smartphone for an alarm clock. If only there was a way to display your alarm clock... er smartphone, simply and easily without putting a hurting on your wallet.


This instructable will show you how to make a simple and effective charging/alarm stand for your smartphone on the cheap.

Step 1: Gather Materials

Lucky for you, most of these materials can be found in your local hardware or office supply store.

Materials include:
- Vice Grips (not required but advised)
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Scissors
- Ruler
- ACCO Ideal Steel Office Clamps 1-1/2" (get a box just in case you goof up)
         Found at most office supply stores or
- Lighter or Heat Gun
- Heat Shrink Tubing (Found at Home Depot or
      - 1/8" Diameter (4" length) found online at
      - 1/4" Diameter (4" lenght) found online at 

Step 2: Preparing the Clip

Step 1:
By hand, straighten the two arms until they are parallel to each other (as seen in Figure 2 below)

Step 2:
Using the vice grips, grasp the clip at one of its corners (as seen in Figure 3 below). This will allow you to twist/bend the ends of the clip more easily.

Step 3:
While holding the clip and vice grips in one hand use the needle nose pliers grab and twist one end of the clip so that it is now at 90 degrees to its original position (as seen in Figure 4). Then repeat on the other side (as seen in Figure 5).   Note: following this step will make the final shaping easier.

Step 4:
Now straighten the ends of the clip out as best you can so that they are parallel to each other (as seen in Figure 6). You may notice that one side is longer than the other. This does not affect the final product but you may even out the ends if you wish to do so.

Step 3: Applying the "Grip"

Now you will be applying the heat shrink tubing that prevents the stand from sliding or scratching your beloved smartphone that you've worked so hard for.

Step 1:
Take the 1/4" heat shrink tubing and cut off 4 pieces, each 1/2" in length.

Step 2:
Slide 2 of the cut pieces onto the straightened clip until they reach the corners (as seen in Figure 3 below).

Step 3:
Now carefully hold the clip in one hand while quickly running the flame of the lighter/heat gun under the heat shrink tubing until it shrinks to fit. Be sure not to hold the flame on the tubing for too long (more than 2 seconds at a time) or it will deform. Note: You may need to shape the tubing as it cools to ensure a clean fit.

Step 4:
To ensure a snug fit repeat Step 3 by sliding the remaining 2 pieces into place over the shrunken pieces of tube. Then heat shrink the tubing as before, shaping it as it cools where needed. 

Step 4: Bending the Holding "Arms"

In this step you will be bending and shaping the "arms" that will be holding your smartphone.

Step 1:
Begin by using your pliers to bend each arm of the clip at the point were they were previously bent. If you are having trouble finding this point you can also make the bend at about 2in. from the 90 degree bend at each corner. Bend each arm about 90 degrees (as seen in Figure 2) keep in mind that you may need to make adjustments later.

Step 2:
Now you must cut the tubing to the required length. Take the 1/8" heat shrink tubing and slide it over the end of the arm up to, but not past the bend (as seen in Figure 3). Then carefully cut the tubing just past the end of the arm leaving about 1/8" of an inch or less. Now that the tubing has been cut to length (as seen in figure 4) remove the tubing for further shaping.

Step 3:
After removing the cut tubing it's time to continue bending the arms. Make a bend in each arm 1in from the bends that have just been made (as seen in Figure 5). This bend should be a little less than 90 degrees. (the shallower the bend the easier the next step will be) It may take some tweaking to get it to sit right. This is also a good time to make sure that the sides are square to one another so that the holder will sit level.

Step 4:
Reapply the two cut pieces of heat shrink tubing (as seen in Figure 6). There may be some kinks in the tubing when you apply it, but don't worry they will come out in the heat shrink process. Just as before, use the lighter or heat gun to carefully shrink the tubing until it fits snug. Keep the flame in motion to avoid over heating of the material.

Step 5: Final Tweaking

Almost there! In this final step you will be making the  the final bends in the arms so that it will fit your smartphone like a glove.

Step 1:
Take the nearly finished smartphone holder in one hand and your smartphone in the other. Place the stand on a table and rest the phone on the stand to help you get an idea of where the final bends need to be placed. 

Step 2:
Now gently bend the ends of the arms so that your smartphone will sit securely (as seen in Figure 2). You may need the help of the pliers to make these last bends. Be sure not to overwork any of the bends or the metal may break. To help avoid this, final adjustment should be made be made by hand until you are comfortable with the way that your phone sits in its new holder.

Step 3:
Once you've finished sit back and admire your smartphone as it sits upon its new throne on your desk or nightstand. It makes a great stand when using your phone as an alarm clock, during charging, or simply checking out!

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