Introduction: DIY Phone Holder | How to Sew a Triangular Stand for Your Mobile
This project came about after watching videos on my phone whilst lying on my side and propping my phone up on a pillow...only to have the phone fall off the pillow over and over and over....
So this was my solution! It's a triangular stand that holds the phone at the angle I want without having to prop it on something unreliable. I hope you enjoy this Instructable :)
- Phone to prop up; Mine is an iPhone 7 but you can make this stand for any phone, any model, by changing the dimensions as I detail below.
- Fabric; The main piece of fabric you need should be fairly sturdy and woven. Denim and canvas work well.
- A small piece of stretchy knit fabric; This fabric is for stretching over the ends of the phone to hold it in place. I used a grey knit jersey.
- Scrap of another light- or medium-weight woven fabric; I just used a small piece of calico.
- Elastic; I used 8mm elastic.
- Stuffing; I used polyester stuffing.
- Plastic pellets/beanbag beans/rice; For adding some weight to the back of the holder.
- Sewing machine & matching thread; It's possible to hand it if you don't have a machine though.
- Hand sewing needle
- Sewing pins
- Disappearing/magic fabric pen
- Iron & ironing board
- Scraps of cardboard
- Funnel (optional)
- Rotary cutter & cutting mat (optional)
Step 1: Work Out the Dimensions
Obviously if you have an iPhone 7 you can use my dimensions from the photos above (YAY!), but otherwise you'll have to do a bit of planning. Don't worry though, I have laid out all of the steps below and in the photos.
You will need to work out how big the 3 sides of the holder are, how big the 2 triangular end pieces are, and how big the 2 pieces of fabric holding the phone at each end need to be.
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1) First, measure your phone. I drew around my phone and measured the length and width from there. You will also need the thickness/depth of the phone and the width of the end strips (the strips either end of the phone where there isn't an image displayed.)
If you don't have these end strips you will need to imagine you do and that they are at least 15 mm otherwise there won't be enough area of fabric to hold your phone at each end.
2) Decide on the angle you want your phone to be held at. If you want it held straight up then you would choose 90 degrees. I wanted a little bit of a tilt though so I chose 75 degrees. Using a protractor to help you visualise the angle is useful (note: you can print a protractor off the internet if you don't own one).
3) You can now work out the size of the side where the phone will be held. This side needs to be the size of the phone plus 2 x the seam allowance. I used a seam allowance of 10 mm, but obviously you can use whatever seam allowance you want. In my case, this side of the holder needs to be 160 mm x 88 mm.
As a result, you now know the length of all of the sides of the holder...because they're all the same. In my case, they are all 160 mm long.
4) Then you need to draw out the triangular end pieces to scale.
So draw a horizontal line on a piece of paper, then draw a line sloping up from this line that is at the angle you chose in step 2). So I drew a line at 75 degrees. This line needs to be the same length as the width measurement from step 3); in my case 88 mm.
Decide how wide you want the base to be. This should be at least as wide as the side where the phone will be held (88 mm). So I chose 90 mm for this width. Mark this distance from where your horizontal line meets your angled line.
Join this mark to the end of the angled line to create a triangle. The length of the line you just drew is the width of the back piece of the holder. In my case this was 108 mm.
The triangle shape you now have is is the exact size of your triangular end pieces.
5) You now know the sizes of all the side pieces, and the triangular ends. So now we just need the measurements for the stretchy bands that go over the phone ends. The length of these bands needs to be the width of the phone side, which in my case is 88 mm. The width of these bands needs to be (2 x the width of the end strips on the phone) + (2 x seam allowance), which in my case is (2 x 15) + 20 mm = 50 mm
Step 2: Cut Out the Fabric
I recommend first making paper templates of all of the pieces; the 3 sides, the triangular end piece, and the stretchy band.
Mark one side of the triangle template with 'A' and write which edges match up with which side (phone/back/base), and do the same on the back of this template but with 'B' written on instead. This is because we need 2 of these shapes, but mirror images of each other.
Then draw around each template (using a fabric pen) onto your main fabric. You will need to draw around the stretchy band template onto your stretchy knit fabric rather than the main fabric, and you'll need 2 of these shapes.
The triangle template will need to be draw around once with the 'A' facing upwards, and once with the 'B' facing upwards.
Then cut these out, either using scissors or a rotary cutter & ruler on a cutting mat.
Step 3: Add the Stretchy Bands
Cut out 2 pieces of elastic. These need to be 2 cmshorter than the length of the knit fabric pieces (KF). In my case they were 68 mm long.
Place each one lengthwise on each of the KF pieces.
Place these at each end of the 'phone side' piece that you cut out of the main fabric. This main fabric piece (MF) should be right side up and the KF pieces should be wrong sides up.
Fold each piece of KF lengthwise over the elastic, making sure that the raw edges of this fabric are pointing towards the shorter ends of the MF.
Line up these raw edges with the matching edges of the MF underneath, and move the pieces of elastic so they are right up against the fold, and the ends of the elastic pieces are lined up with the same side edge of the MF (doesn't matter which side you choose).
Pin these in place and sew down the side of the MF where the ends of the elastic lie. This is to attach the stretchy bands and the elastic pieces to one side of the MF.
Backstitch at the beginning and end, and backstitch over the elastic to reinforce the stitching at those points.
Use a seam allowance less that what you have chosen for the rest of the project. In my case, I sewed 5 mm from the edge as my chosen seam allowance is 10 mm.
Step 4: Sew the Other Side of the Stretchy Bands
This can be a bit fiddly because the elastic needs to be stretched to the other side of the MF, whilst still being contained in the KF pieces.
You must also make sure the KF edges all still line up with each other and the MF underneath.
Then pin the elastic and KF bands in place and sew along this side. Again, use a seam allowance less that what you have chosen for the rest of the project.
Don't worry that the MF curls up a bit, it's supposed to!
Remember to backstitch over the elastic again to reinforce those areas.
You should now have a line of stitching down each long side of the MF.
Step 5: Attach the Triangles
Mark each triangle 'A' or 'B', and write which edge connects to which side piece so that you don't get mixed up.
Pin the 'phone' edge of each triangle to each end of the piece of fabric with the stretchy bands attached.
Make sure the edges line up and the fabrics are right sides together. Also make sure that you pin with the stretchy bands pulled flat inside the fabric 'sandwich'.
Sew each triangle using your chosen seam allowance for the project, in my case 10 mm.
This stitching should go through the triangle, the 'phone' side piece and both edges of the stretchy bands.
Step 6: Add the Remaining Side Pieces
Next, you need to add the other 2 sides to each long edge of the 'phone' side.
Start by pinning the 'base' side onto one edge, right sides together.
Then sew using your chosen seam allowance. Start and stop sewing the line a seam allowance distance from the ends of the fabric.
Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end as usual.
Then do the same thing to attach the 'back' piece to the other side of the 'phone' side.
At this point, you should be able to try out your phone in the stretchy bands to see if it fits securely. If it doesn't, now is the time to make alterations.
Step 7: More Sewing :)
Then, pin the back and base sides together and sew along this seam. Again, use your chosen seam allowance, and start and end the sewing a seam allowance distance from the ends.
Then pin one of the triangle ends onto the side pieces to close that side of the phone holder.
Sew along these 2 edges using your chosen seam allowance.
Step 8: Add the Weighted Section
To slightly counterbalance the weight of your phone, it's a good idea to add some weight to the opposite end of the phone holder, on the inside.
Take a piece of woven scrap fabric (in my case calico) and cut a piece a bit shorter (20 mm shorter in my case) than the 'base' paper template.
Fold it in half and pin the edges. Sew along the long edge and one of the short edges.
Pour some kind of weight into this fabric pouch until it is mostly full but still has space at the top. I used a plastic pellet product that is designed to fill toys.
Then pin the open end and sew this shut. Make sure you don't sew over any pellets!
The pouch needs to be partially empty because in the next step this pouch will need to fold up.
If you decide that you need to add more weight to balance your phone, you can use washers, rice, beanbag beans and other various items. You can also add a wider fabric pouch inside if you need to.
Next, pin & sew this pouch to the seam opposite the 'phone' side, so that it lies on the 'base' side.
Step 9: Stuffing & Stiffening
Turn the phone holder right-sides-out. Iron the edges to make them crisper & neater.
Push stuffing into the phone holder, but don't overstuff it because that will mean it won't be able to sit flat on a surface.
Cut out 2 pieces of cardboard - one a little smaller that the 'phone' side, and one a little smaller than the 'base'.
Push these into their corresponding places inside the phone holder in order to make the 'phone' and 'base' sides nice and flat.
Test the phone on the holder one last time before finishing in the next step.
Step 10: Invisible Stitch
Use a hand sewing needle & matching thread to sew the remaining triangle onto the sides and close the phone holder.
It's best to pin the sides in place before you sew, and make sure you fold the edges inside the phone holder as you join them. You don't want any raw edges on show.
The invisible stitch is the best choice so that the stitches will be barely visible.
Step 11: Finished!
And that's it!
I hope you enjoy this project :)
Second Prize in the
Sew Fast Speed Challenge