Introduction: How to Turn Your Cell Phone Into a Projector

Have you ever had multiple people trying to look at a cell phone at the same time? It can get crowded. Or have you just wanted to watch something on your phone without the arm aches from holding your phone up the entire time. I got a solution for you. A fun do it yourself project that turns your cell phone into a projector that allows what's on your phone to be projected onto the wall without having to hold your phone up. It can act as a small television for your dorm room or at home and can be used over and over again.


Materials list

2 shoe boxes (one slightly smaller than the other)

1 roll of Duct Tape

1 Glue Stick

A lump of clay

Black construction paper

Magnifying glass

Tools List

X-acto Knife

Tin Snips

pen or pencil

Step 1: Line the 2 Shoeboxes Up End to End.

line up the 2 shoe boxes end to end.

Center the end of the smaller shoe box to end of the larger shoe box.

Make sure both boxes will open up in the same direction and their bottoms line up so they will lay flat on something.

Step 2: Trace the Outline of the Smaller Shoebox Onto the Larger.

Now, that you have the shoe boxes lined up end to end take a pen or pencil and trace the outline of the end of the smaller shoe box onto the larger shoe box.

Step 3: Trace Hole for Magnifying Glass on Small Shoe Box.

On the end of the smaller shoe box that wasn't lined up with the larger one. Put the magnifying glass in the center of that end and trace the outline of it onto the shoe box.

Make sure to leave a little space between the bottom of the magnifying glass and the bottom of the shoe box.

Step 4: Draw Holes for Sound.

Draw a small hole (about the size of a quarter) on each side of the larger shoe box.

The holes should be on the sides of the larger shoe box towards the back away from the outline

of the smaller shoe box you traced earlier.

This is for sound when the lid is shut.

Step 5: Cut the Outline Out of the Larger Shoebox.


Take the X-acto knife and cut along the outline you traced onto the larger shoe box earlier.

I found it easier to cut with the x-acto knife by pushing the x-acto knife in and out like a saw.

Step 6: Cut the End Off of the Smaller Shoebox.


Using the X-acto knife cut off the end of the smaller shoe box that was lined up with the larger shoe box so, it will fit inside of the larger shoe box.

Also, make sure you cut the lids of the boxes so they will fit together.

I find it easier to cut using the in and out saw like motion.

Step 7: Cut Hole for Magnifying Glass in Smaller Shoe Box.


Cut out the hole for the magnifying glass that you traced earlier.

It's easiest to cut with the saw motion.

Step 8: Cut Holes for Sound.


Cut the holes on the larger shoe box you drew earlier for sound.

Again, cut using the saw motion.

Step 9: Tape the 2 Shoe Boxes Together.

Fit the 2 shoe boxes together at the ends you cut off earlier. Tape the 2 shoe boxes together so, they will open and close as one larger box. Make sure the bottoms of both boxes line up so, when taped together it will lay flat on something.

You will want to tape all the seams both inside and outside of the boxes.

Make sure the lids fit together and the box closes correctly as if it was one box.

Step 10: Tape Magnifying Glass Into Shoe Box.

Tape the magnifying glass to the hole you cut out using a bunch of small pieces of tape that go all the way around the hole.

Fold each piece of tape and attach them to both the magnifying glass and the shoe box.

The small pieces of tape will help with taping the curve of the magnifying glass.

There should be a tight seal and light should not be able to get into any holes around the edge of magnifying glass.

Also, keep tape off of the lens as well.

Step 11: Cover All Holes in Shoebox With Duct Tape.

Cover up any holes or areas left over where light might be able to leak in.

Be sure to check that no light is getting in through the seams.

Step 12: Cover the Inside of Both Shoeboxes With the Black Construction Paper.

Cover all the insides of both shoe boxes with the black construction paper.

Cut the paper to size with the scissors and glue it to the inside of the boxes using the glue stick.

The paper adheres to the shoe box best when you apply glue to both the construction paper and the inside of the shoe box.

Step 13: Mold Clay Into Stand for Cell Phone.

Mold the clay from the materials list to make a stand for your cell phone.

You'll want it to support your cell phone turned sideways in landscape mode.

It has to stand the phone up close to 90 degrees so, it's picture lines up with the magnifying glass.

Using clay will make it easier to make any adjustments needed.

You'll want to keep the clay away from the speakers of your cell phone so, you don't muffle any sound.

Step 14: Flip Phone Screen Upside Down.

When projecting the magnifying glass flips your image.

To account for this there are 2 ways to flip phone's image upside down.

Make sure your phone is in landscape mode(this is sideways). Then lock your phone from rotating by swiping down from the top of the screen and turning off phone rotating capabilities in the drop down menu. This way is shown in the left side image for this step.

If this doesn't work. Go into your phone's app store and download a phone rotation app that allows you to lock your phone's screen in landscape mode. There are many to choose from in the Google Play Store or your phone's app store.

Step 15: Place Phone in Projector.

While the image you want to project is upside down on your phone, place your phone into the projector using the phone stand that you made out of clay earlier.

Placing the phone in the middle of the projector is a good starting place.

You'll adjust the position later.

Step 16: Place Chair With Projector on It About 2 Feet From Wall.

You'll want to place the projector on a chair or something similar so, you're not projecting your image on the bottom of the wall.

Position the chair sideways and place it about 2 feet from the wall that you'll project your video onto.

You can adjust where the projector sits for focus later on.

The phone should be inside the projector on the clay stand with your image upside down at this point.

Step 17: Turn the Lights Off.

Turn off all the lights in the room that you'll watch your video in.

The darker the room the better.

You should see some type of image on the wall at this point.

Step 18: Adjust Focus of Image.

You should have an image on the wall at this point but, it might be blurry.

To fix this, adjust the distance between the projector and the wall and the distance of the phone to the magnifying lens. You might have to go back and fourth to find a focus you're happy with.

Make sure your phone is standing up close to 90 degrees on the stand. The clay stand will allow you to make any adjustments you need in the phones angle.

My projector was 18 inches away from the wall and the phone was 11 inches from the magnifying lens and my phone was standing on it's side close to 90 degrees. This gave me a 10 inch x 5 inch screen on the wall.

Step 19: Sit Back and Watch Your Video.

Once you adjust the focus so your happy with the image you're done. Just sit back and watch your video. Here is a video and a couple still pictures of my images that I projected.