Introduction: Rotating Cardboard Security Camera: Ceiling or Table With Plans

This instructables will show you how to make a cardboard security camera using an old phone, and some cardboard! It rotates to get more of your room in view, and scare off any intruders who might want to break in. Fun little project from cardboard, moderately easy to make.



A sheet of cardboard, or broken down cardboard box.

An Arduino Uno

A 9g servo motor

A bearing (One used in project is from a fidget spinner)

An old phone and its charging cable

A paperclip

Some wires


A razor blade, scissors, or a knife.

A soldering iron

A hot glue gun

A cable and computer to program an Arduino UNO.

Step 1: Cutting Out the Pieces

Print out these 4 pages and glue them onto cardboard. Cut it all out, and the rest of this instructable will show how to put it all together. For the "Base Plate", use very thick cardboard, or cut it out twice and glue them together.

Google drive link to .zip archive:

Step 2: Fold the Shell

Take the large piece of cardboard labelled "Camera_Shell" and score the cardboard along the lines inside. Fold it into a box, as shown in the image. Glue the 1" strip on the end to the other side, and your box is completed.

Step 3: Give the Phone a Spot

Take the square labelled "Camera_Front", score on the lines, and then fold those to 90 degrees. It should look like whats in the first image. Then, make a small cutout on a short side of the "Camera_Shell" and hold the phone in there as shown in the second image. Then, put the "Camera_Front" ontop and glue it in place. Careful not to glue the phone, too! It should end up looking like shown in the 3rd image.

Step 4: A Bit More Support for the Phone

Don't take the phone out yet, because we need to give it a bit more support. Take the "Inside Support" and put some glue on the edges. Put it in the back of the camera shell, and let the glue dry. This will push on the back of the phone, giving it some support from falling out. Then, trim the edge to keep it flush with the back of the camera shell.

Step 5: Hole for Power Button

When the phone gets put inside, some of the buttons are being pressed. Wherever your buttons are, cut a hole for them.

Step 6: Giving It a Mount: Triangle!

Cut out one of the "Angled Couplers" and fold/glue it together. Then, glue it to the top of the shell.

Step 7: Giving It a Mount: Bearing Peg

Cut a hole in the top of the "Angled Coupler" with an exact-o knife (or, just about anything), a bit smaller than shown in the photo, and change the size when you put in the peg. Take the piece of cardboard called, "Bearing Peg" and squish it flat. Roll it into a cylinder, and glue it so it doesn't unroll. Put the bearing in the middle, and hot glue around the top. Push the bearing up into the hot-glue. Next, absolutely soak the bottom of that peg-bearing combo with hot glue and push it into the hole. Make sure the hole is big enough for the peg to fit into.

Step 8: Really Make Sure the Peg Is Stuck

Cut a hole in the bag of that triangle and shove it full of hot glue. As much as will fit, I pumped a whole stick and let it dry for 10 minutes. You can also put a bit more glue ontop of the bearing, to really make sure it sticks.

Step 9: Glue Some Junk on the Back (For Balance!)

If you hold the whole thing by the bearing, it might be quite difficult. To fix that, put junk on the back (nickels, pennies, scraps, etc) to even out the weight. You know you have enough when it's easy to spin quickly while holding onto the bearing. It shouldn't sway all over the place when you spin it, and it shouldn't be hard to hold onto at any time. Make sure the phone is inside to get the weight right.

Step 10: Bearing Tube: 1

Take the piece of cardboard labeled, "Bearing Tube", and form a tube out of out, big enough to tightly fit around the bearing. Glue it together, and then put glue on the edges of the bearing. Slide the tube over while the glue is still hot. Be quick, because the metal of the bearing will wick away the heat much faster than cardboard. Let it dry upside-down, and then add some more hot glue on it and again let it dry upside-down so it doesnt drip down.

Step 11: Bearing Tube: 2

After the glue from the previous step dries, we can attach the bearing tube to the base plate. Cut a hole in the base plate so that the bearing tube will fit tightly inside. Put a thick ring of glue around the top of the bearing tube, and push it into the the base plate. Let that dry, and put just a bit more glue ontop and smooth it out with the tip of the glue gun to make it sit more flush on a table. It should be able to swivel when you hold the base plate.

Step 12: Rotation 1: Hardware

Unfold a paperclip to make it straight (straighter than mine, hopefully!) Then, make a small hook on the end and put it into the arm of the servo motor. Then, glue the other end to the bottom of the security camera. Let the glue dry. When you turn the motor, the camera should rotate too.

Step 13: Rotation 2: Software

Upload the code provided to your Arduino, and move onto the next step!

Step 14: Wiring 1

Get a USB Cable, and strip off the casing to reveal the multiple wires inside. The "metal paper" around the USB can be pulled off from the exposed part, it won't matter. Cut the red and black cables, and then strip a bit of casing off the end of them. Grab 2 cables, preferably red and black but any will do, and then solder these wires together as shown in picture. Slide over heatshrink, and the whole thing in electrical tape. (All red together, and all black together.)

Make sure you had heat shrink on the wires to slide over the solder joints. Short circuits are never good.

Step 15: Wiring 2

Glue the Arduino to the base plate around the same spot in the image. It could be anywhere, but I think this is the best spot. Next, attach all the wires as shown on the image. Then, do some cable management and glue the cables where they should be. Make sure that the cable won't stop the camera from rotating, and that the cable is plugged into the phone when you do this.

Step 16: Decorate (optional)

Time to make it look good! I didn't go crazy with it, but you can do just about anything to it.

No amount of decoration is too much decoration, go wild!

Cardboard Speed Challenge

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Cardboard Speed Challenge