Introduction: DT Project: How to Make an Easy Fold-down Phone or Tablet Stand

About: I'm an engineer and a dad who has a love for designing and making toys, STEM projects and anything electronicy.

In our DT club at school, we've been making collapsable phone/tablet stands and I thought it was time to share!

I've had Year 3s (7-8 year olds) successfully making this project, so it's very doable, even as part of a larger class.

Using only a handful of square dowel, round dowel and card for triangles (alongside simple primary-level tools), you can make a phone/tablet stand!

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Above are the lists of materials for both the phone and tablet (modelled on an ipad, but works for a Hudl or smaller tablet too).

The tools you'll need are:

  • Junior hacksaw
  • Hand drill
  • Sand paper
  • Drill bits (the same diameter as your round dowel)
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Pencil
  • Ruler

Firstly, cut your materials to size, making making the sure the ends of the square dowel pieces are cut at a right angle.

Use the sandpaper to smooth off any jagged edges from cutting.

Step 2: Drilling the Holes

The size of the holes depend on the diameter of your round dowel. I used 5mm round dowel, so I used a 5mm wood drill bit.

Mark out the drill points on two of each of the pieces shown in the photos.

To stop the wood moving, clamping the wood down helps a lot!

Begin slowly to make sure the drill bit's centered on your mark. Then speed up once you're firmly in place.

Step 3: Laying Out and Constructing Frame 1

I'm showing how to make the phone version of the stand here, but the tablet version is the same construction!

Phone: for this step, you'll need:

  • 2 x 22cm pieces
  • 2 x 11cm pieces
  • Card triangles

Lay out your pieces as shown in the photo, then add a dab of hot glue between the wood pieces and press together.

Then, hot-glue a card triangle over the corner to hold the pieces in place and add strength.

Repeat for the other 3 corners, then flip the frame over and repeat with card triangles on the back of each corner.

Step 4: Laying Out and Constructing Frame 2

Phone: For this step, you'll need:

  • 4 x 9cm pieces
  • 1 x 11cm piece
  • 2 x 16cm piece
  • Card triangles

Lay out your pieces as in the photos with a 1cm gap between the top two 9cm pieces. You can use a piece of scrap wood as a spacer between them to get them parallel.

Add a dab of hot glue between the joins and press the pieces together.

Add overlapping card triangles as in photo 3 to strengthen the joins.

Then, glue down the extra 9cm and 11cm pieces as shown in photos 5,6 and 7.

Step 5: Laying Out and Constructing Frame 3

Phone: For this step, you'll need:

  • 2 x 12cm pieces
  • 1 x 13cm pieces

Making sure the holes are at the open end of the 'U' shaped piece, add a dab of hot glue to join each piece of wood together and add card triangles front and back for strength.

Step 6: Threading the Dowel

Phone: For this step, you'll need:

  • 1 x 14cm piece round dowel
  • 1 x 16cm piece round dowel

Line up the holes in frame 2 inside 2 of the holes in frame one as shown in photo 1.

Twisting the dowel back and forth, push it through the frame one one side and out the frame on the other side.

The two pieces should now swing back and forth with a little encouragement!

Repeat with the 'U' shaped frame and the other 2 holes in frame one with the 16cm piece of dowel.

Step 7: Adding Stoppers

To prevent your frame collapsing, we'll add stoppers so, cut yourself a couple of 1cm pieces of square dowel.

Next, raise the phone stand at an angle you're happy with and hot glue one stopper just behind that 'U' shaped frame piece. Repeat on the other side.

You can always add stoppers in other places to give your frame different angles it can hold your phone/tablet at!

Step 8: You're Finished!

There you go, you're finished! When you want to pack it away, just rotate the arms until they're flat-packed and tuck them between a couple of books.

My children were quite keen to paint their finished stands but if you do, make sure you don't paint over the holes where the dowels rotate. You want your stand to move freely!

Thanks for checking out the instructable and do post photos if you make them yourself!