Introduction: Smartphone Projector-Final IED STEAM Project

This is a simple and useful DIY project that can be used to make your own easy projections, whether it's with movies or images! All materials are fairly inexpensive and expedient, as this shouldn't take too long to complete.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

The supplies you'll need for this project are:

-a cardboard shoebox

-foam board

-magnifying glass


-a glue gun

-XACTO knife




-any other design aspects (such as paper, drawing materials, etc.)

-a free workspace area

Step 2: Snap Handle From Magnifying Glass

First, you want to prepare the magnifying glass by snapping off the handle. I personally could easily break this off using my hand, but I've seen other ideas, such as using a hacksaw or type of knife. This makes sure that the magnifying glass is set and ready ahead of time.

Step 3: Secure Your Box

Next, you will want to glue down and secure any flaps on your box so that nothing will tear or fall apart when creating the rest of this project. Cut off the top of the box, but set it aside and save it for later. I would suggest using school glue or a glue stick when doing this. This will also make it easier when cutting out the hole for your magnifying glass lens.

Step 4: Trace and Cut Out the Lens Hole

The next step is to trace and cut out the lens hole. First, take your magnifying lens, and place it on one of the box ends. Next, use a pencil to trace the circle around the lens. You will then use your XACTO knife to cut around the traced circle, making sure that your hand is facing away from the knife. Once done with this, you should be able to pop out the cut circle and be able to fit the lens.

Step 5: Glue Down the Magnifying Glass

Then, you will want to connect the glass lens to that box end with the hole. A glue gun will be needed for this part, as you want the best security possible to hold it in place. Place the hot glue around the edges of the glass, and then let it sit for a few minutes.

Step 6: Create the Phone Stand

For this part, you will need foam board, scissors/XACTO knife, and a hot glue gun. You only need half a sheet of normal-sized foam board, which you will then divide in half. I used the XACTO knife to cut through this, but a strong pair of scissors could work too. You will then place these perpendicular to each other, and glue them with hot glue, waiting a few minutes for drying time.

Step 7: Putting It All Together

This final step entails putting all of these pieces together. You will place your phone/device onto the stand, with full brightness on, along with an image or movie of some sort. Then, place the box cover on top of the box itself. Find a dark space and place the box down so that it can project!

For better results/quick fixes:

Try placing your phone far back on the phone stand, and creep it closer to get better lighting/projection

Glue back the phone stand if having fall issues with your device

*The actual projection may seem a little grainy (as seen in the photo above), which is normal