Most GPS units come with a windshield mount. Windshield mounts are not ideal since they obstruct your view (they are even illegal in a few states), leave unsightly wires dangling across the dash, and make it easy for thieves to see. It is usually difficult to remove the GPS from the mount (to program or to take it with you to prevent theft) and mounts often break.
My GPS holder is neat looking, secure, yet easy to insert and remove. These instructions are for my 4.3 inch GPS, but they could easily be modified to fit any GPS/iPod/cell phone/MP3 player/PDA.
9x12 sheet of fun foam - available at craft stores and many dollar stores in many colors
20-gauge hardware wire (also available at dollar stores). The wire should be strong enough to hold your GPS but flexible enough to be bent with your bare hands.
Foam floor tile or garden kneeler (optional, see mounting methods)
Craft knife, straight edge and cutting surface
Hint on sewing on fun foam:
Some stores sell two thicknesses of fun foam; use the thinnest - it's easier to sew on.
Use the longest stitch on your machine. To keep the feed dogs from making marks on the underside of the foam, place a scrap piece of paper underneath the foam. After stitching, gently tear the paper away. Spray with water to loosen the paper if necessary.
Step 1: Cut the Foam
With a craft knife and a straight edge, cut two pieces of fun foam, one 1"x12", and the other 7 1/2" x 2".
Step 2: Sew the Foam
Fold the 12" piece 2 3/4" in from each end. Sew close to each edge on both sides. These are the "arms" of the mount.
Fold the wide piece 2 1/4" from one end and sew close to each edge. Make another row of stitching parallel to these edges down the middle of the pocket.
Tear away the protective paper and trim away loose threads.
You can modify this mount for other devices by changing the size of these pieces cut. The "arms" should, when folded, be just long enough to wrap around the back and sides of your device plus about 1/8" on each side of the front.
Step 3: Cut and Bend Wire Form for Holder
Bend the wire to make the form for the mount. For the long and narrow piece, bend a piece of wire so that it forms two complete loops around the perimeter of the piece and extends 3-4" on each side. You want the wire to fit just inside the two pockets with no gap around the outside. The second loop can be just slightly smaller so that it nests inside the first loop.
For the wide piece with one pocket, form two "w" shaped wire pieces, again filling the inside of the pockets you have sewn. Let the wires extend about 4" from the top of the pocket.
Step 4: Insert Wire Into the Pockets
Insert the wires you have cut into the pockets of the foam pieces. To insert the wires arms, first bend in the center, then flatten out after the wires have been inserted.
Step 5: Attach the Two Pieces
Place the two pieces face down (with the exposed wires up). Place the arms on top of the wider piece to form a "t". Weave the wires together.
Step 6: Thread the Wires to Back
Cut a 1/2 " slit in the wider foam piece, about 1/2" above the arms (this is the one piece without a pocket). Fold this piece around to the back and insert all of the loose wires through this slit and tape it down
Step 7: Bend to Shape.
Place your GPS on the front side of the holder and bend the arms and foot to fit your unit. Remove the GPS and bend the arms into a slightly tighter arc. The arms should now be able to grip the GPS and hold it securely.
Step 8: Mount the Holder
You are now ready to mount your holder in your car. There are several options, depending on the configuration of your dashboard.
- On my old car, I had two center vents approx 4-5" apart. I took a few of the wires from each side and hooked them into each of the vents. You could also hook some of the wires into a single vent.
- You could wedge a few or all of the wires into a crack between the console and the dash.
- You could use screws or a strong adhesive to attach the holder to the dash.
The method I used on my new car, which has a tray opening about 1" high, 5" wide, and 4:" deep:
Cut five pieces from a foam floor tile or garden kneeler, each about 1" wide and 3" long. Hook the wires from the holder into one of these pieces to attach it, then stack and bind all of the floor tile pieces with duct or electrical tape.
Squeeze the foam stack and wedge it into the tray opening in the dash. If it is too loose to stay, add another piece of foam to the stack.
Cut off any wires you do not need for mounting.