This is a quick project to create a simple, one-piece smartphone stand. Use it as a tripod for selfies or timelapse videos, a base for use on a nightstand, or as a stand to hold the phone while watching videos. These examples were made using containers found around my house. The only tools needed are a pair of scissors, and maybe a marker.
Step 1: Find a Suitable Container
I used a square water bottle, a yogurt container, and a creamer bottle. Use something that is sturdy enough to support the weight of a smartphone. Some round, clear water bottles are very thin, and they may flex too much when used. Don't use a hard, brittle plastic that is hard to flex. It may break or split while you are cutting it. Find a container that is pliable but strong.
Step 2: The Yogurt Container Stand / Tripod
Take the container, wash it out, and cut two notches on either side that will accommodate the thickness of your phone. The notches should hold the phone upright without flexing. Cut the notches about 2/3 the width of your phone, so when the phone is in place, about 1/3 is sticking over the top. Use a marker to draw your cut lines, if desired. Then cut away a large portion on the screen side, but leaving enough upright support to hold the phone. Your phone should sit comfortably in a vertical orientation, and the camera should not be obsured by any part of the stand. Optionally, you can trim the bottom to create a tripod base, which will be more stable when used on an uneven surface.
Step 3: The Creamer Bottle Stand
Using the same technique as the yogurt stand, you will end up with something like this. The shape of the bottle did not allow for the tripod, but it still pretty stable. This stand is the most sturdy, due to the thicker plastic it is made from.
Step 4: The Square Water Bottle Stand
Again, using the same technique, I made a stand from a clear plastic water bottle. This plastic is a bit thinner, thus not quite as strong as the others. I did make a tripod base, but by removing the plastic from the bottom, it makes the overall stand a little less stable.
Step 5: Wrap Up
These are just some basic stands that may be of some use. I use my phone to shoot timelapse videos, and they work great for that. I am planning to make a couple more using shampoo bottles, which are made from a strong and pliable plastic.