Homemade phone projector falls short of expectations

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Pinterest has many great ideas — ideas that people would be more than willing to try if they just knew how the projects would turn out. Most Pinterest projects turn out as a failure; this one was not quite a failure, but it was pretty close. 

I tried making a projector out of a box for a smartphone. I figured this would be good for college students without TVs to use when having friends over. This way everybody can watch a movie comfortably. Most things needed can be found lying around the apartment or house.

The projector unfortunately didn’t work as well as I had hoped. The picture was there, but it was fuzzy. The directions said to focus it by moving the box farther back from the wall. That made the picture larger, which cleared the image up a little bit, but it was still hard to completely make out the image. 

The instructions also say to use paper clips to build a stand for the phone. The paper clips wouldn’t hold my phone up, so instead a white board eraser was used. Anything to hold the phone and keep it sturdy will work. Another problem that came up is that the room has to be really dark.     The picture doesn’t show up if the room isn’t pitch black.  The room it worked best in was a little storage room with no windows. 

If there was a way to focus the picture then this would be a great way to have a movie night with a bunch of people. Instead of cramming around a laptop or television, people could make their own home theater.



  • Smartphone
  • Box with a lid
  • Magnifying glass
  • Tape (preferably electrical tape or duct tape)
  • Something to prop the phone up



  1. Trace the magnifying glass on the outside of the box. Use a sharp knife to cut the hole for it.
  2. Tape the magnifying glass in so that it stays and all the holes are covered. No light should get into the box.
  3. Use something to prop the phone up inside the box. Put the phone in upside down. This way when it is projected through the magnify glass it comes out the correct way.
  4. To get the best picture, use a dark room with a white wall.