How to Make a DIY Movie Projector For Your Phone

Going to the movies is fun. Not only that, a study showed that a movie can help one release suppressed emotions and alleviate physical and psychological side effects of emotional suppression. Why not watch a great movie from home though? With the effect of a movie theater right from the comfort of your bedroom. It can easily be done by using the principles of science and a cell phone to create a projector. 



What you’ll need to make this DIY projector is a magnifying lens, foam board, smartphone, glue sticks, PVA glue and a shoebox. For the tools you’ll need a hobby or XACTO knife, a hot glue gun, a cutter knife, a hacksaw and a ruler. While encouraging young boys and girls to participate in this experiment/project, there must always be an adult present when working with these tools. Safety is the first priority in creating any project.

Step 1

After having instructed anyone inexperienced with the tools at hand, start on the project. First, use the hacksaw to remove the handle from the magnifying glass. This can be done with another tool as well, but it is not as effective unless it has sharp blades.

Step 2

The next step is to secure the box from flapping by gluing any loose flaps or edges. Do this with Elmer’s glue or any other universal glue. After this, put the box out to dry. Consider propping something on the edges you just glued. There is a good chance these pieces might want to come back out. Leave like this for about fifteen minutes without interfering.

After dried, position the box upright and place the lens on the smaller side of the rectangular box. Make sure to center it according to the face of the box. Use a pencil to trace the circle where the lens will eventually go. Then, you must cut out a circular hole in place of the traced circle. A tip for perfectionists- if you want an exact circle, use an XACTO knife on the other end of a compass and cut out a perfectly symmetrical hole. Remove the circle that is leftover.

Step 3

Position your lens to mark where it will be later glued. This tip goes for anything done in construction or DIY projects. Always mark something before gluing or cutting it. After making sure the hole is just right, place the lens into position and glue the edge of it with a hot glue gun. This can be done on the inside of the box so it does not become aesthetically unpleasing.

After this is done, repeat the same concept onto the lid. Position the lid back onto the box and mark where the lid and the projector interfere. Cut out the part that is in the way.

Step 4

The next step is particularly easy. All you have to do is create a phone stand in the shape of an upside down T. The idea is that the phone must stay perpendicular to the ground to avoid distortion. Cut out two small pieces of foam board and glue one in the middle of the face of the other one. This is used by using double sided padding tape on your phone and just taping your phone to the board.

The preparation to the body is done, now for the technological part. Set up your phone with the highest possible brightness. This makes for a better projection. Turn off your lock screen or any screen saver you might have. It would be quite annoying if you had to open up the box each time the screen goes black.

Step 5

An additional thing you can do is create a tiny little hole on the side where your phone is. An average phone can hold battery for an average of 780mAh and 1200mAh.) This can be a stretch with some phones, especially if the battery is old. The solution is to create a little tiny hole for a charger to go through. Make sure the hole is not enough to emit light into the box. This would interfere with the process of light being reflected into the outside.

After this is done, turn your phone to an image and start adjusting the position of the foam board and phone to create a clear image. Note the image can get sharper and then softer again after a certain point. Once you have this image in place, put out the lights, close the lid and start enjoying the movie.

This projector project is not only a fun thing to do with your kids, but also quite a romantic gesture for a special someone. No matter what the occasion, be safe and enjoy time spend using the principles of science. The project could become a family tradition or a cool gift to give to a friend as a gift. Be safe and enjoy.