How To Make Your Phone Into a Projector

How To Make Your Phone Into a Projector



I turned my i-phone into a wall projector for under $4.00.

It was easy and simple and took about 10 minutes to make and then I used the projector to transfer letters and numbers on the wall.

Just like this recipe wall.

If you are a physicist this post will make perfect sense to you.


If you are like me and physics and science make your head spin…’s hard to understand how this works or why it works…..but the most amazing thing is…..

….it really does work.

And here’s how I did it.


How to Make Your Phone Into a Projector

I made this project after I read this post from Photojojo and it was so amazing I had to share.

The ideas are endless.  You could transfer images or text or numbers all with simply your i-phone and these supplies.


black construction paper

black tape

shoe box

magnifying glass

paper clip


Step 1:  Remove handle from magnifying glass

I found this magnifying glass in the office supply section of Wal-Mart for only .94.

You can simply unscrew the handle to remove it.


Step 2:  Cut a hole in the end of the box

Trace around your magnifying glass with a piece of chalk.

Cut out the hole.


Step 3:  Snugly fit the magnifying glass into the hole

Make sure it fits snugly.


Step 4:  Tape off edges with black tape

You do not want any light showing through around the magnifying glass.


Step 5:  Cover inside of box with black construction paper

You want as much light as possible reflecting out through the magnifying box not being absorbed inside the box.


Step 6:  Place the i-phone at the end of the box

Adjust for focus.

You can move the box closer and farther away from the wall to focus it.

You can also move the phone closer and farther away from the magnifying glass inside the box to focus it.

Prop the phone up or make this easy stand for it from paper clips.


Step 7:  Project image onto a wall

Here’s what my recipe looked like after I projected it onto the wall.

Can you even believe it?

A shoe box and an i-phone….

….isn’t physics wonderful?


Make sure your room is dark.  I used the projector in a dark room to make sure the image showed up clearly.

If you are using text you will have to create a mirror image of it and flip it upside down before you project it onto the wall. 

Here’s an easy tutorial on creating a mirror image with text.

I e-mailed a copy of the text to myself and then loaded it onto the phone to project onto the wall.


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  1. Awesome–great post Karianne–love it! Do you use photojojo lenses for your iphone too. I’m thinking of getting them and the tripod!

  2. Shut the front door! This is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time! You’ve done it again, KariAnne 🙂

  3. Robin Stephens :

    Yep. You were right. My head’s spinning. =) Cool, though!


  5. BRILLIANT! I’m so thankful for those who do understand physics and such and are willing to figure things like this out! Life to the full! Melissa

  6. Oh my your own opaque projector!!!! I love this and you too sweet girl! Hope you have a tremendous Thursday!

  7. If I didn’t know you were brilliant before ( I did know BTW! ) I certainly would now! Brill!!!!

  8. Karrianne,
    You make me want to jump in the car and get the goods! But I still am in my pj’s… Oh I will fit right in with the young crowd! Thanks for an excellent post!
    Smiles, Alice

  9. If I had only had this years ago! But NOW I do! Won-der-fulllll!

  10. there are photo apps on the smart phone that let you FLIP the image. It’s called Collage- from Blue Chip. FYI

  11. Soooo Cool! Great to know and so easy–thanks for sharing!

  12. Wow, this is really cool! Thanks for sharing.

  13. GET OUT!!! No really, totally said GET OUT, I think I’ll try and see how good a video will look! My daughter and her friends would have fun with that!! Thanks!!

  14. This is not physics. This is a little something called MAGIC. You, sorceress, you! Oh my god. Every room in my house is about to have some type of projection art this weekend. This is the BEST thing I have ever seen on the entire internet (including PINTEREST) ever in my life!

  15. One of your comments mentioned an Opaque Projector – that’s the hulking machine sitting in the corner of my library’s storage room . . . LOL! When people learn THIS trick, no more hauling THAT monster out!

    The possibilities are ENDLESS, I tell you!!! 🙂

    Make hay while the sun shines, for tomorrow it rains! Ick . . . .

  16. Love this one. Makes you want to create a place to use it!

  17. That’s amazing! Who would have thought?

  18. Genius.

  19. Lady Delores LeBoeuf :

    WOW and WOW……….

  20. Thanks much, KariAnne! You rock!!!

  21. Oh, this is so cool! Thanks!

  22. Oh my gosh! This is stinkin’ awesome! Oh no! I hope I don’t have to watch Spongebob backwards now! LOL 😀

  23. Amazing KariAnne! I would try this if my phone wasn’t 17,000 years old and dumb lol.

  24. YOU ROCK! This is perfect for so many things I have in mind for the new house. How exciting. I can’t wait to try it.

  25. What a cute idea 🙂

  26. I am SO trying this…thanks

  27. Wow! Amazing thanks for this gem!

  28. What the What!!?? I was literally going to start searching for one of those old projectors but no need now. Thanks so much! Lesley

  29. oh my gosh you must be kidding me with this awesome project! I can’t wait to make one, I’ve got a ton of home projects floating around my head that require a projector and they’re so darn expensive.
    thanks a million for sharing this, KariAnne 🙂

  30. Peggy Zortman :

    Brilliant! You are awesomely amazing! And did I say I like you too? How do you think these things up? Oh, I don’t care, just please don’t stop!

  31. Thanks for sharing this crazy amazing trick, KariAnne! Hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!


  32. I’ve seen this before in blogland but you’re instructions are by far the best!!! From a fellow “art brain” thank you!!!

  33. This is seriously amazing and may have just saved my life!! I am so tired of asking my husband to drag home the 100+ year old projector from work to make cool DIY subway art like this…
    Thanks girl – you rock!!

  34. What a clever girl you are, KariAnne! This would make a terrific science project for someone’s science fair.
    Don’t know that I’d ever have use for this, but it’s great to have this idea in my files. ‘-)
    You are amazing!

  35. The comments are filled with adulation but doI have to pile on …since I left teaching I miss my overhead projector which was perfect for all sorts of other craft projects. NOW you have my brain just perking as I eye my magnifying glass.

  36. AWESOME!

  37. Holy Guacamole! ! I have a wall that I want to paint a favorite saying on. But knew I could never get it right. This would do it!
    Next project has just been decided. Thanks
    Barbara Ann / shop / barbaraannscreations

  38. Rita Hosick :

    I LOVE this idea!!! I was looking for a way to bring the “drive-in” to my house this summer and this is the perfect way!! I can’t wait to try this out.

  39. Wowsers . . . this is sheer genius! I’m so glad you shared this great tute! Thank you, thank you, THANK you.
    Happily pinning,

  40. Is this just for iPhones? Can those of us who use the *real* 🙂 smart phones do this too?

  41. Oh my goodness, I have to try this! I even think I have all the supplies already, including one broken handled magnifying glass (now I’m glad I kept it, lol) Love it, Karianne!

  42. Awesome!! Will this work if you are trying to watch a movie on your phone??

  43. I am clearly not a physicist, so I don’t understand how this works. But I’m going to try it. So much easier than buying a bulky overhead projector — and trust me, I’ve been on the lookout for one.

  44. Amazing!! This is exactly what I need. Wish I had know how to do it sooner!

  45. You are Brilliant with a capital B!!!!! Thanks for that great tutorial.

  46. How very smart! Potential DIY projects churning in my head! Thanks for sharing!

  47. This is so stinkin’ awesome!!! If I only would have known this for the past 10 years!!!
    Tweeting this out!

  48. Woaah! This just rocked my world! Oh the possibilities. Thank you for sharing!!

  49. I’m curious to check in on whether or not anyone tried this. I tried this yesterday and it didn’t work out for me. So bummed! 🙁

    • I tried it and couldn’t get the thing to work for me either. At least not the size I need. AND it was upside down. Not Backwards.

  50. This is amazing!

  51. This is AWESOME!!! Tytytytytytyty!!! Two questions… One, can this be done with any smartphone? Two, can this be done with videos?

  52. What’s the power of your glass, do u know?