Easy tutorial on how to turn your phone into a projector. All you need are a few supplies including a magnifying glass and a shoebox. Easy instructions.

Don’t spend hundreds of dollars on a projector when you can make your phone into a mini projector instead. All you need is a few household materials and a little time to make your own projector.

How To Turn a Phone Into a Projector promo graphic

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

Can you even believe it?

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…..it’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.

turn a phone into a projector

How to Turn a Phone Into a Projector

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

Here’s how to turn a phone into a projector.

It’s amazing.

The ideas are endless.  I’m always all about murals. This is the perfect project to create a mural or map on your wall. You could also 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

turn phone into projector magnifying glass on a desk

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.

turn phone into projector steps

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.

turn phone into projector how to

Step 3:  Snugly fit the magnifying glass into the hole

Make sure it fits snugly.

There will be a little light around the edges.

Don’t worry about that. We are going to add tape to hide them.

turn phone into projector magnifying glass

Step 4:  Tape off edges with black tape

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

Add tape to the edges of the circle.

Tape firmly into place until light doesn’t show through.


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.

Add black construction paper to the edges and the sides.

Glue or tape into place.

phone in a 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.

Then you could trace with a pencil and fill in with paint or marker.

Can you even believe it?

A shoebox 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. Image for Alice Hanson Alice Hanson

    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

  2. Image for Laura Laura

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

  3. Image for Stacey Stacey

    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!!

  4. Image for Marybeth Marybeth

    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!

  5. Image for Regina Regina

    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 . . . .

  6. Image for Cynthia at herlovelynest.com Cynthia at herlovelynest.com

    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 :-)

  7. Image for Peggy Zortman 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!

  8. Image for Cindy@DIYbeautify Cindy@DIYbeautify

    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... https://bit.ly/1m33i0N Thanks girl - you rock!!

  9. Image for Sarah Sarah

    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!

  10. Image for Hope Hope

    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.

  11. Image for Barbara Ann Barbara Ann

    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 Www.etsy.com / shop / barbaraannscreations

  12. Image for Rita Hosick 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.

  13. Image for Atta Girl Amy Atta Girl Amy

    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.

  14. Image for Katie Goldsworthy Katie Goldsworthy

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

  15. Image for Emily Emily

    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! :(

    1. Image for Tori Tori

      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.

  16. Image for Steph Steph

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

Comments are closed.