Build a Cheapo Photo Projector Using a Phone, Shoebox, and Magnifying Glass


Want a cheap and simple way to project photographs from your smartphone onto your wall? Photojojo writes that you can actually make a makeshift projector with a few things you might already have lying around. Total cost: $1.


The basic ingredients are a shoebox and a large magnifying glass. The shoebox will house everything, and the glass will serve as the projector’s lens.


Basically, you’ll want to darken the inside of your shoebox, and then carefully mount your magnifying glass lens onto one end (making sure there are no light leaks).

Then, simply place your smartphone inside to have what’s on the screen be projected through the glass. You’ll want to figure out how to flip the screen upside-down (it’s different for each smartphone), since the magnifying glass will do a flipping of its own.


Focusing the image on the wall involves moving the phone closer and farther away from the lens. For best viewing, you’ll want to make your screen as bright as possible and the environment as dark as possible.


You can find a step-by-step guide on this idea over on Photojojo and in this Instructables tutorial by Matt Bothell.

Image credits: Photographs by Photojojo