Can you make a projector at home?

Can You Make A Projector At Home
Photo by Artem Kovalev / Unsplash

As technology advances, so does the ability to bring your entertainment from a small device like a smartphone or tablet into larger formats for everyone to enjoy. Turn your device into a projector with just an everyday household item - cardboard! You won't believe how easy and cost-effective it is to turn your phone into a fantastic cinema standard projector and share the movie night experience with some popcorn and soda.

Choose the Right Mirror and Box

Choose something large enough to capture all of the light from the image source and has High Reflectivity Coating (HRC) technology. It ensures that most of the light is reflected instead of absorbed by the surface, making for brighter images on your wall or screen. As for boxes, choose one lightweight but still sturdy enough to support your device without tipping over when in use.

Black Out the Inside of Your Projector

By blacking out the inside of your projector, you can significantly improve image quality. The process involves covering up parts of the projector's internal components that light up during operation, resulting in a sharper picture with fewer distractions. While this may sound like an advanced technical project, several online tutorials show how to do it yourself using simple materials and tools.

Install the Lens in Projector

If you want to make a projector at home, installing the lens is one of the most critical steps. Installing the lens correctly will ensure that your homemade projector projects images with clarity and sharpness. Here's how to make sure you get it right:

1. Before you start, ensure that all the pieces you need for your DIY projector are ready - including the lenses, light source (LED or other), film canister, etc.

2. Place your lens in its mount in front of your LED or another light source. Ensure it is secure, so it won't move when you turn on the power.

3. Once everything is in place, make small adjustments to ensure the lens is centered, and your light source hits it evenly.

4. Turn on the power and ensure everything is working as expected: ensure there are no flickering images or other signs of malfunctioning. If it works well, your DIY projector should be ready to use!

Making a Manual Focus

Begin by cutting the box into two equal pieces. The top piece should be smaller than the bottom one. Then make two small holes in the center of both pieces. Next, please make a small hole in the center of the paper towel roll and insert it into one of the holes you previously made in the box pieces. Secure it with tape or glue to ensure it doesn't move around.

Then take your magnifying lens and place it in front of the other hole you made earlier. You may need to adjust its position for better focus later on.

Now take your white sheet or poster board and cut a square out slightly bigger than the size of your box bottom piece. Place this inside the box, then reattach the top piece onto the bottom using tape or glue.

Finally, please turn off all lights, get your smartphone ready, point it towards your makeshift projector, and ensures properly focused. You should now be able to project whatever content you want onto a wall or surface of your choice!

Installing the Mirror

To install the mirror into the cardboard box, follow these steps:

1. Measure the length of one side of the cardboard box and cut a piece of reflective plastic or acrylic sheeting to fit it.

2. Glue the sheeting to one side of the box to reflect light onto the opposite wall when your phone's display is on.

3. Secure the mirror with tape if necessary to ensure it stays in place.

4. Cut another piece of plastic or acrylic sheeting to make a support for your phone that will allow you to adjust the angle and height of the screen so that it's appropriately reflected onto the wall.

5. Place your phone on the support and ensure it is angled correctly and securely attached.

6. Plug in your phone, turn on its display, then adjust the angle and height until you can see the image projected onto the wall from within the box.


Making a projector at home is not as difficult. With some basic supplies and ingenuity, you can create a working projector that will allow you to enjoy your TV shows on a larger screen. Follow the instructions in this post to make a DIY projector. Do you have any tips for creating a projector at home?

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