DIY How to Make a Homemade Cardboard Projector

Have you ever wanted a big huge TV screen but didn’t have the money to go buy one?  Today the girls and I made one with an iPhone, a cardboard box, and a magnifying glass.  It was actually really easy, and, believe it or not, it worked. It’s not the top-of-the-line Samsung TV but if you’re in a pinch to watch that game or your favorite movie on the big screen, this is a cheap option.  The fun part is we learned a little science and had fun trying to make it work.


So how did we do it?  Well, Munchy made a video to tell you exactly how to build your movie projector.  We actually got the original idea from Sick Science blog that has tons of great science projects.  The best part is that if you really like his Sick Science Experiments you can now buy them in stores or online.  We just did this science experiment for fun and didn’t use the scientific method but if you want to try doing that, I included some links at the bottom.  Also, remember this is a great way to earn your points on your DIY badge that I will talk more about it in a couple of weeks.

IMG_6495Let’s get started building our projector – watch the video to see the science behind why it works.

Cardboard Projector
Recipe Type: STEAM
Cuisine: Cardboard Projects
Author: Unschooling Paradise
Prep time:
Total time:
  • Cardboard box
  • marker
  • Smartphone
  • Packing tape
  • Magnifying glass
  • Utility knife and/or scissors
  • Adult supervision
  • protective eye gear
  • book to help prop box at an angle
  1. On one of the “short” ends of the box, trace around the magnifying glass with a marker
  2. Use the utility knife or scissors to cut the traced circle out of the box.
  3. Cut off the short flap opposite of your recently cut hole to hold the phone in place
  4. Fold the flap into a small phone prop.
  5. Slide the stand inside of one of the short flaps in the bottom of the box to hold it in place.
  6. Tape the magnifying glass over the hole you previously cut out.
  7. Set your screen to a landscape orientation. –
  8. slide from the bottom of the screen – find emblem that says lock screen – (lock with circle round it) – push to lock
  9. Place your phone upside down with a video playing in the box – toward the magnifying glass. Seal the box with packing tape. – ( we just used a book on top)
  10. Turn off all the lights, grab a snack, and enjoy the show!

Here are some more links to help you out:

About Chrissie

Follow our crazy journey across America as we visit roadside oddities, historical land marks and beautiful landscapes. I have ton of ideas and review educational products that will help you get the most on your home school adventure. We are an Unschool family that believes the world is our classroom and is teaching our children to self direct their education to a better future.

Leave a Reply