How to Make a Homemade Projector with a Mirror? [Step by Step Guide]

Enjoying movies at home can be a fantastic experience with friends or family. But sometimes, your TV is just not big enough for everybody.

In that case, there’s no better option than a homemade projector with a mirror. You can make one of these at home without having to spend much time. Just gather all of the necessary items, and you can make a perfect projector in less than an hour.

Want to know more about how to make a homemade projector with a mirror. the best way to project your movies at home in the easiest and fastest way possible? Then keep reading!

Items You’ll Need for the Project

All these items are critically important if you want to make the projector. Without one or two of these items, you may end up with a fuzzy image, bad image positioning, or no image at all. So, make sure you have all of them before starting:

  • A mirror
  • A magnifying lens
  • A smartphone
  • Thick cardboard box (double of width, depth, and length as the phone)
  • Scissors
  • Glue/Silicone
  • 4 drinking straws
  • A phone holder (optional)

You may not find all of them readily at home. But you won’t have to spend any money on them either. Just search your house or ask for a friend’s help, and you’ll be done.  

Steps to Follow for Making a Homemade Projector with a Mirror

After gathering all the materials, you can begin to piece up the whole projector. Here are the steps to follow:

Cut a Hole in the Cardboard Box

Start by cutting a hole in the cardboard box using the scissors. This hole, however, needs to be of the same diameter as the magnifying glass.

To do this, trace the diameter of the lens in the box and then cut accordingly. Try to be precise when cutting and to make the smoothest edges possible so that the glass fits inside without falling.

If you can’t make the magnifying lens fit inside the whole, you can always use some glue or silicone to place it. Try not to spot the magnifying glass, so there’s no shadow or blurriness when the image passes through the lens.

Darken the Interior of the Box

Continue by darkening the interior of the box. This will help to achieve the maximum level of brightness and clarity in the image. This is optional, but it is pretty helpful.

To do this, we recommend painting the whole interior with dark paint. You may also use construction paper or any other colored paper to cover the edges, sides, and bottom of the box. This will help to prevent even the slightest reflection from causing any image issue.

Stick the Mirror to the Bottom

After darkening the interior, you’ll need to glue the mirror to the bottom of the box. We recommend using silicone if you can. This is the most effective way to stick the piece to the box without problems.

Remember, though, to let the dark paper or paint to dry first. This will help you stick the mirror more effectively to the box.

Make the Phone Holder

You can keep going by making the phone holder. This is where your phone will stand, so the image reflects in the mirror and then in the magnifying glass. Another reason to do this is that you can easily play, pause, stop, rewind, forward, or change the file without having to disarm the whole projector.

We recommend using a standard phone holder and set it up in the above part of the box, so the image travels down. Otherwise, you make one with a small piece of cardboard and the straws.

Start by sticking the straps to the bottom of the box. Try to leave enough space in the middle for the mirror to be installed. You should stick the straws to the bottom or corners of the box. Try to get them up, so they barely touch the upper part of the box.

Otherwise, you will have to cover the box with something else afterward (we’ll explain how). Once the straws are in place, you can cut a piece of cardboard in the middle where the display of the smartphone fits. Stick it to the top of the straws. Use silicone for the best results.

Try to secure the sticks and cardboard, so the phone doesn’t move too much. You can now test the projector.

Adjust the Image Position

When you’re testing the projector before placing the smartphone on top of the straws or phone holder, you’ll see that the image that goes out of the box is not proper. It will look like it is, but the image will be inverted.

This happens because the image inverts when passing through the magnifying glass. When you use the mirror on the bottom, this image goes through the magnifying glass inverted. The lens inverts it again, but this time, it projects into the wall in the right position.

Once you have the image projected on the wall, try to adjust it, so everything looks as perfect as possible. Remember to move the phone softly to prevent the straws or the phone holder from losing balance. Find the perfect place, and then let it work.

Cover the Project in Cardboard

Now, you are almost ready. You will see that the image goes out of the projector, and it looks well enough. But you can make it better if you find even more cardboard and cover the top – especially where the phone is. This ensures that the phone lights go directly to the mirror and then the magnifying lens.

Try to do this by covering the straws carefully, so that you do not damage the phone holder. And if you can use cardboard with a dark interior, that would be even better. The whole focus is to prevent light from the phone to get scattered.

Make sure you can eventually grab your phone. Do this by leaving a space on the side or top of the cover so you can grab the smartphone if needed. Once you do this, you’ll find out that the image looks clearer and without problems. This will ensure that you can enjoy the projector to the max.

Start your Movie and Enjoy

You won’t have to do more once you get here. Just try to find the perfect place for the projector and enjoy some movies, videos, or just anything with friends. Remember to hook up speakers or headphones to the smartphone if you want. This will make the experience even better.

Finish up by making some popcorn, and that’s it. You will have a homemade smartphone projector with a mirror ready to make your Sunday afternoons better. 

Conclusion

Making this homemade projector shouldn’t take more than an hour if you follow every step with care. It will take even less time if you can do so with the help of another person. how to make a homemade projector with a mirror this easy guideline share with other people.

While the image won’t be as good as a digital projector, this one will still be worth it for almost no cost. And that’s something you can’t beat. Get on with this homemade projector with a mirror and enjoy! You won’t regret it!

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