Wouldn’t it be fantastic if there was a way to watch movies on a big screen without having to shell out a fortune for the privilege? Think about making your smartphone screen huge, just like in a movie theater using a mirror.

But how to make a homemade projector with a mirror? Well, with a sprinkle of creativity, a dash of patience, and common household items, you can make a homemade projector with a mirror. You just need to modify a cardboard box, install a lens, position a mirror at a 45-degree angle, prepare a smartphone holder on the lid, and use it in a dimly lit room.

How To Make A Homemade Projector With A Mirror?

This article will show you how to make a projector at home out of a mirror and take your movie nights to the next level. We will guide you through the entire process, from gathering the supplies to completing the projection, step-by-step, so there is no confusion. We’ll also go over some important safety advice and watching advice.

So, let’s get started!

Necessary Materials To Make A Homemade Projector With A Mirror

Necessary Materials To Make A Homemade Projector With A Mirror

Before diving into the step-by-step guide, let’s ensure we have all the necessary materials. Don’t worry; you won’t need anything too fancy. Here’s the list:

Cardboard Box

Grab an empty cardboard box big enough to house the projector components. Recycling an old one is a perfect eco-friendly option!

Magnifying Glass

Look for a giant magnifying glass, preferably with a diameter of 3 inches or more. You can find one in hobby stores or online.

Smartphone or Tablet

Smartphone or Tablet

Your trusty smartphone or tablet will serve as the content source for the projector.

Black Paint or Black Paper

We’ll use this to create a light-sealed compartment inside the cardboard box.


Get a small mirror, about 4×4 inches, to redirect the projected image.

Glue and Tape

Glue and Tape

To secure everything in place, you’ll need some glue and tape.


A sturdy pair of scissors to cut cardboard and other materials.

Pen or Marker

For marking and tracing.

Great! Now that we have all the materials ready let’s move on to creating our homemade projector step-by-step.

How To Make A Homemade Projector With A Mirror – Step-By-Step Guide?

How To Make A Homemade Projector With A Mirror - Step-By-Step Guide?

Step 1: Prepare the Cardboard Box

First, let’s cut a hole in one side of the cardboard box. The hole should be slightly larger than the magnifying glass’s diameter. This hole will be the lens’s placement area.

Step 2: Install the Magnifying Glass

Now, position the magnifying glass in the hole we just made. Use some glue or tape to secure it in place. Make sure the magnifying glass is well-centered and doesn’t move around.

Step 3: Create the Smartphone Holder

To hold your smartphone or tablet, cut out a small piece of cardboard that fits the device’s size. Please attach it to the box’s opposite side, positioning it directly across from the magnifying glass. This setup ensures the light from the screen passes through the lens correctly.

Here is the youtube video for your convenience on how to make a DIY projector. This video will be beneficial for you!

Step 4: Prepare the Light-Sealed Compartment

Here comes the creative part! Paint the inside of the cardboard box black or use black paper to line it. This step prevents outside light from interfering with the projected image, resulting in a more transparent and sharper display.

Step 5: Prop up the Mirror

Place the mirror at a 45-degree angle inside the box. It should be positioned to catch the light coming through the magnifying glass and reflect it forward. The mirror is crucial for redirecting the image and making it project onto a screen or wall.

Step 6: Testing

Now that we’ve assembled the components, it’s time for the moment of truth! Find a dark room and turn on your smartphone or tablet. Adjust the box’s position and the mirror’s angle until you see the image projected clearly onto a nearby surface.

Step 7: Adjusting the Image

Play around with the focus by moving the smartphone or tablet closer to or farther away from the magnifying glass. Experiment until you achieve the desired sharpness and clarity of the projected image.

Here is another youtube video for your convenience on how to make a smartphone projector with cardboard. Check this video for better understanding. 

Step 8: Make It Stable

For a hassle-free movie night or presentation, reinforce the cardboard box’s stability by securing any loose parts with extra tape or glue.

Step 9: Get the Popcorn Ready!

Congratulations! You’ve successfully built your homemade DIY projector with a mirror. Now it’s time to gather your friends, prepare popcorn, enjoy your favorite movies, or share a fun presentation using your creation.

Like me, if you have more questions related to the DIY projector, I’ve covered many of them to make it easier for you. Let’s have a glance at them.

5 Things to Keep in Mind

things to keep in mind
  1. Ensure stability by placing your DIY cardboard projector on a flat surface. Secure it with an adhesive or non-slip mat to reduce the risk of tipping and damage.
  2. This projector is not a toy. Make sure the smartphone and lens are out of reach of children to avoid the possibility of fire hazards and damage. Always store in a safe location.
  3. Avoid prolonged viewing of the bright projected images to prevent eye strain or damage. Regular breaks and a well-lit room can minimize these risks.
  4. Optimize image clarity and reduce glare by adjusting room lighting and viewing angles. This ensures a comfortable viewing experience.
  5. Since the mirror can reflect surroundings onto the projection screen, use the projector in a low-traffic area or a private room for optimal privacy.

Frequently Asked Questions

How bright will the projection be?

The brightness of your homemade projector will depend on the light output of your smartphone or tablet. The projection will appear more apparent and vibrant in dimly lit environments.

Can I use a giant magnifying glass for a bigger image?

Absolutely! You can create a bigger projected image with a giant magnifying glass. Just remember to adjust the distance and position accordingly.

Can I use this projector for outdoor movie nights?

While possible, the image quality may be less sharp in brightly lit environments. Opt for darker settings for the best results.

Can I use this projector with any smartphone or tablet?

Yes, this DIY projector works with most smartphones and tablets, regardless of the brand or operating system. You’re good to go as long as your device has a functional screen!

Is this projector suitable for daylight use?

While it’s better to use the projector in dimly lit environments for optimal results, you can still use it during the day if the room is sufficiently darkened. Draw the curtains and reduce ambient light for better visibility.


This DIY projector is a fantastic way to interact with friends and family. Get creative with your movie choices, and you might even become the designated projector guru in your group! Have a blast, and enjoy your homemade movie nights! Happy projecting!


  1. https://www.diyaudio.com/community/forums/diy-projectors.20/
  2. https://www.avsforum.com/threads/diy-projector.2941018/
  3. https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4455792
  4. https://www.quora.com/How-do-I-make-a-homemade-projector
  5. https://www.reddit.com/r/IsItBullshit/comments/xy9bko/isitbullshit_homemade_smartphone_projector/ 

Fernando Shrader

Hey, It’s me, Fernando Shrader. I’m the creator of this website. You might wonder why I’ve created this blog and what’s the difference between Visual Finds and other online blogs. As a professional technician working for the last 8 years with projectors, I though this is the right time to share what I’ve learned in this journey with an online audience so they can see what I’m doing and how they can solve their problems! Happy Learning!