How to Make a Phone Stand

If you need a phone stand in a hurry or if you don't want to spend money on one, it's easy to make one using supplies that you can find around your home or office! Phone stands are designed to prop up phones so you can view the screen hands-free. Simple supplies such as paperclips, binder clips, toilet paper cardboard tubes, or old plastic cards are all ideal for making a quick and easy phone stand.

Using a Paperclip

Get a paperclip that is a minimum of 2.5 in (6.4 cm) long.

Look around your home or office for a paperclip to use to make a phone stand. Choose a paperclip that is covered in vinyl or plastic if possible to avoid any accidental scratches to your phone.

  • Use a larger paperclip if you want to make a stand for a larger device such as a tablet.

Straighten the paperclip out as much as possible.

Use your hands to bend the paperclip out of the folded shape. Try to remove any small bumps or kinks in the clip.

  • Use a pair of pliers if the paperclip is too difficult to straighten with your hands.

Bend the paperclip into thirds.

Use pliers to create 2 corners in the straightened paperclip. Clamp the pliers where you want each corner to be and bend the end of the paper clip towards the pliers. Make each bend ⅓ away from each edge and at a 90° angle.

  • Aim for the paperclip to look like 3 sides of a square shape.

Fold 1⁄2 in (1.3 cm) of each end of the paperclip up at a 90° angle.

Press the pliers close to each end of the paperclip. Bend each tip upwards and towards the pliers to create a corner that bends up from your work surface.

  • This creates the “feet” of the phone stand that will prevent your phone from sliding forward.

Bend the 2 shorter edges of the paperclip into 90° angles.

Use pliers to fold the edges of the feet into corner shapes. Aim to bend the paperclip in the middle of each short edge. The parts of the phone stand that point upward are the feet and the back of the stand. The arm section rests flat on your work surface.

  • From the side, the phone stand will look like a square “U” shape.

Place your phone horizontally across the arms of the phone stand.

Rest the phone stand on a flat surface so that the feet are pointing upwards and the arms are along the ground. Position your phone horizontally on the stand with the back of your phone supported by the tall back of the stand.

  • The feet of the stand will be on the same side as the screen, stopping your phone from sliding forward.

Using Binder Clips

Get 2 binder clips of different sizes.

Look around your home or office for 1 binder clip that is approximately 0.75 in (1.9 cm) in width and a second binder clip that is approximately 1.25 in (3.2 cm) in width. The binder clips must have different widths in order for the stand to be able to work.

  • While black binder clips are the most common, use colored binder clips if you want to make a bright phone holder which stands out.

Adjust the arms of both binder clips into the open position.

The arms of binder clips can be positioned in 2 different ways. Bring the arms back so that they are positioned over the clip and can be pressed together to open the clip.

  • The binder clip is closed when the arms are positioned forward and away from the clip.

Place the arms of the small binder clip inside the larger clip.

Open the larger binder clip slightly. Place the arms of the small binder clip into the opening of the larger clip. Release the arms of the larger clip so that the smaller binder clip is clamped in place.

  • Your phone will rest against the arms of the larger clip.

Position your phone horizontally across the small binder clip.

Make sure that the phone stand is resting flat with both binder clips against the surface. Only place your phone horizontally over the small binder clip when the stand feels secure. Rest the back of your phone against the larger binder clip.

Attach a third binder clip to the big clip to angle your phone differently.

If you aren’t happy with the angle of your phone on the stand, clamp another large binder clip onto the big binder clip that your phone leans against. Make sure that the third binder clip is well attached to the big binder clip so that your phone is secure.

  • This makes your phone sit at a more upright angle while it is in the phone stand. You can always remove the third binder clip if you want to change the angle again.

Using Cardboard

Flatten 1 toilet paper cardboard tube.

Get an empty cardboard tube that was used to hold toilet paper. Rest it horizontally on a flat surface and press down on the center to flatten the cardboard.

  • Alternatively, you can use a cardboard coffee cup sleeve instead.

Mark a line across the middle of the cardboard tube.

Orient the flattened tube so that the short edges are on the top and bottom. Use a ruler to find the center of the cardboard tube. Draw a line horizontally through the tube with a permanent marker or a pencil.

Draw a line from the center point to a corner of the cardboard tube.

Use a ruler to find the middle of the tube along the centerline that you just drew. Connect this point to any 1 corner of the tube by drawing a diagonal line.

  • It doesn’t matter what corner you choose.

Mark the thickness of your phone along the centerline.

Measure the thickness of your phone using a ruler. Make perpendicular markings of this measurement along the centerline. Begin the measurement at the center point and end it on the side that is opposite to the diagonal line. Draw a 1⁄2 in (1.3 cm) perpendicular line downward for each marking in the direction away from the diagonal line.

  • Phones tend to range from – in (0.64–1.27 cm) thick.

Cut along the lines that you drew on the cardboard tube.

Remove the smaller section by cutting away the corner piece and keep the larger section. Make 2 small incisions along each line that marks the depth of your phone.

  • Hold the cardboard tube down firmly as you cut it to ensure that it stays flat.

Open the cardboard tube and lean your phone against the high back.

Place your fingers inside the cardboard tube to gently open it back up into a circular shape. Rest the circular base on a flat surface. Place your phone horizontally across the incisions, with the taller piece of cardboard at the back and the shorter piece of cardboard across the front.

  • Your phone will sit crosswise into the tube.
  • You can keep the cardboard tube as it is, or you can decorate it with a permanent marker if you prefer.

Using Plastic

Find an old, plastic card that you don’t need to use anymore.

Look through your wallet or desk for a thin, plastic card that you no longer need. An expired loyalty card, hotel key card, or a gift card that you have already spent make ideal options. You won’t be able to use the card again once you have turned it into a phone stand, so ensure that it is one that you don’t mind losing.

  • Avoid using a card that is either valuable or hard to replace, such as a gift card that you haven’t spent yet or a form of identification. It is unlikely that you will be able to use the card again after it has been folded.

Fold the card in half across the middle.

Orient the card so that the short edges are on either side. Take one short edge of the card and bring it over to the other short edge of the card. Make sure that the edges line up. Then press down on the center of the card to make a crease that cuts vertically through the center of the card to make a “v” shape.

  • This bend is the easel that your phone will sit in to keep it propped up.
  • The fold will extend vertically between each long edge of the card.

Bend the card vertically 1⁄4 in (0.64 cm) from a short edge.

Keep the card positioned with the long edges on the top and bottom and the “v” shape pointing down. Use a ruler to measure 1⁄4 in (0.64 cm) from one of the short edges of the card. Fold this portion of the card up toward you.

  • This fold becomes a lip for your plastic phone stand to rest on.
  • Press on the card with a ruler and fold the edge over the ruler if the card is difficult to bend.

Place your phone onto the lip of the phone stand to keep it upright.

Position the phone stand so that the “v” shape is upside down and the small, lipped section is facing toward you. Rest your phone horizontally across the lip of the phone stand. The plastic will hold its shape as it supports your phone.


  • Always place your phone stand on a flat surface so that if it does happen to break, your phone will be safe and won’t fall.

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