How to Make a Homemade Projector with a Mirror in 2022? A Detailed Guide

A new covid variant, omicron, has forced yet another period of isolation on us, but that doesn’t mean you need to compromise on your entertainment. Remember that viral video from 2015 about how to make a homemade projector with a mirror?

From movie nights to fake window screening, there are a lot of ways a projector can help you stay entertained during this time of uncertainty. Don’t know how to make one? We got your back! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make a homemade projector with a mirror in 2022.

What Tools Do You Need?

Firstly, assemble the tools beforehand, so you don’t have to get up amidst crafting looking for pieces. To make a homemade projector, get your hands on the following materials:

  • Cardboard box
  • Magnifying glass or convex lens
  • Mirror
  • Smartphone
  • Thick black matte paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Ruler
  • Protractor (optional)
  • Pencil

Your objective is to make a box that will allow the ray of light from your phone screen to spot on the magnifying glass. The glass will blow up the image just like a projector, which you can project on a suitable wall.

How to Make a Homemade Projector with a Mirror in 2022


All set to go? Let’s get straight into it.

Step 1: Choose the Right Box and Start Cutting

Take a rectangular cardboard box, preferably a shoebox, and cut one of the sides that will hold the lens. Put the rest of the box aside for now.

Next, take a magnifying glass and remove the handle. You can do this by either cutting off the handle or just simply dismantling the magnifying lens carefully.

Place the lens on the cut-off side and trace the circumference with a pencil or marker, whichever is on hand. Use the scissors or precision knife on the tracing and make a nice smooth-edged hole for the lens to fit inside steadily.

Step 2: Make Support for the Lens

Without the support, your lens might fall amidst your movie. Making one is easy!

Cut a wide and long strip of black paper, long enough to touch all the edges of the rectangle side that we cut before. You can fold the paper and glue or tape it around the cardboard. It will give you a nice-looking box for your lens.

Fit the lens inside the hole, and there you have one-third part completed.

Step 3: Make the Interior Pitch Black

Pick the rest of the box we previously set aside and apply a dark theme on the inside.

The pitch-dark interior will restrain the light from dispersing and reflecting into the image, as it can dull the image quality. You can either paint the interior black or use black matte paper to cover the interior.

Whichever option you choose, make sure no area is left uncovered. A little leakage can cost you your perfect projector.

Step 4: Place the Mirror

Place the mirror at the backside of the box, opposite the lens. While placing the mirror, make sure it is at a 45-degree angle. You can use a protractor to measure the angle accurately.

If the protector is not available, insert the mirror by looking at the lens. If it is visible from the mirror, you are good to go.

Step 5: Cut Out the Lid of the Box

You will have to place your smartphone right above the mirror, so the light from the smartphone reflects on it and then onto the lens. Remove the lid of the box so you can cut a hole more conveniently.

Measure your smartphone screen, just the screen and not the whole phone. If you have a full-sized screen smartphone, make sure the hole is a few millimeters smaller than the phone – small enough to not crop the display, yet enough to hold the phone with stability at the top.

Step 6: Let the Show Begin

Your DIY projector is ready!

You can now play your favorite movie or Netflix and chill but on a larger display. Just make sure to project the video on a suitable wall with no stains or any other color. A plain white wall will work the best to give the picture-perfect image.

If you want a sharper image, bring the movie projector close to the wall. Alternatively, you can try adjusting the focus by moving your lens panel forward and backward.

FAQs About How to Make a Homemade Projector with a Mirror

Is it Possible to Make a Projector Without a Magnifying Glass?

The answer is yes! If the magnifying glass is not available, you can use any other suitable-sized convex lens.

Remember that the convex lens is the main element. Without it, you can not make a standard homemade smartphone projector.

How Can I Improve the Image Quality?

Firstly, turn your phone brightness to maximum. And make sure there is no light leakage from inside the box. Then, position your projector nearer to the wall. It will hopefully help you give a sharper image.

Why is my Homemade Projector Giving Inverted Video?

Did you set up the mirror properly? If not, make sure you put a mirror between the lens and your phone. If there is no mirror, the ray of light will travel directly from the phone screen to the lens, forming a cone.

The light will converge in the lens and refract towards the wall, projecting an inverted image. To rectify it, place the mirror on the back of the box at a 45-degree angle. The beam of light should first hit the mirror and then onto the lens.


Now that you know how to make a homemade projector with a mirror, isn’t it easy to build one at home? All you need is to gather all the materials and follow the steps discussed above.

Kudos! Enjoy your home-based cinema.

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