I really like to Facetime with my long-distance family members, but I found that holding my phone up in a good position for the duration of a lengthy call was a little tiring. Setting my phone on the table for a call or propping it up against some books didn’t seem to work very well, either. The phone was always at too low of an angle for comfortable viewing, or it would eventually slide awkwardly out of position, or both. What I really need was a hands-free solution, and preferably one costing next-to-nothing. (Can you sense just how much I like the concept of DIY + free?)
So I looked around online for inexpensive DIY ideas for a sturdy, flexible, hands-free iPhone stand, and few days ago I found what looked like the perfect tutorial here. This showed how easy it might be to make exactly what I needed for nothing, out of spare parts already laying around my house. I knew I had to give it a try.
Following the very simple instructions, I cobbled together part of an old, broken gooseneck lamp, a 1/2-inch hex nut and a spare suction cup. Well, to be completely honest, the end result wasn’t completely free, I did spend 30 cents for the hex nut at my nearby Lowe’s hardware store.
After the E-6000 multi-purpose adhesive (my new favorite stickum) had completely dried, everything screwed together easy-peasy and exactly as shown in the video, however I found that the suction cup had trouble maintaining a good grip on the lightly textured back of my iPhone 5. Basically, because of its non-slick surface, my phone would eventually fall off of the suction cup mount after about two minutes. This was certainly not acceptable.
I pondered this problem for awhile and realized that a new or stronger suction cup was probably not the answer, I needed an even more secure mounting. Then I got the idea of cannibalizing one of my old and now useless iPhone 4 cases by trimming off the upper edge so that the taller iPhone 5 would fit inside. I trimmed the old case with my tin shears, made sure to sand off any rough edges with a metal file, and then just glued the suction cup connector to the back of the truncated case, et voila! My iPhone 5 easily slid right into its new and very secure holder.
Happy to report that my new phone stand works beautifully! I can adjust the phone for either landscape or portrait configuration and the height is just perfect for using Facetime. The only thing I haven’t done yet is cover the back of the case where the suction cup and nut are attached with some black felt from my stash. As suggested in the video, this would give my new stand a neater look from behind. But hey, no hurry, I don’t look at the back anyway.