Tablets are great for surfing the web and can help hours pass like minutes. But anyone who has held one for a while will know the ‘arm ache’! If you find yourself wishing you could go hands free with your tablet then this is the project for you. Why buy an expensive solution when you can make one yourself? (way more fun)
In this project we’ll show you how to create your own portable DIY stand by repurposing an unloved lamp. It’s super portable too, so you can move it around the house as you need it — by your bed, at your desk or with your morning coffee 🙂 It’s time to give your arms a rest.
An table lamp with an adjustable arm
A tablet case
Screwdriver / hex key (to dismantle the lamp)
Step 2: Finding the right lamp
- You will need a lamp that has an adjustable arm, to give you free movement of the tablet when it’s clipped in.
- An added bonus (but not essential) is finding a lamp with an adjustable/twistable head — this will give you the choice of using your tablet in both landscape and portrait modes while it is clipped in.
- For this project we rescued a Forsa IKEA lamp that we had sitting unloved and underused in the corner of Sugru HQ. Turns out it’s perfect for this!
Step 3: Cut the plug off
Once you’ve found the right lamp — first things first, remove the lightbulb and cut the plug off the cable to be safe.
This will also make it easy to remove the full cable later on.
Step 4: Remove the light shade and socket
- Unscrew the fittings on the head of the lamp using a screwdriver / hex key.
- Remove the light shade completely.
Step 5: Cut off the socket and remove the cable
- Cut the cable to remove the light socket piece and remove the remaining wire.
- Pull the remaining cable through the frame of the light’s arm to remove it completely.
Step 6: Open your pack of Sugru
Now that you should be left with the core structure of the lamp, find a suitable surface that you can attach the tablet case to.
For this project we applied one single use pack of Sugru to the black circular piece of plastic.
- Cut open a single use pack of Sugru and roll it into a ball before applying.
- Roll the Sugru into a thin sausage.
- Lightly press the Sugru sausage onto the rim or surface of the part of the lamp you want to attach your tablet case.
Top Tip: If you’re lamp doesn’t have a suitable flat piece to attach your case to, don’t worry! Sugru is mouldable glue so you can use it to fill weird gaps. So chances are you can attach your tablet case to most odd shaped pieces! Here’s a short video to help.
Step 7: Attach the case
Top Tip: if you don’t have a rotational head on your lamp, this is when you’ll need to decide if this is for movies (landscape) or surfing the web (portrait!)
- Line up your tablet case in the orientation you choose, making sure it is straight and centred.
- Press down firmly and hold in place for a few seconds to make sure the case makes a good contact with the Sugru.
Step 8: Leave your stand to cure
That’s it. Now just leave your stand somewhere safe for 24 hours while the Sugru cures and your new hands free tablet stand will be ready to go the next day.
Top Tip: If you’re doing this for a larger tablet and the case is heavier, you may want to use some tape to keep it in place while the Sugru cures. Here’s a short video to show you some techniques for leaving your Sugru to cure.
* Just got a great improvement suggestion by Ironsmiter in the comments:
“You may also need to add some weight to the underside of the base. It is designed to safely hold a featherweight light bulb, and a sheet metal reflector, not a multi pound tablet. A 2 or 5 lb barbell weight would probably fit inside the base, and work quite well to keep it from tipping over and smashing your tablet.”
And as always, thanks for being part of the Sugru community 🙂