Here are ideas for a couple of DIY iPad or tablet stands you can make easily and cheaply. The first requires only a bit of foam core art board and an X-Acto knife. It’s not the most durable design, but they are so cheap and easy to make, you can whip up several of them from one $2 sheet of foam core. The second design is a little more involved, since you need to cut and bend a piece of PVC.
Foam-Core Folding Tablet Stand
For the first design, you just need a 10 inch by 2 inch piece of foam core board. You can buy foam core art board at Amazon.com, Wal-Mart and similar stores, many drug stores, and craft stores. If you go to a craft or art supply store, you might be able to find it different colors besides black and white.
In the middle of the 10 by 2 inch rectangle, you make a cut part-way through the foam core for the “hinge.” Cut through one layer of poster board and the inner foam, being careful not to cut all the way through the second layer of poster board. Then fold the rectangle along this line for the hinge. You may want to reinforce this fold with a piece of electrical tape.
Lastly, cut a notch to fit your tablet along the top front edge as shown. Be sure to make the notch at least a half-inch from the front edge. This is a weak point and so the farther back you put the notch, the less likely those tabs are to get bent or broken.
Here is a completed folding stand. Simple!
Here is the stand in use. You can cut the notch for whatever angle you like and the tablet can be placed in either portrait or landscape orientation. There is also enough space below to attach the charging cable while it’s in the stand.
One great thing about this stand is that it can be folded flat and it takes up hardly any space in a travel bag. Here is a back view of the folding stand in use.
Because these are so quick and simple to make, you could have several placed in strategic locations–wherever you might need one! It may not look like it, but it is amazingly stable.
Several months after I created the foam-core stands, I saw an almost identical folding stand made of plastic on sale at Bed Bath & Beyond for $5. I was not able to find it on the Bed bath & Beyond Web site, but I found an almost identical one on Amazon, shown here. Click the image to see it on Amazon.com.
DIY PVC Tablet Stand
The next tablet stand is one that my husband made by cutting some notches into a piece of PVC, and bending a tab up to support the back of the tablet. Clearly, we didn’t do anything to make it prettier, but some plastic paint like Krylon Fusion would do the job. I’ll let you work out how to do the cutting and bending, as I was not involved in the actual building of it. If you have questions about how he did it, post a comment and I’ll ask Russ to answer.
Here is the tablet stand in use. Just like the folding one, it can be used to hold a tablet in either orientation.
One advantage of this design over the foam core one is that it is more durable. On the other hand, it takes up more space if you were to travel with it, and it probably costs a bit more to make, especially if you were to paint it. It also won’t hold the iPad in portrait with the charging cable attached, unless you turn it upside down. One idea I had for this stand was to create another notch on the other end, which could support a tablet at a different viewing angle, so you would have two different choices of viewing angles depending on which direction you turned it. The viewing angle is set by how much you bend the tab that sticks up on top.
I keep this stand on my dresser and use it to hold my iPad for reading while I blow-dry my hair.