I love my iPad so much, I take it to bed with me – and I don’t think I’m alone (69% of British iPad owners also do, it seems). But resting it on my chest is far from ideal – I get neck cramps trying to look at the peculiarly angled screen, I certainly can’t type, and any attempt to move knocks the thing right over. Since my significant other usually doesn’t care for being face-palmed by an iPad while half asleep, it’s about time I did something about it.
Today, we’ll take a look at a few different designs for DIY tablet mounts; vote for your favorite in the comments, and I’ll try my best to actually make it, along with full instructions and build photos. Choose wisely!
A simple, extendable arm design from Tom Gaurmond that uses lengths of 1″ timber with bolts to allow movement; holding the iPad is a fairly pricey mount with a ball and socket joint, but this could perhaps be swapped out for something cheaper.
I like this design, but would need to think of an alternative to screwing it into the wall; an upright timber frame would solve this, but perhaps not be as stable, and would certainly add to the cost.
A similar design is featured here with a built-in charging cable and more solid timber, though it’s not clear what it attaches to at the other end. A nice, matching dark color finish on the wood gives this the professional edge.
Vote “swing arm” in the comments to choose this design!
A practical and professional design by Roey Leon – though very little DIY is involved - that can be easily moved to a variety of positions. It uses an old drafting table lighting fixture and iPad mount bought from eBay, then screws directly to the wall.
There’s quite a few downsides to this design. Unless you have an old swivel light sitting around, this is going to be pretty expensive to source as new; and then there’s the iPad mount part which will presumably be new too. Added to which, not all of us are happy making holes in the wall.
Vote “swivel arm” in the comments to choose this design, but I doubt if it’s feasible on a tight budget, in which case commercial options would be best.
A simple “boom” design from eHandyMan which nestles over your headboard, extends and slants down. All parts are fixed, so there’s little chance of things randomly falling. The only weak point here appears to be the bungee cord which holds the actual tablet; I won’t know how weak this is unless we actually try building it – it might be worth integrating a more solid wooden frame than we’ve seen elsewhere in this round up.
This is my personal favorite for a few reasons. First, it’s at a DIY level I think any of us can handle, with standard parts I can grab from any hardware store and no complex wood cuts that you’d need specialized tools for. Second, it’s 100% DIY – there’s no “buy a tablet mount on eBay” steps here, so it’s probably also the cheapest.
Vote “headboard boom” in the comments for this design.
From Eduino77, this is a slightly more complex version of the fixed design above, apparently inspired by an artists easel. Affixed behind the headboard (we could easily adjust that), a single thumbscrew nut and bolt allows it to be angled in various positions. The iPad is held in place with a close-fitting wooden frame at the top and bottom.
I like this design too, though the flexibility adds some complexity to the wood cuts needed; and I’m not entirely confident about the wooden clips – it seems like the iPad would slide out or get scratched.
To vote for this design, enter “headboard easel” in the comments.
A number of other designs I found (but without decent photos) make use of a cantilever bracket / wall mount, typically used for LCD televisions and monitors – such as this one from Amazon.co.uk for around £12. It might be interesting to combine one with a wooden frame behind the bed, or epoxy glue a cheap eBayed iPad mount.
Anyway, vote “hybrid” to see what I can come up with, but this is more of an open design option.
Buy one instead?
In case you’re wondering on the commercial side, StandzOut offer a flexible, telescopic iPad holder that would also be suitable for a bedside; it retails for $99 with free US shipping.
Anyway – the choice is yours. Let’s try to keep it as cheap as possible though, and at a level we could all manage. I’m certainly no expert DIYer! Remember to vote in the comments, and add your own suggestions and ideas. Here’s a summary of your options:
- Swing Arm
- Swivel Arm
- Headboard Boom
- Headboard Easel
- Give up, James can’t possibly do any DIY
Image Credit: ShutterStock, iPad in bed