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DIY iPad Stands For Six Bucks Or Less

For all the magic that Apple promised an iPad box would contain, they definitely left out one thing: a stand. Whether you’ve got five bucks or some ingenuity and free time, here are five cheap or free iPad stands.

Photo by Veronica Belmont.

DIY Lap Stand

Photo by L. Marie.

With some hardboard, flannel, elastic and Velcro, Evil Mad Scientist has come up with a step-by-step guide to making a lap stand that will let you type away on your iPad on your couch with ease, no Steve Jobs-esque leg crossing or awkward curling up required. The lap stand can be set at a couple of varying angles, allowing you to adjust for use either typing or watching a movie.

It can be said with a fair amount of certainty that a large three-ring binder and some rubber bands might be able to serve the same function, but this is nicer to look at and more fit to the iPad dimensions.

The DIY Wooded Stand

If the idea of repurposing office supplies doesn’t sit well with you, website Lifehacking (sounds familiar) has a solution for you in the form of the €4 iPad Dock. Lifehacking’s dock is handcrafted specifically to the iPad’s dimension specs from a soft, non-scratching wood — an homage to Lifehacking’s Dutch roots. Like the Fellowes stand, it won’t scratch, and can be used while charging. For a little over five dollars, it’s a cheap, iPad-specific stand with basic functionality.

DIY Dock From iPhone 2G Cradle

Reader Cody Agenten saw an iPhone 2G dock. A little work with a rotary tool, and he discovered an iPad dock within it. Michaelangelo would have been proud. By shaving down the sides of the dock in line with the grooves made for the iPhone, Cody repurposed his iPhone dock into a little number that’ll not only work fine as a stand, but will also charge the iPad at the same time, using the same 10-watt AC adaptor as the iPhone 2G.

Some caveats from Cody:

It’s really important to make sure that you don’t make the slope where the iPad rests on the back of the slope too much of an angle. Ideally, the centre of mass of the iPad should sit centre over the dock. In addition, it may look unstable, but it’s suprisingly solid. It probably wouldn’t make it through an earthquake, (or your cat jumping on it), but it seems to be okay for at least temporary charging. However, with the 30-pin and an audio pinjack connected in the back, they act as a ‘stop’ to keep it from falling backwards.

Naturally, you’ll need an iPhone dock for this one, but if you’ve got one lying around (and there’s an approximate 66 per cent chance that you do), it’s definitely not a bad idea.

Your iPhone

Yes, seriously. We’ve already covered Andrew DeVigal’s business card holder as a cheap stand, but what’s gone highly unnoticed is his other discovery for a good stand: his iPhone. The height of the phone actually props the iPad up to a comfortable typing angle, and chances are good that you’ve got one lying around your house anyway.

Speaking from experience, this is really the golden solution, particularly if you have a silicone/non-sliding cover for your phone. Rather than propping the iPad up on your phone as shown in the picture, place the phone face down and prop it up on the curved surface. Your iPad will stay put.

iPad Stand MkII

Last, but far from least… Jeff Eaton’s iPad Stand MkII. We don’t have a step-by-step for this one, but even though you might not be able to recreate this exact stand from your very own box of LEGO blocks, you can still marvel at how slick/cool/functional/awesome Jeff’s iPad stand is. No word on stability or how much it scratches the device, and it doesn’t look like there’s an easy way to charge while in the stand, but it’s piloted by a little waving LEGO man.

You can’t go wrong with a waving LEGO man.