If you have an iPhone, bully for you—there are roughly 100 ways to elevate and charge it on your desk, many of them previously covered here. For every other phone out there, we present these nine DIY ideas.
Not that there's anything wrong with owning, or wanting to craft a neat little charging dock/station for it out of spare parts and household items. But those of us (ahem) without an Apple-powered mobile device can rest our headsets in style—sometimes very unique and personal style. Here's our pick of nine brand-agnostic, DIY charging docks. Some were originally posted or crafted with an iPhone in mind, per the pictures, but can be adapted or reused as general purpose gadget docks.
Definitely not the prettiest in the pack, but it works for just about any phone with a wide, flat plane, and it's almost certainly the cheapest out of the bunch, since you don't even need a tool beyond your hands to make it. (Original post)
Originally built for an iPhone, but given its basic support structure and width, this cheap and fast phone dock would work with any flat-screen phone that's not too much heavier than an iPhone. When someone hands you an over-designed, high-falutin' business card, now you can actually put it to real use. (Original post)
Those cheap, black metal bookends used to keep volumes upright on a desk have to be good for something, right? Bend one or two of their pieces back quite a bit, wrap the exposed section in automotive non-slip mat, and you've got a universal charger that keeps your phone, iPod, or any device in place for charging or occasional time-checking. (Original post)
Full disclosure: I'm totally making this thing as soon as I get my hands on some K'NEX, or start feeling theft-y around my youngest cousins. Not only can the versatile building block toys be crafted to accommodate just about any phone out there, the dock itself can fold up for storage when you're not using it if you snap it together properly. This particular charge-friendly dock does utilise one intentionally broken piece, but it seems entirely worth the sacrifice to score both a great dock and notable geek cred.
This isn't so much a concrete plan for a dock as a reminder that if you've got kids, or just a thing for Lego, you've got the ability to build pretty much any shape you want to hold your phone. Don't like the multi-color look? Black Sharpies or spare paint can take care of that. Want a slot to fit in your charging cable? Pull out your primary school architecture skills and work a small, bridged gap into the design.
Everyone who looks at it will know that you cut a very crafty slit into a paper cup, (possibly) coloured it, and are charging your phone through a cable running into the bottom. Whether this is a sad statement or great moment of pride depends on how you see things.
The stuff that gel-stuffed keyboard wrist rests are made out of must be pretty appealing to your phone, which spends most of its life getting smacked around inside pockets, bags, and on top of counters. Cut a hole into a wrist rest big enough for your phone, horizontal or vertical, run your charging or synchronizing cable into it, and use your eye and knife skills to keep it from looking too rough.
Gorillamobile (and its DIY equivalent)
We totally dig the Gorillapod, a three-legged, flexible tripod that you can take and set up anywhere. It stands to reason, then, that its similar, phone-focused cousin would serve anyone looking to stand any phone with enough back space for a suction cup very well. If $US30 is too rich for your blood, you can likely craft your own DIY Gorillamobile with just a single trip to a hardware store.
Much more elaborate than the other charging stations shown here, and it requires some not-so-common tools and electrical wiring work. The crafter, in fact, tells you not to build his model, as a liability check. That's not to say you can craft a simpler version of his great concept, which is a box that only pumps juice to a phone when you need it and just keeps it comfortably poised when you don't, controlled by a hinged lid. If we had a box that looked this nice and the time to really dig into it, we'd probably build a simpler version and show it off.
Got a great charging station or dock for your non-Apple-provided phone? Got a DIY dock you've been dying to try making yourself? Tell us about it in the comments, and share the links if you got 'em.