DIYdiy projects

diy project: scrap wood part ii — phone stand

by Kate Pruitt

This project is perhaps the simplest I’ve ever done, but I don’t consider that a downside in the least. I’ve been letting my phone go “commando” lately—no case, that is :) I appreciate the minimalism, but I don’t like letting it just rest on the table, where I can easily bump it or accidentally pile things on top of it. I took a little bit more of that scrap fence wood I had lying around and fashioned a super simple leaning phone stand.

With just a slight angle so it sits comfortably flush on the table, this nifty little stand is exactly what I wanted. I especially love that the woodgrain shows through the neon; the key to this effect is finding a piece of salvaged wood that is rough but not splintered, so you don’t have to sand down the surface too much. Excluding drying time, this project will take you fifteen minutes and add a lovely jolt of color to your deskscape. Enjoy! —Kate

See the full how-to after the jump . . .


  • scrap wood (mine is 1/2″ thick x 8″ wide x 12″ long)
  • white acrylic paint or gesso
  • paintbrush
  • neon spray paint (I like the Krylon brand best.)
  • hammer
  • 1 1/2″ nails
  • compound mitre saw or mitre box and handsaw (not pictured)
  • sandpaper (not pictured)
  • painter’s tape (not pictured)



1. Cut a 1″ strip off the piece of wood and sand the edges. Cut the bottom of the big piece of wood at a 15 degree angle, so it will lean against a wall but sit flush on the table surface. Lightly sand off any splinters.

2. Paint the front of the big piece of wood with a thick coat of white acrylic paint or gesso. Allow to dry completely.

3. Cover the edges of the piece of wood with painter’s tape and press down firmly to make sure there are no gaps.

4. Place the wood on a tarp or scrap paper in a well-ventilated area and spray the white painted side of the wood with an even coat of spray paint. Let the coat dry and follow with a second coat. Let it dry completely.

5. Measure 2″ up from the base of the wood and put tiny pencil marks on the side to indicate where to place the thin strip of wood. Hold the strip of wood in place and hammer three nails from the back to secure the two pieces together. Use 3–4 nails across the back.

Done! Easy peasy.

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  • Cuteness! I was thinking the same thing about tucking my mobile devices away. I’m using a few ordinary small plate display racks, but I think I am going to steal this idea and paint them hot pink!! Thanks for sharing!

    • You can do it, Corrie Anne! This is a super easy project for practicing your hammer skills.

      Here are some basic tips for hammer use: start with a couple small firm taps to set the nail in place, holding the nail near the base with one hand to steady it, and letting it glide through your fingers while you tap the top. Once you’ve hammered it in about 1/4 – 1/2″, to the point where it won’t fall out, then you can let go of the nail and use your other hand to steady the piece of wood, and you can start hammering with bigger, harder taps, but still go slowly to prevent hitting it at an angle. That sounds gross, but it’s good hammering advice, I promise! Good luck :)

  • This is awesome. Would be great to take it to the next level and include a cable pass-through to allow for charging. …okay, now I’m just being overly ambitious ;P

  • I’m too scared to let my iPhone go commando. (Proud wearer of the ugly Otterbox here.) But a stand like this would have really come in hand last night on a long FaceTime conversation. I got tired to holding my phone and was trying to figure out a way to prop it up at the right angle. Maybe I’ll make one of these and add a little foot or stand on the back so it doesn’t need to lean against a wall.

    • oh, great point martina! i haven’t used facetime too much yet, but i should definitely start, now that i have this nifty stand. that also makes me think that i should double check to see if the angle is flattering :) thanks for the tip!

  • Rachel… now you’ve got me being overly ambitious, too! At first I was concerned this was destined to be another “to do” project (meaning that I find the wood and spray paint and then inadvertently let them sit on my patio for months until I “get around to it” or the materials get rained on and destroyed, haha.) But now I’m imagining all sorts of cable additions and such!

    Thanks all for the great suggestions (and of course thank you, Kate for the original design) – this might be something I actually accomplish.

  • Hmm .. love the colour. But, I can see this getting scrapped as soon as I get a better stand for my iphone. Not one of ur most brilliant to-do’s I’m afraid ..

    • Riti

      Perhaps you would throw it away- but we don’t all toss and replace things frequently. I prefer to build things by hand and own something that has a memory and person touch behind it. So for me, it’s more brilliant than disposable.


  • I’ve been trying to figure out how to make a small shelf to hold a glass of water and an ipad next to my bed – we have about 6 inches of space between the bed and the wall, so no room for a table. I think this project might be just perfect – I’ll enlarge the whole thing and then use picture hanging hardware to attach it to the wall! (And hope it won’t fall off in the middle of the night :) ).Thank you for this!

  • super cool and simple. i absolutely love the minimalist look. i just downloaded the (ultra trendy) flip clock app for my i phone… which has a function that makes it stay on so you can use it for a clock… day or night. this would make the perfect stand for use with the flip clock!

  • LOVE this! So simple but with lots of pop and color too! I’m sure it could EASILY be made into an iPad stand too with just a little bit bigger scrap of wood. If you want to really take it somewhere, you could put the stand brace where the phone sits a little higher up and before you attach it cut a small hole through it and you could put your charging cord up through the base to charge/sync while it’s in the stand. My mind is racing with the options – THANKS!

  • The color of this cellphone stand is very elegant! I love the tutorial! I’ll be including this in my must-do project list!

    Annabella Merlin
    Creative Photo Albums