Now and again I like to watch a video on my phone, I also want to have my hands free to do other things or just simply because it more comfortable but I find due to most phones not being particularly 'grippy' it is hard to lean them up against something on a desk (or any smooth surface) and it is even more of an issue when there isn't anything to even attempt to lean it on.

Does anyone have any nifty life hacks for this which wouldn't require me carrying around a special mechanism or buying a case designed for it?

  • I'm not sure I follow. You want to be able to lean your phone on something, specifically when you have nothing to lean it on, without carrying something to lean it on?
    – TIO Begs
    Jan 23, 2015 at 14:11
  • @Geobits Hmm... Not having to carry around something abnormal, like an easel.
    – MrPhooky
    Jan 23, 2015 at 14:17
  • So, something like a wallet would be fine (this is what I do sometimes)? Mine is leather, so it gives a bit of grip on both the phone and the table/surface.
    – TIO Begs
    Jan 23, 2015 at 14:18
  • @Geobits Quite possibly yes, unless someone had a weird wallet but I am sure most cases that would suffice
    – MrPhooky
    Jan 23, 2015 at 14:20
  • 1
    This is totally cheeky so ignore it, but I thought it was funny to ask "why is your phone watching videos?" Or perhaps, just put the phone flat--then it won't fall over. Or, just keep the phone in your pocket while you watch the movie on TV! (Some careful thought will reveal why all of these could be answers to the question based only on the title). An improved title might be "How can I reliably prop up my phone to watch videos on it?"
    – ErikE
    Feb 14, 2015 at 2:07

4 Answers 4


In this answer I am going to assume you have a iPhone, smartphone or other gigantic looking phone that would fit into this mechanism. Actually many phones may fit into it, but the designs I saw are mostly for larger phones.

enter image description here Picture taken from primermagazine.com.

  • Use a Mini DV case. If you turn the case the wrong way then the phone can sit either sideways or straight up without falling out. These can be decorated or you can make them into a dock for the phone.

enter image description here Picture taken from instructables.com.

  • Use Binder clips. You will need a larger clip and smaller clip, by taking the smaller clip and bending it upwards as much as the larger plastic or metal portion will go without breaking it and then inserting the smaller clips long metal arm like extensions in the mouth of the larger clip up to its metal or plastic body.

Additional Info

  • When in doubt use a paper clip. This method seems sort of fragile so I declined to add it in a conventional answer.

  • Use Legos. While this link shows only a simple design, you can do wonders with Legos.

  • And like the other answer suggests use a card. Or business card, perhaps?

For additional ideas see the following links:



lifehacker.com- This one uses iPhone packaging, Binder Clips and tape to make a awesome case.

  • The binder clip method is great! I've seen people use it very effectively.
    – Cheezey
    Jan 24, 2015 at 20:32

I've found that one of the best methods is to use your sunglasses (regular eyeglasses also work) as a phone stand. Just set your glasses on a table or the floor upside down and put your phone in between the lens frames and glasses arms.

Here's a picture from this Lifehacker article

enter image description here

  • 1+ indeed. This shows ingenuity. However, do you know if it falls over? IDK, it looks like you have to push the glasses out a bit. Anyhow, great answer :)
    – Pobrecita
    Jan 25, 2015 at 17:20

When there is nothing to lean your phone against on the table and you don't want to carry a special gadget, use your wallet. Place the wallet flat on the table. Lift the top half and use it to pinch the phone at the optimum angle between the two halves. You can also use a credit card in the seam of the two halves as a brace.


You can quickly make a stand for your phone by bending an old credit/membership card into a 'Z' shape turned to the left 90°.

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