You can make security cameras from household items very easily. It is an interesting and fun DIY project that might seem a bit difficult at first, but when you will dive into this adventure, you will realize how fun it is. First of all, let’s look into the materials you will be needing to build your security camera.
If you fail to find the following materials at your home or a nearby crafts store, you can use similar materials and it will not affect the quality of your end product.
Our main goal is that your costs should be low while making a security camera at home and its usability high. To keep the procedure simple and easy, we have avoided the use of complicated things. Given below are the materials you will be needing to make a security camera at home.
- A 20 cm long and 10 cm wide board. It may be of cardboard or a lightweight wooden board.
- An old smartphone with a good camera and good Wi-Fi potential.
- A cardboard to make the camera box
- Hot glue gun
- Tools for cutting cardboard
- Grey and black paint
- Plaster to secure the joints
- Clear tape or masking tape
Once you have gathered all these materials, you are all set to build your security camera.
Building the Camera Unit
The main goal is to have a box that has a slit from where you can slip your smartphone into the box. There should also be a round cutout on the surface that will support your smartphone.
This camera unit is then suspended higher up in your room or wherever you want it to, and the smartphone lies with the camera side down in its slot. The cutout allows the phone camera to see through it and you connect it with a long USB cable.
Let’s see how to make this camera unit from home supplies.
Make the cutouts
In the first step, we make four cutouts that match the measurements and dimensions of the cardboard/baseboard. Make sure that these cutouts are of the same height as your smartphone that you are going to use.
Make another cutout of the same width as the baseboard but make it 5 cm shorter. This will ensure a space for the phone to be removed.
The phone will rest on the front panel, so put your phone on it and mark out the shape and measurements of your phone on the outside surface of the cardboard.
Draw a circle around the place where the phone’s camera will be sitting. The circle should be 1cm wider than the camera lens.
Put the Box together
Attach the four walls of the cardboard by using a hot glue gun. Glue the walls together. Add the cover board after the walls have been dried. The cover board makes the roof of the little box.
Line the roof with the back of the box so you leave some space at the front of the camera unit. Your phone is slipped into the box from this space. Attach the roof using the hot glue gun.
In the next step, you need to cut out the lens hole on the board for your phone camera. For this, you need to take precise measurements. You can use a box cutter or some other similar tool to cut the cardboard.
In case you find your phone moving about its place, you can use thin strips and glue them around the edges of the box where you are going to fix your phone. This helps prevent your phone from sliding and keep it in one place.
Apply the Plaster
Apply plaster smoothly over all the joints and exposed connections of the box. You can use a tool to make the plaster even.
After the plaster has dried, use sandpaper to smoothen the plaster and sand down the bumps. Make sure you don’t miss any part.
Make a Stand
To fix the camera on the wall, you need to make a stand. You can make it by following these steps:
- Measure the length of the cardboard tubing to the length of the wall shaft and cut it with a board cutter.
- Cut one end of the cardboard at such an angle that the camera gets a good field of view
- Attach that angled end of the tubing to the camera unit using the hot glue
- Cut the cardboard into four strips of the same measurement as the stand shaft
- Attach these strips to the shaft to make a box around it.
Let it dry. Once the stand has dried, it depends on you how you want to mount it to the wall. You can attach the camera unit to a piece of cardboard using glue and fix it to the wall using tape or glue.
It all depends on the availability of the space and the setup you want.
Paint the Box
Take out your black and grey paint from the supplies box. Paint the stand grey and the main camera box black. You can also add some additional final designs such as gluing a lens glass or fake buttons to the frame of the camera.
You can also look up some DIY hidden camera designs online to make your camera look cooler.
Put the Phone in Place
After you have completed all the steps, find the slot where your phone needs to be. Insert the phone in a way that the camera is pointing out of the lens hole. You can also make a small cutout under the charging port if you want your camera box to look more creative.
This way, you can connect a USB charger to your phone and let it record for a longer duration. Test your setup by letting your camera record for a while. Once you are done, remove the phone from the unit and inspect the footage to see its performance.