When you don’t want your phone to be dangling loose, you’ll need a special holder to keep it safe. Instead of running out and buying one, however, it is easy to make your own using an empty plastic bottle. Best of all, you can use these holders for other similar-sized items that need to be charged as well.
EditCreating the Base
- Find a bottle large enough to fit your phone. Try to find a bottle that is more oval in shape rather than round; the flattened back will help it rest better against the wall when you hang it. A 15-ounce (444-milliliter) shampoo or conditioner bottle will fit most phones.
- Hold your phone against it to test the size––the edges should extend around the outside of the phone
- Remove the labels and clean the bottle, inside and out. Rinse the bottle out in hot water to remove any residue left inside. Peel off the label and remove any residue using white vinegar, oil, or a glue remover (ie: Goo Gone). Allow the bottle to dry upside down before proceeding.
- Mark where you want the opening to start with a permanent marker. Hold your phone against the bottle, with the bottom edges lined up. Decide how far up the phone you want the front of the holder to go, then make a mark on the bottle using a permanent marker. For mot people, two-thirds of the way up the phone is perfect.
- Extend the line towards the back, then curve it upwards. Draw a horizontal line across the front of the bottle first, right where the mark is. Extend the line around the sides of the bottle. When you reach the back, curve the line upwards towards the top of the bottle.
- How high up you curve the back of the holder depends on how tall you want the charging station to be.
- Trace the back of the charger onto the back of the bottle. Place your phone’s charger on the back of the bottle, with the prongs facing up. Make sure that it is about ½ inch (1.27 centimeters) below the top of the curved line. Trace around the charger using a permanent marker, then put the charger away.
- Cut along the lines that you drew. Start with the base of the holder first, then cut out the charger hole. It would be easiest to do this with a craft blade or box cutter. Some people find it easier to use scissors on the base of the bottle, however.
- Sand the cut edges with fine-grit sandpaper. This will get rid of any roughness. If you plan on decoupaging or painting your holder, it would be a good idea to buff the outside of the bottle with fine-grit sandpaper to give it some tooth. Be sure to rinse the bottle afterwards.
- Wipe away any marker lines with rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover. Simply dampen a cotton ball or pad with your desired product, then wipe it over the pen marks. Rubbing alcohol should work most of the time, but if you need something stronger, try nail polish remover or acetone.
- Use your new charging station. Plug the charger into the wall, then slide the holder onto it through the hole, with the “pocket” part facing outward. Plug the cable into the charger, then into your phone. Slide your phone into the holder, and tuck any excess cable inside.
- Important: Make sure that the holder is touching the plastic part of the charger; don’t let it slip behind the charger and touch the metal prongs.
EditDecorating with Fabric
- Choose a colorful fabric to match your decor. Make sure that you have enough fabric to wrap around the holder, plus an additional inch for overlapping. You can use solid-colored or patterned fabric. Cotton will work the best.
- Coat the outside of the holder with decoupage glue (ie: Mod Podge). Use a foam brush to apply the glue to the holder. To make things easier and less messy, it would be a good idea to apply it to just the front.
- Wrap the cotton fabric tightly around the holder, overlapping it at the back. Press the fabric onto the front of the holder and smooth out any wrinkles. Apply more decoupage glue to the sides and back, and wrap the fabric tightly. Overlap the edge of the fabric at the back by ½ inch (1.27 centimeters).
- Make sure that the fabric is centered. You will have a lot of excess fabric at the front. Don’t worry about this; you will trim it away.
- Allow the fabric to dry. Set the holder upside down over something long and skinny, such as a bottle or candlestick as it dries. Even an empty paper towel holder will do.
- Cut off the excess fabric and charger hole. Once it has dried, trim off the excess fabric around the top and bottom of the holder. Next, set the charger down, with the back against a cutting mat, and cut out the charger hole.
- You can use scissors or a craft blade to cut off the excess fabric at the top and bottom of the holder.
- Use a craft knife to cut out the charger hole.
- Apply another coat of decoupage glue, making sure to coat the edges, and let it dry again. Brush on more decoupage glue using the same method as before. This time, make sure that you extend it past the edges of the holder, including the top, bottom, and charger hole.
- This is your final coat, so be sure to use a finish that you like: matte, satin, or glossy.
- Cover the bottom of the holder, if desired. Trace the bottom of the holder onto the wrong side of your fabric with a pen. Cut the fabric out, then secure it to the base of the holder with decoupage glue. Let the holder dry upside down (just like before), then seal it with a final coat of decoupage glue.
EditDecorating in Other Ways
- Use colored, patterned contact paper if you can’t find the fabric you like. Cut the contact paper to the length and circumference of the holder. Peel off the backing, then wrap it around the holder. Trim away the excess contact paper at the top, then cut away the charging hole.
- If you wish to cover the bottom, trace the base of the holder onto the contact paper, then cut the shape out. Peel away the backing, then stick it to the bottom of the holder.
- Coat the holder with spray paint for something quick and easy. Take the holder to a well-ventilated area. Spray it with 1 to 2 coats of spray paint, allowing each coat to dry for about 20 minutes. Seal it with a coat of clear, acrylic spray.
- Paint the front first, then the back, then the bottom.
- Spruce up a boring design some stencils. Place a stencil over the front of the holder. Secure the stencil with tape, then apply acrylic paint using a foam brush. Peel the stencil away, then let the paint dry.
- You can do this over a bare bottle, a painted bottle, or even a fabric-covered bottle.
- You can also paint the designs by hand if you are artistic, or use stamps and acrylic paint.
- Wrap some wide ribbon around the holder for a bold deign. Cut a piece of 2 to 3-inch (5.08 to 7.62-centimeter) wide ribbon long enough to wrap around the holder, plus and additional inch (.54 centimeters). Coat each end of the ribbon with glue or double-sided tape, then wrap the ribbon around the middle of the holder. Overlap the ends by ½ inch (1.27 centimeters) in the back.
- You can combine this with a bare holder or a painted holder.
- Decorate the bottle with stickers for something simple. Paint the holder first, or leave it bare. Next, decorate the holder as you like with stickers or self-adhesive rhinestones. You can also use patterned washi tape if you prefer a geometric design.
- Don’t do all of the decorations all at once. Choose one or two ideas, then run with them!
- You can leave your holder blank, if you prefer.
- Opaque bottles will look nicer than clear ones, especially if you choose to leave them bare.
- If the holder is too long for the outlet, it will bump against the floor. Shorten the top and bring the charger hole lower.
- Do not leave the phone holder unattended if you are hanging it over a charger. If the plastic touches the prongs, it can melt.
EditThings You’ll Need
- Empty shampoo, lotion, or conditioner bottle
- Scissors, box cutter, or craft blade
- Permanent marker
- Fine-grit Sandpaper
- Fabric, paint, embellishment, etc (optional)