How to project an image to trace without a projector


Projecting an image using a projector on the wall is quite straightforward. However, if you are a beginner artist, it would be impossible to afford one.

How to project an image to trace without a projector?

You might be worried about how to trace a picture onto a canvas to draw an image. Especially, when you want to paint on a large wall, you might want to paint every detail of your picture. Luckily, you can have a projection of an image without buying a projector.

You might be worried about how can I project a picture from my phone to the wall. There are a few different ways to project an image that you can use without spending a huge amount on projectors.

You may aslo check: how to make a homemade projector screen with mirror

Making an easy DIY projector

Before going into the steps, you need to get all the materials mentioned below to make a DIY projector.

  • Cardboard box
  • Magnifying lens
  • Tap
  • Pencil
  • Ruler, gum stick
  • Black matte paint
  • Knife & scissor
  • Smartphone

These all items are commonly available at our home. Now you have all the items you need to start your DIY (Do-It-yourself) project.

Making an easy diy Projector

Step 1: Check the size of the box and mirror

First and foremost, you need to check the size of the box so that you can have a great distance between your phone and magnifying glass to project an image. So, the box should be large enough to adjust the phone and the lens. Moreover, there should be a light source that passes through the glass which would help to get a clear image.

Use the right box size to adjust all the items inside the container perfectly. As it will give you a wide space to adjust the distance between your smartphone and a glass. This would project a focused image on the wall.

Make sure you have a large-size lens as well. After deciding the size of the box, now place the lens on one side of the box. The lens should be in the middle of the box. Lastly, you must use a light source to make the image brighter and clearer.

 Step 2: Dim the interior to get a better-quality image

In this step, you need to blackout the interior to get the best quality image. For this purpose, you can use black construction paper or black matte paint to darken the interior. This is the best possible solution as the black paper will prevent the reflection of light and make it dim. Hence, this will provide an ideal image you want to project on the wall to trace.

Another option could be to use back spray which is commonly used for plastic materials. Spray the interior of the box and let it dry. Ensure to coat it nicely so that all the sides are painted.

Step 3: Install the lens

Now, in this step install the lens if your phone does not support one. First, trace the hole in one side of the box where you want to install the lens. Then, use the precision knife to cut the hole and fit your lens to project a picture.

Step 4: Design a focus of the phone

In this part of your DIY project, you need to build a small box equal to your phone size. After, paint the box using black matte paint to improve the focus of the image. You should use a ruler at this step to get an accurate measurement.

Now, cut one edge of the box and fold the flaps. Position the sides of the flaps using glue.

Step 5: Install the mirror

At this step your big and small box is ready, and now you need to tape a mirror at the backside of the box.

Step 6: Position your phone

Once everything is ready, give the position to your phone correctly to project an image. Try to calculate the best angle of your phone to get the desired quality image.

Step 7: Adjust the focus

In this last step, your projector has been completed successfully. You should test it by playing a video or displaying an image you wanted to project from your phone to the wall.

Making a projector using Flashlight

You may be thinking about how to trace a picture onto a canvas without transfer paper. Using a flashlight, you can display images onto a canvas without a projector. Here, I am going to discuss how you can project an image using a flashlight.

First, you need to cut out three squares from the Styrofoam. Take one square Styrofoam and make a square hole and cut it down. Now, take another one and adjust the magnifying glass on it. Using the third square Styrofoam place the magnifying glass and adjust its position.

Next, you need to cut two more small squares from Styrofoam and give both of them a U-shape to place the flashlight on top of them. Also, you need a base that you would build using Styrofoam. Cut a rectangular-shaped Styrofoam and place the other form on top of it.

Now, you have placed all the components on the rectangular Styrofoam. It’s time to fix them using glue so that they can have a fixed position. Make sure you place the magnifying glass first and then the squared screen Styrofoam you cut to display an image. At the last, fix the flashlight to get a projection of your image.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best way to project an image onto a wall?

One of the best ways to have a clear projection image is using a projector. However, if your projector is somehow damaged and cannot afford a new one. You can make a DIY projector to do your work.

Why are projectors so popular?

Projectors help to have a large display of an image, video, or slides. These are extremely helpful when you want to present in a class or you want to entertain your friends. Also, if you are keen to play video games, the projector can help you to have a better experience.

Does the size of the projector matter?

Yes. Certainly, it matters a lot. The large projector has a high resolution which does not affect the quality of a picture, whereas the small image does not support higher resolutions. Hence, cause a burry and low-quality image. Therefore, you should always prefer a high-resolution projector.

How can I project an image from my phone onto the wall?

You can project an image from your phone using the DIY projection method.

How Can I fix the image if it is distorted when I project it onto the wall?

If you get a distorted image, try repositioning the lens and the mirror to get a clearer image. Make a great distance between your phone and the lens, if you want it to be large and bright. In addition, the surface of the projector should be flat and smooth to get a high-quality image.


The DIY and flashlight projection method is an effective and affordable way you can use to display an image on the wall to trace. Although, projectors help to get a clear and high-resolution image. This can help you to get entertained and trace an image from your phone to the wall.




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