Finding new ways to entertain the kids all summer can be tricky. It gets to a certain point when Netflix becomes the perfect babysitter! If you’re at that point (and I know I am!), I’ve got a great way to make yourself feel a LITTLE better about it… Namely, this Old Fashioned TV Viewing Stand cardboard craft.
It’s the perfect little craft to do with the kids, as it doesn’t take a long time, and it is actually practical. It works great for cell phones, but you could also take the directions and do the same thing on a larger scale to fit tablets!
Now, when you let your kids watch their favorite Netflix show, you can at least tell yourself you did something creative first!
- Piece of heavyweight cardboard 11” x 7”
- Piece of heavyweight cardboard 3” x 8”
- Piece of heavyweight cardboard 15” x 3”
- The cell phone that you will be using for this stand
- Exacto knife
- 1 piece of scrapbook paper larger than 11” x 7”
- 2 pipe cleaners that match the scrapbook paper
- Glue gun
- Piece of 5” x 5” piece of cardboard
Lay out the 11” x 7” piece of cardboard so that the longer side is horizontal and the shorter side is vertical. Set your cell phone horizontally on the cardboard and place it (approximately) 3 inches in from the right side, 2 inches from the top and 2 inches from the bottom. Trace your cell phone.
Important: Make 4 marks to indicate where your actual screen is because this is where you will be cutting. You can see in the photo below that the phone is larger than the screen is so there are two markings on the top line and two on the bottom.
Use the exacto knife to cut out the area where the screen will be showing through the viewing stand. Set this piece of cardboard aside to use in step 10.
Flip the scrapbook paper over and trace this piece of cardboard onto the back of the paper. Cut out the edges and the inside rectangle so that it will fit over the cardboard.
Get your piece of cardboard that is 3” x 8”. Use the ruler to fold the sides of the cardboard. You are going to make a ½” fold on each end and then 1” on each side after that. (See photo).
At the 1” fold, cut ½” inches up on the bottom. Fold this into a flap. (See photo.)
Use the glue gun to secure the ½” sides and the edge of the flap to the cardboard so that it is aligned with the cut out. This piece will hold the cell phone in place.
Get your piece of cardboard that is 15” x 3” and make a ½” fold on each end. Make another fold 2 inches in from that one. Glue the ½ inch fold onto each end of the back of the viewing box making sure that the bottom of both pieces are even.
Get your scrapbook paper and pipe cleaners ready. Glue the scrapbook paper on the front of the viewing box.
Use the glue gun to secure the pipe cleaners around the edge of the rectangle cut into the front of the box. Trim to fit and use the extra pipe cleaners to glue “antennas” to the top, back of the tv viewer.
Use the extra cardboard from Step 2 to cut some circles that will be the “dials “ on the tv viewer. Use the markers to color the circles and glue to the front.
Put a movie on your phone and then slip it into the viewer. (This is so great for kids who may be tempted to keep touching the phone and causing issues with other children who are watching the movie because they are unable to mess with the phone and have to watch with everyone else.)
Katie Reed is a passionate writer and mother of four vivacious boys from Salt Lake City, Utah. Drawing from her own journey through TTC, pregnancy, and the joys of raising children, she offers a wealth of insight into the world of motherhood. Beyond her heartfelt tales, Katie delights her readers with family-friendly recipes, engaging crafts, and a curated library of printables for both kids and adults. When she’s not penning her experiences, you’ll find her crafting memories with her husband and sons—Dexter, Daniel, Chester, and Wilder.