Motorised smartphone gimbals have gotten pretty inexpensive over the last couple of years. Something like the Zhiyun Smooth 4 only costs $120, and you can find ones that are even cheaper if you shop around. But there’s something to be said for the humble gravity stabiliser, especially when you can make one yourself.
In this video, the guys from COOPH show us how we can make a DIY smartphone stabiliser using just a mop head, a paint roller and a few tin cans. It’s a super simple project, and the results look pretty good.
The build begins with three tin cans. Two of these you’ll want to empty, removing both the top and bottom of each. In one of those, you’ll want to cut a window so that you can access your phone’s LCD. The third can, you want to keep full. These are then gaffer taped together in a row, with the can with the window cut in it at the top, and the full can at the bottom. Your paint roller gets pushed through the middle can.
The full can acts as a counterweight, with your phone in the one on top that has the window cut into it holding your phone. The full can is heavier than your phone, and the bearings in the roller allow it to balance freely, keeping your phone at the top.
You could just use it as is if you wanted to, but there is a chance the phone won’t stay level, as you’re still grasping that handle. To help eliminate this, a mop handle can be taped to the paint roller handle to take a little more of your own movement out of the equation, giving you a steadier shot.
Considering you probably have these bits lying around your home anyway, it won’t really cost you anything to make one. So, if you wanted a gimbal for your smartphone but don’t have the cash to spend, now you have an option.