If you need to make a video, host an online meeting, or present in class, and it just so happens that you have an iPad at home, then you can spend half an hour making a simple DIY iPad teleprompter. With the available materials at your house to set up into a prompter, it can make you perform better and save you hundreds of dollars!
The working principle of this autocue tool is enabling the speaker to read the text projected from the iPad screen to the reflecting mirror while looking straight at the camera lens like it’s making eye contact with the audience. You need a few items as follows:
- A carton box
- A piece of glass
- Tape, box cutter, scissors and protractor
- An iPad (or other tablets and monitors)
- A camera or mobile phone for recording
Four simple steps to make a DIY iPad teleprompter with low-cost
An inexpensive teleprompter that can compete with professional ones can be made for about 10 to 20 dollars using an iPad, iPhone, or camera monitor. You simply need four steps and around 30 minutes of your time. No intricate design and woodworking experience is required.
Step 1: Prepare an opening box and cut out a window on the bottom
The first thing of how to make an iPad teleprompter is to get an opening carton to be the main frame of your DIY teleprompter, which also acts as the shroud for blocking unwanted lighting. With the opening pointing front, place the box on its longer side to have a secure base.
Determine the middle of the box's back, then cut off a circle that is just big enough to fit your camera lens, whose size usually ranges from 40 to 58mm. Then, place a little piece of duct tape over the hole on both sides and carve a cross into it. It will make a pretty nice holder for the lens of your shooting devices and decrease unneeded light coming from the rear end.
Step 2: Purchase a DIY teleprompter glass and fix it in the box with a 45-degree angle
Get a thin and clear mirror glass for your DIY autocue with an iPad at the Home Depot. It is used to reflect the reading scripts on your iPad screen. Place it about 45 degrees upward in the box and verify that the film is facing outward.
Check that you can see through the glass properly by peeking through the hole in the rear. Next, return to the previous position, and lay your iPad flat in front of the teleprompter mirror. Make sure the reflection is in the middle of the glass. If not, change its position angles.
Step 3: Download a prompter app on your iPad, upload and edit your script
Download a free prompter app for your iPad and upload or copy and paste your script on it. Edit the size of your text and the color of the script background for comfortable reading. Once you set everything up, you can mirror text for reading on your DIY iPad teleprompter at a pace that works best for you with proper scrolling speed.
Step 4: Place the iPad before the glass and put the camera behind the DIY iPad teleprompter
Hold the iPad in front of the mirror, as you did when adjusting the Angle of the glass. Make some adjustments to make sure you get a clear reflection right in front of you and that you don't get sore eyes when you read. Then put your camera or cell phone for recording the camera installed until after you open the mouth of the hole in the box.
When you're done, your camera should be facing directly at you and you should see your screen mirrored on the DIY frame. In this way, you may gaze at your screen and maintain direct eye contact with your audience, which is the same as the DIY teleprompter for laptop. Set the countdown to the start of the prompting scripts, and you can start reading, practicing, and recording.
What free teleprompter iPad App can you use for prompting?
You can find free software easily on the internet, and we recommend the Moman Prompter teleprompter app for iPad. It can meet almost everything you require to edit a prompting text. It works with iOS and Android systems for the DIY tablet teleprompter and offers management including:
- Change font and background color
- Change font size
- Adjust text scrolling speed
- Mirror the text
- Set up countdown
Furthermore, it supports pictures of jpg. and gif. uploading, and it can connect to the customized remote to guide during speaking. This app was originally designed for the Moman professional teleprompter devices, but it works well with the DIY ones as well.
List of budget components required to build a homemade teleprompter for iPad
Our objective was to provide the most affordable yet high-quality and useful solution for making an iPad teleprompter. Most of the required materials from your idle items at home and daily tools cost you less than 30 dollars in total.
1. A firm, big, and cuttable box – Cost under $5
You need a box to be the main part of your DIY iPad teleprompter. It should be thick enough to stand on the table on its own, big enough to contain your iPad, and cuttable to open a hole in it for your camera lens or smartphone lens. You can use your courier box, or milk box, or search and buy a moving box, which may cost you $2 to $5. If you can, try to choose a light-tight box or cover the original brown cardboard box with black paper.
2. A thin and clear reflecting glass and mirrored tint – Cost about $10
Buying a suitable and budget glass is the key to the process of how to make a teleprompter with an iPad. It should be able to mirror the text on your iPad with great clarity, so it’s better to have a similar size to your tablet. Here are some references:
- Large - iPad Pro: 11 to 12.9 inches
- Average - iPad: 10.2 to 10.9 inches
- Small - iPad Mini: 7.9 to 8.3 inches
To sum up, you may get a DIY glass square of 10 to 12” at Home Depot for about $4. Depending on how wide you want your screen to be or what size box you have on hand, you may pick a smaller or larger portion. To ensure that your glass slides in smoothly at a 45-degree angle, its height and length should match the length of your box.
Look for glass to make a teleprompter from old tablet that is between 3/32" and 1/8" thick as it is utilized as a budget replacement for the expensive beamsplitter glass. Ask for around a 14" (inches) by 3' (ft) strip of mirrored tint at 15% visibility by going to a nearby window tinting or auto tinting business, which may cost you 5 dollars.
3. Tool kits of tape, box cutter, scissors, and protractor – Cost around $10
You can find these daily tools in your family's kit or your child's craft box. They are indispensable to help you build the entire DIY teleprompter with iPad. You can also use glue guns instead of tape, which will be more strong. If you don't have these tools, you may have to borrow them from the shop or buy new ones.
4. An iPad or other tablet and large size smartphone
An iPad, smartphone, or Android pad is used to be the prompter for uploading, editing, and mirroring the teleprompter scripts.
How can the cheap DIY autocue with iPad be improved?
The one said above can be nice for a while, but it could be better for longer uses. Here we conclude a few things that can be promoted.
Change the budget glass into the beam splitter mirror
Though the cheap normal glass bought from the store is able to project and display scripts, it may come across problems of ghosting, which is the double reflection. If you want a more comfortable reading experience, buy yourself the more expensive beam splitter glass for a DIY professional iPad mini teleprompter.
Change the carton box into a tripod and tray
The low-cost carton box is not steady enough, which means that it cannot be mounted on rails or enable convenient placements. You can get a light stand, tripod, or monopod as the secure base for it. Then install a tray on it for holding the iPad.
Change the tape into adapters and screws
With the box into a tripod, accordingly, tape or glue gun will become a mounting adapter and screws for fixing and connection. The latter are more sturdy, can bear the weight of the shooting equipment and prompting iPad, let you rest assured to record or live stream.
What this blog introduces is an extremely cheap and fast way to make a DIY iPad teleprompter, however, it is simple and not lasting enough. If you are looking for a more complete and professional function for prompting during video making, Zoom meetings, and class presentations, then we suggest you buy a device.