Building a Custom Wood iPad Stand

This past year I received an iPad for Christmas. I was a little late to the iPad party which is funny considering a large part of my day job is to design websites to fit on tablets. Okay, first world problems here but I was having difficulty with using the iPad for work while it was laying flat on the desk. I have to consistently check the tablet and then look back at my computer to code the design and I thought if I could have the iPad propped up at eye level that would be a huge help and streamline the process. I mentioned the idea to Brent and thus building an iPad stand went onto our project to-do list.

Building a Custom Wood iPad Stand

Brent and I’s design planning sessions are quickly becoming my favorite part of projects, mostly because they often take place when food is involved (we have had quite a few concept drawings start on paper napkins) but also because it is fun to bounce ideas back and forth and dream big for our projects.

I described to Brent the features that I thought would be really helpful to incorporate into the iPad stand. Brent sketched it up and added a few additional design elements that I thought were genius! We were really excited with the design we brainstormed and were looking forward to starting the project soon.

Building a Custom Wood iPad Stand

A few weeks ago we were near downtown shopping and on a whim decided to stop in New Living, a local green home furnishings store in Houston that sells a variety of eco-friendly products from organic mattresses to non-toxic finishes. We were really excited that Jeff, one of the co-founders, happened to be in the store that day and we got to meet with him, learn about the store’s vision and even got to tour their workshop. One of the really cool things about New Living is they work with local artisans to build custom home furnishings from locally sourced materials for the store.

We got to talking about our upcoming projects and when we mentioned we were looking forward to building a custom wood iPad stand he asked if we would be open to making one for the store. We quickly answered yes and were ecstatic to trade an iPad stand for the opportunity to work with some really cool wood and to try out the non-toxic finishes they offer.

Building a Custom Wood iPad Stand
^^^ Left: Pecan // Right: Walnut

How to Build a Wood iPad Stand Video

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How We Built Our Custom Wood iPad Stand

Building a Custom Wood iPad Stand
^^^ We started by cutting all the pieces we needed to build the iPad stand. In this picture we are cutting the vertical support. We designed it so the piece of pecan wood is sandwiched between the two pieces of walnut.

Building a Custom Wood iPad Stand
^^^ Before we glued the pieces together, we assembled it to make sure everything fit as we had planned. As you can see, the top of the stand is uneven. This was not a problem because we cut it with the table saw after it was glued together.

Building a Custom Wood iPad Stand
^^^ We cleaned the surface of the wood and the used a brush to apply wood glue that created a strong bond.

Building a Custom Wood iPad Stand
^^^ Once we had the glue applied, we immediately wiped off any excess with a damp paper towel to make sure none dried on the surface. That could cause discoloration once the finish was applied. Then, we clamped the boards together and let the glue set.

Building a Custom Wood iPad Stand
^^^ One feature we wanted to incorporate was to create a hole in the wood stand to access the home button on the iPad. To create this we drilled a 1″ hole through the live edge lip.

Building a Custom Wood iPad Stand
^^^ The next step was to sand the stand.

Building a Custom Wood iPad Stand
^^^ The beauty of using walnut is there is no need to stain the wood. We applied a single layer of non-toxic transparent finish.

Custom Wood iPad Stand Features

Building a Custom Wood iPad Stand
^^^ Here is our finished wood iPad stand. It is made of walnut and pecan wood and fits a normal sized iPad.
Building a Custom Wood iPad Stand
^^^ We made it so it has a cut out in the back and an inset in the front so the charging cord can run through the back, down the inset and come out through the bottom. Brent came up with this idea and I love it because the iPad lays flat against the stand whether it is plugged in charging or not.

Building a Custom Wood iPad Stand
^^^ We also created a cut out so the home button is easily accessible.

Building a Custom Wood iPad Stand

After we built it, I spent the next few nights testing it out (you know just to make sure it worked) and found that iPad stands are really useful in lots of rooms. I used it in my office for work, in the kitchen for displaying recipes and I put it on my nightstand in the bedroom as a safe place to store it while it charged. I am thinking I need one for every room now!

Building a Custom Wood iPad Stand

Last Friday we dropped it off at New Living and I must admit I was a little sad to see it go because I had grown kind of attached to it while testing it out. However, we are so excited that it has a fun new home at the New Living store. If you are in Houston and in The Heights area be sure to stop by the store and check out our iPad stand and all the impressive handmade furniture they offer.

Next up on the list is for us to create more iPad stands! We are pumped to build more stands to use throughout our house. I am excited to make a unique one for each room. If you are interested in making you own, stay tuned because we will be offering a how-to for this project and plans coming up soon!