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If you’re in the market for a laptop stand, but you also don’t want to spend any money to set one up on your desk, you might be in luck! I want to share a few ideas about how you can elevate your laptop on your desk without actually buying anything.
Fun fact: when I was traveling and working remotely, my friend would often prop up his laptop on a trash can because it was the perfect height for getting his laptop at his eye level.
The first thing he would do when he got to a new coworking space was to scope out the cleanest trash can. Then, he would put his laptop on top of it!
When you start your hunt for a DIY laptop stand, you’ll need an external keyboard and an external mouse (I recommend a wireless one). Otherwise, you probably won’t be able to actually use your laptop very effectively.
I want to break down the use-cases for needing a laptop stand, first. Check out my article on the benefits of using a laptop stand if you want to learn more about it. With these common use-cases for needing a laptop stand, I’ll walk through a few ideas how you can use household items to solve your problems.
1. Prevent your laptop from overheating on your desk
Because your laptop needs to vent, if it’s flat against your desk, you could have airflow issues that cause your computer to not be able to vent properly.
You could fix this by using any laptop stand that has a hollow design or has some sort of airflow design.
But, if you don’t want to go through the hassle, you can use the following ideas to prop up your laptop off of your desk.
Use wine corks
Because wine corks are usually in an abundance in some households (especially if you have computer issues), you can let your laptop rest on two or three discarded wine corks to allow for your laptop to vent.
Books are great to read, but they’re also great to lift your laptop off of the surface of your desk. You can use the books to raise your laptop closer to a second monitor, or rest your laptop on the corner of a few books to allow for proper ventilation.
Use a desk fan
If you’re really having computer overheating issues, maybe pointing a fan at your computer can help cool it down. Well, probably not, but it’s worth a shot.
2. Change the viewing angle of your laptop on your desk
A lot of laptop stands allow you to easily tilt your laptop forward or back, to set up an optimal viewing angle.
Also, updating the viewing angle can help with some of your overheating issues mentioned above.
If this is all you want to do, you might not need to spend the money to invest in a laptop stand. If you have any office supplies lying around, you can use the following items to change your laptop’s viewing angle.
Use a ring binder
Here’s a new way to use a three-ring binder: A binder is the perfect shape for lifting up your laptop from your desk, to update your viewing angle.
An empty binder can help stash some cables and accessories that you have plugged into your laptop as well. It’s a multi-use device!
The bigger the binder, the more tilt you’re going to get. A binder like this from Amazon might be really useful if this solution sounds good to you.
Use a paper organizer
A paper organizer is usually made out of a metal mesh material. It’s not very heavy duty, because its intended use is for paper; however, if you have a lightweight laptop, this might work for you.
This type of paper organizer would work out great. You may already have a few of these lying around.
3. Build your own laptop stand
If you really do want a traditional laptop stand, but don’t want to spend the money on one, you can try making one from materials that you already have. Check this out.
Use leftover materials
If you have any leftover shelves, scrap wood or pipes, you can easily create a laptop stand using those scrap materials.
If you have the expertise, using two L-brackets from a shelf and a scrap piece of plywood can yield a quick and easy DIY laptop stand.
If you have leftover packing material, you can create a few triangles out of a template and with a support system added, your laptop stand will be ready to go!