4 Free DIY Cell Phone Accessories

Last Updated May 5, 2010 8:38 AM EDT

Is there such a thing as being too cheap? It depends upon who you ask, I suppose. Rick has found a way to re-use his kitchen trash bags (don't ask). Me? I prefer to find smart and clever ways to save money that don't exhaust my time, which is also valuable.

Recently, I ran across something that definitely qualifies as a clever way to save money: A handful of DIY cell phone accessories like scratch guards, cases, and charging stands. You can do it all with ordinary household materials, and most of them look surprisingly good.

This roundup comes courtesy of Wisebread, which rounded up no less than six how-to videos that explain how to hack your phone cheaply.

Scratch Guard. My favorite hack is this scratch guard for your cell phone's screen. It uses ordinary transparent shipping tape. And be sure to watch the video, because it's not a simple case of applying the tape to your screen. In fact, a word of warning: Don't do that.

Charging Stand. Do you just plug your phone into the wall? Neaten your charging area by creating a mount you can hang the phone in right from the electrical outlet.

Car Phone Holder. We've already told you about one way to build a cheap holder for your car, and here's another. This phone stand is made from an old CD and trust me -- when you watch this video, you'll barely believe your eyes. The results are amazing.

Cell Phone Case. Finally, here's a way to make a cell phone case out of duct tape. Yes, duct tape. Of all the hacks here, this is the one I absolutely wouldn't use myself -- but I would make one of these for my kids.