Four simple and cheap products from an office supplies store are all you need for a functional and universal in-car cell phone mount. Why spend $50 on a dedicated mount when you could build one for a tenth the price?

Ryan Mottau asked those questions of himself and with a large binder clip, some string, a couple of rubber bands and some duct tape, he created a useful and discreet mount for holding his smartphone. Even better, it works in virtually any car by clipping onto the air vents (we say virtually as you might struggle in cars with circular vents!).

How is it done? You first disassemble the clips and bend the ends of the wire to form an 'elbow'. Next, for aesthetic and practical purposes (so as not to scratch your mobile device and to provide friction) wrap the string tightly around the wire. You're free to use a string color of your choice (hot pink, anyone?... no?) though Ryan has sensibly used black which should match most devices and interiors...

Ryan Mottau's DIY phone holder

Ryan Mottau's DIY phone holder

Wrap some duct tape around the rest of the wire, then fit the ends of the clip back on and tie the rubber bands around the wire holders for reverse tension, keeping the wire 'hands' tight. And, voila! You're done. For a full step-by-step account with useful pictures a full description is available on Life Hacker.

It's great to see simple resourcefulness being used to good effect, and if it saves you some money then it's even better!

[Life Hacker]