Yesterday I published a quick review for a $6 hard case for the iPad mini. I didn’t buy that case to use an as actual case, but rather to use it in a DIY project. A rather quick DIY project, even.

In my last DIY article I talked about how useful it is to put tripod screws on everything, as it gives you a universal system of mounting accessories you make to one another and existing equipment. I made a quick ground pad-based iPad mini holder that I showed off in the article, but the idea was always to make a better one. Take the hard case, attack a tripod nut on the back, and…well, that’s it. iPad mini tripod adapter!

The purpose? All sorts of things. Buy one of these, and you have a car mount for the iPad mini, total cost: about $13. Buy one of these, attach it to the side of your monitor, fire up XDisplay, and you suddenly have an adjustable second monitor. One of these, and you have a table stand. Bike mount. Or, just grab any normal tripod and have a table stand.

As for the specifics, I glued a large tripod nut (from some actual camera equipment I “disassembled”) to the back of the hard case with super glue, glued around it with hot glue, and then finished off with a pack of Sugru to smooth things out. The result is a sturdy connection between the nut and the hard case, and an overall “adapter” that looks a lot less home made than the ground pad based one.

Like I said in the previous article, making accessories this way is both cheap and simple. For $20 you can get a holder for your tablet, phone, and a couple of accessories to screw them to. A proper store bought car kit for the iPad mini generally totals in at 2+ times that, with less features and much less compatibility and expandability. Seriously, why on Earth do people buy that crap when it’s so easy to make?