Homemade TelePrompter

Maybe it’s a guy thing, but may be not, cause we all love gadgets.

I built a TelePrompter or Autocue to help me with my videos.

It didn’t cost much at all – all materials less than $40 although it took about 10  hours to put together including the plans – would be much quicker if I had better tools and skills.

autocue, teleprompter

No More Ums and Ahs

It doesn’t look pretty but it sure does work.

I just checked the prices of these on the net – WOW they don’t come cheap.  They get very expensive and the cheapest factory model I could find was $339. Most cost thousands of dollars.

Why would I want a tele-prompter?

Well now I can prepare what I want to say and run it through a program that flows the text. I have my camera set up in the tele-prompter box with a microphone attached and guess what – it keeps me on track and gets rid of the “um’s” and “ahs” as I think what to say next.

This will be really cool for technical talks where you really need to be specific and stay on track and where I have a particular message I want to share.

I wont give up on free-style videos though cause they are really spur of the moment and capture my passion for the topic much better.

So how did I build it?

I drew up some plans and then reworked them twice to get the measurements properly sorted. Well almost.

Working out the geometry was the trickiest bit – Who said he’d never need that when he was at school?

What materials did I use?

Timber frame made from 30mm x 18mm DAR timber
Lining made from 3.4mm Blackboard
Reflector is a 14″ x 11″ photo frame
Screws to hold the Butt joints tight (No fancy carpentry skills here)

Now I’m not skilled enough to have it all nice and square but close enough was good enough and it works a treat.

Great sense of satisfaction doing this little job.

As a variation, if I was to build another one, I’d have a go at using a wire frame covered in black cloth with a solid 3Ply base. Something like that could be good if it needed to be transported.

If you feel like building one yourself contact me and I’ll share my plans and tips with you for a small donation – say $5. Contact Chris


TelePro-Materials 345x345
The raw materials.





TelePro-Frame 345x345
The frame built.





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The floor in place and block for the reflector.





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The front top rail needed a little work to house the frame of the reflector.




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The frame of the reflector required a bevel off the top to level it with the frame (fortunately the picture frame I used was timber).

I have a work around for this now


TelePro-SideviewReflector 345x222
Here’s a side view of the reflector in place.


TelePro-Working 345x541
Here it is with my tablet running a script.




You can have fun making you own Autocue or Teleprompter for virtually nothing and you only need a few basic skills and tools.

4 Responses to “Homemade TelePrompter”

  1. Dawn says:

    That is a snazzy and pretty cheap teleprompter. I was thinking more of a teleprompter like the SMART Boards they use in schools. Or perhaps something that would clamp around mid-level of the desktop/laptop screen, so your eyes are still pretty much focused on the main screen.

    But in the end, it is fun just to see what you can build! As a kid (many, many years ago), I use to build things using the Popular Mechanics mag. Back then, they had rocket, solar, and other mechanical projects you could try on your own. Too bad the “powers to be” decided that these kind of things were “dangerous.”

    But I may just build your teleprompter if I can find a software for MAC that doesn’t cost more than the build.

    • Chris Stanton-Cook says:

      Hi Dawn
      Thanks for visiting and it was fun building it – even more fun knowing it works.
      The software I use on my tablet was free so hopefully apple have some free apps too.
      Have fun building – if you’re building one for your MAC then you’ll need to go much wider that I did on this one. (The pic frame on it’s side might work but may not give enough head room for the cam behind it.
      All the best with your IM journey. Chris

  2. Art Leslie says:

    Don’t you just love to create stuff …

    I always had projects going as a kid. Learned a lot that way. Those skills and abilities led to even more, which then put me on a track to make 100K a year. Then I got involved in internet marketing years ago and found something new to “tinker” with. Which ultimately led me to leave the other behind.

    Suggestion: Instead of using blackboard, just use “Blackboard Paint”. Haven’t priced blackboard, but figure the paint would give you a lot more coverage for the money. Except, you’ve got yours built now. 🙂

    What are you using to flow the script? You left that part out.


    • Chris Stanton-Cook says:

      Hi Art
      Thanks for the visit.
      I get a buzz out of building stuff rather than buying it – especially when it is something I’ll use a lot. Kicking myself for not getting into and doing this all those years ago when I started it but I didn’t have a tablet or Smartphone with the apps then.
      Blackboard paint was really expensive compared to the board – given that I’d only use a small fraction of the minimum size 1 litre tin ($32).
      As for the apps one is Mirror Script and the other is Listec Promptware Plus. Haven’t decided which I like best. Ideally I’d use a laptop with a B&W screen so I can control speed as variation of delivery speed is important.

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