Most people are familiar with tripods. They have three legs and are great for setting up at a location and taking photos from that one spot. Monopods, on the other hand, have only one leg, so they can be quickly moved from place to place.

But with only one leg, monopods aren’t very stable. This one has a spike at one end that can be pushed into the ground for timed photos. Or you can take fixed-height orbital photos, which is useful for projects like Print Your Head in 3D in which you take a series of photos, create a digital mesh online, and then print out your subject on a 3D printer.

Project Steps

Prepare the handle.

If it has a rounded end, cut off or sand the end so it’s flat. Pre-drill each end of the broom handle: one with the 3/16″ bit, the other with the bit sized for your nail.

Pre-drilling allows the hanger bolt and nail to go in easier and reduces the risk of the wood splitting.

Attach the hardware.

Secure the hex nut on the hanger bolt, and then attach both to the broom handle using a wrench.

On the other end, install the nail by carefully hammering it into the other pre-drilled hole. After it’s secure, use a hacksaw to cut off the head of the nail. This will allow the monopod to be stuck into the ground.

Attach the camera.

The final step is to screw on the camera. Most cameras have a ¼”-20 threaded hole on the bottom. Without the threaded hole, it cannot be mounted to a monopod or a tripod. If you secure the monopod into the ground, make sure it’s steady before letting go.


This project first appeared in MAKE Volume 31, page 111.