SLIDESHOW

Peculiar Places to Park Your iPhone or iPad: Offbeat Docks and Stands

These crazy stands and docks are made from Legos, dinosaurs, old Macs, and even cheese. What will they think of next?

Interesting and Crazy iPhone Docks and Stands

Need a place to park your iPhone or iPad? Docks and stands are perfect ways to stash your Apple device once you get home. The variety of designs is amazing: We found docks made of cardboard, CDs, action figures, Lego bricks, and in at least one instance, actual food. Some are for sale, others are do-it-yourself projects, and a few disappear after the party ends. Let's check them out.

The Automata

Why put stress on your wrists shifting your iPhone from horizontal to vertical ... horizontal to vertical ... when you can build this nifty device to do it for you? Biomedical engineer Murtaza Lakdawala designed this hand-cranked dock, and provides instructions and a template for the gears. Watch it in action.

Automata iPhone Dock | Instructions provided

iPhone Horn

Old-timers who refer to making phone calls as "getting somebody on the horn" will love this model, which amplifies sound the old-fashioned way: through a series of tubes. Warning: It may not work so well in a crowded bar--though in some bars, you might draw a crowd. Available in green or black, and you can always try painting it white.

iPhone Horn | $21

iRetro Fone

Take a rotary phone--the kind that sat on Joe Friday's desk in the TV series Dragnet in the 1960s. Then cross the aesthetics of Dragnet with those of Terry Gilliam's movie Brazil, and you just might create this baby. Florida artist Scott Freeland sculpts fully functional cradle/chargers for various smartphones from urethane resin; this one's hand-painted. Check out his work on Etsy, starting at $195.

iRetrofone Steampunk | $350

Cheese Dock

iPhoneSavior.com shared Ally Fontaine's second annual iPhone Cheese Dock, a huge hit at her Christmas party. This year's model was enhanced with a limited edition Steve Jobs bobblehead, an iPhone 4 running the Santa's Little Helper photo app, and a Costco-size chunk of pepper jack. Nice!

iPhoneCheese Dock, 2010 Edition | Private collection

DinosauriPhone

The creator of this device told Lifehacker that he resented being asked to pay extra for a charging cradle, so he delved into the toy collection on his desk. A few hours with a Dremel tool and some Super Glue produced this Jurassic parking spot. Dig around your basement and come up with your own.

Brachiosaurus Dock | Collect the whole set

Mac Classic iPad Stand

We found lots of docks and stands made from game controllers and other obsolete tech gear. But this iPad holder is my favorite because it serves as a reminder that not long ago, "insanely great" meant 128 bits and a tiny screen. Click the link below for more pics and a how-to from Site Hirac.

Macintosh iPad Stand instructions | Free

Playmobil Apple Store

This year's April Fool's hack from ThinkGeek is the Playmobil Apple Store. Details include tiny iPads and MacBooks and little Genius figures solving tiny connectivity problems and replacing tiny dead hard drives. Install your iPhone 4 as the display/backdrop to mini-Steve Jobs in the Keynote Theater. Hey, guys, I would have bought one.

Playmobil Apple Store | Priceless

The Fingerist

Pretend you're a real musician as you play iPhone or iPod Touch music apps. Evenno's Fingerist runs on three AA batteries and boasts a built-in speaker, a line-out for your guitar amp, a strap, and a gig bag. Dream on, dream until your dreams come true.

The Fingerist | $150

The iStand

Flickr user hargtimothy posted this photo, explaining that he asked his 11-year-old son Ted Jarvis Ang to come up with something cool to hold his iPhone in. Of the several Lego-based stands we encountered, this one rocked the hardest. It's colorful, shock-absorbent, and instantly reconfigurable. Props to Ted.

iStand | Make your own