RAM Money Clip
Nothing says balla’ like this geek-tastic money clip – and the fact that you can make it yourself is half the fun! From Randy Sarafan’s book 62 Projects To Make With A Dead Computer, this project may be a good jumping-off point.
You have to desolder the RAM, sand it down so sharp edges don’t cut you, and then re-solder it onto a money clip. And voila! Here’s another version of the same project, from Instructables.
CPUs are cool things, inside or out of computers. Here’s a project to turn your CPU into something to warm your coffee pot – with the power of USB. The instructions are a bit complicated – you have to fix the CPU to a non-flammable base (here they use an old tile) and use USB cable to ground the CPU and connect it to a power source like your computer. But I bet when it’s done, you’ll be the king of the office.
Better instructions can be found here.
Computer Monitor Cat Bed
Cats and computers. Computers and cats. They always seem to be linked in a love-hate relationship, don’t they. Well, this bed may calm things down a bit. Apart from being unbelievably adorable, the bed is easy to make. Just dismantle an old monitor or TV and carefully remove the toxic guts – the tube and circuit board. Then make a cute pillow for your feline friend to frolic with, and done! Oh, and if this is too complicated, you can also buy one on etsy.
Longer instructions here.
These shiny light switches with dimmers are sure to impress your guests. After all, they can be made for less than $3 and they look nifty. You do have to disassemble the hard disk drive to get the platters out, so be careful not to get electrocuted. Instead get CUTED!
Full instructions here.
How’s that for a calming screen saver? Turning your monitor or PC into a lovely undersea fishy garden is easier than you think. Just remove the computer or monitor guts (careful about electricity and water so close together!) and create a folding panel on top of the tank. You can fit the front with plexiglass or glass and fill it with water – a recycled PC parrotfish paradise!
Keyboard Rubik’s Cube
Erno Rubik was a Hungarian architect who invented an eponymous cube in 1974. Personally, I think he’d be proud of the dead-keyboard modifications of this cool toy. Just take two old keyboards and pop off the NumPad keys, the F keys and the regular number keys. Carefully glue them onto the cube (in groups, naturally) and puzzle away. Just remember, there’s only one right way – and about 20 million wrong ways to solve the puzzle.
Cable Cord Coaster
Everyone who has electronics has old cables lying around – probably lots and LOTS of old cables lying around. Here’s a cool trick to use up the old twisted messes in the garage: cable cord coasters! Give them to your friends!
Just cut a circle out of cork, and then coil the cable around, fixing it with sticky tape to the cork. Then use a hot glue gun to stick the coil, and cut out around the coil! Full instructions here.
Take that, Etsy!
Walkman Soap Dish
Sure, your Walkman was with you through the best days of Thriller and the Pretty in Pink soundtrack. But now that your tunes are cranked up with Lady Gaga, what’s an old piece of tech to do? Become a unique soap dish, that’s what!
First, you’ll need to use a screwdriver to remove the electronics and mechanical parts, and use a glue gun to fix all the buttons (oh yes, those delicious fast-forward buttons too) in place. Rinse the case and shove some soap inside – may we suggest the 20-sided-die Soap or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle suds (http://www.geeksoap.net/)?
More complete instructions can be found here.
Geeky Belt Buckle
I’ve heard of wearing emotions on your sleeve, but how about wearing your geekiness on your belt? Pocket protectors are so out-of-fashion – try this belt buckle made from an old computer processer. The older, the better. Then just solder the processor onto a flat metal buckle and instant geek street cred.
Resistors and capacitors make the body and legs for these little guys – just disassemble a computer and collect the parts. Let your artistic side take you to new heights. A three-headed beetle? No problem, just solder it together. Give them as gifts, or leave them on your keyboard and call your IT guy for help. Bugs!
Here are more in-depth instructions.
G4 Cube Tissue Box
Do you have an old Apple G4 sitting around the office or garage? Put that shine box to use! Unscrew the parts and drop a box of tissues inside with a bungee cord to keep them in place. Then, when your allergies strike – or when you are moved to tears by the beauty of your artistry – just reach over and remove a tissue. So pretty!
Wowsers, here’s an idea I never imagined: turning your old computer into a hookah. Program, program, puff, right? Here are the instructions to modify your machine to be a smoke monster – you actually smoke the tobacco from a bowl where the gutten CD drive lived. The whole project took the creator three days, so it may not be for the faint of heart – but in the end you get the satisfaction of some serious geek cred.
Awwww … it’s the old MacPlanters, before the iPlanter came in and changed the way we … oh, nevermind. These adorable old Macs are gaining new lives holding plants. Just make sure you completely remove the toxic components inside before you turn old computers into gardenia-holders. Complete instructions are here.
Transparent Document Folders
These document folders are so cool, I could think of a million places to take them and show off. You just need two dead keyboards (which are easy to find at any thrift store), tape, and some sticky hooks. Cut the circuit sheets into pieces 12 inches long and 4.75 inches wide. Then combine the sheets with clear tape and stick on the hook. Impress your coworkers with your handiwork!
Full instructions can be found here.
Hard Drive Desk Clock
Any old hard drive can gain a new lease on life by becoming a desk clock, ready to tick away the time while you’re hard at work. Making one of these little beauties won’t take too much precious time, either. The best way to do it is to buy a clock mechanism with a 3/4 inch long shaft from a hobby store. Then pry off the cover to the hard drive, and screw everything together. Time flies when you’re making a clock!
The idea of hiding valuables inside pieces of clunky technology is delightful – I first saw the Phone Safe in Randy Sarafan’s book . This little wonder hides your money, keys, and other precious items inside a router. If you unscrew the two antennae, you can pop off the front panel and remove the bottom piece. Then slide your envelope full of cash money/keys to your hidden estate/last will and testament/recipe to your famous biscuits inside and be sure no one will get into your things. You can probably hide this safe in plain sight.
Computer Chip Back Scratcher
Ahhhh … when life starts to give you an itch, make sure to scratch it – with an old computer chip. This ingenious idea is a natural fit: those chips sure are sharp on the edges! Assemble a scratching arm of RAM cards and attach the computer chip at the end – if you want, you can add a joint so the arm bends. Get the itch out!
Travel Pocket Fan
Keep cool – wherever life may take you. As long as you have a fan in your pocket, you’re good to go during Russian heat waves or desert ovens. This handy gizmo uses the fan from any computer, along with a solder gun and an on/off switch. Using a 9-volt battery to power the fan, you can connect the wires and put it in a little box – good to go into any heated situation and stay cool as a cuke.
This DIY abacus was made from a pizza box, a cereal box, some duct tape and an old keyboard. That’s about as cheap as could be! The creator laid all the keys out in a design for a Roman abacus, with 70 keys in 10 columns with two rows. After aligning the keys on top of a piece of pizza box cardboard, line up the front panel cardboard on top. Put tape around the edges, and you are ready to start calculating. Not too hard! Who’s ready for long division?
Computer Mouse Cat Toy
It’s a proven fact that cats love mice, and cats love computers – so it’s only natural that your cat would love a computer mouse cat toy. You can even leave the ball inside for help in rolling, but definitely add wire whiskers and little eyes to these chop-shop toys. Who needs cat nip when you’ve got endless mice?