Introduction: Cardboard USB Flash Drive (Packaging)

Picture of Cardboard USB Flash Drive (Packaging)

For a school course called "Creativity" we had to design a cardboard packaging that can be used effectively and not just serves as packaging. From this the idea came up to make a cardboard USB stick (something you probably already have seen in some form) but never else a decent concept is thought about it. So I worked out an idea where the USB stick is part of the whole package. A light compact device that can be customized to your specific needs by using pencil, pen, stylus, ... an easy medium to transfer files and manage projects orderly.

Step 1: Materials & Tools

Picture of Materials & Tools

Since this is a simple ecologic design for a smart package, not many materials are required:

  • Standard USB Flash Drive
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Wood Glue
  • Super Glue

Used tools:

  • Lasercutter for perfect shapes (or Utility knife)
  • UV LED Printer

Used software:

  • Adobe Illustrator

Step 2: USB

Picture of USB

First of all I stripped down the USB Flash Drive, easy when you use cheap or free gadget devices. In my case I just had to separate tree parts from each other, no extra tools needed.

Step 3: Measuring and Drawing

Picture of Measuring and Drawing

I started with measuring the USB-part, then made a simple drawing in my Illustartor file. Around this drawing I created my design for the cutting lines, one layer is connected with the USB-device with a crack-line. This layer will keep the device in the package before use.

After this I added some simple minimalistic print content, the device just has the brand logo and capacity on it. The package contains all the other information needed.

Step 4: Cutting the Cardboard

Picture of Cutting the Cardboard

I used a lasercutter to make this prototype, this guarantees precise cutting and smooth edges. (It's possible to cut it with a Utility Knife but the result wouldn't be the same...) I also provided a small hole for the LED indicator on the device.

Step 5: Printing the Cardboard

Picture of Printing the Cardboard

To give the design a nice finish I printed some content on it, in this case I used a UV LED Printer.

Step 6: Combining the Layers Together

Picture of Combining the Layers Together

After every single part is finished, it's time to get them all together... As you can see, the parts fit smoothly with the USB-device. To combine the cardboard parts I use Wood Glue, this has also a very strong effect on this material. For the USB-part I use Super Glue to fix it to cardboard.

Step 7: Product in Use

Picture of Product in Use

A cheap and light devise that can be used to keep projects organized, there is a wide variety of memory sizes... Just take a USB-device, make a note on it, work on it with anyone, everywhere, anywhere ...


rezamehrzad1380 made it! (author)2016-01-20

i can't open my flash drive


I BREAK that


Try slicing a hair off one side and bottom with bench grinder. After each slice, see if you can push the front of interior unit front inward till it comes out. If not, repeat the slicing.

fraser02 (author)2016-04-10

Very cool, interesting thanks for sharing!

Superfluis (author)2016-04-07

Nice minimalist taste! Definitely looks like a complete, finished product.

Wonder why the Smurfit Kappa Logo?

As for the UV LED Printer and the Laser Cutter... Were they homemade or bought?

Joachim_VdV (author)Superfluis2016-04-07

This was a school assignment for the company Smurfit Kappa (company which produces cardboard packaging). I used a Laser Cutter at school and UV LED Printer at a local Copy center.

oscardelben (author)2016-02-08

Thank you so much for this awesome post. I've been looking for wooden usb packaging though this is cardboard. I'll let you know for sure as soon as I try this out.

pward6 made it! (author)2016-01-31

Lol I made one but I just used a / razor blade / scissors and wood glue and of course a 4GB USB thumb drive I didn't round off the corners I just kept it squared off

s-a-barmes (author)2016-01-27

how you cut the round corners?

Joachim_VdV (author)s-a-barmes2016-01-27

I used a lasercutter.

s-a-barmes (author)2016-01-27

I couldn't find this style of cardboard my cress board is so weak :-(

eyestis. (author)2016-01-22

that is awsome

Joachim_VdV (author)eyestis.2016-01-22


StacyH14 (author)2016-01-22


Joachim_VdV (author)StacyH142016-01-22


dontmessupmyvibe1222 (author)2016-01-22

So we have a science fair coming up and i saw this and was like ," YESS''. But I have a question. Does it actually work?

Yes, this is just a working USB in another cover.

rezamehrzad1380 (author)2016-01-21

thank you for idea "joachim_VdV"

kiss kiss

rezamehrzad1380 (author)2016-01-21

thank you for idea "joachim_VdV"

kiss kiss

rezamehrzad1380 (author)2016-01-21

thank you for idea "joachim_VdV"

rezamehrzad1380 (author)2016-01-21

thank you for idea "joachim_VdV"

kiss kiss

rezamehrzad1380 made it! (author)2016-01-20

This is my final product





is this good? :)

Yes, nice to see you gave it a personal touch!

i didn't understand :I ??

i didn't understan :I ??

rezamehrzad1380 made it! (author)2016-01-20


rezamehrzad1380 made it! (author)2016-01-20

hip hip hoooraaaaaaa

rezamehrzad1380 made it! (author)2016-01-20

i'm doing :)

is it good?

please say :I

Yeah, it takes shape. You just have to see how many layers of cardboard you need (depending on the thickness). Use a flat sheet on the outside layers (for a nice finish) and figure out what fits best to your device for the layers in between.
(Also keep in mind it's difficult to get a precise result when you cut it by hand.)

watchmeflyy (author)2016-01-20

I like your idea of combining the product with the packaging. Your final product looks amazing! :)

Joachim_VdV (author)watchmeflyy2016-01-20


DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2016-01-20

Awesome flash drive design.


rezamehrzad1380 (author)2016-01-20

with knife and razor.

i dont have

UV LED Printer

rezamehrzad1380 (author)2016-01-20

im doing

rezamehrzad1380 (author)2016-01-20

WoW i like it.woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow

About This Instructable




Bio: 22 | Howest Kortrijk | Student: Industrial Product Design | Bachelor's degree: Digital Design and Development (Devine)
More by Joachim_VdV:Matt Finish Wood - WerkplaatsIDCCardboard USB Flash Drive (Packaging)
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