Introduction: Custom-built Computer Monitor

Picture of Custom-built Computer Monitor

Ever wonder what you were going to do with that old, dusty, yet working monitor you have in that dark corner of your house? Well in this Instructable, I will show you how to turn that disease stricken monitor into a cool, hip, monitor ready to be put into action.

Step 1: Dismantling the Exterior of the Monitor

Picture of Dismantling the Exterior of the Monitor

Once you have located your dusty old monitor, take some screwdrivers and unscrew that outer casing! There may be a couple snap in locks you may have to break. But who cares its an old dusty casing. Once you are finished it should look something like the picture below. I have only tried this with a flat-screen monitor so i do not know how you would go about this project without a flat-screen monitor.

Step 2: Creating the Frame

Picture of Creating the Frame

Go to a home depot or any department store to get the following materials:

screws (size up to you)

Metal Frame at 90 degree angle

Large sheet of plexiglass (enough to easily cover your monitor at least two times over)

Any tools ranging from Dremel, Hammer, Glasses, Mask

See First Picture
Once you have these materials go to your workshop and measure out where you will place your screws. I made holes for five screws spaced about 2 inches apart. But you can space them out according to the weight of your monitor and how long your frame will be.

See Second Picture
Once you have measured and made the holes in your frame, you will need to shape the frame to your desired angle. My angle was somewhere in the range of 70 degrees. This is so the monitor will be at a slight angle so it will not tip towards you. But make sure it is not at too small of an angle because then the monitor will not fit in.

Step 3: Screwing in the Plexiglass and Monitor

Picture of Screwing in the Plexiglass and Monitor

Now you must make sure the screws will fit through the monitor and the plexiglass juuuusst enough. If you need to shorten the screws, a dremel is a quick and effective way to shorten the screws. Just make sure right after you cut a screw you put a nut a little ways onto the screw to make sure the threads are still in line.

Cut your sheet of plexiglass to cover your monitor easily. Use the excess for the base of the new monitor. This will balance out your monitor so it will not tip over. Place both pieces into the frame to mark where the screws will go, then drill in some holes with a drill. Then, when all this is complete, screw in your monitor and plexiglass to the frame.

Step 4: The Finished Product

Picture of The Finished Product

Now you should have a cool, hip monitor! It looks sleek with the see through plexiglass and the inside of the monitor. If you have a Mac Mini you can place it discreetly behind the monitor! Congratulations, now you can brag to your friends how your monitor is cooooooler than theirs. :D

Thanks for reading my Instructable. This was my first instructable EVER so please let me know how i did! Thanks!


cosmomilkycat (author)2016-10-24

would the tower be the same brand as the montior

cosmomilkycat (author)2016-10-24

well i`m trying to build a montior and a tower

Karl Engen (author)2012-06-04

I would say put the nut on the screw first and then after you cut it you can take it off and the thread will be intact.

Yerboogieman (author)2011-02-11

Nice, even though all I did was look at the pictures. It looks as if the buttons on your keyboard will fit in the holes for the buttons on the monitor. Eh?

keithstanley (author)2010-09-11

I have just seen your instructable and I am impressed! As a first it is great and as a 3rd or 4th or 5th etc it is still of very high quality. If you wanted to "Frost" the edges/border of the acrylic the easiest way would be to get some frosted vinyl that sign makers use and apply that. If you spoke to your local sign maker nicely he might even help you the next time for a bit of FREEE ADVERTISING when you post your next Instrucatable...

I know that I would help you to do it for the cost of the materials.

Keep up the great Instrucables!

junale (author)2010-07-20

Hmm ... For your First Instructable ... good work man ... congrats you know you can afford to be a little creative ... as creative/crazy you can get ... all the best with that.

robodud3 (author)2007-07-30

first comment! anyway is there a way to "frost" the plexieglass around the edges of the moniter i thought that would be a cool way to give it a bordered look around the edge

DerangedMoose7 (author)robodud32007-07-30

i've never heard about that. It sounds interesting tell me more!

 I usually frost my plexiglass with a fine sandpaper it works great.

 If you do it on the inside you will still have a nice clean flat look on the outside.

ReCreate (author)2009-03-02

i would like to do this with my laptop look in the pictures for the design Its an old laptop,sitting in a dark...erm corner of my house...

ReCreate (author)ReCreate2009-03-03

Oh yeah HID stands for human interference devices such a a mouse and keyboard

tanmanknex (author)ReCreate2009-05-28

i think the word you meant was interface, not interference.

ReCreate (author)tanmanknex2009-05-28

XD Well,I think so.

cecilomar (author)2008-06-20

What's the illegal part?

DerangedMoose7 (author)cecilomar2008-06-21

Did I ever mention this as being illegal?

cecilomar (author)DerangedMoose72008-06-22

No, is just that instructable is posted in the "Illegal" Group list.
Group : Illegal

DerangedMoose7 (author)cecilomar2008-06-22

Well thank you for bringing that to my attention. I had no clue that it was listed as "illegal"

benthekahn (author)2008-06-11

Very cool. Looks like some incredibly expensive monitor.

joe57005 (author)2008-01-11

spiffy. i'd illuminate the plexiglas with some green leds.

L3fty (author)joe570052008-05-27

Brilliant. I'm totally doing that.

Xellers (author)2008-02-23

You have LCD monitors in "dark corners" of your house! I only have 2 which are all in use! Where do you get all of these LCD monitors?!

DerangedMoose7 (author)Xellers2008-02-25

Well it actually was one of my friends old monitors. He keeps himself technologically in check so that monitor was long out of date. He kindly donated it to me and helped me build this new monitor (as he is an engineer working in the same company as

Xellers (author)DerangedMoose72008-03-07

I see... I was beginning to think that you put the "FREE 17" LCD Monitor" instructable to good use...

ARIrish (author)Xellers2008-04-10

It was that free monitor instructable that lead me to this site in the first place. I'm so glad I'm a cheapskate sometimes :)

wolfy02 (author)2007-11-18

it would be cooler if you etched some designs into the plexi. maybe even make some buttons that light up with some acrylic glue and a latex mold. Pretty Easy to make both.

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2007-11-13

cool, but thats more of a Custom- Built Computer Monitor Casing.

ongissim (author)2007-08-24

Nice idea! I think you should mention that you should use a thick type of plexiglass. I made this earlier today from boredom, using 1/4" clear acrylic. I also had the idea of using a couple of LEDs on the bottom sides, to illuminate the sides of the plexiglass! Here are a picture of my monitor finished. Very cool instructable!

DerangedMoose7 (author)ongissim2007-08-24

That monitor looks remarkable! And i believe the plexiglass i used was about 1/4 or 1/2" thick. Nice idea adding in the LED touch! Thanks for the advice!

lemonie (author)2007-08-13

Dammit, I thought you'd found a way to make older and dustier monitors look cool. The ones with the big glass tubes in 'em (I have two). L

DerangedMoose7 (author)lemonie2007-08-13

well if you have one of those big old monitors you can always make them into an aquarium!

Computer Aquarium!

lemonie (author)DerangedMoose72007-08-14

I might try that, one of them is very big. L

Closet_RAt (author)2007-08-07

I thought of doing something cool with a F/P when I had to trash a broken one once at my old job... but this project's pretty swank... And I love the design, are you runnin' Vista on that thing, or does Mac have a screensaver they stole too?

Haha that IS a mac I have on there. And that is just the screensaver it came with. However, I made this a year or so ago and i don't think Vista was out yet, so I'm not sure they stole it! But you nevveeer know

rickharris (author)2007-07-31

Frosting perspex: Over here (UK) you can get an aerosol frosting product - n the DIY shops - it is used for frosting windows but works perfectly on perspex. Glasspaper takes a long time and is difficult to get even - better use wet and dry paper - the sort you might use to rub down the paint on your car before you spray it.

Ohm (author)rickharris2007-07-31

If you had a sand blaster you could use that as well to etch the plexiglass, just lay out a stencel of the pattern you want and blast away, helps to practice first on scraps first to figure out what works best.

nagutron (author)2007-07-31

Looks really good! Good enough, in fact, that I think you should have a pic of the finished Instructable as the first image on Step 1 so that people who are just browsing around know how cool the project is.

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2007-07-31

oddly cool!

sdallesasse (author)2007-07-31

Your project is definately a class act! In my opinon your results are at a professional level. With just a little experience you could probably produce custom monitors for people!

rickharris (author)2007-07-31

Nice, Having just spent a couple of days fabricating a new stand for a monitor I wish I had thought of this myself. On the cutting screws side, put the nut on the screw BEFORE you cut it - as you remove the nut you will clean up the thread. Oh and wear some eye protection, not only are the sparks bad news the dremell cutting disk can - and does - shatter. It you want to avoid the aluminium edging then you can bend the plexy if you warm the area you want to bend - best with a blow torch with a low flame - take your time and it will bend perfectly.

bdl (author)2007-07-31

Sorry, that should be very, very FINE glasspaper. at leat 420 or even finer.

bdl (author)2007-07-31

If you want to "frost" the plexi, mask off the area where the screen shows through then hit the exposed areas with some very, very glasspaper or oxide paper. work in different directions and it will trun the plexi opaque. How much or little is up to you. (Try it a scrap of plexi first to see if the finish is what you want)

goldfishbutt (author)2007-07-31

Cool beans! Your instructable rocks!

HamO (author)2007-07-30

Extremely well done instructable. Nice job,great pix, thanks for sharing.

RebelWithoutASauce (author)2007-07-30

That came out amazingly! Good job.

Sintax (author)2007-07-30

Cool idea I have a project similar on the go, got any better finished images? I would love to see a images from all angles!

DerangedMoose7 (author)Sintax2007-07-30

I published some more angles of the finished project. Unfortunately i do not have any from the back side

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