Introduction: How to Make a Raspberry Pi Case From an Altoids Tin

Picture of How to Make a Raspberry Pi Case From an Altoids Tin

If you have a Raspberry Pi computer board, you can make a great case for it out of an Altoids mint tin.

You'll need:

1 Raspberry Pi computer board

1 Altoids mint tin

1 Plastic gift card

1 Dremel or Small drill

1 Tin snips or diagonal cutter

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Step 1: 1) Left Side of Tin

Picture of 1) Left Side of Tin

Step 1: Drill a hole for the Pi LED corner at the bottom front left corner of tin; then, with tinsnips or diagonal cutter, cut out large area (as indicated in picture) for the Ethernet & USB ports in the left side of the tin.

Step 2: 2) Front Side of Tin

Picture of 2) Front Side of Tin

Step 2: Drill holes in the front side of tin for the audio and RCA jacks. The RCA jack hole will include part of the tin lid lip.

Step 3: 3) Right Side of Tin

Picture of 3) Right Side of Tin

Step 3: Drill holes for the SD card and power jack in the right side of the tin.

Step 4: 4) Back (hinge) Side of Tin

Picture of 4) Back (hinge) Side of Tin

Step 4: Drill a hole for the HDMI port on the back (hinge) side of the tin.

Step 5: 5) Insulate the Bottom

Picture of 5) Insulate the Bottom

Step 5: Drop a plastic gift card into the tin to insulate the bottom of the board from the bottom of the tin.

Step 6: 6) Begin to Install the Board

Picture of 6) Begin to Install the Board

Step 6: Angle the board into the tin so the RCA jack goes through its hole first.

Step 7: 7) Complete the Board Insertion

Picture of 7) Complete the Board Insertion

Step 7: Drop the HDMI side of the Pi board down into the Altoids tin.

Step 8: 8) Install SD Card & Peripheral Connections

Picture of 8) Install SD Card & Peripheral Connections

Step 8: Plug in your SD card, video (RCA or HDMI), audio, Ethernet and USB (keyboard & mouse) plugs.

Step 9: 9) Connect the Power

Picture of 9) Connect the Power

Step 9: The LEDs should light up once the power is plugged in. The GPIO pins are accessible by opening the tin lid.  You can use an old 5V DC power supply from a blackberry or other device with a micro-USB connector.  Try to use one with at least 1Amp if possible although I have found a 650 milliAmp one works well with the Raspberry Pi model B.

Step 10: 10) Add WiFi

Picture of 10) Add WiFi

Step 10: Using an Apple aluminum wired keyboard allows you to plug a mouse into the keyboard instead of the Pi, freeing up one USB port. With a WiFi USB dongle as pictured, you can disconnect the Ethernet cable.  I used the AirLink101 AWLL5088 Wireless N 150 Ultra Mini USB Adapter, but any WiFi dongle that uses the Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL8188CUS 802.11n WLAN chip should work, such as the Edimax EW-7811Un 150 Mbps Wireless 11n Nano which is also popular with the Raspberry Pi community.


crgfrench made it! (author)2014-06-07

Altoids tins are one good kind of Pi case; here is another one I made from a Maserati slot car ...for when the Pi is overclocked in "turbo" mode.

chocolateface (author)crgfrench2016-01-08

Reeeeally nice!

crgfrench (author)chocolateface2016-10-15


Danimal91 (author)2014-06-06

I ended up mutilating the case but it protects it lol. good tutorial.

crgfrench (author)Danimal912014-06-07

Looks great, Danimal91! I wrecked a couple too, good thing they are inexpensive. A laser cutter or custom punch & die set would be better if someone were to make them in volume. But there is some satisfaction in hand-cutting with the dremel.

alexandre_willame (author)2016-11-18

This Instructable is really inspiring. We have made in the same way an aluminum CNC-machined case that act as a heatsink for the Pi with a higher-end style:

MegaFish0527 (author)2014-12-05

Hi, I was wondering if this works with the Raspberry Pi B+? I know that some of them have different sizes and I was wondering if this project was possible with the B+. Thanks!

crgfrench (author)MegaFish05272016-10-15

Yes I think so and even a model 3, the cutouts are just slightly different.

MegaFish0527 (author)2014-12-05

Also, I was wondering if it was possible to add a screen on the cover by using the two links below. Great tutorial, by the way!

crgfrench (author)MegaFish05272016-10-15

Great idea!

crgfrench made it! (author)2014-06-07

You could also mount your Pi on an egg-bot. see

nerd7473 (author)2013-11-26

this should have been featured

crgfrench (author)nerd74732014-06-07

Thanks nerd.

nerd7473 (author)2013-01-23

good idea i had wondered if a raspberry pi could fit in an Altoids tin

crgfrench (author)nerd74732013-02-06

Thank you. Although the Raspberry Pi foundation's website FAQ indicates otherwise, it is definitely possible!

diy_bloke (author)crgfrench2013-10-06

true, but they say that is because they did not round off the edges :-)
you kinda solved that by cutting open the Altoids Tin ;-)

crgfrench (author)diy_bloke2014-06-07

bloke: exactly.

nerd7473 (author)crgfrench2013-02-14

did you have to cut the edges of the pi?

crgfrench (author)nerd74732013-02-14


hipoweredhacker0 (author)2013-08-09

You should round off the sharp edges. Also it might be nice to put hot glue or caulking on the edges for looks and more protection. sharp edges might wear on surfaces, wires, your pocket (if you put it in your pocket for traveling), ect.
Thanks for posting though, its sure a big help for my project. this may save me some money. im just a teenager, so I dont make much money.

Super ideas hipo. I did make one in a wintergreen tin that had a pretty sharp edge; I wrapped a little bit of hockey tape around it.

patnovak (author)2014-06-04

great job

crgfrench (author)patnovak2014-06-07

Thank you

faacuunndoo (author)2013-02-13

You cutted it with a rotary tool, a dremel or something like that?

nerd7473 (author)faacuunndoo2013-02-14

no I didn't cut my pi I was wondering if he did then I saw that the picture had a spot cut for the edges of the pi

faacuunndoo (author)nerd74732013-02-14

I wasn't talking about the Pi, I was talking about the tin.

crgfrench (author)faacuunndoo2013-02-14

Yes -- cut the tin with dremel. No mods to the Pi.

crgfrench (author)nerd74732013-02-14

correct; you do not need to modify the Pi at all.

crgfrench (author)faacuunndoo2013-02-14

Yes I used a dremel with a little drill bit in it. I put the tin in a bench vise with cardstock between the tin & vise jaws so as not to scratch the tin. Once the hole is drilled its pretty easy to just add sideways force and drag the spinning drillbit through the area you want cut.

shootr (author)2013-01-27

Voted. Just too cool, well executed sir!

crgfrench (author)shootr2013-02-06

Thank you very much.

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