Introduction: Make a Playing Card-themed USB Drive

Picture of Make a Playing Card-themed USB Drive

Please be kind, this is my first Instructable. Enjoy! :)

Tired of your boring, old USB Drive? Most of them aren't that creatively colored; black and white are the usual colors used to design these handy devices. Be tired no more! In this easy tutorial, I will show you how to make a USB drive that looks nicer and more creative, using a single playing card of your choice.

Below are pictures of what your USB will look like in the end.

Step 1: Materials Needed

Picture of Materials Needed

What you will need:
1. A USB Drive (also know as a flash drive, zip drive, thumb drive, etc.)
2. Scissors
3. Hot glue gun / glue sticks
4. Deck of cards
5. A simple pen
6. Paper
7. Paper clip (optional, will be used for the loop on the end)

Altogether, this project should cost about $30 (counting scissors, glue gun, cards, pen and paper)

Prepare all your supplies on a level surface, and prepare to begin!

Step 2: Remove the USB Drive's Case

Picture of Remove the USB Drive's Case

This is possibly the simplest step.

Take the USB drive, and open it, so that the circuit board and computer connector are showing, as shown in the picture below. Remove the case, and discard it if you'd like to, since it won't be needed. Be careful when handling the circuit board of the drive, it has a few fragile parts.

The USB drive pictured is an Attache brand, it cost about $20, but I bought it a couple of years ago. USB drives were still pretty pricey then, and are much cheaper now. The second picture is what the Attache looked like.

Also, the circuit boards will vary in colors, some are red, some are blue, but mine was green.

Step 3: Trace the Circuit Board on the Paper

Picture of Trace the Circuit Board on the Paper

Remember that simple little pen and paper that was in the the materials list? Well, here's where it comes in handy.

Place your USB drive circuit board on the paper and trace it with the pen. Make a line throught the tracing, exactly where the connector stops and the circuit board begins. This tracing will be used as a guide to tell how much of the card you need to cut for the front/back designs of the USB drive.

As you can see, I trace like a kindergarten kid. Please note, it doesn't have to be an exact perfect tracing, but it can't be outrageously off.

Step 4: Find the Card You Want to Use

Picture of Find the Card You Want to Use

In the deck of cards, find the card you would like to use for your USB drive.

Place the paper you traced the USB drive on over the part of the card you want to use for the front. Using the tracing as a guide, cut around the circuit board tracing and card, not cutting on the lines of the tracing, but about a centimeter or two away from the line. (If you don't get what I said, look at the pictures)

Extra: Use the scissors to round the edges of the piece of card you are using for the front.

Do the same for the piece of card you want to use for the back. You can even use the front as a guide this time, to make the sides equal.

Step 5: Glue the Card Pieces to the Circuit Board

Picture of Glue the Card Pieces to the Circuit Board

Once you have cut out the front/back of your USB drive, plug up the glue gun, insert a glue stick, and wait a minute to let it warm up. Place hot glue (Be careful, don't place to much or too little) on the piece of card you are using for the front. Place it on the circuit board of the USB drive. Repeat for the back.

NOTE:
You may ask, "Won't hot glue fry my USB drive?" I do not know if it will for sure, but I have dipped MANY USB drives in hot glue for customization, and all of them work fine.

Step 6: Add the Loop and Edges

Picture of Add the Loop and Edges

You're almost finished! After you have placed both card pieces on both sides, it is time to do some finishing touches.

To make a loop for a lanyard on the end of your drive, use a paper clip and cut a small piece of the end. (Use the picture below as a guide).

To make the edges of the USB drive, use the glue gun to run glue around the edges, between the two cards. While the glue is still hot, stick the loop you cut into the end of the zip drive (not too deep). Wait about 10-30 minutes for glue to dry completely.

Step 7: Finished!

Picture of Finished!

Congratulations! You have just made a new, customized, card-themed USB drive!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to ask or comment below.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more!

Coming Soon:
A way to make the edges look smoother

Comments

martinl538 (author)2010-10-27

INSTEAD OF PAPER CLIP I USED A HOOK FROM AN OLD NECKLACE

martinl538 (author)2010-10-27

thanks dude mine looks great

DrCoolSanta (author)2009-09-19

I liked this instructable, voting it up and faving it too. I am planning to do this soon, I have a pendrive, of whose case I have broken and i need to find a new one to use it. My question is, won't the card material get spoilt and dirty? Also can something like epoxy be used as an alternative, I don't have any glue guns, even though I want one, I don't think I would ever be allowed to use one. You should try using sand paper and / or acetone to smoothen the edges, that should do it.

Yes, I have thought about the whole "card getting dirty" thing. The playing cards I used had a plastic coating over them, so that may help a little. Unless you dropped like some food on them or something, I think it will stay pretty clean. I'm not sure about epoxy, you could try it out on some cards first, and if it works, use it. I thought about using sandpaper, infact, I'll do that this afternoon. The only thing I am worried about is the fact that the card edges will get frayed a bit. Oh well.

miss.codie (author)cooperkevin952010-08-04

this is a good idea ...let me know how it goes will you... Thnx for spending time to contribute to helping out the community! miss.codie :D

It probably depends on how careful you are with the thumbdrives

fireruler12 (author)2010-07-09

how would you make a cap for this too?

bedazzelgal (author)2009-10-04

hi there, can i email bedazzelgal@hotmail.com

ChrysN (author)2009-09-19

That looks great, it's smart to add a loop on the end.

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Bio: Um, hi there. My name is Kevin Cole Cooper, but you can call me Kev or Coop. In fact, I WANT you to call me ... More »
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