Introduction: Make an Awesome Case-less Flash Drive, Did I Mention That It's Water Proof?

Picture of Make an Awesome Case-less Flash Drive, Did I Mention That It's Water Proof?

Learn how to use some commonly available materials that you probably have around the house to make an awesome case-less flash drive.

Step 1: Gather Materials

Picture of Gather Materials

You will first gather your materials that you will need to make the flash drive,

You will need tape,



Two cups,

A small DISPOSABLE paint brush,

A plate,

And a tooth pick.

A dremel can also come in handy.

Step 2: Cut Holes in Cups

Picture of Cut Holes in Cups

Now you will cut small holes in the bottom of your cups and set them up as shown...

Be sure to tape the cups down about a plates diameter apart, Though you might wait to tape them down until after the next step...

Step 3: Thread the String Through the Cups

Picture of Thread the String Through the Cups

Now thread the string through the holes in the cups and tape the string down as shown...

Notice the plate? You will be needing a few so now would be a great time to go get them,

I'l wait...

Step 4: Time to Open the Flash Drive Up...

Picture of Time to Open the Flash Drive Up...

It is time to CAREFULLY pry opened your flash drive,

Take care not to break circuit board inside....

Step 5: Put Some Wire Through Usb Connecter on Flash Drive (To Hang It Up)

Picture of Put Some Wire Through Usb Connecter on Flash Drive (To Hang It Up)

Now you will need to put some wire onto the flash drive so that it can hang up to dry later...

If your flash drive does not have holes, Then you can skip this step.

Step 6: Time to Mix the Epoxy

Picture of Time to Mix the Epoxy

Now mix your epoxy on a plate (disposable plate !!!!), most epoxies use a 1:1 ratio of resin and setter (For a lack of a better word).

Remember to always use gloves and safety glasses while using any chemicals (Epoxy included).

Step 7: Brush Epoxy CAREFULLY Onto Flash Drive

Picture of Brush Epoxy CAREFULLY Onto Flash Drive

Now use your brush to brush the epoxy onto the flash drive,

Be very careful not to get epoxy on the USB connecter...

Step 8: Hang It to Dry

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Now it is finally time to hang your flash drive up to dry,

hang it up using a clip...

If your flash drive doesn't have holes just clip it up using the usb connector...

Step 9: Wait for It to Cure...

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Wait for the epoxy to fully cure...

Step 10: Take Off the Annoying Drop of Epoxy...

Picture of Take Off the Annoying Drop of Epoxy...

Now take a file or some diagonal cutters and just take off any excess resin...

Step 11: Test It Out...

Picture of Test It Out...

Now test and make sure that you didn't ruin your flash drive, then let sit in a cup of water, dry it off, and re-test it to prove that your flash drive relay is water proof...

I have mine back in its case, (I have no idea why.)

Step 12: Other Things to Do With Your Awesome Flash Drive...

Picture of Other Things to Do With Your Awesome Flash Drive...

You don't have to put the flash drive back in it's original packaging you can now find new and even greater ways to show off your piece of water proof technology. (or you could not put the flash drive in any case at all and show off your cool case-less flash drive.(the epoxy will protect it from most dangers a flash drive must face, but try not to bend or step on it !!!!!)

Also consider encrypting it with some free software like true-crypt available at

Step 13: Please Leave Me Some Comments...

If you liked this instructable please leave me a comment.
If not please tell me how to make it better or more clear.

Thank you,


KasunP8 (author)2016-06-29

i'm going to teardown my flash drive today. :)

hydranix (author)2016-03-27

Use a non-electrically conductive thermal casting epoxy. Higher performance flash drives last longer when they can dissipate heat from the NAND and microcontroller better. Something that is overlooked inmost all USB flash drives available.

Also be aware that no data recovery services will help you once you've done this to a flash drive.

ilikecake3 (author)2013-10-12

Let me ask a question. Why are we using a flash drive underwater?

ilikecake3 (author)2013-10-12

I thought if the USB thingy that went into the computer got wet it would break

3366carlos (author)2013-03-06

very nice, it think clear caulking will work too. no need for it to be water proof.

sub4chaser (author)2008-05-21

I think it is a cool. At my local BestBuy they have this super water proof drive that i think is also the same idea but this seems cheaper! The one I saw was $60.00 for 4GB

flashcactus (author)sub4chaser2009-03-26

for me, a 2GB waterproof flash drive cost about $12 ( $11 for the flash drive and $1 for the superglue.)

LeviMc (author)flashcactus2012-03-04

but superglue will wash off in water

flashcactus (author)LeviMc2012-03-07

Why do you think so?

LeviMc (author)flashcactus2012-03-07

well I know because I have put superglue on other things that will go into water, the glue will eventualy wear off. And the super glue that i use says on the back of the package that it is not recommended for use in wet locations, but your superglue may be diff. I know that you can buy waterproof superglue from automotive stores but its almost twice as much as regular super glue in my town anyways

XOIIO (author)2011-04-16

Step 11, relay instead of really

gmgfarrand (author)2011-02-21

No it won't.
I have drives that have been epoxied since 2003 that still work normal.
EPOXY is harmless to a flash drive.

waffleman (author)2010-11-22

You said you couldnt find a word, so heres a free one.
Instead of setter, catalyst. Hope it helps!

wetnap (author)2010-09-19

Its better if you place the entire thing back in the case it came in, essentially expoxy it into its case, its a far stronger solid unit. I suggest epoxy putty would also be an option, you can mold it into any shape as well for a bonus, but an underlyinglayer of liquid epoxy is probably a good idea for water seal.

xxxxmikewoxxxx (author)2010-08-18

really?! that sucks! i mean how could you tell i mean could you see that it dissolved the soldered connection? and i should use the normal everyday silicone in the tube? have you tried this? ill probably go with the silicone. also. what about acrylic? im sure they make acrylic resin that will harden when dry

xxxxmikewoxxxx (author)2010-08-16

will it really?! how do you know this? because i really want to do this to my flash drives. but i dont want to mess them up. can you supply a source?

zilcho (author)2010-07-01

Why wouldnt it still work if you just left it in water without epoxy?

nutsandbolts_64 (author)2010-06-26

Look away! It's bold! lol, nice one!

Desick (author)2010-06-11

if it is tranferring means its working...

cornflaker (author)2009-01-16

Did you also water-proof the connector, and extension somehow? Because unless you are using VERY clean (as in distilled) water then that should be shorting...

flashcactus (author)cornflaker2009-03-26

no! if you water-proof it, it wouldn't connect with teh computer because the contacts will be sealed. The interference and resistance of water is too small for the signal to be disrupted (unless the water is VERY salty). I would not suggest to keep it in the water for a long time, though.

cornflaker (author)flashcactus2009-03-30

rofl thats not what I meant, you CAN get water proof connectors you know lol I meant something like soldering the 4 contacts onto some kind of waterproof connector with 4 pins (or whatever said connector uses) and then water proofing the soldered joints, and doing the same to an extension cord... Well something along the lines of that you see what i mean now? I know that if you seal the connectors it wont work lol It would be a pretty bad sealing job if it did

flashcactus (author)cornflaker2009-04-06

It will work well without the waterproof connector. The main reason why you would want to waterproof the flashdrive is that the circuits in the circuit boards corrode under water and get trashed. The USB connector is too big to be trashed by corrosion.

cornflaker (author)flashcactus2009-04-08

We are talking about actually using it under water aren't we? Flash drives are pretty delicate pieces of electronics, and while they can be dipped in water many times and last for years - corrosion isn't really a problem unless you are using salty water, using them under water howeveris a different story. You definitely need to waterproof the circuitry of the flash drive, and I know its only 5v but you should still use special waterproof connectors when using this thing completely submerged under water.

flashcactus (author)cornflaker2009-05-22

the corrosion is faster if there is some voltage on the contacts that are submerged in water. And as the micro-curcuits are extremely thin, they will degrade to zero in no time. But teh connectors are thick enough to resist corrosion for some amount of time.

Shadow13! (author)flashcactus2010-05-25

In Popular Science I read about this knew process that will bond a water-proof mixture to surfaces but it is thin enough that even if you coat an entire flash drive it will still work. Here is a link to the company.

mitchell931993 (author)2009-04-29

omg is that file "im still alive" the song from portal? or is it theparamore one. wait or is it evanecense? anyway yeah

junits15 (author)mitchell9319932010-04-18

i think its just to say the flash drive is "still alive"  although the thought about the portal credits song went through my head also :)

Or just a word document :P

louwhopley (author)cornflaker2010-01-17

ha ha ha... which document reader are you using? mine is struggling to read, never mind singing...? :P

sharlston (author)2009-10-11

what usb is that? i have one just like that from computer active

great ible

keep it up

junits15 (author)2009-09-29


albylovesscience (author)2009-09-28

sweet now i can realy call my flash drive heavy duty thanks ohh and uhura is proud of you

woohps forgot to post the picture

Crazy_Bot (author)2009-07-27

Hay GR8 project vary helpful i want to add some thing with the annoying drop of glue you can put some thread in it to have a hanger for your rest or what ever else

whatsisface (author)2009-06-23

That is the single worst piece of physics I have ever read.

grimgroper (author)2009-05-26

haha good one

cornflaker (author)2009-04-30

Uh... NO. You might want to look these things up before you make yourself look stupid :P Water itself does not conduct electricity, its all the impurities and salts dissolved into it that make it conduct electricity.

vestie (author)cornflaker2009-05-18

Yeah, that's right. Chemistry class For The Win!

gmgfarrand (author)2008-08-05

I've been doing this since flash drives hit the market. Usually the first thing I do is open the case, and fill it with epoxy, close it up, wipe off the excess, and call it a day. The only exception to that is the large capacity flash drives of mine that have 10 year warranties (16GB - 32GB) They wold me it would void it. :(

jongscx (author)gmgfarrand2008-10-20

Did they also tell you that all they do with that 10 yr warranty is replace your drive... and not actually recover your data?

gmgfarrand (author)jongscx2008-10-20

Yeah, been there more than once... I recently had a client's PC that had defective front USB ports FRY my 32GB Flash.... Good times.

cornflaker (author)gmgfarrand2009-03-30

I wouldn't plug a 32GB into a clients computer lol the fact that your clients come to you probably means there is something wrong with there computer so they could just have a virus which could in some cases infect something on your flash drive which could be a bit of a pain.

well if you have a good anti-spybot program it wont be a problem / firewall/virus protection

Well the clients computer obviously wont, so there is a high chance that your files will get infected, and when you plug the usb back into your computer some of the files may need to be deleted, see where I'm going here? And if you plug the drive into another non-infected clients computer before you plug it into yours, then they will actually get the virus.

cornflaker (author)cornflaker2009-04-08

I just read that again, and that doesn't really have anything to do with how big your flash drive is, but I'm presuming you would use such a large one for personal use...

arduinoe (author)2009-04-17

now this would be cooool , add some food coloring to the resin and mix it in so its like a see though blue (blue for the example ; ) ) now get some super bright smd blue led's and replace the crappy red ones that come with the drives , that would be uber awesome , in fact ... i feel an instructable coming on ! lol

flaresam (author)arduinoe2009-04-22

I did that and it looks sick!

bombmaker2 (author)2009-04-19


iLikeCoolStuf (author)2009-04-18

O M G This is soooooooooo cool

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More by Sfeine:Make an awesome case-less flash drive, Did I mention that it's water proof?
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