Introduction: Yet Another USB Flash Drive in Leather Flavour

Picture of Yet Another USB Flash Drive in Leather Flavour

Yawn. I know we are all bored with this customized USB flash drive frenzy, but I can't keep myself off contributing another one.

This idea came after covering my bicycle saddle with leather. I had lots of scrap leather left-over. Since I didn't like the looks of my USB flash drive, here we go.

For this instructable you need:

- an ugly USB flash drive
- some scrap leather to cover it
- scissorts
- impact glue
- X-Acto knife
- a ruler
- a ballpoint pen

There are not many hazards/risks with this job. Watch out what you are cutting with scissors, I know one story involving scissors where a joke ended up with death. Impact adhesives are mostly solvent based, so I advise you to do this job at a well ventilated area, or you may get high (unfortunately :-). But really, don't forget that these adhesives are carcinogenic, really.

First photo below shows the looks of my flash drive after the dress-up. The second photo is the original naked flash drive (ugllyyyy).

Step 1: Measure Twice, Cut Once.

Picture of Measure Twice, Cut Once.

Decide on the leather pattern you want to clad your flash drive with. I decided to simply wrap it around, to give the drive a neat and warm look.

I calculated the necessary length of the strip to wrap around, and cut it using a ruler and a utility knife.

Step 2: Glue the Leather and USB Drive Edges.

Picture of Glue the Leather and USB Drive Edges.

Impact adhesives need to be applied on both surfaces. Use a thin nice coat of adhesive on both edges, and spread it evenly using your fingers (not so healthy maybe, but ecstatic feeling to peel it off). Let both sides to dry, for something like 10 minutes. For a better adhesion, repeat the application and wait for another 10 minutes.

Please read all the instructions and warnings on the adhesive packaging!.. They are important stuff and there are good reasons why they are there.

Step 3: Find Out That Glue Won't Hold Shiny Surfaces.

Picture of Find Out That Glue Won't Hold Shiny Surfaces.

Against what is advertised on the packaging, the impact adhesive wouldn't hold the shiny steel surface of the USB flash drive. I had to scratch hatches on the surface to roughen it up. Use a sharp object, i.e. a utility knife for that.

Clean the surface with rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) to clean it from oil and grease. Re-apply the glue on the drive surface.

Step 4: Wrap the Leather Firmly Around the Drive.

Picture of Wrap the Leather Firmly Around the Drive.

Do this carefully, make sure it is tight and neat. Trim the edges as required, re-attach any labels you like. Even decorate it with your favorite stuff (i.e., an old apple computer logo from a discarded laptop as below).

Enjoy it!.. It looks much better now (in my opinion).



prototype2213 (author)2010-08-26

Nice Instructable Mr. thearchitect! Good job!

MadMechanicMike (author)2007-12-27

let me be the first to say, apple sucks. but nice instructable.

Siamsa (author)MadMechanicMike2010-08-16

Well... maybe MAcs suck, but UNIX rocks right? Ur not gonna tell me u like windows :) Also, i like this instuctable very much 5/5

Wow! Quite mature :) Clearly a power user, I sure wish Apple was awesome like Microsoft... Sigh, maybe someday my Mac will be not suck enough get a nice virus, or better yet, run system-destroying virus softs 24/7. Or even better, enjoy all the power but none of the commercial apps or hardware support of Linux! *hope*

junits15 (author)quad64bit2010-06-20

macs most certainly CAN get viruses, wanna know why it never happens? because the hackers know more people have windows so its more efficient for them if they make windows viruses. A couple years back there was a test done on linux macos and windows to see which was easiest to hack......the mac went down in under 1 hour. Windows took 2 or so weeks and linux took over a month. The moral? There is no protection measures in macs :)

red-king (author)quad64bit2009-10-12

 you don't need to be mature to be correct.

Thornburg (author)quad64bit2007-12-28

I AM NOT A APPLE HATER My grandpa got a mac. He never uses it but somehow it broke down and would not turn on. Maybe no viruses but still a crappy computer.

thearchitect (author)Thornburg2007-12-28

Well, same happened to my non-mac computer, too... Shit happens... :-) K.

oh yes. mac users always go back to the virus issue. it never fails. hey but have fun watching movies and listening to music while staying virus free. oh, damn dont forget about... wait thats...yeah thats just about all you can do right? sorry i was under the impression that mac users had something else going for them besides virus immunity. :P gotta love a great mac/pc argument.

Oh well, I knew this would start...

I have dual boot WinXP and Linux on both of my work machines. I used to have an iMac G5. I miss the iMac a lot for my photography work... Neither Windows nor Linux can do it like a mac does. But I need my Windows XP for working seamlessly with my colleagues. Hell no, I won't upgrade to Vista.

I have a humongous Sony laptop with a superb 17" 1920x1200 TFT laying there. Maybe I'll just find a OSX86 to see if it works OK as a mac-ish home computer...

indeed. also that is a massive laptop. 17" 1920X1200 at least to me

Right... it is nearly 4 kgs!.. :-) A review here... I want to try OSX86, but lets see... Maybe I'll just sell it away...

 im not a huge fan of macs but I like ipods

junits15 (author)2010-06-20

macs aren't professional enough for me :) besides even though they have steam now they suck at gaming and there is only like 3 steamgames for them.

skaterqwertyuiop (author)2010-03-01

 LOL, In the Instructable guidelines one of the examples for things not to do is "Yet another..."
Anyway, nice instructable.
I made my USB flash-drive into a butterfly knife (Check my profile for the slideshow, if anyone wants to see it)

I was going to say the same thing with the "yet another...", i loved that

foxtrot4697 (author)2010-03-04


junits15 (author)2009-10-26

They are retareded and a "great" way of showng just how mature you all are!

macs and PCs are both the same thing!  Personal computers!  No matter how you sclice it they all have a CPU a hard drive a graphics card a sound card and a display.  They both do simple and very complex computations, they can both be programmed and both of them can be destryed very easily with a few wrong clicks.  The reason that most mac enthusiastics think macs are better is because there is no such thing as a low-end mac they are all full of very powerful and expensive components.  Comparable PCs would cost just about the same and are even able to run Apple's operating system.  SO BE IT! (amen)

nadav (author)2009-01-15

MAC IS THE BEST -Nice Instructable btw

Warlrosity (author)nadav2009-07-25


chrisPS (author)2009-07-11

nice!!! though, maybe you could make one that the leather's is "straight" if you know what I mean (so many USB mods.... O_O)

ibayibay1 (author)2009-05-24


jbyrns1993 (author)2009-05-15

Apple rules big time! I have a 2.4 GHz MacBook with 250 GB internal HDD, and love it. I have iLife and iWork '09 and that makes school projects really easy. WINDOWS is for cheapo-depots (look it up on ). Its worth what it costs, about $230. And Macs have better features and support people. And Apple has retail stores! I bet Microsoft is too cheap to make retail stores, or maybe they are just plain dumb. I love my Mac. I love Apple. End of story. BTW: i love this instructable, I just wish leather was easier to come by.

DonQuijote (author)2007-12-28

I like leather. but i like spinning gears much more..... together they woiuld be unbeatable.... this gave me an idea..... dismantle some old wristwatch, glue it on some usb stick. if the watch was an electric one, add some voltage regulation, and make it spin around only while it is plugged in the pc, mac or linuxbox. add a clear window to watch the ticking gears... some led illumination for dark ambients.... and of course, last but not least, the leather shell, for a firm grip. there you have a "pseudoclockwork aetheric data storage device with a slip-proof animal shell " {couldn't hold back to name it according to my own steampunk preferences} This idea will probably never get built by myself, but i'd love to watch some pictures if somebody else does it....

helloworld1 (author)DonQuijote2009-05-04

whate exactly is steam punk?

thearchitect (author)DonQuijote2007-12-28

WOW, now that's an exciting idea... Not easy with quartz technology, though... Maybe an older electronic watch technology - Tissot had one running a watch at 400Hz (if I am not mistaken)...

fernblatt (author)thearchitect2009-02-22

I know I'm replying to an ancient post, *but* for those familiar with USB specs, pin one is +5 and pin four is device ground (negative.) It should be easy enough to pick up voltage if you don't have a completely sealed flash drive. Just don't take more than a half amp's worth - including what the drive needs. Retrofitting an old battery watch should be easy, and needs very little current. If one were going for a steampunk effect it should be *big,* though! I may have just gotten an idea of what to do with a dead iMic I have around here somewhere, being as it's about pocket-watch size.

The main thing is my actually going anywhere with such a project. lol

bassclarinet23 (author)2009-02-03

Nice job!

radioactive_isotopes (author)2009-01-20

Awesome cover, this is definitely the best looking diy cover I've seen. I'm sure everyone knows PC is the best :P, but there's no denying that the apple logo looks soooo cool on that leather.

stephenniall (author)2009-01-01

hey im gonna make one of these i have the same pen drive as u 4gb sandisk

DuctTapeRules! (author)2008-07-28

It's amazing how a leather USB instructable can turn into a debate about Apple, then apples, then a HILARIOUS debate about pie, then jam. Oh, and nice USB!

lolololol ha ha i cant stop laughing lolololol

Oh right, I am watching in awe. :-) Thanks, K.

James (pseudo-geek) (author)2008-06-23

gj, 5/5

santy22 (author)2008-05-01

Impact adhesives need to be applied on both surfaces. Use a thin nice coat of adhesive on both edges, and spread it evenly using your fingers (not so healthy maybe, but ecstatic feeling to peel it off). Let both sides to dry, for something like 10 minutes. For a better adhesion, repeat the application and wait for another 10 minutes. Please read all the instructions and warnings on the adhesive packaging!.. They are important stuff and there are good reasons why they are there. You copied that from the bike instructable, right?

thearchitect (author)santy222008-05-01

...good catch, and it was my instructable, so I don't see a problem? Do you?


MjPadfoot (author)2008-01-02

i really liked the idea. I just wanted to ask u: i've recently been chosen co-editor for my school magazine, and im redoing it over, and adding a "how to" section...since ur idea is sooo cool and an easy diy, can i use it? credit of course will go to u...please answer ASAP, i have a reall close deadline. thanx!

thearchitect (author)MjPadfoot2008-01-02

Of course, go ahead, rock on!.. :-)if you need higher-res photos, let me know. Cheers from UK. Koray.

MjPadfoot (author)thearchitect2008-04-23

hey! just wanted to tell u that ur project went really well in the magazine! people kept on coming up to me to tell me how awesome it was! just wanted 2 let ya know:P and thanx again!

thearchitect (author)MjPadfoot2008-04-23

Great to hear that! Good luck with your work!.. ;-) K.

MjPadfoot (author)thearchitect2008-01-03

me, myself and i give u our warmest thanks! ur a lifesaver! and the photos are perfect, so all eeez good.
mucho gracias(i think dat is how u spell it...) once again.

ultrauber (author)2008-03-07

great instructable. i'm not the biggest mac fan, but the apple does look good. instead of scratching up the usb like it says in step 3, maybe you could just wrap it in a thin layer of duct tape. that way you could also take it out later if you didn't like it. here's a +1.

benhudson (author)2008-02-19

I'm not overly keen on Macs, but the Apple logo was a nice touch. It looks good. This gave me some good ideas for mine, thanks :)

sweavo (author)2008-01-23

well I didn't think it was ugly in the first place, but it's gorgeous now!

MjPadfoot (author)2008-01-02

oh, and im a microsoft supporter. die hard. and i luv a good ol' pc/mac debate. PC RULES! do luv the idea though. kudos to u!

thearchitect (author)MjPadfoot2008-01-02

Thanks!.. I am a 90% PC user because of my work, school etc. However, I learned everything about computers at primary school back in the early 90s on Mac Classics. Maybe that's why I have this sympathy for Mac (and the rainbow mac sign).. :-) Cheers, K.

SWV1787 (author)2007-12-28

I think you shoud now try round braiding and finish with a heel knot to make it look really nice

LinuxH4x0r (author)2007-12-28

Nicely Done- From a linux user (fedora core5/8 dual boot) (although I am considering getting a mac laptop) I really like the apple logo on it.

thearchitect (author)LinuxH4x0r2007-12-28

I am running Ubuntu 7.10... Beautiful. I decided to do a clean OS install on my work laptop, Windows took me over 4hrs from start to finish (OS+drivers+patches+Office+update). Then I installed Ubuntu on a partition, 45mins total. Everything installed (more than just Office productivity suite) and updated... Being able to browse the net during installation, by the way, is awesome - unthinkable in any other system. Cheers... K.

LinuxH4x0r (author)thearchitect2007-12-28

Maybe if I get a laptop during the after chrismas sales (something simple in th $300 range) I'll try ubuntu

About This Instructable




Bio: I love fixing things...
More by thearchitect:Olympus OM10 sticky shutter repairHack Canon EOS 300D to confirm focus with all lenses, permanently.Yet another USB flash drive in leather flavour
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