Introduction: USB Memory Lipstick
This is the ideal gift for the woman of your heart, combining feminine grace with technology and usability. All you need is a nice looking lipstick, a USB memory stick, and some time on your hands.
Step 1: What You Need
I bought an inexpensive lipstick with a nice metallic case and an 8 GB USB stick from Verbatim that looked small enough to fit into the lipstick. If you want the USB stick to rise by turning the lipstick you should buy a shorter USB stick, which will be more expensive, though.
You will also need:
• A glue gun
• Small pliers
• A screwdriver or pocket knife
• Some ethyl alcohol for cleaning
Step 2: Disembowelling the Memory Stick
Be careful when handling the memory stick and its circuitry! Static electricity may damage the chips forever, so frequently touch a grounded metal part to discharge your body while working.
It depends on the model of your memory stick how you have to open it. In my case I just pulled the back cap off and removed the circuit board through the back opening. You may have to use a knife to crack open the plastic case at the seams.
You may also go shopping for the lipstick with the circuit board to make sure it fits well.
Step 3: Preparing the Lipstick, Part 1
The lipstick contains a smeary substance of varying colour. Remove with a tissue and dispose off properly.
If you are going for the "twist out" option with a short memory stick:
Clean off the remaining grease with ethyl alcohol and a tissue.
Skip the next step!
If you are going for a fixed memory stick (like I did):
Just continue to the next step.
Step 4: Preparing the Lipstick, Part 2
Follow this step only if you are going for a fixed memory stick with no twist-out option.
If you have a large memory stick, like I did, it may not fit into the lipstick right now.
Remove the turning part with a screwdriver or a pocket knife. Remove the chrome tube to get to the innards and remove these with pliers, if necessary. I had to remove almost all the plastic interior until I had enough room for the memory stick I used.
Step 5: Placing the Circuit Board
Clean the inner part of the lipstick where you want to glue in the circuit board with ethyl alcohol and a tissue. In my case this was the chrome tube part. If you are going for the twist-out option, you already cleaned the moving part where the grease was situated.
Put the memory stick in place and reassemble the lipstick, if necessary. Do not put on the cap. Now compare with another memory stick how far the USB connector has to stand out and adjust the position accordingly.
Fix the circuit board in place with a few drops of fast drying glue.
Step 6: Fixing the Circuit Board
To make the circuit board more robust against the mechanical forces it may have to withstand, I decided to fill all the space between the board and the chrome tube where I placed it with hot glue.
The temperature of the hot glue should not be high enough to damage the board or the circuits, but I decided to fill it up in smaller steps to let it cool off faster.
When you are going for the twist-out option, be careful not to immobilize the moving part.
Cut off excess drops with a knife to smooth out the surface, if necessary.
Step 7: Final Assembly
If you are going for the twist-out option, you should be already finished.
If you glued the board into the chrome tube, like me, you have to glue the tube back in to the lipstick's bottom part with hot glue.
Congratulations, you are done!
Test the memory stick with your computer, wrap up nicely in gift paper, and give a present that never forgets.