Introduction: Xbox Shadow Box

The question on everyone's mind when a new generation of gaming systems is released;

what do you do with your outdated Xbox? Sell it to your local game shop for $40.. yeah no thanks.

Maybe keep playing your old system till it finally kaputs. Eventually experiencing the tragic RED RING OF DEATH!

Or maybe you just want an excuse to buy a new system. (most people)

For me I was one of the unfortunate few whose Xbox met a fateful end.

In the end my choices were; having an oversized paper weight, or a really cool shadow box!

So the Xbox Shadow Box was born.

Step 1: Tools & Supplies


  • Rotary Tool
  • Soldering Iron
  • Drill


Step 2: Strip the Xbox

Now the fun part begins, stripping the Xbox of everything inside it leaving only the motherboard and ports.

  1. Disassemble the Xbox and remove the case to expose the motherboard.
  2. Using the rotary tool, remove the heat sink and the capacitors that are attached.

One thing you should notice after removing the heat sink is that there is 8 holes on the motherboard that were used to secure the heat sink in place. We will use these holes to fasten 4 straps that will hold the controllers in place. (Figure 1)

Step 3: Attach Metal Straps

The whole point of the shadow box is to hold the controllers in place.

  1. Cut 4 pieces of the metal straps. (Figure 2)
    • 2 - 5.5"
    • 2 - 6.5"
  2. Using the 3/8" machine screws fasten the metal straps to the motherboard. (Figure 3)

Step 4: Assemble the Xbox

Before we reassemble the Xbox there needs to be a window cut out from the top panel.

  1. Using the rotary tool, cut a 6.75" x 9" rectangle in the center. (Figure 4)

Because I removed everything inside the Xbox there was a large slot on the side where the CD-ROM would have been. You can choose to leave the slot empty or use the spare parts that were left over to fill the space. I used the top panel where the external hard drive used to be to fill the gap.

  1. Cut a 4" x 1" rectangle.
  2. Glue the rectangle to the inside of the side panel. (Figure 5)

Step 5: LEDs!

The Xbox shadow box would not be complete without a set of LEDs to give it a futuristic look.

I used LED strip lights because they're super simple to use. They have an adhesive back that you can stick to any surface, it doesn't require an LED driver, and it only needs 12 volts to power.

  1. Feed the 2 wires of the battery case through the holes on the top panel so you can see them in the inside. (Figure 6)
  2. Use the soldering iron to connect the wires from the DC pigtail to the wires from the battery case. (Red-Red, Black-Black) (Figure 7)
  3. Line the inside of the Xbox with the LED strips starting from the left and going clockwise. (Figure 8)

Step 6: The Finale

Now all that is left is to drill 2 holes in the back of the Xbox, add the batteries, and plug in the LEDs.

Power on the Xbox!

Lamps and Lighting Contest 2016

Participated in the
Lamps and Lighting Contest 2016

LED Contest

Participated in the
LED Contest