(Almost) Instant Hard Case for IPod Nano (from the Apple Box!)

Introduction: (Almost) Instant Hard Case for IPod Nano (from the Apple Box!)

About: I retired a few years ago after 30+ years in the computer industry, now live in San Francisco in an 1890's Victorian house, work part-time as a goldsmith and gem trader, and travel.

This one is so easy, it really doesn't need step-by-step illustrations, so I'm just going to describe it, what you need to make it, how to put it together, and show the finished product parts at the appropriate times.    Start to finish, this took me about 20 minutes to make while ripping CD's to my new Nano!

This project is a nice hard case for your iPod Nano, made from the factory box it comes in from Apple.  I made it for protecting the Nano from knocks and scratches when traveling in my airline carry-on bag.  As is, it does not provide for playing music while in the case, but in the last step I'll describe an easy mod to make that possible.

Materials you need:

Your iPod Nano, and the factory box.  We are going to use the box cover and the piece that holds the iPod in the box (with the little mounting "ears" for the Nano).

One slim bamboo skewer, from the grocery store.  The one I used is about 3 mm thick (.125 inch +/-).  A thinner one would be fine, too.  Don't go any thicker, or you will have trouble flexing the iPod holder plate to get the Nano in and out of the case.

Hot glue gun, glue sticks OR Duco cement.  I used hot glue.

Some 3/4" wide velcro, both parts, with sticky backing.

Step 1: Preparing the Pieces

1)  Cut two pairs of velcro loop and back tape to the width of the mounting "ears" of the Apple Nano mounting pad.  Don't make them any wider than the ears, or they will interfere with closing the case.

2)  Cut two pieces of the bamboo skewer to the inside length of the box cover -- they should "just" wedge in comfortably in the cover if they are the right length.  These become the case "guides" to center the top side-to-side when closing the case.

Step 2: Assembling the Case

  1)  Temporarily wedge the two bamboo sticks along the two sides of the box top, flush with the bottom.  Assemble the top to the bottom mounting plate, and mark where the ends of the bamboo pieces will go, with a black marker.  Note they will be inset from the sides a bit, to allow for the thickness of the top.

2)  Now take off the top, remove the bamboo sticks, and hot-glue them one at a time to the bottom plate, making sure the ends line up with the marks you made in the above step.  I did them one at a time, tacking them in place first, to make sure they were in the right location.  When you get them right, run a bead of glue the length of each stick to bond them permanently to the bottom plate.

3)  Clean the top of the mounting "ears" with alcohol and a rag, and let dry.

3)  Peel off the backing of the hook halves of the velcro pieces you cut, and stick them onto the top of the Nano mounting "ears", centered on the ears.  After the adhesive sets a bit, add the loop pieces on top, remove the backing, and press the top into place.  Put a pad over the new case you just made and weight it down for a while to give the velcro adhesive a chance to set up well.

Step 3: How to Get the Nano in and Out of the Case

You are all done making your Nano case!

To get the Nano in and out of the case, you flex the mounting plate back with your fingers, and snap the Nano in.  Removing it is the same -- flex and pull the Nano out of the mounting ears.  Note that it will be stiffer than it was when you first removed the Nano after buying it, because the bamboo guides are reinforcing the bottom plate.

This is all to the good, as it increases the security when the case gets knocked about -- your iPod will stay securely mounted!

Take a good look at the pictures in this step, and everything should come together.

If you want to be able to listen to music with the Nano in this case, modify the end where the earphone jack lives by marking and step-drilling a hole sufficient to pass the headphone plug.  Go slowly and use water as a lubricant to avoid cracking the plastic.

Happy traveling with your new iPod Nano case.

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    7 Discussions


    10 years ago on Step 3

     how do make the hole for the touch weel?


    Reply 10 years ago on Step 3

    There isn't one in the current design.  It's meant to be a travel case, to protect the iPod, not a "using" case.  But you have a couple ways to convert it -- you could just pull the lid off to use the touchwheel, which would be my suggestion.

    Otherwise, you could use a hole cutter or fly cutter in a drill press, very gently and carefully (otherwise the plastic will crack)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    If you painted the skewers it would look even better and way to recycle!


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    You're right, and I did consider a riff on the whole Apple "whitewash" theme, but then sanity prevailed...it was, after all, supposed to be an "instant" project!

    It seems a shame to just toss out those nifty plastic pieces Apple so thoughtfully provides as the packaging!