Repurposing an Old Monitor




This project took me around 5 hours to make. Probably around 3 or 4 hours of that was figuring out how it would all go together and just staring at it. It is actually fairly simple, and there are only two screws used (the rest is all hot glued, and is very sturdy somehow). I might say this several times, but having a dremel would have really helped a lot with this build. You might be wondering by now, what in the world it is supposed to be. It is a computer made with parts I had sitting around being things that were sitting around doing nothing.

Step 1: Tools

This project really doesnt require all that many tools, that is, if you actually have the right ones. Having a dremel would have been VERY nice, especially when making the hole for the IO ports. Anyway, here are the tools I used:

1. A screwdriver (phillips)

2. A screwdriver (flat)

3. Scissors

4. A hammer

5. A bunch of different pliers

6. Wire cutters

7. A hot glue gun

8. Tree branch cutter thing/hedge trimmer (would have been nice to have a dremel...)

And here are some things that are not technically tools:

1. Duct tape

2. Electrical tape

3. Hot glue

4. Popsicle sticks

Step 2: Gathering Materials

This instructable was built for the Trash to Treasure contest, so I used some things I had lying around, an old dell monitor, an old HP PC that ran off of a laptop power supply, and some random little circuit boards. There is PLENTY of room inside the monitor case, so even if your PC has a full size power supply, it would still be able to fit inside. My original idea was to make a full blown computer like the old IMacs apple made a longish while ago, but none of my lcds were small enough to fit into the case.

Step 3: Get to Work!

Once you have your monitor, disassemble it VERY CAREFULLY because when these were made, they thought that it was a good idea to use glass screens. That is why I am using a hammer. Anyway, remove the big tube assembly, and save it for another project. Take out the big circuit board, and save it for later (if you are not putting in a lcd). Once that is done, move on to the next step.

Step 4: Power and IO

A computer would be useless without an on and off switch, and some ports, so this is a pretty important step. to make the hole for the ports, I used a hedge trimmer thing. That was not my finest work. Having a dremel may have made it considerably easier, and much cleaner. Setting a motherboard directly on metal is not the best idea. When I was messing around with this computer, I figured, why not boot it up? So I set the motherboard on a power supply (which was metal) and pressed the power switch. All of a sudden these weird spark-like noises happen, I look at the motherboard, and what do you know, sparks! This led me to the conclusion to always have an insulator between your motherboard (or other open circuitry) and any metal object. I used a thick piece of cardboard cut out to the right size of the base of where I was to set my motherboard. No more sparks for me. Once my motherboard was in place, I stuck the IO shield (I think that's what its called) on, and filled in the gap with some popsicle sticks cut to size. The monitor I used had a power button on the front (like almost every other one ever). I hot-glued a popsicle stick frame into place and put the power button on it. One of the two leds hooked up with the same port as the motherboard fit into the spot where there was the old led power light, and I stuck the other onto the front circuitry.

Step 5: Circuitry, Fans, and Another IO Hole

Step 6: Finished Product

Now, with a burned out monitor, a caseless motherboard, some hot glue, popsicle sticks, and some random wires and other things lying around, exists a fully functioning computer that doubles as Modern Art.



    • Trash to Treasure

      Trash to Treasure
    • Arduino Contest 2019

      Arduino Contest 2019
    • Tape Contest

      Tape Contest

    5 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Don't forget that the CRT tube stores in excess of 10,000V. Might want to put a warning to safely discharge tie tube before doing anything else. Also the warning about the implosion hazard of the CRT. ALL CRT's HAVE HIGH VOLTAGE and therefore your warning should state that your not responsible for people getting injured performing this instructable.

    Just putting this out there for anyone who may see this.

    1 reply

    Reply 11 months ago

    Don't worry about the implosion. It's a myth. I threw my crt and it didn't inplode.


    2 years ago

    Nice idea and instructable, as a suggestion, i would add that this is a PC built in an old monitor somewhere in the description as i had to go through the entire instructable to figure what is the purpose of it :)


    Reply 2 years ago

    I actually have one of those,and I should probably fix it - lol