There’s nothing quite so fun as DIY gadget projects, and beginner-level projects are fun for everyone. You can make these DIY gadget projects using simple items and supplies. The knowledge you will need is relatively basic as well.
A big part of the fun with DIY gadget projects is making them. The more you create, the more you learn about technology, the more capable and skilled you will be. This means you’ll be up for tackling bigger projects.
No matter what you build, you’re sure to have fun. And once you’re done, you’ll have a cool gadget to play with.
1. Build A Simple Circuit on a Pizza Box
Electric circuits are all around us. They’re vital for bringing power into our homes.
You can build your own electric circuit on a pizza box or other flat, thick piece of cardboard. All you need is a handful of parts. Try Octopart.com for useful electric items.
Let’s start with a clean pizza box or other piece of cardboard. This is the base, what you’re putting everything on.
Then you’ll need a white or blue LED. This is what you’re lighting up.
The rest of the parts are 1 piezoelectric buzzer, 1 light dependent resistor (LDR), 3 volt button cell battery, about 25 metal brads, about 20 paperclips, a small nail or something similar (you need it to poke holes), and then some tape, say black electrical tape and white tape.
The rest is pretty easy, and you’ll have your own pizza box electric circuit in no time.
2. MintyBoost, a USB Charger in an Altoids Tin
You can buy USB chargers off Amazon, but where’s the fun in that? Why not build your own USB charger in an empty Altoids tin?
Oh yeah, it’s battery-powered, so you can take it with you on the go.
You’ll need a boost converter, an 8-pin socket, a power supply capacitator, a bypass capacitator, resistors, power inductor, a USB type female jack, a battery holder, a circuit board, and an Altoids tin. There is a bit of soldering involved.
3. Boost Your Wi-Fi with a Tin Can
You’ll also need some 12-gauge copper wire (about one and a quarter inch), an N-type female jack panel mount connector, four nuts and bolts, a ruler, a drill, a marker, a soldering iron… and that’s it. Once you’re done, you can put it on your internet modem and enjoy better signal.
4. Clap-Activated Light Switch
Clap on, clap off. It’s the kind of thing you might associate with luxury: a light switch that turns on and off when you clap. So, why not make one yourself?
This is a pretty easy project.
You will need a prototyping board, also a connector (9v), a microcontroller, a microphone, some resistors, a diode, and some other things.
But, with a little time and effort, you can have your very own clap-on, clap-off switch.
5. Fruit-Powered Clock
You can buy fruit-powered clocks from Amazon and from ed-tech companies. However, they’re so much fun that you might as well make your own.
This is a pretty fun project. One of the things it really has going for it is a way to get rid of overripe fruit that no one is likely to eat.
Recycling and repurposing is always nice.
All you’ll need is some copper wire, 6 alligator clips, a battery-powered clock, 2 pennies, 2 paper clips (non-coated), and then a couple of pieces of fruit to power the whole thing.
From there, it’s pretty easy.
6. Chapstick LED Light
Do you use Chapstick often? If so, don’t throw out spent Chapstick tubes. Instead, repurpose them into flashlights.
Think about how useful a small flashlight can be.
For one thing, this one is small enough to go in your pocket or handbag.
(You know, like a tube of Chapstick).
You’ll need a tactile switch, an A23 battery (12v), a 470-ohm resistor, a 10 mm white LED, solder, heat shrink tubing, wire, an N battery holder, and a J-B weld.
The result is a convenient, pocket-size flashlight.
DIY gadget projects are great ways to indulge your interest in passion projects that are also fairly useful. The 6 projects we’ve profiled here are all fun, will provide good uses of your skill, and make for useful items you can use around the house.
As you gain more skill by doing more of these projects, you may well be inspired to take on more projects. There’s a fascinating world of tech gadgets out there, just waiting for you to build them.