Using a cardboard/cereal box as a case


Jan 15, 2004
Is it possible?

A few of my friends were talking about it as a grad project at school, and it seems like a good idea, if we could find the correct sized box and materials to stabalize the components.

The cereal box I'm thinking about is those you find at Sam's Club or Costco (the ones with the double pack).
Cardboard boxes, shoe boxes and any other type of box has been done before. You can probably find some if you search for ghetto case.
yes it is possible....i have done it with a p2 was really ghetto but kinda cool...
I had a single board computer setup running inside of a size 10.5 Nike shoebox a while back. It was used as a linux firewall until I moved.
Theres one found here, that is very nicely done.

I'm getting ready to make one of my own, till I can find a suitable case for a linux router I'm getting ready to build. The box I'm going to use is from one of my purchases from the egg.:p
I working on one right now. Celeron 1gig with some ram and onboard everything else. Making it out of two motherboard boxes. :D
you can do it.. but it won't neccesarly hold up well long term.. i could build a computer into a cereal box in a hour with no problem.. but why? i think you should use something more durable..
How long did it last?

The grad project requires us to do something that we learned in school and I thought making a computer with a material other than metal/plastic would be a challenge. Just carrying it from home, to the car, to class is a challenge.
Here's a cardboard box PC i did... If you're korean (and of other asian descent, i suppose) you'll probably know that this is a spicy ramen/noodle box :D

I had already created a cardboard box PC prior to this, but it had parts (power supply namely) sticking out all over the place, so i wanted to make a completely self contained cardboard box (really, just for the challenge, and i thought it'd be funny due to the ghettoness)


^ This is my side by side shot... looks pretty damn similar to me...


Same thing, except labeled


^ Side shot, you can see things are screwed in...


My elite painted fan. I traced the profile of the fan and used an exacto knife to bore out the mounting holes, and then i think the exacto knife (or scissors) to cut out the hole


Back side cutouts... NOtice the PCI slots are pretty ghetto. I couldn't think of a better solution to secure them...


Inside shot. It gives you an idea of the wire management (not TOO bad for a pretty small space) and the space we're dealing with...


Top view to give you guys a look at the layout. The power supply AND cdrom are more or less resting RIGHT on top of the board. You can't tell from the picture really, but the CD-rom is screwed right into the side of the box (cut out holes on the side and then screwed 'em in. Held ONE SIDE to the box. The other side is secured to a piece of cardboard that keeps the drive level (this piece of cardboard rests on top of the motherboard)). The power supply is pretty much sitting on it's own wires that i stuffed under it for 'wire management'. I just wanted to keep as much room free next to the CPU/socket ... looks like i did an alright job...


A bigger side view of an above shot... showing the guts a little more... notice the space around the socket as mentioned. Also you can get an idea of where all the wires are going...


Last, but not least... my elite power switch. I had the polarities wrong, and instead of flipping the switch, i just scribbled out what each one was and reversed it. The top is my ELITE 'stealthed' CD-rom drive. Hit the open to open the drive, obviously. It's not flush because i would have had too much trouble trying to secure the drive in the right place, and it honestly wasn't worth it. (mounting the CD drive depressed into the case). Also notice my SUPER cheap (radioshack variety LED pack.. ~30 for 2.50?) indicator LEDs. Everything works, too!

The project was a FUN one. It's AMAZINGly easy to work with cardboard, and it holds up pretty damn well. I built this computer and let my little brother run it... It held up for a few months, and then i got tired and disassembled it and burned the thing. These pictures is all thats left of.. the RAMEN pc.

Not meaning to threadjack or anythign, just thought you might like some ideas ;D

Maybe i'll post these in the gallery if i ever get around to it