Back-to-School DIY Projects

Here's a collection of fun ideas for any students going back to school this fall.

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With school right around the corner - perhaps you’re reading this in your new dorm - we have some great projects to up your college style. As someone whose five-year reunion is looming, I am definitely a great guide on the latest trends (psych), but some things just never go out of style – and if we’re honest, everything that was once cool, is now cool again.

Step 1:

Spruce up that room. Look around you. What’s missing? Cool decor? Lighting?

Project Idea: LED Cloud Connected Cloud

All you’ll have to do is look up to see if you need your raincoat, snow boots or flip flops (or to see if your slippers will be OK to go outside).

LED Cloud-Connected Cloud

February 22, 2016

Make an RGB colored cloud light! You can also control it from your phone, or hook up to the weather!

Project Idea: Twinkle Zodiac Constellation

I get it, this may not be every zodiac sign’s kind of project, but for those looking for a way to display theirs, this is one for you!

Twinkle Zodiac Constellation

August 15, 2017

Create a quick and easy piece of e-textile art based on a Zodiac sign using a LilyTiny, LilyPad LEDs, battery holder, conductive thread, and coin cell battery.

Project Idea: Origami Paper Circuits

If you’re looking for something cute to create some ambiance, these paper circuits might just do the trick.

Origami Paper Circuits

May 26, 2015

A quick tutorial to get you started in the world of light up origami flowers.

Project Idea: Component Gumball Machine

If you’re here, you’re likely into electronics. Here’s a fun way to store components and ensure easy access to the small pieces you need.

LED Gumball Machine

April 24, 2019

Hacking gumball machines to make the world a happier, blinkier place.

Step 2:

You’re likely (hopefully) going to head outside of that spruced-up room, so here’s how to step out in style:

Project Idea: DIY Light Up Shoes

Seriously, these are so cool and can be worn for a variety of occasions.

DIY Light-Up Shoes

September 28, 2017

This tutorial provides everything you need to know to make your own light up high top sneakers!

Project Idea: Marquee Party Bag

Let your bag do the talking for you – it makes that 8 a.m. class just a bit easier. With some slight tweaks, this project can be adjusted for your backpack or any other bag you’d like to give a voice.

Marquee Party Bag

June 2, 2017

This tutorial provides everything you need to know to make your own Marquee Party Bag!

Project Idea: Sound Reactive Jersey

Head to the homecoming game in style. This jersey helps cheer on your school’s team, and may act as a great icebreaker.


Step 3:

Hang out with friends.

Project Idea: Beer Pong Robots

If you’re looking to up your game before entering the World Series of Beer Pong tournaments, or you’re just looking to make beer pong more challenging, this might just be the thing (build responsibly and only drink if you’re over the legal age). If you are under 21, that cup better be filled with juice!


Step 4:

Don’t forget why you’re there.

School’s important. We’ve got some great guides and tutorials to help you get back into the swing of classes. Forgot what Ohm’s Law is? Boom, covered – and we’ve got a lot more where that came from.


Comments 2 comments

  • Walmart is selling plastic "crayon boxes" for $1 a pop (at least in the stores I've checked in AZ and CT). They are a great size for small projects, such as one on a "half size" breadboards (though there's not a lot of vertical clearance), or an Arduino Uno. A Raspberry Pi Model B will also fit, though you'll have to do a LOT of "surgery" to get to all of the connectors.

    BTW, in the two stores I checked, the temporary "school supplies" section had great piles of them tinted in various colors. In the AZ store, I had time to go back into the permanent "office supplies" section, and found a few completely clear ones.

    • Quick update: Was in the aforementioned AZ Walmart on Wednesday, and decided to "splurge" and buy 6 more crayon boxes. Was pleasantly surprised when I checked out and they'd been reduced to $0.50 each! Today I decided to stop by another Walmart, and though I didn't find any more clear crayon boxes, they did have the "Stackable" style "Slim Supply Box" (i.e., a pencil box) marked down to $1.00 (from $1.88). They'll easily fit a full-sized solderless breadboard, though with not a lot of vertical clearance (so you might have to mash down some of the jumper wires). I went through maybe 1/3 of there stock, and got a half dozen clear ones.

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