The Top 5 Projects To Upcycle Your Old Kindle

Wondering what to do with an old Kindle device? Upcycle it with one of these awesome projects.

The first Kindle e-reader was released in 2007, and the popular product line has continued to evolve with upgraded models ever since. But with each new release, you might be left with an old model that you don’t know what to do with.

Instead of throwing it away, here’s what you can do with it. From a DIY smart home display to a homemade electronic message board, these projects will show you how you can upcycle your Kindle.

What You Will Need

The projects listed here do a fantastic job of repurposing an old Kindle. Some will work on the software end of things to change what the Kindle can display. Others include adding functionality with electronic components like an Arduino.

In most cases, however, you will need to jailbreak your Kindle. Practically, this means making changes to the software to remove restrictions placed by the manufacturers.

Here is everything you need to know about jailbreaking.

If you feel comfortable following instructions, it’s not too complicated. And the benefit of saving another tech device from ending up in the landfill is a huge benefit.

1. Smart Home Display

The e-ink display on a Kindle is unobtrusive and easy to look at. It’s also a really valuable electronic part that can be used to display more than just books. In this case, it’s perfect for a DIY smart home display.

Matt Healy had a few design goals in mind when figuring out how he wanted to upcycle his Kindle. The display needed to show data about upcoming deliveries, weather, calendar events, and general notes, all in a timely fashion. The solution that was chosen was to pull a screenshot from a website at an interval of once every minute.

The Kindle 4 was used in this case, which can be brought for less than $30 second-hand. It’s the only piece of hardware you need. The rest involves following some not-too-difficult instructions to set it up.

Once mounted on the wall, it looks beautiful and minimalist. A wonderfully satisfying upcycle project and completely free if you have an old Kindle lying about.

2. Literary Clock Kindle Display

A Kindle e-reader plus a literary clock equals a match made in heaven. For every minute of the day, your Kindle can display a quote from a book that tells you what the time is.

That’s 1,440 minutes, and quotes, to be exact. Luckily, the hard work has already been done behind the scenes; all you need to do is follow some installation steps.

Project designer Jaap Meijers found most of his quotes from a list compiled by the Guardian newspaper. He then turned these quotes into images and wrote a script that would retrieve the right quote at the right time. After jailbreaking your Kindle, you will need to install these files and scripts onto the device.

The only piece of hardware used is a Kindle 3 WiFi, a very early model that has a keyboard attached. You can try to find this model second-hand from eBay or ask around to see if anyone will donate you one. However, other people have been able to make the clock work on later touchscreen models.

You can find the complete guide on Instructables. And for a lovely web version of this clock, check out the work of Johannes Enevoldsen.

3. Kindle Music Reader

For musicians, iPads are proving to be the perfect alternative to carrying around paper sheet music. You can even buy foot-switches that work with an iPad to flip pages wirelessly. But buying a tablet just for this is purpose is far too expensive, especially when you can use a Kindle instead.

To build this project you will need an ESP8266 for wireless communication. After jailbreaking your Kindle, there are several pieces of software you will need to install that allow you to run custom scripts. You can download the scripts on the project’s Instructables page, where you will also find the configuration steps.

Source: The Top 5 Projects To Upcycle Your Old Kindle

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