So what do you do with an old out of warranty iPhone 4S? Well, you could sell it to one of the online services like Gazelle, but they only offered me $15 for it. You could use it as an iPod, but it only has about 13 gig of storage, and that wouldn’t even hold half of my iTunes library. Or better yet, you could upcycle it into something new. I realized that the iPhone 4S is just slightly larger than a business card, so I decided to make a case to hold my cards. My goal was to make the case indistinguishable from a working iPhone, even if someone was to hold it in their hands and examine it. I didn’t want any glue or hinges showing from the outside, and all the buttons and screws should be in place. Of course, you could also use this to hide credit cards, money, keys or anything else small that you want to protect from prying eyes…
Here’s the steps I took to create a unique Apple business card case.
Step 1: First, get your hands on an old iPhone and remove the 2 tiny screws on both sides of the charging port at the bottom. Then you can easily slide the screen off. Keep the screws as you’ll want to glue them back in place once you’re finished. Once it’s opened, go ahead and remove everything you can from the inside. The largest piece you’ll find is the battery. Keep pulling parts out until you’ve got everything removed. Don’t remove the buttons, charging port or sim card, as you’ll want them intact when the case is completed.
Step 2: Once everything is removed, it’s time to use the greatest tool known to man; the Dremel. Use the Dremel to flatten and smooth out the inside of the case, removing any screws and pieces of the frame that you couldn’t remove in step 1. Test the case to be sure it will hold your business cards or valuables, and keep smoothing out the frame until you’ve got the space you need.
Step 3: Glue some strong circular magnets to the case at the locations marked below. Use a strong glue like Gorilla or Super glue. This takes some trial and error depending on the size of the magnets you use. I found that glueing 2 magnets to opposite corners of the case, and 1 magnet to opposite corners of the cover worked perfectly. The goal is for the cover to snap closed without any space showing. You want it to look like a regular working iPhone with no hints to what’s inside.
Step 4: I went ahead and added a bent paper clip to the case to keep the business cards from falling out. I decided to do this after noticing 2 screw holes at the top of the case that perfectly hold a paper clip securely in place. A little super glue and some bending should be all you need.
Add that’s it! Check out the video below to see the completed case. Mine holds about 6 business cards, but my cards are pretty thick. It will hold about 10 if your cards are thinner.