The kitten got ahold of my husband's USB drive and chewed up the casing. What could we do with a mangled USB drive? Then we remembered that my sister collects Pez dispensers, and that we needed a present for her, and the Pez dispenser USB drive idea was planted. Googled it later and found out that, of course, someone else had already thought of it
. But his Pez dispenser no longer dispenses Pez, which I believe to be the essential function of such a device. But, the compromise is that our design doesn't stand up any more.
1. Open dispenser as if to load it, overextending it so it will stay open.
2. Cut through both sides of the plastic Pez-holder, right near the very bottom. The whole thing will pop apart.
3. Study how it's assembled. There's a little plastic thing on the top of a spring. That pushes the Pez up. It travels in two grooves in the front and back of the body. It only fits in one way. The bottom part of the Pez holder also fits in the groove so that, when connected with the top part, it won't pull completely out of the body.
4. See if the USB key will fit into the body. If it does, your life is much easier. If it doesn't fit, disassemble it. The mini Cruzer that we used has a screw hidden under the label that holds the whole thing together. Once the case was off, it fit fine inside the body.
5. The drive will sit in the bottom part of the body. The plastic holder will fill up the rest of the body. Cut down the plastic holder part so it'll be the right length. Ours holds 4 Pez. Cut the spring, too.
6. Reassemble the dispenser. It's a little tricky because of the spring and getting the little plastic cap in right. We used packing tape to connect the top and the bottom back together. Taping on the inside seems to work better than taping the outside. There's actually very little clearance where the parts slide past one another.
7. Test it out with some Pez to make sure it still works.
8. Put the USB drive in and make sure it still fits.
9. Make any adjustments.
10. We used hot glue to secure the USB drive. Squirt a bit in the body and quickly squish the drive in place. Let it solidify and fill around the drive with more hot glue. Just be careful none drips down and interferes with the holder.
I wish I'd taken a picture of it plugged in. The LED on the drive lights up and makes the whole thing glow.