What to Do with Old Scanners

Scanners are undoubtedly useful products for professionals, homeowners, and students who want to create and save a duplicate copy of important contracts, receipts, photos, research papers, and the likes.

As technology regularly improves, our needs and wants change and our hunger for convenience increases as well. Thus, we tend to upgrade and buy newer models of scanners. Most of the time, we keep our old scanners in our stockrooms cause we may need them in the future and we know that we will come up with an idea about what to do with old scanners.

Whether your old scanners belong to the obsolete models, have just been introduced five years ago, or may have non-functional parts, there are still functional components that can be used for multiple DIY projects. In fact, the scanner’s external body alone can be used in multiple ways, and to give you an idea, we have put together some of the things that you can do with it.

What to Do with Old Scanners: Simple DIY Projects

Re-purposing or converting an old scanner into something that is useful and cool might require some skills and tools. Nonetheless, such is just basic, and you can simply buy the things that you will need in a hardware store around your neighborhood.

A Multipurpose Lightbox

Lightboxes can be used as a decoration in your home or office by merely adding some characters, texts, drawings or anything else. In fact, you can even place any item that you want to reflect for you to have different decorations.

Likewise, you can also use lightboxes as an alternative lamp in your bedroom, living room, etc. In addition, they can also be utilized to look into negatives or photos clearly, as well as a background for photography sessions.

Creating a multipurpose lightbox using an old scanner is very simple that beginning DIYers can try out before they deal with more complicated “what to do with old scanners” projects. Below are the simplified steps.


  • Two fluorescent bulbs (size depends on the interior dimension of the scanner’s body)
  • White acrylic
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Tape measure
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver


  1. Find the screws that hold the scanner together and remove in order to have access to the internal parts of the product. If none, look for the area wherein it can be opened.
  2. Once opened, carefully remove the lamp, sensor, and other moveable parts as well as the glass on top of the scanner. At this point, what you only have at hand is a hollow or empty box or scanner body.
  3. Using a tape measure, get the dimension of the part where the glass was originally placed, as well as the size of the scanner box.
  4. Turn the scanner box upside down and start painting the interior making sure that no areas are left unpainted. Set it aside and allow to dry.
  5. Paint the external area with any color that you want and allow to dry. You can also decorate it as you please.
  6. While waiting for the paint to dry, take the glass that you have removed, then, measure its dimension. Using such measurement, get the acrylic and cut it accordingly. Set it aside.
  7. Once the painted box is completely dry, start drilling two rectangular holes on each side.
  8. Turn the scanner box and drill a hole at the right side of its bottom. This is the area where you will let the wire for the lightbulbs to pass through.
  9. Get the fluorescent bulbs and install them into the sides and wire them correctly using the holes that you made. Make sure that the bulbs and wires are not loose to prevent them from falling off or being removed.
  10. Using the white acrylic paper that you cut earlier, cover the area where the glass was originally located.
  11. Start testing your lightbox, and once it works, you can start using it the way you want it to.

A Storage Box

Storage boxes are products that we often buy at the mall, department store, and thrift shop for us to keep our kid’s toys, office items, sewing kits, and other items organized. Since you already have a non-functional or old scanner, be more practical and convert it into a storage box. In fact, this project is too simple and requires minimal tools but still fulfilling.


  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Decorative materials
  • Glue gun
  • Cloth, gift wrapper, or paint (optional)
  • Old cardboard boxes or drawer organizer


  1. As similar to the lightbox project, the first thing that you need to do is open the old scanner and remove the internal parts and the glass on top for you to have a hollow box.
  2. You may choose to paint the inner compartment or leave it as is. If you decide to paint it, allow it to dry before proceeding to the next step.
  3. If you choose to use old cardboard boxes, wrap them using a cloth or gift wrapper. Then, fixed them on top of the inner side of the scanner’s bottom cover. This will serve as compartments inside your DIY storage box. Nonetheless, you can also choose to use an old drawer organizer which you can simply glue on the inside of the bottom cover.
  4. Once done, put the bottom part of the scanner back ensuring that the compartments made are inside.
  5. This is already your simple storage box, and the scanner lid serves as its cover. However, you can still decorate the external part to make it look more elegant or remove the idea that it was once a scanner.
  6. To decorate, you can paint it with one or more colors as well glue decorative items or cloth. In addition, you can also drill a hole on the scanner’s cover and front side so that you can place a lock.

Final Thoughts

At this time wherein we need to reduce our garbage to save our environment, re-purposing old items like scanners is a sage and favorable decision. It will also save us money because we can already develop items that we regularly buy.

When it comes to old scanners, there are a lot of things that you can make apart from the ones mentioned above. However, such will require more skills and tools, so the storage box and lightbox projects will be a good starting point.

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