MP3 music box in a cigar box


In the DIY world cigarboxes have replaced the OATH (Obligatory Altoids Tin Hack). Here, Matt Richardson shows how to make an MP3 music box from a cigar box.

I decided I wanted to do a modern-day maker's riff on the old mechanical music box. I asked around for some advice on how to do it and got a lot of great suggestions such as using an Arduino Wave Shield, an MP3 trigger board, or my favorite idea, one of those electronic musical greeting cards. But I happened upon a $6 knockoff MP3 player that started playing songs when you flipped a switch on the side. When I opened it up, I was delighted to see that I could easily stop and start the music by opening and closing the circuit between the battery and the MP3 player's circuit board.

Using a snap action switch inside a cigar box, I was able to control the music by opening and closing the lid, just like with a mechanical music box. The main difference being that my MP3 player would start the song over again after closing and reopening the box, which didn't bother me. I found a pair of cheap speakers that had a headphone jack so that I could easily plug them into the MP3 player.

MP3 Music Box