A Beautiful Frame For 7 Inch Raspberry Pi Monitor

I had this small 7” screen lying around and in order to practice for this post.
I decided to create a nice frame for this monitor and have some fun…

Uhh no that is actually not completely true. I had this monitor lying around because I made a mistake while ordering on AliExpress. I actually thought that I had bought a 7” touchscreen. Result: No on the touch but yes on the screen :-)
Returning something to AliExpress is not something I want to experience so I now had this perfectly good small monitor lying around to practice with and make it useful.

Have fun…

Parts list

  • TP4056 charger module
  • 18650 battery case
  • 18650 battery
  • Blocking diode
  • DC to DC 5v boost converter
  • Double sided tape
  • MDF board 6mm
  • MDF board 3mm
  • Vinyl sticker with carbon look
  • Spacer screws
  • Hot glue
  • Switch
  • Electrical wire

Tools used

  • Router
  • Drill(s)
  • Jigsaw
  • Grinder
  • Screwdriver(s)
  • Stanley knife
  • Hairdryer
  • Soldering Iron
  • Hot Glue gun
  • Pen and Paper


Because of the above mentioned blog post I had all the materials needed to do this project.

I’m happy that I did this project first before finishing the bigger screen. I’ve learned a couple of things as not
all went as smooth as I hoped. Working with vinyl is not as easy as it looks and there is not much room for fixes when mistakes
are made. I used a bit of epoxy to make sure the sides (where I finished the vinyl) don’t come loose.

It is never a good idea to charge the battery while also using it. I guess I did not protect the monitor for that eventuality,
but I did protect the dc boost converter from providing power back to the battery (reversed current) by added a blocking diode.

I wanted to be able to completely switch off the current to the driver board when on battery. This because the driver board
always has some led lights on when on power. This is a waste of energy for a battery power. So now I have an on and off switch.
This might be a bit confusing because if the monitor is used with an adapter or USB cable the screen will function normally
even if the switch is set of off 😄. Something to think about.

During the vinyl phase I forgot that the sides could touch and Murphy’s law started working here. Everything that could stick
together stuck together of course. This was a pain but in the end did not diminish the result.

I loved using the router but learned something there too 😂. It is a good idea to keep a “resting” place on both sides of the
routing plateau. when almost finished I had trouble routing the same depth everywhere because I had already cut away one side
and had nothing to rest on. Again good thing to learn but did not diminish the end result. It only caused me to have to go slower.

The whole “making it fit” process was a pain in the backside and took a long time. You don’t want your measurements to be wrong
else you have to start over again. So in this case better measure double and make very sure.


The whole project stayed below EUR 35,= including the screen.


I love the end result and because I made it portable it is actually very practical when just wanting to check some stuff quickly
on a Raspberry Pi before going in with ssh.

On 1 fully charged 18650 (recycled) battery it runs for about 1,5 hours. This can be extended easily by plugging in e.g. 3 batteries
in parallel. Charging will then take a long time of course. I’ve made the batteries exchangeable, so just take a couple of spares
with you.

It was a great practice run.

I have no real practical use for the screen right now so if you have some ideas…
Let me know 🖖.