Best Raspberry Pi Projects: December 2023

The holiday season is in full swing and we can assume all the best behaved Raspberry Pi fans can expect a Raspberry Pi 5 in their stocking. If you’re not sure what to do with all the cool Pi gadgets you’re getting this season, you can always use our list of Pi projects for inspiration.

These makers use the best Raspberry Pi accessories and HATs to bring their ideas to fruition. And when they can’t find a cool HAT to use, they make one from scratch by ordering custom PCBs and a slew of adapter cables. Are you ready to be blown away? These are some of the best Pi projects we’ve had the honor of covering over the last month. 

Raspberry Pi Powers Smart Kitchen Display

(Image credit: Stanislav Khromov)

Is your kitchen missing something? You might need a smart display like this cool one created by Stanislav Khromov. Using our favorite SBC, he’s managed to create a useful tool that shares everything from recipes to weather data. You can program it with a variety of applications which makes it super versatile.

Why we love it:

It’s a simple idea but surprisingly handy. If you’re looking for something to make as a gift or maybe you want to treat yourself to a fancy new upgraded kitchen experience, then this project is definitely up your alley.

Read: Raspberry Pi Smart Kitchen Display 

Groc: A Raspberry Pi Granular Synth

(Image credit: Oddment Audio)

If there’s one thing that goes with Pi, it’s jam—as in you can totally jam with this Pi project! Oddment audio is using a Raspberry Pi to drive their granular synth. You can twist the knobs and create a unique digital sound, all aided by the processing power of a Pi 4.

Why we love it:

We’re waiting for the day that Raspberry Pis can be found in every music class and orchestra. Just kidding, but we really appreciate seeing makers extend their creative endeavors with the Pi into the world of music.

Read: Groc Raspberry Pi Granular Synth 

10-year-old Raspberry Pi Runs for 6 Years Straight 

(Image credit: KerazyPete)

We know that the Raspberry Pi is a hardy board, but just how hardy is it? This maker has been using an original Raspberry Pi for over 10 years. In a screenshot, they demonstrated how it’s run successfully for more than 6 years straight without a reboot.

Why we love it:

If you’ve ever wondered how long a Pi 1 can run for, this project sheds some light on the answer. It’s cool enough to see an original Pi getting some love 10 years later, let alone one that’s still operating like the nifty little workhorse it is.

Read: Raspberry Pi Runs for 6 Years 

Raspberry Pi NASA Balloon Data Collector 

(Image credit: NASA)

The Raspberry Pi is a useful tool not only for casual users and enthusiasts but also professionals and scientists. Want proof? Here’s a cool project put together by NASA that uses Pis to help collect backup data for their atmospheric balloon.

Why we love it:

We know the Pi has a lot of potential and this is a great example of how it can be used for serious educational research purposes. Even though this was a backup project, it ended up being useful in retrieving data for the overall mission.

Read: Raspberry Pi NASA Balloon 

Raspberry Pi RP2040 Trackball Kit

(Image credit: Ploopy)

If you’re into trackballs, you’re sure to love this gorgeous trackball kit designed by maker and developer Ploopy. It uses a Raspberry Pi RP2040 as the main driver and features a really nice looking shell that you can make in any color combination you like.

Why we love it:

Why buy an input device you kind of like when you could build one from scratch that you love? That’s what Ploopy seems to have been thinking when creating this awesome DIY kit. It looks fantastic and the final product is an easy-to-repair tool to keep on hand.

Read: Raspberry Pi RP2040 Trackball Kit 

Raspberry Pi Zero Fractal Art Picture Frame

(Image credit: wearemessingup)

Who says Raspberry Pis can’t be artsy? No one we assume. But if they did, we would point them to this cool Pi Zero fractal art picture frame project created by maker and developer wearemessingup. It uses a Pi to generate fractals and displays them on an eInk display.

Why we love it:

It’s an unassuming picture frame that you might not notice right off the bat but upon closer inspection, you’ll be enamored by the amazing process that goes behind generating these simple images.

Read: Raspberry Pi Zero Fractal Art Picture Frame 

Raspberry Pi 5 Uses External Graphics Card

(Image credit: Jeff Geerling)

You read that right! Jeff Geerling cannot be stopped and now that someone has put a Pi 5 in his hands, we have to deal with all sorts of cool developments like this. It took quite a bit of work and requires an additional board to connect it, but Geerling has managed to use an external graphics card with a Pi 5.

Why we love it:

We hardly need to explain ourselves here but here goes anyway. What Geerling has done is a seriously cool example of how the Pis potential can be pushed beyond its intended purpose. Is this a useful project? Maybe not in itself but the implications of it are exciting.

Read: Raspberry Pi 5 External Graphics Card 

Maker Creates Raspberry Pi CM5

(Image credit: Arturo182)

Are you waiting for a Raspberry Pi CM5? We are, too, but maker Arturi182 isn’t. Instead of waiting like the rest of us, he took some iBB

Why we love it:

Is this project necessary? We don’t care—it’s a really fun idea! Arturo182’s creation is a shining example of how sometimes the best projects are made because you can, not because you should.

Read: Maker Creates Raspberry Pi CM5

Maker Creates Raspberry Pi 500

(Image credit: Explaining Computers / Christopher Barnatt)

With one maker having created a Raspberry Pi CM5, it was only time before someone put together a custom Raspberry Pi 500 and Christopher Barnatt with Explaining Computers was quick to jump in to tackle the task. This creation has everything you’ll find on the Pi 400 but with the computing power of a Raspberry Pi 5.

Why we love it:

We don’t feel like waiting for a Pi 500 either, so we don’t blame Barnatt for jumping the gun and creating one for himself. ThIs project is a fun idea and is an excellent example of how a little bit of ingenuity can net you a totally unique user experience.

Read: Maker Creates Raspberry Pi 500 

Raspberry Pi Harry Potter Newspaper

(Image credit: Whitney Knitter)

Creating a custom PCB is often used for achieving a specific function. In this case, the PCB is a work of art designed to resemble the look and feel of newspapers as they’re described in the Harry Potter franchise. Images move (thanks to a Raspberry Pi) above some funny headlines that splice Raspberry Pi stuff into the magical themed articles.

Why we love it:

This project is really cool and you don’t have to be a Harry Potter fan to appreciate it. The PCB is more than a circuit board, it’s artwork and it looks amazing. If you want a nice circuit board you can take home to Mom, this is the project for you.

Read: Raspberry Pi Harry Potter Newspaper 

Tom’s Hardware Projects

We’re huge fans of the Raspberry Pi so it should come as no surprise that we’ve been busy creating Pi projects of our own. Here’s what we’ve been up to as well as instructions for you to follow along with at home, as well.

How To Use Dual Cameras on the Raspberry Pi 5

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

You can use two cameras with the Raspberry Pi 5 but it might not be as straightforward as you think. In this guide, Les shows us how you can use multiple cameras at the same time on the Raspberry Pi 5.

Read: How To Use Dual Cameras on the Raspberry Pi 5