The Raspberry Pi is a great little machine — it’s affordable, highly portable, and user friendly. But when you first get it, it can be difficult to figure out which projects you should take on first.
These Raspberry Pi projects for beginners are a great introduction to the hardware and software capabilities of the Pi. Start with one of them and you’ll be up and running in no time!
Christmas Raspberry Pi Projects Worth Trying
Don’t be put off by the looks of the Raspberry Pi. The projects you can build can be as complex or as simple as you like. In this guide, we’ll cover 11 simple, basic Raspberry Pi projects for beginners:
- Add a button to your Pi
- Control LED lights
- Build an alarm motion sensor
- Create a digital photo frame
- Control your Pi over the Internet
- Create a personal cloud
- Make an old printer wireless
- Game code from scratch
- Make music with Sonic Pi
- Build a network game server
- Play music automatically when you enter the room
The following projects can be run (in various power levels) with any Raspberry Pi model.
If you are new to the Raspberry Pi, there are a few things you need to do before you get started. Here is a very important guide to installing the Raspberry Pi operating system.
1. Adding a Button to Raspberry Pi
One of the few things missing from the Raspberry Pi is a button. You basically plug it in to turn on the power, load the operating system, and start the computer.
In short, the computer requires some kind of button, which makes this Raspberry Pi project great for beginners. This is best done with a breadboard and additional wiring, a resistor, and the RPi.GPIO library. New in electronics? This project is perfect.
Programmed in Python, this is a great project for any beginner to understand the importance of the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO.
2. Control LED lights with Raspberry Pi
Another easy project for Raspberry Pi beginners is to learn how to control the LED backlight via GPIO.
This involves creating a simple LED circuit using a breadboard, two LEDs, two resistors, and some suitable wires. Once configured, the circuit can be controlled using Python. You will gain knowledge about Python, using breadboards, and how to safely connect components such as LEDs and resistors.
3. Pi-Powered motion sensor and alarm
Sensors and alarms are often considered tricky, but your Raspberry Pi can handle hardware via GPIO.
Building a simple motion sensor and a piezo buzzer will teach you the basics of working with external hardware with the Pi, and this project uses Python, so you’ll start learning it a bit too.
All you need is any model of Pi, a PIR sensor, a piezo buzzer, one resistor, and a few wires. A layout might be helpful too. An alternative is to create an alarm system with an Arduino board.
4. Inspiring Raspberry Pi Digital Photo Frame
While the components for this project may be more expensive than others, the result is a tasteful digital photo frame. It can look good on your robe, on the wall, or even next to your bed.
A Raspberry Pi, an LCD screen and controller, and a frame are all you need to get it up and running. If you have an old monitor or you can dig it out, you’re done! Our review uses the official Raspberry Pi touch display, an affordable component available on Amazon.