Thursday, April 28, 2005

how to make a duct tape ipod shuffle case that doesn't suck

15-20$ for an ipod shuffle case is a little nuts, and when I bought my shuffle such cases were a month off anyway. I had already scuffed the side against my cellphone (not my keys, my CELLPHONE) and realized some form of protection was in order.

I recall the duct tape ipod case that had made the rounds a while back, and realized that given the size of the shuffle, making one for this thing would be simple. Plus you could simply trace the edges onto a sheet of paper, cut it out, and cover it with duct tape and be done with it. You don't need a hole for the buttons as, so long as you knew where they were, you could press them through the tape.

This is what I came up with:

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Yeah, not pretty. Plus not terribly functional as I hadn't left a way to operate the back switch. I also realized that I didn't really want duct tape rubbing against the shuffle itself as I'd wind up with clumps of adhesive on the thing. The sharpie indicators were less than graceful as well.

The way to fix the last problem seemed simplest; make it out of some clear material of some sort. Wrapping it in another type of tape seemed the logical solution, as well as coloring the paper I was using to cover pencil marks.

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yeesh. Sharpie and packing tape, not a good combo.

I had started to buy black paper to try this idea again when I realized two things while wandering around wal-mart:
- the clear duct tape that has been making the rounds on the "internets" would be perfect.
- if I used a clear paper of some form, the frame would be totally see through so I wouldn't have to worry with cutting little holes and the overhang of tape, etc.

About at this point I also decided to finally hook up the scanner my mom had given me secondhand (she had bought an all-in-one scanner/printer) and scan my pencil outlines. I used the jpgs I scanned to draw outlines in quark xpress and printed them out, several to a page.

Here is the one I've been using as of late:

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the back:

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The interior is vellum, the exterior is clear duct tape. The top is a single piece of red duct tape for decoration. This had begun to get a little ratty and I never had liked how the vellum wasn't really see through (the ipod is in that thing, and you can't really see the buttons through it, although it is transparent enough to have the LED indicator shine through).

Today I decided to print out another one (and write this stuff up. The wonders of avoiding studying for finals!). Here's how I went about it:

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The print-out is on top of a small cutting pad, taped down. On top of it (although it's nearly impossible to see) is a piece of overhead transparency taped down. I took my x-acto knife and cut around all the edges and gently scored the edges where I would be folding it.
wound up with this:

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somewhat assembled:

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now meet my friend tape!

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I put the ipod inside the folded transparency and then wrapped a strip of tape around the whole thing, cutting corners where necessary to get it to fold correctly.

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Anyway several strips later, we have:

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The earphones hold down the tab on top when they're plugged in.

With the ipod inside:

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Man this is a crapload of pictures. Anyway, done. I've been meaning to make a PDF of the outline but I'm still not entirely satisfied with how it works (has to be a better way of doing the back switch). I'm also not entirely happy with this one because so much gunk got onto the edges of the tape, but for demonstration purposes it will do. I'd like to try other types of paper, or maybe something more transparent than my vellum yet less so than transparency. I have some fuzzy paper, so I could make (no joke) a velour lined ipod case.

Anyway if anyone really wants a copy of that PDF, ask and I can see what I can do.

**EDIT: comments are now enabled for anonymous users. oopsie.
Rasterbator + hogans alley =



I plan on making 2 more of this size across the wall, with smaller b/w ones of the cop inbetween them.

These two I made seperately for another wall.