Introduction: Giant C Clamp Headphones

Picture of Giant C Clamp Headphones

Wait, wasn't this contest to make something into a handtool?

Did you ever feel the need to crank up the volume to earsplitting levels and needed something to keep your head from exploding. Well, now there are these Giant C Clamp Headphones that get it together and do a fairly decent job of skull crushing.

Need a headpiece that adds a splash of color and class to any outfit? Look no more. Make this fabulous accessory for any set of headphones. Wear them anywhere to establish your geek cred, well, maybe not on a plane, gee, I hope they didn't bring it on the plane...

Step 1: Two Words...

Picture of Two Words...

It's papier mache.

Crafting 101.

Actually, make anything or a reasonable facsimile thereof with papier mache.

This is a model of a C clamp commonly used in woodworking or metalworking and is a handy hand tool to have around the shop for holding things together. This one just happens to be giant sized.

You need




something to cut the cardboard and paper

a nylon tie-wrap or wire to secure the headphones to the Giant C Clamp

headphones with a headband, other types can probably be adapted or you can make an earbud version of this

a bit of rope or thick string to simulate the threads on the screw

color paint for the body

metallic silver paint for the screw bolt and handle, I used acrylic paint

Sure, sure, you could have used wood, metal, 3D printing, but it is more fun to make it from nothing.

Take some cardboard that was going to be recycled and turn it into some art.

Make a C clamp shaped template that fits the width of the headphones when in use.

Glue on several layers to form a stiff C shape of the clamp. It is easier to trim around the template as you go.

When laminating cardboard, it is a good idea change the direction of the corrugations of each layer to give the overall product greater strength. You can also piece together smaller bits of cardboard to cover the entire shape. The next layer should bridge the seam.

Step 2: Build It Up...

Picture of Build It Up...

Now that you have made the "web" inner flat portion of the clamp, it needs to be rimmed with a "flange" to give it extra strength.

Cut plenty of strips that are about 3 to 4 times the width of the thickness of your web. Just eyeball it.

Center the flange piece on the edge of your web and glue all around following the contours.

At one end of the clamp, glue up a circular pad to resemble one end of a real clamp. Build up with layers of cardboard.

At the other end there is a screw bolt with a T handle. The T handle is usually a rod inserted through a hole in the screw bolt. The ends of the rod are mushroomed out or hammered to keep it from sliding out.

Use a dowel or pencil as the core of the screw bolt and T handle. I had neither, actually, I didn't want to waste a good #2 pencil and didn't have enough IKEA golf pencils on hand so I used the plastic tubes salvaged from ink pens that have gone dry. Wrap with several layers of cardboard and paper.

When the T handle section is completed, wind and glue down a section of rope to simulate the screw threads.

I guess you could make it a working handle with real screw parts but this one is fixed and decorative.

Burnish or press down all the rough spots with the barrel of a marker or the sturdy metal part of a tool.

Papier mache all over with pieces of torn newspaper dipped in glue thinned out with some water.

Give a final layer of only glue to smooth everything out.

Step 3: Slap on Some Paint...

Picture of Slap on Some Paint...

When the papier mache has dried, you can add on details.

Use some gelled fabric paint to do the 3D lettering on the clamp.

The fabric paint has a needle like applicator tip so it is like decorating a cake.

Letter in a logo or name on the front and put MADE IN --- wherever on the back.

Wait for the lettering to dry. Don't smudge the paint and mess up the lettering if you are impatient and want to touch to see if it is dry.

You can then prime the piece with paint primer or just do several coats of paint.

I used acrylic paint which seemed to bleed through some of the dark color from the newspaper because I did not prime it. Actually, it help gave it that weathered patina of painted metal.

Step 4: Cast Iron Headgear...

Picture of Cast Iron Headgear...

Use an awl to punch a hole to feed the tie wrap that secures the clamp to the headphone headband.

When worn, the headphones, when adjusted, should almost meet the sides of the clamp and hold everything in position. The papier mache still has a little flex in there because it can take a few days to really dry. Gently bend the clamp if you need to open it up a bit to fit.

There you have it, the Giant C Clamp Headphones. As Seen on Instructables.


Yonatan24 (author)2015-10-08

Awesome! I need these!

caitlinsdad (author)Yonatan242015-10-08

Forge or make a set today!

caitlinsdad (author)Yonatan242015-10-08

Forge or make a set today!

Random_Canadian (author)2014-10-10

You definitely have some genius behind your ideas and designs! No matter what I conceive... you always kick my a$$! Well done and Thanks! BTW extra props for the staff pics!

Thanks. The staff are truly great people. Those two just happened to fall into my trap...

Nothing really genius about my stuff, just a manifestation that making is fun, you hold a unique object on the planet or nothing that has appeared yet in a google search, and possibly getting a free T-shirt in the process which is pretty cool.

JmsDwh (author)2014-09-29

Nice job! I actually saw them from behind while I was walking down the main strip at the Maker Faire. I didn't even think I might recognize the people wearing them.

caitlinsdad (author)JmsDwh2014-09-29

Ha, made you look. Thanks.

wobbler (author)2014-09-24

I'm sorry to feel the need to poo-poo this idea on grounds of health and safety, but these are playing with fire and are a highly irresponsible design. Isn't there a significant danger of crushing your skull if they are put on too tight, especially if you are also playing heavy metal at the same time? Maybe you need to add a safety stop on the screw thread to stop over-compression of the cranial area and at the very least, a warning sticker pointing out the risk?

Also, having voted for you, I realised too late that I had been led astray by your description. These are incorrectly (maybe even fraudulently?) placed in the Hand Tools competition whereas they are clearly Head Tools. Is it possible to take back my vote under the Trades Description Act 2011?

wobbler (author)wobbler2014-09-24

ps I notice they are both designed for left handed screwing. Do you have a design for one that normal people can tighten up or, even better, an ambidextrous design with the screw at the top?

caitlinsdad (author)wobbler2014-09-24

egads, I believe this product will never carry the UL listing nor CE approval. If you are an audiophile looking for more headroom or higher clamping frequencies, this may not be for you. Head tools and accessories may only be sold in a few select states like Colorado. By the way, did you know that light bulbs in the NYC Subway system are left hand thread to prevent theft? Same idea, you don't want your head clamps to go missing when you need them most. Get...wait, make a pair today.

wobbler (author)caitlinsdad2014-09-24

Thanks for the info on the NYC Subway lights. I was wondering where I could get some left handed threaded lights for my mirror light. Do they work on normal electricity or will I need to get some left hand electricity as well? I suppose us right handers should be glad it was a right hander who invented the screwdriver or we'd all be unable to use screws properly.

caitlinsdad (author)wobbler2014-09-24

Depending where you are on Earth, or maybe if you are from a different planet, the coriolus effect in the loo goes in different directions. If you apply the two left foot of dancing rule to electricity, it is all the same and can be lethal nonetheless. Lefty loosey. Righty tighty. Cheers.

poofrabbit (author)2014-09-22

These are amazing! I would love to have these on as my students walk into my classroom, they would just die laughing!

caitlinsdad (author)poofrabbit2014-09-22

Well, you have to make them yourself. I don't think they have them at Thinkgeek.

canida (author)caitlinsdad2014-09-23


caitlinsdad (author)canida2014-09-23

They were all out of those arrow-through-the-head things.

zksmith (author)2014-09-23

Cool. Nice seeing a project that doesn't require a 3d printer.

caitlinsdad (author)zksmith2014-09-23

Old school. The classics.

mikeasaurus (author)2014-09-23

Brain sufficiently squished; totally worth it!

I'll be placing these prominently on my desk..maybe I need to make a new headphone stand for them

caitlinsdad (author)mikeasaurus2014-09-23

You guys get reverse jet-lag? How does that work? Hope to see y'all again.

MsSweetSatisfaction (author)2014-09-22

This is excellent! Thank you for sharing, it made me smile and giggle just from the first pic alone.

I was happy to see instructables was represented at Maker Faire this year.

JM1999 (author)caitlinsdad2014-09-23

Who is MR.B?

caitlinsdad (author)JM19992014-09-23

A better question is, "Who is Eric Wilhelm?"

JM1999 (author)caitlinsdad2014-09-23

Right, I know that guy, thanks for clearing up the nickname!

caitlinsdad (author)JM19992014-09-23

but that guy better know that guy...

JM1999 (author)2014-09-21

I thought that was Jessy, how is the fair going? looks neat!

Oh, the project looks awesome too!

caitlinsdad (author)JM19992014-09-22

World Maker Faire in NYC seemed to have 3D printing galore. 3D printers of various types, sizes and more availability to the average consumer but still a nice month's car payment worth to get a small one.

JM1999 (author)caitlinsdad2014-09-22

When and where is the next one?

I would love to go to one!

caitlinsdad (author)JM19992014-09-22

You can check the schedule to see if any in your area. Get early bird tickets when they go on sale, get the deal with the Make magazine subscription or see how to volunteer/spread posters for a free ticket.

I guess it is by the grace of Autodesk high command if any of the ibles HQ crew gets to go.

JM1999 (author)caitlinsdad2014-09-23

Are there any other times/places/events Instructables attends?

I tried looking for a maker faire and I couldn't find any near us.

caitlinsdad (author)JM19992014-09-23

I dunno.

These are so cute! I'm bummed I missed the NYC Maker Faire, it looks like you all had an awesome time!

Two year's ROAD TRIP!!!!

Well, if Instructables will give me that much time off, I'll do it, haha.

audreyobscura (author)2014-09-22

Sorry I missed you! Mike and Jessy were so excited, when I showed up to relieve them they instantly showed me!

You did a totally great job, and they looked darned great in them!

Sorry we missed you too. We couldn't stay long as Caitlin had a lot of school projects/homework to finish up. I wish I had known all of you were coming. I would have shown you around NYC.

Someone needs to cnc a bunch of the headphones for everyone in the office. Hopefully, Mike got to meet DiResta at the talk( yes, question from the guy in the back with the big C Clamp on his, that's not odd at all)

xGrape (author)2014-09-22

Looks awesome. And what a fun idea :) I realize I should probably look into paper macheing (is that the correct form?) some time. These look pretty realistic!

caitlinsdad (author)xGrape2014-09-22

You could also cast this in lightweight foam or cut and shape from rigid insulation foam. The idea is there, improve on it. DJs, those wild and crazy guys, would have more fun with this than a Daft Punk helmet you can't see through. Good luck.

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