The little box looking thing on professional news microphones is called a flag. With this instructable, you can build your own microphone flag and you too can look "professional".
Step 1: Materials and Tools
You will need a few things:
Thin cardboard (I used a cereal box)
The microphone you will be using
Something to measure with (I used a framing square and calipers)
A straight edge (I used the framing square)
A pen or pencil
Something to cut circles (I used an X-acto compass, but a knife would work)
A computer and printer for the artwork (optional if you want to free hand the art)
A 2 inch long section of pipe insulation (also optional but can make your flag work with more than one microphone)
Step 2: Decide on Your Dimensions
Your microphone will determine some of your dimensions. I was wanting a cube but ended up going with a box shorter than wide so that it wouldn't get in the way of the on/off switch. Measure the diameter on the microphone at the top and bottom of where your flag will be installed. I wanted my flag to fit firm and be held in place by the grill that screws on the top, so I measured on the threads under the grill. An alternate method would be to get your microphone dimensions and use the pipe insulation inside your flag box to make it slip on and off. This method is not as tight but is handy if you are going to want to use the flag on different microphones.
Step 3: Layout Your Box
I incorporated the existing folds from the side of the cereal box because they are always nice and straight and gives me a good starting point. You can mark on the flat pattern the top bottom and sides, this will all be on the inside, once you fold everything up, so it will be hidden later.
Step 4: Score and Cut Out Flat Pattern
I find that it is better to score the folds before cutting the pattern. Cut the holes for the microphone in the top and bottom. Remember to leave tabs for gluing your box.
Step 5: Glue the Box Together
Glue your box together. I used the glue sticks like you used in school, but just about any glue would work. I also use tape to hold the box together while the glue was drying. I knew that I was going to be covering the box later so it didn't matter that the tape was there.
If you are going to want this to be a slip-on flag, make sure you put the piece of pipe insulation inside the box, and that it lines up with the holes, before you glue it closed. It would work without the pipe insulation, but after a few uses, the cardboard would start to wear, around the holes, and the flag would not fit as tight.
Step 6: Test Fit
Test fit the flag on the microphone to make sure everything is nice before proceeding on to decorating your flag. It would be a shame to waste time decorating a flag that turned out not to fit.
Step 7: Wrap the Box
I glued paper to the top and bottom of the box and wrapped it over the sides. This left a seam on the sides that would be covered by the text decoration later. Then cut out the holes by cutting little pie shapes and fold the pie shapes into the box thru the holes.
Step 8: Make and Add the Side Decorating
I was making this flag for my schools radio station. I included the station number 87.5 and the call sign SPR as the decoration. I used word to print out the four sides onto one piece of paper. I then trimmed the pieces to fit on the sides of the flag and glued them in place.
Step 9: Install and Enjoy
If you made your flag like mine, you will have to remove the grill, install the flag from the top, and then put the grill back on. If you made the slip-on version, all you have to do is slip it on, from the bottom. Now you are ready to look professional while using your microphone.
As usual, thanks for reading and Enjoy,