These instructions can be used to make a system for your cell phone at a fraction of the cost of an electronic speaker system from the store. Please read all of the instructions first before beginning the project to find tips and to have a better understanding of how to make the speakers. It is possible to make the speaker system by yourself, but it is easier to do if you have someone to help as an extra set of hands. CAUTION: The knife needed for this project is very sharp, use caution when cutting to reduce the risk of injury.
To begin, you’ll have to gather materials. The materials needed are:
Your cell phone
Cell phone charger (optional)
An empty toilet paper roll
X-acto knife, razor blade or other sharp knife
Paper cups (2)
Ruler Marker or dark pen
After some research and brainstorming, it was found that paper cups produced better sound quality than plastic cups. Also, a toilet paper roll was chosen to save space while still allowing a majority of phone sizes to work for the project. If toilet paper rolls are unavailable, as was the case with our project, then a paper towel roll can be cut to 4 inch lengths instead. These instructions use a 4 inch roll, which is the standard size of toilet paper rolls.
Once all of the materials have been gathered, you can start to build your soon-to-be speaker system.
Step 1: Finding the Center
Gather the materials and find a hard, stable surface to work on. Mark the middle of the toilet paper roll by measuring the whole length of the roll with the ruler and marking the halfway point.
Step 2: Tracing the Phone
Place your phone on the toilet paper roll with the speaker side against the roll. Try to center your phone at the center of the roll using the mark you made earlier. Then, outline the shape of your phone on the roll with your pen.
Step 3: Cutting the Phone Hole
Using the knife or razor blade, cut out the outline from step two. It’s best to cut the hole slightly smaller than the trace, and then trim the opening so your phone fits. Also leaving small flaps at the end of the cut helps the phone stay in place. (See second image for this step).
Step 4: The Charger Hole
Repeat steps one and two, but trace your phone charger instead of the phone, tracing about 90 degrees around the roll from the phone slot. This hole doesn’t have to be the same shape as the phone charger. It can be any shape close to the size of the hole needed for the charger end to fit through.
Step 5: Speaker Holes
Trace the end of the toilet paper roll onto the side of the paper cups, towards the bottom of the cup. Having the hole at the bottom of the cup allows the sound to be magnified more. A good location would be approximately half an inch from the bottom of the cup.
Step 6: Putting It All Together
Cut out the traces on the cups and trim those holes until the ends of the toilet paper roll fit snugly in the holes.
Step 7: The Grand Finale
Make sure the speakers are snugly attached at both ends and put your phone in its slot. Play music from the phone and enjoy. If your phone runs low on battery, thread the charger through its hole and continue playing.
Step 8: Notes and Comments
When cutting the various holes, we found it easier to cut in levels. The first time you go to cut, just lightly cut into the trace. Then cut a little deeper each time you cut around the trace until the knife cuts through. This prevents the materials from being smashed while cutting and it creates a cleaner and easier cut.
The phone may sit lower in the roll without the charger but that’s normal. The charger cable supports the phone when its plugged in and fed through the hole made for it. The quality of sound is not affected by whether the phone is plugged in or not.
If some of the materials are not available, items such as Pringles cans, paper towel rolls, and other cylindrical paper products can work. Plastic cups can also be used with a similar music effect as this system.
Thank you for taking the time to read and make this project!