Introduction: Portable Container for Earbuds

Picture of Portable Container for Earbuds

I actually made this about five years ago but thought I'd share. I liked carrying my MP3 around, but sometimes the earphones' cord was a bit excessive, catching on things as I walked by, or I'd accidentally step on it when crouching to pick up something. At the time they were my only earphones as well, so I used them constantly and didn't like continually winding and unwinding it from a rubber band when I needed it, so it would just end up a tangled mess.

I had a bubblegum container that had been laying around prior to my dilemma, which I had kept hold of, thinking it may come in use one day. Well yes, that day was upon me.

I had only seen one other person on the internet use the exact same container for the exact same purpose (for the life of me I can't remember the site). The only exception being that it was strictly for carrying said earphones. If you wanted to use them, you had to take them out entirely, which still left the issue of duking it out with the long cord, and the container is left as wasted space in your pocket or bag.

I wanted mine to stay together, so that my earphones could be used and somewhat contained at the same time.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

*Gum container
*Two beads (one shown)
*Two rubber bands (one shown)

*Drill (not shown)

Step 2: How It's Done

Picture of How It's Done

-Drill a whole in the lid and bottom of the container. Make sure the whole is big enough for the cord to go through.

-Instert a rubber band through each bead (the beads are to hold the auxiliary bit in place at the bottom of the container).

-Thread the aux. through the top whole.

-Loop the first bead onto the cord just a bit above the aux., and then feed the input through the whole in the top of the container (this part will be a little tricky).

-Once through, loop the final bead around the aux.

Step 3: Almost Done.

Picture of Almost Done.

Now to contain the mess on top.

The paperclip helps adjust  how much cord I need.

-Adjust for desired cord length, clip, and tuck the remainder of the cord into the container (be sure the paperclip is inside the container to keep the cord from slipping through the whole).

Step 4: Done

Picture of Done

(Hopefully) pretty straightforward.

I'm sure there could've been many other ways to go about this, but it was fun doing this project with what I had available at the time.


Kris T. (author)2013-09-14

I managed to find that site again:

prmlegal (author)2013-08-21

I can't tell you how long I have struggled with the issue of long, dangling cords from my ear buds. Since I am ADHD, I use my ear buds constantly as music therapy to help me stay focused on my work and when I work out, practically every day.
Oh the frustration and angst I have had every day dealing with what to do with all that tangled mess of a cord....
You may laugh, but I've wrapped it around my arm, my bra strap, my neck, a headband, stuffed the cords in my exercise bra and even tried to make my own "neck wrap" like those expensive ones designed to sit on the neck and wrap so snugly around your ears (can't afford those). Finally just gave up and literally hold onto my phone while working out or stuff my phone into the top of my pants to hold the cord from flopping around. Drives me nuts.

RhenN (author)2015-04-12

Wow! very creative! Now I got an idea about this great post! I'm thinking to make a portable container too. Then I luckily see this. Thanks for your post

peterbryenton1 (author)2014-12-02

Thanks for inspiring me to think about this tangled subject Kris.

My first protoype is made from a 35 mm film cannister. The main aim is to protect the earbuds and mic/switch. The woven covering on the Urbanears Medis cord seems to behave itself in my pocket when wound around as shown on the photo. I'll add some extra tidyings as I discover how this first attempt of mine settles into daily use when I travel on buses.

I will post this pic on Facebook and link to your helpful 'ible here.



SparkySolar (author)2014-10-22

I love this instructable thank you so much

princessmoon01 (author)2014-06-15

thank you its is pretty amazing plus I find out that you can also made it with a tick tac box or any

ehauss (author)2014-01-06

So smart

Atom 6 (author)2013-12-27


jtimothy (author)2013-10-19

This is really great, and I was wondering if you could use another paperclip for the aux pin instead of the beads, cos they are really confusing x_x

Kris T. (author)jtimothy2013-10-21

I don't see why you couldn't. Basically you just want something to keep the aux from slipping out of the container. Use what you've got! :)

sparrland (author)2013-09-03

First of all I love the Mentos containers. I have always wondered what I could use those empty containers for. Pill holders, needle holders etc. but I LOVE this idea. Can't wait to try it out maybe using something flat like a button instead of the bead, if I can work it out.

paint321 (author)2013-08-20

Instead of the the drill can I use a knife ?

Kris T. (author)paint3212013-08-24

As Trelligan said, a knife might leave sharp edges which could damage the cord. If you can find a way to smooth the edges after cutting, it might be pausible.

Also, if you choose the knife route: MIND YOUR DIGITS AND OTHER APPENDAGES. Wouldn't want you to get hurt.

Kris T. (author)Kris T.2013-08-24


Trelligan (author)paint3212013-08-20

Depending on how hard your plastic container is. If it's very hard, you don't want a sharp edge to cut into the insulation on the earphones.

A fast enough drill tends to melt the plastic a bit, leaving easy to clean-up globs.

A knife cut might need some smoothing.

Patscrafts (author)2013-08-21

I think I am being dense, I don't get how the paperclip hold the cord in the top. Do you 'clip' it onto the wire?

Kris T. (author)Patscrafts2013-08-24

Correct, sir.

Kris T. (author)2013-08-24

Featured? 300+ Favs?! 21,000+ VIEWS?! I gave a laugh and slapped my knee (actually, the desk was in the way, so I slapped it instead). My day is MADE!

pbm67 (author)2013-08-20

Cracking idea. Just one editorial comment. The thing at the top and bottom is a hole. A whole means everything added together. :-)

Kris T. (author)pbm672013-08-24

Ah, this is the result of attempting to post an Instructable WELL past bedtime. If that's the only "oops" you've found, I'd say I did pretty well. :)

rpb (author)2013-08-21


I was kind of hoping that the beads/rubber-bands were to form some nifty spring device that could pull the cable back into the box when you were packing your earphones away. How hard would that be, does anyone reckon? A rubber-band powered rewinding mechanism to wind the cord back up around a reel inside the container, ready to be pulled out again (and temporarily locked in place) the next time you need them?

Kris T. (author)rpb2013-08-24

I like that idea! Might be a bit tricky to do with the particular container I'm using, but I have no doubt this would be plausible with a mint tin.

agis68 (author)2013-08-21

i have some doubts how a paper clip can cut the tense to pull out everything but is a nice idea a clever one and maybe needs some mods to get better

kruth1 (author)2013-08-21

Nice! I use earbuds a lot and HATE the tangled mess! Thanks.

sarahlynnmurphy (author)2013-08-21

Great idea! You could cover the gum container in duck tape to personalize, or just use a pretty craft paper over the label.

thing 2 (author)2013-08-20

Simple, small, and neat. :)

thor74 (author)2013-08-20

genio,genio, genial idea

ChoiBoy0527 (author)2013-08-20

U know, you can use those nametag winders(the ones staff use in offices and stores and schools) where they wind and unwind with a little pull. I think an earphone in the winder would be pretty cool.

doberon (author)2013-08-20

Could you upload a video about it, please?

sinhiman (author)2013-08-19

I wrapped the middle part of mine in "U.S ARMY" Ducktape as a shock absorber

beme2013 (author)2013-08-19

Great idea! I keep things like that too but I never really find use for them. But now I know what to do!

tsaharms (author)2013-08-18

I read the part about keeping a gum containee just in case, and i thought 'who the hell saves a gum container just in case'? Apparently a GENIUS! Great idea!

HollyMann (author)2013-08-18

What a good idea. Looks great!

About This Instructable




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