I have to give some credit where credit is due, to a few other Instructables; the Steampunk iPod Portable Rig, and the Steampunk Discman.
My final product is not nearly as impressive as the genuine wood and brass iPod created by Brass Eyes, but it's also not nearly as labor or skill intensive. And whereas Evinfire used a foil with a wood finish, I went with the cheaper and easier to use contact paper, but still the same principle and desired effect.
I'm pleased with my final product, and after more than month of daily use, it has held up nicely.
• iPod Classic
• iPod Classic hard plastic case
• Wood print contact paper
• Gold appliques
• Gold metallic paint
• Clear nail polish ( or shellac)
• Copper metallic spray paint
Step 1: Prepare Case
You could probably use the techniques described below to decorate the actual iPod, but it won't be nearly as well protected from wear-and-tear or impact damage. The other benefit of decorating the case rather than the iPod itself, is if you don't like it, you can replace it.
The tricky part was removing the case from the iPod without damaging either. If you have an iPod like this that's already in the case, force a thin tool, maybe a credit card, into one corner, and gently apply pressure until the case pops open, and then clean the case with some rubbing alcohol and a soft cloth or cotton ball.
Step 2: Cut and Apply Contact Paper
Cut a piece of contact paper to roughly the size of your case, then place the case over the cut piece of contact paper, and draw an outline on the paper backing.
With an exacto knife or razor blade, cut the contact paper to size. Once you have it cut to size, place the cut piece face up on the plastic case, and use the back of your exacto blade (or a similar tool) to press around the inner dimension of the screen portion of your case. This will make it easier to cut at the window for your screen.
The last cut is the round whole for the control disk of your iPod. Carefully remove the paper from the back of your contact paper, and apply to the face of your case. Trim any excess.
Once you have the front of the case covered, flip it over and use your blade to cut out the circle for the control disk.
Step 3: Treat With Nail Polish
I used nail polish because I didn't have any clear shellac, polyurethane or varnish available, and also because it was cheap. (also just a buck at my local 99 cent store;-)
Step 4: Apply Appliques
After you've applied your decorative trim, give it another once-over with nail polish to give it a bit of a shine.
Step 5: Spray Paint Back Case
Step 6: Paint Edges
With a small brush and some metallic paint, carefully paint the edges of the front case (the ones that will be exposed), and the inner lip of the round disk where the controls will show through.
Step 7: Finished!
The photos above also show a glimpse of my Retro Stereo Patch Cable, which goes nicely with this case.
If you like this Instructable, also take a look at my Steampunk iPod Classic stand and Decopunk iPod rig.