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A quick and easy way to change the fabric covering on many speakers and breath some new life into your workspace!

(First instructable, comments and criticisms appreciated!)
 
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Step 1: The Goods (Materials and Tools)

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As you'll see in the pictures, this project doesn't require very much, and it can be safely assumed you have most of it already:

The goods:
Instant glue of some sort (Krazy glue, etc.)
Fabric of your choice (an old stained shirt in my case)
Speakers (only one pictured)
Tweezers (I used two, one with a slant-point and another with needle-points)
Scissors
Knife or razor blade


Optional but recommended:
Some funky beats to work with

Step 2: Speaker Disassembly

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First you'll need to remove the front panel in order to remove the existing fabric so you can then replace it with your newer and better fabric.

Points to watch out for:
You need to first find the points at which the face is connected to the rest of the speaker, and this can be a pain sometimes. The speakers I did this on fortunately were attached with clips that I just pried open and popped. For some speakers there might be screws holding them in place, which would tear the plastic if you just tried to pop it up. Inspect carefully.

Step 3: Fabric Removal

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Now you'll need to remove the fabric from the panel. No real special technique here, just cut it off.

Step 4: Size Fabric

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Now you'll need to cut the fabric to size. Be careful of pulling on any errant threads, as doing so could cause the fabric to pucker.

Make sure that you leave plenty of room around the edges, because in the upcoming steps you will need some room to grab onto, as well as enough fabric to cover the sides and a portion of the reverse side.

Step 5: Begin Wrapping

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To start wrapping your panels, begin first at the top, and make sure it's lined up properly and the way you'd like. After this point, trying to remove the fabric could tear it.

**After you've applied the glue, be careful and DO NOT touch the glue with your hands. It will bond INSTANTLY, like the package says. The glue WILL seep through the fabric, I found this out the hard way**

Begin by applying the glue, then with the slant-tip tweezers (or pliers) pull the fabric up and over the portion with the glue. Then use the end of the other pair of tweezers and slide it along the point it's adhering to. Do this for a few seconds.

To be sure you have good adhesion, take the back of the tweezers or what you have at hand, and tap firmly. The tapping keeps the tweezers from sticking and pulling the fabric up with it.

Step 6: Create Tension

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You want the fabric to be taught on the surface of the panel in order to avoid wrinkles.

To create even tension (examples in the last frame of the results of both uneven and even tension) you can place a little pressure on the panel as you slide it a little across the carpet. Then rock it back onto the edge to hold it while you apply glue and adhere the fabric. Repeat the same process here as you would for the top.

Step 7: Even Out the Tension Some More...

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With my speakers it would pull unevenly in the center, so here's how I fixed that.

(Captions explain it.)

Step 8: Attach To the Sides

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Now that the top and bottom are done, move on to the sides of the panel. This is the easiest and fastest portion to work on, since most of the tension is being held by the top and bottom.

All the techniques are the same, just be sure to only do small (1") portions at a time due to the fast drying time and your ability to hold onto the fabric.

Step 9: Trim

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Almost done! Just trim the insides with whatever combination of knife/razor and scissors suits your needs best.

Step 10: Remount

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Done! Some reinforcing around the corners while pressing down was needed to push the tufts down. Now just re-attach the panels and marvel at what you've created.

Again, comments and ideas are always appreciated, thanks! Hope you've enjoyed it!

Step 11: Ideas For Consideration

Print your own fabric and make fully custom covers.

Use translucent coverings and install LED's.

Use band t-shirts as a salute to your favorite artist.

Use, adhere, and perforate gold and silver (colored) foil for some bling.

Add your ideas!
usbdevice5 years ago
this is a great idea. +1
i have those!!
Jawsh6 years ago
lol i have those same speakers. (before mod) they are SOOOOOO old. they crackle for like 10 mins when i turn them on
Thanks for the great idea! I just took a pirate flag I found on the sidewalk (ol' jolly Roger that is) and put it on my practice amp. A great free upgrade.
ksully9946 years ago
I have the same exact speakers
This is so cute! I love it, and I think we should date.
pappyld047 years ago
I've never done this with PC speakers but all 8 of my home stereo speakers have had the screens popped off as soon as I found some bandannas that I thought would look good on them. With these I just sewed the upper and lower corners together.
sideways7 years ago
Nicely done Instructable. As a seamstress, may I suggest using a woven fabric applied on the bias, instead of with the grain? Bias is a 45-degree angle to the horizontal & vertical threads in woven fabrics like your shirt. When cut on the bias, the diagonal cut gives your woven a little bit of stretch, just enough to let it shape easier around any curves. Not that yours look bad...you did a great job of stretching out any wrinkles. This does not apply to knit fabrics, like t-shirts, which already have stretch. Those usually have enough stretch that it doesn't matter how they would be applied.
Valche (author)  sideways7 years ago
Great tips, thanks! When you're talking about the "bias", do you mean to just cut it at that angle or are you saying to situate the fabric in such a way so that rather than form "H"'s with the lines they would form an "X"?
sideways Valche7 years ago
Bingo. For this particular fabric, you would situate it so your stripes form an "X", since the stripes follow the grain. For fabric without those helpful stripes (like solid colors) then you'd need to look closely to identify which way the threads are running to know which way the bias is. You can google "fabric bias" to find more detailed info, altho most of it will probably be aimed towards those who sew clothes or quilts. It's handy to know about bias when recovering all sorts of things; like upholstering a chair and things like that.
DIY Dave7 years ago
I have speakers just like that and my dad has a shirt a lot like that.
pswayze7 years ago
Please tell me that that your speaker stand is a table made out of priority mail boxes.
Very nice... high five :-)
Sweet idea and well performed! Kudos!.. K.
pocketwatch7 years ago
Those look so fancy! I think I will try that when I get my radio and speakers from my parents' house! You probably don't want to use an iron on because of sound dampening, but t shirt fabric is a little stretchy so it should be good to work with.
Valche (author)  pocketwatch7 years ago
Thanks! I think you're right about the iron-ons dampening sound, good call. I'd love to see how yours come out, be sure to post some pictures!
Definitely a smart idea. Was thinking about doing this the other day.. never did do it. Great job!
zoxx7 years ago
awesome! See, this is why I love instructables. So quick and cool and I would have *never* thought of that on my own. yay! +1