Acoustic Panels




Introduction: Acoustic Panels

About: I love making things.

This is Yoke Music studio, home of my musical project, Pitch Feather.

My husband and I chose to embrace the true blue DIY spirit, so we decided to craft our own acoustic panels for our new home music studio. It was quite an exhausting yet fulfilling experience.

We designed the panels this way because:
1) The entire front surface is absorbent - better use of surface area :)
2) There is an air-gap built in to the design, which improves bass absorption :D

I hope this tutorial would be good reference for those of you wanting to craft your own acoustic panels. Cheers!

Step 1: Materials & Tools

  1. Wooden Planks
    2 Short (55cm x 5cm x 2.5cm)
    2 Long (120cm x 5cm x 2.5cm)
  2. Rigid Fibreglass
    1 Slab (120cm x 60cm x 10cm)OR 2 Slabs (120cm x 60cm x 5cm)
    There's a lot of literature about what is the "best" density.
    Do a little Googling and you'll find most sources quote around 64kg/m3 for panels of this size.
  3. Back Fabric
    1 piece (120cm x 60cm)
    Make sure it is "breathable" (more acoustically transparent).
  4. Front Fabric
    1 piece (155cm x 95cm)
    Make sure it is "breathable" AND pleasing to your eyes.
  5. Nails
    4 pieces (at lease 5cm long each)
  6. Gloves
    A pair
  7. Power Drill
  8. Wood Glue
  9. Spray Adhesive

Step 2: Pre-drill Holes

Pilot a shallow hole on each end of the 2 long planks. Be sure to leave a ~1cm gap from the edge. There is no need to drill through. The holes are simply guides for your screws later.

Step 3: Form the Frame

Place the nail in the pilot hole and drill it through, connecting it with the short plank as shown.
Optionally, you may apply wood glue for extra strength.

Work on one corner at a time.

When you're down with all 4 corners, you should get a stable rectangular frame.

Step 4: Staple Back Cloth to Frame

Staple back fabric onto wooden frame. Make sure the fabric is taut.

Step 5: Glue Fibreglass

If you have 1 slab of 10cm thick fibreglass, hooray you can skip this step.
If, like me, you can only get access to 5cm slabs, you can simply glue the 2 slabs together using a layer of spray adhesive.

Step 6: Lay Out Cloth + Fibreglass + Back Frame

Lay the front fabric on a flat, open surface. Position the fibreglass in the center of the front fabric (try to be as precise as possible here to reduce adjustments required later on).

Place wooden frame you made earlier (with the back fabric stapled on) on top. Ensure that the back fabric is laid against the fibreglass.

Step 7: Wrap & Staple

Fold the front fabric up and staple it along the back side of the wooden frame.

Work on the sides first (highlighted in green) and leave the corners alone for now. This will help you tuck in the corners neatly later.

Ensure you pull the front fabric taut as you staple. This will help prevent ugly looking creases.

Step 8: Staple the Corners

At the corners, fold the fabric as shown, keeping the fabric neatly tucked.

Staple the fabric to the back of the wooden frame.

Step 9: Trim Off Excess Cloth

Cut off any excess fabric.

You may also staple loose ends onto the wooden frame to keep the back side neat, although there's really no need to do so as nobody's gonna see the back view if you put it against the wall.

Step 10: Hammer Flat and Done!

Run your fingers gently along the stapled surfaces, and you may realise that your staples are not flat all the way in. Hammer in any protruding staples for safety during handling.

You are done!

Further work:
To hang it up on the wall, you can drill a few screweyes into the inner side of the wooden frame, and attach steel wires to them. Simply hang it up like a picture frame.

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    7 years ago

    Nice Acoustic Panel a Design!
    I like how you placed the acoustic insulation panels flush with the face of the frame, creating the airgap required all from within frame itself. As most absorbers that are DIY most do not account for the air gap making them almost non absorbent. Nice Job!!.

    Alberta Leong
    Alberta Leong

    Reply 6 years ago

    Thanks! Please allow me to explain a little more about the considerations for the design.

    While filling the entire 6" (15cm) with absorbent material would outperform a 4" (10cm) panel with 2" (5cm) air gap, it would be difficult to hang. If you're designing panels to be hung off the wall like picture frames, some air gap would always be present. Anyway, wWe had seriously considered making 6" panels instead of 4" panels, but decided against it due to space constraints.

    Also, rigid fiberglass was chosen over rockwool because we read that quite a few people had rockwool panels sag over time. It's been 3+ years since these rigid fiberglass panels were built and they are still holding up well :)


    Reply 7 years ago

    this is not true. It's dependant on thickness of pannels and density. For example if you use roxul safe n' sound at 6" of depth flush mounted, it will out preform a 4" deep pannels with a 2" airgap made out of a denser material. Regardless great design here.


    Reply 7 years ago

    A 6" panel def would not need an air gap. But most DIYers use A shallow depth frame to match the roxul, and mount them flat on a wall.
    I totally agree an air gap on a 6 is thick enough that you don't need it and it will def outperform 3.5-4" Panel.


    Reply 7 years ago

    Fair enough. I just think both sides should be mentioned when talking about an air gap. using roxul over 703 is usually cheaper as well.


    Thank you so much for the share, I am building something that is loud, and trying to minimize - great ideas.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Nice panels! Unusual to see the padding "outside" the frame like that ...

    "I am building something that is loud, and trying to minimize"

    This helps with taming frequencies within the room, to make the room sound better, to reduce reflections etc. It is not soundproofing, which is a whole 'nuther subject ... and to which there aren't any cheap shortcuts :)


    Reply 7 years ago

    The Acoustic Insulation in the front on the face isn't a common practice for wall mount absorbers, But..... Is extremely effective as it creates the required airgap to make the acoustic panel as a whole very effective. No Airgap=Minimal absorption, 1" or Greater Airgap for a wall mount 2x4 Panel will be Very effective


    9 years ago

    AWESOME!!!! I very much lickey


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Well done! I've built my own using a very similar method, they're quite effective!