Introduction: How to Make a (Popping) Popsocket
I searched every inch of the internet and didn't find a single popsocket tutorial, for a popsocket that actually pops. So I experimented many ways, trying to make a popsocket that pops. It wasn't until I had given up that I saw something that worked similar to it, and ever since I have made many and developed it.
What you will need
- Hot glue
- A hot glue gun
- String (make sure you can split the threads) (Optional but recommended) (You could also use strips of paper or another substitute if you don't have any string, but it might not be as durable)
- A lighter (Might not be needed, best to have one on hand just in case)
- Sticky tape
- Ping-pong ball (or another spherical item approximately the same size)
- Superglue (This might not be needed, depending on the material of your phone case)
- Phone case (You could glue the popsocket directly onto your phone, but that would not be recommended as it would damage your phone, and reduce its value)
At all stages in this tutorial (especially the later ones) avoid touching the glue when it is hot or sticky. To avoid burns you should turn the gun off now and then to let it cool.
Step 1: Tape
This is the most important step in making this.
The tape stops the glue from sticking to ball, allowing it to be taken off later.
First, cover just over half of the ping pong ball with tape. Try to cover all the gaps. If there are gaps between the tape, the glue will stick and make it harder to take off later. Make sure the tape is flat to the ball, and push or rub out as many creases as you can. You should let your hot glue gun warm-up (if you haven't already) while you do this.
Step 2: Glue
Once you have finished taping, you then make a hot-glue ring just below the halfway point down the ball (use the centre of the taped side as the top, and avoid glueing off the tape). Once you have made the ring, you then fill in the taped side of the ring. Use the nozzle of the hot-glue gun to smoothen the glue. This will also help to even out the glue and give you the preferred thickness. Let it cool.
Step 3: String Shredding
I've made many of these popsocket's before, but I felt they needed re-enforcement as they needed constant repair. This is the first time I've re-enforced a popsocket, but the re-enforced product felt much more durable.
If you aren't using string (or a substitute) you can skip steps 3 and 4.
Cut a string a little bigger than half the circumference of the ball (Make sure the glue has dried before using the ball as a reference). Split the threads of the string. I felt that one piece of string wasn't enough, so I used two (The quantity you need will depend on the string that you use).
Step 4: String Gluing
Glue the strands down individually as shown in the images above. Use only the amount of glue that you need. Again, use the nozzle of the gun to spread the glue thinly and evenly. You might not use all the strands. You could also glue string in rings around the ball horizontally.
Once you have glued the desired amount of strands. Cover it all in a thin and even layer of hot glue.
Step 5: Taking It Off
Pick at the sticky tape ends, so they become free. Then flick or pick the edges of the hot glue until there is enough to hold on to all the way around for the next part.
Use the edges of the glue as a handle and pull the edges up and out whilst pushing the ball out. This stage is the hardest part as it is important to pull the edges hard enough, but not dent the ball or rip the glue. You want to turn the glue inside out, then you can easily peel it off.
Step 6: Take Off the Tape and Trim
Make sure to remove as much tape from the bowl-shaped glue as you can. The tape could potentially effect the next step as I will show.
You also should trim the edges to remove the excess string and tidy the edge.
Step 7: Blob
Once all (most) of the tape is off, you then turn it inside out so that the sticky side (or the "was" sticky side if you have done the last step well) is on the inside again. You then place a blob (a little smaller than a Mento, or two peas) of hot glue in the centre (Don't trust the string as a guide as the true centre may have moved after you trimmed it. It is better to visualise it using the edges as a guide). Leave the blob to cool.
Step 8: Trial and Error
Turn the glue bowl inside out again. This will allow you to see how well the blob has stuck. If there is a gap between the blob and the bowl, pull the blob off if you can and pick off any tape. If you can't, try scraping it with a knife. Once this has been done, use a lighter, or the nozzle of the glue gun to remelt the blob and the bottom of the bowl, just enough to make them stick. Re-enforce the bond by hot glueing around the blob against the bowl.
This step can change a lot depending on how the other steps were done, and how they affected the shape of the glue. Use your own judgment on what to do, but here are some suggestions. Likely, the blob will be too small at first and will need extending.
Test the popsocket by pushing the blob onto a hard surface (make sure the blob side is out), and push the edges down. If it won't pop closed, then it needs changing. Try the Tips below.
- Try trimming the edges (This makes the popsocket smaller)
- Try extending the "blob" (This will make the popsocket chunkier, and have less difference between open and closed. This is likely the best way to make it work) Use a piece of paper and a flat surface to make the blob flat so it will stick better later.
- Try Flattening the curve. Sometime a straighter, cone like shape will open and close better. A lighter is best to shape this, but it is easy to over melt the glue.
Try repeating tips 1 and 2 (Avoid trimming too much off)
Step 9: Gluing
Test where you would like the popsocket to be, then hot glue around the stem of the popsocket. If the popsocket falls off, or can be pulled off easily (test with a reasonable pull), then try super-gluing the base (You could also use other glues or double-sided tape).
Step 10: Finished Popsocket
You can decorate the popsocket with permanent markers, or making a shell-like shape which you connect only at the edges. This will also give the popsocket a better pop.
I might write an Instructables on how to make the shell some time.
If the popsocket needs a repair, you can use a lighter carefully to fix most problems. Usually these repairs make the popsocket stronger than it was before the damage, by reducing the chance of it happening again.
Hope you enjoy.
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