Introduction: Make a Keyboard Circuitry Tie: Work Your Old Keyboard Into Your Wardrobe!

Recycle that old Keyboard into your own person wardrobe.
This Instructable is for a fresh, fun, and customizable Keyboard Tie. This can be made with very few components, an old Keyboard, an Ethernet or phone cable, and Tape. Now this project is very simple but may get frustrating at times, you are going to want to go slow* with this project because a slip up could cause you to cut something too short or a messed up final project. The design aspect is COMPLETELY the way I like it, you may not like it as I do, most of the project is just basic and then other parts are more customizable.

*You'll hear me mention when and where to take this slow and PROCEED WITH CAUTION *

Step 1: Gather Materials...

 You will need to gather your MAIN materials; (Picture 1)

     Old Keyboard (If you don't have one handy you can get them from a Local Thrift Store, Garage Sale, or Flea Market: approx. $2 - $5)
     Ethernet or Phone Cable (NO MORE THAN 5 OR 6 FEET )
     Clear Packing Tape
     Decorative Tape (I used Aluminum Tape but you can get what you like: duct tape, reflective, design, electrical, different colors)
     Flat head OR Philips Screwdrivers (Most likely Philips, medium size or small, but was is required by your Keyboard.)
     Utility Knife
     Wire Cutters

These are items you don't Necessarily need but sure do come in handy
     A Real Tie (If you don't own borrow from someone you won't destroy it or anything)
     Poster Board (to make a template)

Step 2: Disasembly

Now you'll want to start to take your Keyboard apart. Locate all the screws on the keyboard (sometimes they hide screws under labels.) These screws may require a little elbow grease to get them out just take it SLOW so you don't strip the screws. Once the back is off you may encounter another layer  be sure to get ALL the screws.

Step 3: Taking the Circuitry Out

Usually (may differ from Keyboard to Keyboard) the circuitry is under the inside layer. Remove Chip Set and set it off to the side if you wish to use later in the tie. You have to be sure to get all the layers  of the circuitry (usually 3 they will be attached together).

Keyboard Circuitry will differ from keyboard to keyboard and brand to brand.
I have several, keyboards from a local thrift store for $2 each, different ones (working on different projects) yours may/will differ and if it has little nubs you can try to get them off with utility knife.

Step 4: Ethernet or Phone Cord Stripping

This step is OPTIONAL if you like the color of your Ethernet or Phone Cord then keep it but if you don't follow this step.
Now this step can be done at time I did it at this time because I NEEDED a break from taking apart several keyboards.

Start by using the utility knife to cut the plastic coating, the beginning is the toughest.
After the first few inches it gets easier but be sure not to cut the inside wires.
Continue until its all off.

Step 5: Make a Template With the Tie

Start by tying the template tie (if you have one) where you like it to hang. If you don't have a tie you can measure where you would like it hang and draw your own template. If you do have a tie trace on your poster board where you like to hang. Cut out your template and place it on the circuitry diagram and with the marker trace your cut out template on the diagram. If you template is longer than the diagram fit the MOST possible on the board then cut off the extra and place it somewhere else on the diagram, we will attach together later, you'll have room on the circuitry somewhere else.

Step 6: Cutting the Circuitry


After tracing the template begin to cut the circuitry VERY SLOWLY you can always cut more YOU CAN'T ADD . Slight trimming maybe necessary. When cutting it is very important to tape the edges with clear packing tape. Continue to cut SLOWLY all the way around the trace taping as you go.

Tape all the way around the Tie! Cut out your extra piece if you needed to make one and be sure to tape all around it.
To attach the two just tape the extra piece just under where you cut and tape the back too.

With the extra cut circuitry diagram you can just throw it away.

Step 7: Decorative Tape

Pick which side you want to show this is know as the Front. Flip it over to the Back and begin taping with your decorative tape. For this I used Aluminum foil tape that I found in a dollar store (I thought it would look cool). Use Whatever tape you like for the step.
When taping you'll want to avoid going over the edges if can but if you can't just cut off the excess. Make sure you over lap the tape so you will not see any gaps in the Front.

Step 8: Attaching the Ethernet or Phone Cable

Remember the cable we either left alone or you had the plastic coating taken off, you will know need it. To attach the cable you will eventually tie, fold the cable in half and place the folded end three or four inches from the top, if you had to attach a piece of circuitry to make it longer you will definitely want to put the folded end past the addition. 

Once you have it where you want it, put clear tape to hold it in place.
After the clear tape go back over with your decorative tape and make sure its SECURE .

Step 9: Make Loops to Hold Cable

At the top right near where the cable comes out make a loop with your tape (sticky side out) and place it, then take a longer piece of tape (larger than the loop) and place it on top, trim if need be.

Then about 6 inches down from the loop you just created make another one but slightly larger.

Step 10: Tie Your Tie

This part is a little tricky but just take it slow and you'll get it.

Separate the two strands, and throw them over your shoulders so it hangs there.
Reach around the back of your neck and cross the two strands and bring them to the front.
Insert the ends of the strands into the top loop you created and then through the lower one.

Step 11: Attaching the Chip Set

This step is OPTIONAL.
If you like the way this looks you can can attach it where ever you choose on the tie.
I had this chip from another keyboard and I really wanted to see it on the tie.
The back had a number of different components and it was difficult to attach so I removed it all.
You can either hot glue or tape it with a loop any where on the tie.

Step 12: Enjoy

Instead of throwing that old keyboard away, Recycle this into your Wardrobe.
Wear this Tie Proudly with your favorite shirt, suit coat, or sports coat boasting that YOU made this and how its ONE OF A KIND.

Keyboard vs. Mouse Speed Challenge

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Keyboard vs. Mouse Speed Challenge

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