Introduction: Pillow Speaker

About: Studied Architecture at Brighton But now spend a lot of time building replica props or random gadgets.

This will show you how to make a simple pillow with two in built speakers. Like the commercially available 'Sound asleep Pillow'. This means you can plug in any audio device, Ipod, computer, etc and listen to music or watch a film without getting tangled up in earphones.

Other instructables similar to this one have put speakers in an external device, in a tin under the pillow or on a pad pinned to the top. To my knowledge this is the first instructable to install the speakers in the pillow.
Also there is the added novelty of a custom made pillow case (which glows in the dark)

Step 1: Gather Materials

You may well have all this stuff lying around. I was making this as a gift so I decided to buy a new pillow and case.

You will need:

- Pillow & pillow case
- Old headphones, earphones are not ideal but will do
- Female 3.5mm jack connector
- Wire
- Soldering iron
- Solder
- Heat-shrink tubing
- Scissors
- Needle and thread
- 2 part epoxy or hot glue

You may need:

- Fabrics paints
- Brush
- Drill

Step 2: Paint Pillow Case

This is entirely optional, but since I was making this as a gift I thought I should dress it up a little.

I've put this first because it requires a long time to dry.

Firstly make sure your pillow case is clean and ironed. Then secure it to your work surface (with newspaper underneath, in case paint soaks through).

Then sketch out your design in pencil.
I made this 'zzz - musical notes' type design, feel free to copy it, or use your own.

You can squeeze the fabric paint straight out of the tube, but this tends to be a bit unpredictable, which lead to a large smudge :( .
After this I painted using a brush, which also allows for finer detail.

Once the black was dry I outlined my design in glow paint. You need to put this on quite thickly to see any glowing effect.

Leave your paint to dry for 24 hours then turn the case inside out and wash it to set.

Step 3: Disassemble Headphones

All headphones will be a bit different. The speakers of my headphones were attached to a black plastic plate, I took away all the other plastic, leaving the plate attached.

You may want to keep your original wires. I found them hard to solder and they were a bit fragile so I de-soldered and removed them.

Once finished you will have two identical speaker units.

My speakers have these handy holes in the base plate. If yours don't then you should drill some very small holes, careful not to damage the speaker cone.

Step 4: Soldering Together

Solder your speakers as shown below.

The wire connecting the two speakers should be about 30cm.
The other three wires should be more like 50cm

Open up the female 3.5mm jack.

There will be three contacts, one small gold contact one small silver contact, and one large clip type contact.

The ground wire should be soldered to the largest contact.
The right speaker should be soldered to the small silver contact, and the left to the small gold contact.

Heat-shrink tubing should be used to stop short circuiting.

It doesn't really matter which way round these are soldered I doubt you will notice if the stereo is inverted.

Important: Make sure the collar of the 3.5mm jack plug (the bit you unscrewed) has the 3 wires threaded through it BEFORE you solder everything! you can't put it on after.

I then laid out the speakers as they would be in the pillow, bent the wires to the appropriate sides and glued them to the base plate to stop them moving around or pulling loose

Step 5: Fixing Speakers to Pillow

Firstly mark out (in pencil) roughly where your speakers will sit.

Then, at the seam on the short edge, open up a hole to allow you to put the speakers in.

Note: The speakers should be facing into the pillow, i.e they are facing away from you in the picture. The speakers are being attached to the underside of the pillow

Once roughly in place you can begin to sew them to the back of the pillow (using holes made earlier).
This can be a bit tricky you will probably need one hand inside the pillow to pass the needle back through.

Once both speakers are in place, you can cut a very small hole just above the seam (see picture) and screw together the jack plug. Make sure to trap some of the fabric in the screw to keep it in place.

Now you can stitch up the hole you've made (test the speakers are still working before you close up).

I have no idea what stitch its best (I used that one where you go over the top). But this will also be hidden :)

Step 6: Finish Pillow Case

This isn't really necessary either, but since I'd gone to the trouble of putting in a nice neat jack plug, it seamed a shame to hide it away.

I began by cutting a cross over the place where the jack plug would be. Then folded it back and stitched it in place. Not sure how well it'll hold up but it
doesn't look too bad.

Step 7: Finished

Now all you have to do is plug in your favourite audio device and drift blissfully off to sleep, If the crazy glowing doesn't keep you awake :s .

(crazy glowing picture will be added as soon I get the pillow back from my brother for a night)