Introduction: Vintage Headphones Leather Cushions

About: I'm passionate about making things and prototypes in variety of techniques from fabric sewing to 3D printing to metal casting.


This is my first instructable, the way I restored my old headphones after original leather-imitation peeled off some years ago, and my attempt to leather contest. So prepare your tools, make and vote (or just enjoy)!

Step 1: What Do You Need

1. Full size headphones

They doesn't have to be vintage, they can be even brand-new but make sure if their ear-cushioning is detachable. It saves your time and nerves.

2. Piece of leather

I used a little stiff leather for bag making. I think it was about 1mm thick. The softer the better and easier. You can also use soft suede leather.

3. Tools

  • calipers
  • sharp scissors
  • strong synthetic thread
  • tailor meter (optional)
  • straight and upholstery needle
  • thimble (believe me it's impossible to sew leather without it)
  • some cardboard for templates

Step 2: Measure

Carefully examine your headphones how they are made. Try to follow existing solutions. Find material to sew to (don't try to sew to foam, if you really don't have any point you could catch try to wrap whole cushion with leather and sew it to itself).

Measure distances. Most of them are bend so use tailor meter or thread and compare its length with ruler. You need outside circumference, inside circumference and length between them. Very important is circumference of plastic part used for attaching pads. Measure bail lengths (along sewing line) and its width at several points.

Prepare cardboard templates. Compare them with headphones. The more subdivided they are the easier they "flow" with the design. Remember leather is flexible but its flexibility is limited. I made ear cushion from 6 radial pieces and bail from 2, but they are a little edgy, consider more.

TIP: I found unwrapping tools in 3D software handy for speeding up the process. Just measure the pod, model it, unwrap and use printed templates.

Step 3: Cut & Sew

Use your templates to outline all pieces on the back of leather sheet. Offset outlines by 2-3 mm where they will be sewed. You wand all seams to be hidden, so start from sewing inside out and do it as tight as possible. I did it with spiral seam but I figured out back and forth seam should work better because it is stronger.

Make outside ring. It will be used for creating "pocket" for plastic piece what allows to mount ear-pad. Try its fitting.

When you've got all ear-pad pieces sewed together put them inside pad and sew with upholstery needle to its inner circumference. Than turn it right and sew together with reversed outside ring to outer circumference.

Turn outer ring right and finish the "pocket" by adding top circle.

Sew all bail pieces together and inside-out to bail from one side. Ok, here comes the most difficult part for me: sew other side the way the seam is inside. You will definitely need upholstery needle, some upholstery skills and a lot of patience.

Attach ear-pads to their places.

Step 4: Give It a Try

...And relax with your favorite record and luxury leather touch!

The cushioning will soften with time.

Thanks for reading. If you like my instructable vote for it!

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