Cardboard Props: 80's Boom Box Ghetto Blaster

Introduction: Cardboard Props: 80's Boom Box Ghetto Blaster

About: I'm an un-repentant mess creator... I'll turn my hand to anything and providing i get my fingers back... I'm happy.

Need a boom box for your Fresh Prince costume? Well you have come to the right place.. In this Instructable I aim to explain how I made mine in a hope that it helps you with yours!

Well, as with all my Instructables thus far, this is for a sketch in this years Chester Gangshow, which is like a variety show put on by members of the Scout association... And I run the Props room... Due to Gangshow having a relatively low budget for props I tend to make a lot of the items out of cardboard and hotmelt glue

If you have any questions let me know! Jay

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Step 1: Ingredients!

SO!... What do you need for this one? Aside from the patience and time (as this one will take you a while) you will need:

* Cardboard- For this Instructable I used a pre-constructed box but the regular 3mm card will do too... REMEMBER to recycle
* Knife/ Scissors
* Glue- I use a glue gun, as i think for construction its alot better as it has a very fast drying time, but regular PVA glue or superglue will work just as well, you just need to factor in how long your glue will take to dry etc.
* Ruler
* Split pins/ Paper fasteners
* Pen
* Time: I took about two hours getting this together, it wouldnt have taken me so long if i wasn't writing an instructable hehe

Step 2: Boxing!

Well, I cheated a bit on this Instructable as I used a pre-made box that I trimmed down to size and re-constructed BUT if you do not have this luxury I will give you a brief how too on box construction, similar to the one I used in my Rubix Cube Instructable.

Boom boxes where long bulky rectangular things, You are going to need to cut:

* Two Large rectangles to act as the front 'face' and back 'face' (white/grey on the diagram)
* Two long rectangles half the width of the front/back faces to be your top and bottom side panels (blue in the diagram)
* Two shorter rectangles, half the width of the front/back faces to be your left and right side panels (green in the diagram)

~*~You may want to think about putting in an interior support like I did, it is not essential but it does add a little bit of stability. All you need do is to glue in place a piece of card in the middle of the box like in my third photo ~*~

As for dimensions the rectangular box I made is approximately:

White/Grey Sides =   12" x 24" (30cm x 60cm)

Blue Sides=  6" x  24" (15cm x 60cm)

Green Sides= 6" x 12" (15cm x 30cm)

Remember if you are going to glue your sides together using a glue gun, to think about how you are going to reach joints etc...

Later in this Instructable I add some buttons that turn, so if you want to do the same do not glue on the front face yet, else the buttons won't turn! hehe

Are you following me so far?

Step 3: It's ALL in the Details!

So, now we have glued the other five sides of the box together we can put that to one side and just work on the 'Front Face'. This is where we add all those little 3D bits and pieces that will make the whole prop look a little more realistic when you paint it up. I have split this up into 6 items, and have numbered them accordingly and will adress them in the following steps

1: Speakers
2: Radio Tuner
3: Turny knobs (Radio Tuner and Volume)
4: Cassette tape draw
5: Slider levels (bass adjustment etc)
6: Buttons
7: Handle

Step 4: Parts 1 & 2

1: Speakers
2: Radio Tuner

WELL not wanting to teach people how to suck eggs, i'm not going to dwell to long on the easy bits of this instructable, thease parts being some of them... All i did for the speakers was draw round a pudding bowl, and cut out ... For the radio tuner bar, its a little more complex... but still easy

I drew arround my ruler to get the shape... then drew a box 1cm wide by about 28cm's long inside of the tuner shape.... If you can see in the picture, i have marked out a little rectangle (just after where i have written 'tuner') This bit  i didn't cut out, as it will represent the slider that points to which radio station you are on... You COULD just paint that detail in.... but i was being arty ;) hehe

All that is left to do is glue thease peices in place and move onto the next step!

Step 5: Part 3.... Twistables! (optional)

3: Turny knobs (Radio Tuner and Volume)

I made these turnable JUST BECAUSE I CAN... hehe, I have to stay amused some way!

All I did was cut out four circles of the same size, in the middle of the two circles marked in the picture as 'Volume base' and 'Tuner base' I pushed through a split pin. I then glued the top onto the base and left to dry.

I located where i wanted the knobs to sit, and pushed the split pins through the front face, and bent outwards as in picture 2... the knobs should turn now

NOW can you see why i said not to glue the front face on till the end?

Step 6: Parts 4, 5 & 6

4: Cassette tape draw
5: Slider levels (bass adjustment etc)
6: Buttons

As with Parts 1 & 2 , I'm not going to teach you how to suck eggs.... All I did was cut squares/rectangles to the appropriate size required... I was being a pedant and made sure that an actual cassette would fit in the cassette draw... but you don't have to... Glue in place

Step 7: Part 7, Step 7... Totally Intentional HONEST!

7: Handle

The handle is a bit fiddly, but still really easy :)

Firstly cut out your handle shapes... I made mine double thickness so that it was strong enough to be used as an actual handle AND more importantly it could be slotted firmly in the top of the boombox.  You can just see in pictures 3 & 4 that the top layer is 2cm's shorter (on the shortest sides only) Do not shorten the length!


25cm x 5cm (7cm on the bigger side) x 2cm I will mark this on pictures 2 &3 so you can see what I mean

Then when you have cut them out... Glue them together!

NOW... Find the middle of the top of your Boombox, and find the middle of the handle you have just made, lay the handlon topop of the boom box, and line up the middles (Picture 5)  Since the sidpieceses of my boom box are 15cm's... the midpoint (width wise) is 7.5cm's (3") I drew a cross shape, as I wanted my handle to sit  dead center on my boombox.

I then marked (on the horizontal) on the mid-line, the corners of my handle (you can just about see the little marks by my thumb) and cut a thin slot wide enough for me to slot in my handle (like in picture 1) then i glued in place...

Clear as mud?

Step 8: Put Yer Face On!

Now is the time to glue EVERYTHING together if you haven't already... So take the box you made in step 2 and attach the now decorated front face.... If you don't have something resembling my pictuere you have either made something alot better... or have missed out a step hehehe

Step 9: Painting Tip

Just as a suggestion for when you are painting your Boom box, when you come to the speakers to get them looking a bit like actual speakers (with out having to crosshatch them by hand using a ruler) Find yourself a piece of mesh, I used a baking mesh from the local cookery section in the Poundland shop... I haven't a clue what its REALLY called but the label says its a ' Reusable non-stick mesh for baking, grilling and cooking' Its basically just a grid made from something a little like nylon with small square holes... Sorry I can't be more specific...

Anyways, what I did, was to lay this mesh on top of the circles I had set aside as speakers (and had base coated in black) and sprayed grey spraypaint over the top. It would have worked better had it not been VERY windy when I was trying to do it, but you should be able to achieve something similar to the diagram I have drawn up.

Step 10: Is THAT It?... Yup

Well... Ladies and Gents this is where I leave you to your own devices, hope you have enjoyed this Instructable, and that it may have helped you with your costume or whatever. Take a look at some of my other creations and feel free to contact me if you want me to explain anything at all!

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    6 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I made one of these once, for a Halloween party. I fit it over my head and held it with one hand all the time. When people looked to see who's head was on the other side.. they laughed when there was none.. I was going to put a small cassette player in it for extra effect...didn't get around to that.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    hehehe thats an AWESOME idea <grin>

    this ible was posted literally minutes after my mom went to an 80's theme party! just a few minutes late!!!


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Oh dear! hehe... I knew i should have psoted it sooner, It has been sat in my room waiting to be painted for about a week... Wanted to put up a complete instructable instead of something that was a little bit pants....

    Ah well next party you'll know how to make one :)