Intro: Custom Joy Con Vinyl (Pokemon, Zelda, Mario, Whatever You Want!)
Calling all Nintendo Switch Fans! Are you tired of your boring monotone Joy Cons? Do you want something that will make them completely and entirely yours? Are you terrified to open the little things to paint them? Well then this is the project for you!! You can customize your little joy controllers with WHATEVER you want with this tutorial and it will look great! There is no disassembly required, I have done all the measuring for you, and the whole thing takes only about 20 minutes once you get the concepts down! Alright let's get started!!!
Wait your still here? This instructable with have all you need outlined in nice clean steps that you can come back and reference whenever you want, but there is a great a video that literally shows you everything! Go watch that then come back with questions.
Step 1: A Few Necessary Notes: Adhesives and Cutting Tools
First off before everyone loses there minds, yes I know that adhesives have been known to damage the joy cons and their special "soft" finish. I have also tested this! See the video below. After 5 months of having these decals on my Joy Cons, there is the result. They feel as if I have used the controllers for 5 months - who knew! Regardless, I did not have any problems with damaging the Joy Cons, but I am not responsible if you end up putting your controllers in a state you are unsatisfied with.
These decals were made using a Cricut Explore One and its accompanying software. This instructable will go over in detail how to use these resources, and outline generally how you could complete it with other tools and programs.
This project will only be as good as the cutting tool you have. You can absolutely use a knife or make some hole punches (an old golf club works great!), but I would HIGHLY recommend using a computer guided cutting machine like a Cricut or Silhouette.
Step 2: Rally the Troops: Materials, Tools, and the Rest
- Cutting Tool - I used a Cricut Explore One, but you could use another computer aided cutter, or even a good hobby knife and a steady hand
- Pry-Up Tool - Something to remove the freshly cut vinyl from the paper it came on. something as simple as a butter knife will do
- Tweezers (optional, but oh so helpful) - These can help you get some stubborn pieces into place
- Microfiber cloth or something else to clean the dust off the joycons
- Cutting mat. If you have a cutting machine like a Cricut, this will be the included mat, if you are free hand cutting it, use whatever material you are comfortable cutting on
- Vinyl! - Whatever styles and colors you want! I greatly prefer using the carbon fiber vinyl or other textured vinyl because it gives it that special edge and makes it like nothing you can buy!
- Cricut Design Studio: This is only if you are using a Cricut if you are using a Silhouette use their software. If you are just going to free hand it, just use any photo editing software (even Word or Paint will work).
- Templates (You only need one set from below)
- Left Joy Con Template (DXF for Cricut and the like)
- Right Joy Con Template (DXF for Cricut and the like)
- Minus Wrist Strap Template (DXF for Cricut and the like)
- Plus Wrist Strap Template (DXF for Cricut and the like)
- Left Joy Con Template (JPEG for free hand cut)
- Right Joy Con Template (JPEG for free hand cut)
- Minus Wrist Strap Template (JPEG for Cricut and the like)
- Plus Wrist Strap Template (JPEG for Cricut and the like)
- Custom Images: You can use any image you like!
- Good images are two colors (black and white) and larger in size with clean edges.
Step 3: Battleplans: Create Your Cut Design
Once again this tutorial will primarily outline using a Cricut machine. For other routes, I will point you in the right direction, but not provide complete details. If you are not using a Cricut, simply look at the highest level (bolded) general steps.
Load In the 4 Templates:
- Within the Cricut Design Space (CDS), click on the "New Project" button.
- Insert the left Joy-Con .dxf template file.
- Click on the "Upload" button on the left menu of your screen
- Click "Upload Images" in the center left of your screen
- Click "Browse" and select your file, then click "Continue" in the bottom right side of your screen
- If Cricut complains that the file is unsupported, ensure the file type is ".dxf" and not ".DXF". Yes is cares about capitalization...
- Save the image in your uploads by clicking "Upload"
- Select your newly uploaded image and click the "Insert Images" button in the bottom right hand corner of your screen.
Resize the templates to a height of 3.752 inches:
- With your newly loaded templates, change the height of each template to 3.752in by using the tool on the top menu bar of the CDS. Ensure that the lock image above the height and width is set to locked.
Remove the background and insert you custom images:
- Using the same method as loading in the templates, browse your computer to your custom image, choose "Simple" and click "Continue"
- Use the "Select & Erase" tool in the upper left hand corner of your screen and select the part of the image you do not want cut. You should be left with your image and a light blue and white checkerboard pattern for the rest of the image.
- Select the "Save as a cut image" option and click Save in the bottom right.
- Move and resize your image until you are satisfied
Step 4: Controlled Chaos: Cutting the Vinyl
Computer Aided Cutting Tool
Prepare the image to be cut:
- In order for Cricut to keep the layout and spacing you have we need to attach all the pieces together. In the right configuration bar, ensure "Layers" is selected , not "Color Sync" and select all of the components by holding 'Ctrl' on Windows and 'Command' on Mac while clicking on each component. At the bottom of the configuration bar click "Attach". You should do this for each separate decal so you should have six separate attachments (left Joy-Con, right Joy-Con, minus strap x2, plus strap x2).
Cutting the Decal:
- Click on the green "Make It" button on the top right corner of your screen.
- Position each decal where you would like and click "Continue"
- Turn on your Cricut, choose your material, load the mat, and and press "Go" on your Cricut. If you need help with this, there are a myriad of different tutorials and videos all over the internet. For the material I always go one click less that what I am cutting (e.g. Carbon Fiber Vinyl would be Vinyl instead of Vinyl+ and Regular Vinyl would be Paper+ instead of Vinyl)
- Repeat this process for each color of Vinyl you need for the decal. Be sure to use the same cut for each color. You should just be able to keep loading the mat and pressing "Go" on the Cricut.
Prepare the image to be cut:
- Print out your newly created cutting image on standard printer paper. You will need as many copies as you have colors.
- Cut around the outside border of the decal leaving about 1-2in of white space
- On the white space, tape the newly cut images to each color of vinyl you want to use.
- Using your hobby knife and/or punches, cut out the predominant/background color. For the Gengar Decal in this step, this would be the white carbon fiber. You want whatever color that is the focus to not be cut in this step.
- Cut out the focus/forground color but only cut the template part of the image (do not cut your custom image unless you are super confident in your cutting skills to cut it the same way multiple times). Make this cut slightly smaller than the previous color. This will be the bottom layer and the background color will actually be the top.
Step 5: Charge to Victory: Compiling and Placing the Decal!
- Compile the Decal:
- Remove all the excess vinyl from all cuts using the pry tool, tweezers, your fingernails, etc. See the video in the beginning for more details. Be sure to only remove the part from each color that you do not plan to place on your Joy-Con
- Tip: Look at the image of what you want the final product to be to ensure you removing the correct part
- Remove one color piece by piece and place it onto the freshly removed spaces in the other colors cut.
- If you cut yours by free hand. Simply place the detailed cut pieces onto the highlighted color that you only cut out the button holes for.
- Take the cut piece of transfer tape put it on your shirt a few times to make it not quite as sticky
- Place the cut transfer tape onto the newly compiled decal ensuring it is pressed on nice and good
- If you only are doing one color or cut the image by hand, you do not need the transfer tape.
- Repeat this process for each Joy-Con and wrist strap
Transform your Joy-Con into fabulous!
- Clean your Joy-Cons with a microfiber cloth or whatever you have, the more dust you can remove the better
- Remove the decal from the backing paper and place it on the Joy-Con in the position that seems best to you
- Tip: Place the Joy-Con on a flat, well lit area that you are comfortable reaching
- Tip: Remove the decal by bending the backing paper back on itself, not the decal back on itself.
- Tip: Go slow and don't be afraid to stop, reset and continue.
- Tip: I start by placing the decal in the upper inside corner near the plus or minus button and line up the buttons or joystick next then simply ensure the gap between the inside edge and the sticker is consistent all the way down. Watch the video for more details on this.
- Warning: Do not place the final corner of the decal until you are completely satisfied. You can take the sticker on and off and retry really as many times as you want, however, if you place it fully down, you will most likely create a wrinkle in the corner where you peel it up if you need to adjust it.
- If you used transfer tape, remove the transfer tape slowly. You may need to use your pry tool to keep the decal on the Joy-Con.
- Ensure all edges are nice and flat and everything is pressed on well and to your liking!
OH WOW THOSE LOOK SO GOOD! Great Job You're DONE!
Thanks for reading everyone! If you liked this instructable be sure to vote in the "First time Author" contest! If you didn't like it then don't vote! Or do whatever you want, don't let me tell you what to do! If you have any questions, comments or you did this with your own Joy-Cons, post it below!