Design and Build an MP3 Player Case With Playing Cards




Since my MP3 player turned out not to be a popular one, few companies made cases for it and not enjoying my choices, I decided to make my own. After some bad ideas, some good ideas, lots of failed and half-finished cases, I finally created one that I liked. It's made from some playing cards I got for $0.50 at Target, tape and some glue.

This type of case will not protect against drops or falling but will protect against smudges and scratches.

Step 1: Practice

The first time you make this, I recommend not using the actual cards you want to use. The case produced in this tutorial is the third one I made. I also show shots of the second one I made (which is what I use.) The first one I made was shoddy and I intentionally used cards I didn't want to. This gave me a way to test the design, figure out what I was doing and get a gyst of the MP3 player's shape before moving on to later versions.

I mad ea few mistakes with the dimensions in the one I made for this tutorial. So be careful and be willing to make more than one.

Step 2: Get the Dimensions of Your MP3 Player

To do this, I put paper over it and rubbed it with a pencil so I could get a sort of drawing of the features on the MP3 player. I wrapped the whole think in paper, folded it and marked it so that I could have a flat sheet I could compare sizes of cards to.

Be careful while folding and etching. Doing it wrong makes the end result useless. Don't be afraid to try this multiple times. It's worth the effort to get it right and not mess up your finished case.

Step 3: Fold Cards for the Sides, Top and Back.

Be careful when folding because getting if you don't get the crease right, it'll make your case look ugly. I recommend using other cards as straight-edges, comparing to your dimension sheet and to your actual MP3 player. Before folding the card, dig into it with a pencil, drawing a line across the card. If the playing card is plastic coated, this will make the fold cleaner and easier.

First you'll want a back piece that also covers the top of your MP3 player. This is going to be folded a lot. My MP3-player was about the same width as the playing card so this was easy. If you're going to be making one for something different, use great care cutting the card.

Then you should fold the side pieces. If you're using face cards, you might want to cut off the edges so that you can see more of the design in your case. Once that's done, use a pencil to prepare the crease and fold. It should start at the edge of the screen, fold once at the edge of the player, then cover the side of it and fold again. Use that one you have just folded as a template for folding the other side.

Step 4: Arrange and Glue the Pieces You Just Folded.

Use your MP3 player as a guide for the pieces you've just folded. Glue them together and weigh it down with something other than your MP3 player. Wait around for it to dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 5: Make a Bridge That Covers That Little Bit of Plastic Above the Screen.

I made mine from a piece I cut off another card during an earlier attempt at one of these cases. There are a lot of methods you can sue to make these and each time I've made one of these cases, I've done it differently.

The important elements though are size and the way you apply it. Make sure it fits the measurements and that the way you attach it to the rest looks good to you.

Step 6: Cover the Front

Since my MP3 player uses buttons instead of some kind of capacitance control, I can cover up the buttons and still use them. Otherwise, you'll have to cut the card around your controls, definitely a more complicated process.

Glue the a new card to the back and use some tape to keep it firmly attached on the inside. Once it dries, put your MP3 player in and fold the card around it. Then tape or glue taht into pace. We're almost done.

Step 7: Add a Folding Screen Cover (or "flap" If You Prefer to Call It That)

Tape another card to the top flap so that the tape forms the bendable part. If you want to, be redundant with the tape, cover both sides. It's up to you.

If you want an opening for your headphones, just cut it out with scissors or a crafting knife.

Step 8: Finish Covering the Front and Sides.

If you want total coverage, you can take another piece of a card and fold it around the front. This will cover the sides and front nearly completely depending on the size of your MP3 player. Then glue or tape it to finish.

Step 9: You're Done!

Use a rubber band to keep the flap down. Enjoy your case.



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    12 Discussions


    12 years ago on Introduction

    tnx dude i like this idea i needed one but dont want to buy it i love mine


    if you have an i-pod could you put cellophane rap over the buttons and screen so it would be water resistant and you could still use the buttons?

    2 replies
    Ayavaroni make shooting things

    Reply 12 years ago

    It's actually such a good idea, I decided to quit using the case I made and just cover my MP3 player in plastic wrap. It doubles also to make your MP3 player look extremely scratched and beaten up and undesirable to thieves and looky-loos. (I like this. It isn't sarcasm.)


    12 years ago

    I want to do this with magic cards :3


    12 years ago

    Great Idea .. instead of the rubber band you could user those little velco taps to hold the flap down..


    12 years ago

    I made one for my iPod nano. You don't have to make a hole for the click wheel, it works just fine. You just have to put something so you know where the buttons are. I used the ace of spades where the click wheel is.

    Erik Lindemann

    12 years ago

    That's great, I was just about submit mine that I had been working on, except I had made it for my cell phone. This case is great, it doesn't absorb water so your device is protected during a rain. If I was to suggest anything, it would be that you put in a flap at the bottom for the flip cover to fold into, like they have on cereal boxes.

    1 reply
    AyavaronErik Lindemann

    Reply 12 years ago

    I'd have done that except the flap I made wasn't long enough for me to reach it into something I could tuck it into. Plus, that'd go over where the controls are and in some of the ones I made before. You can make your MP3 player unusable if you don't make the control cover approximately uniform. The other thing I want to change is that the bottom part is the USB connector and I'd rather not cover that up. However, I also like the closed bottom so I'm not sure if I'd want to do that.