I know what happens to your ear buds EVERY. STINKIN'. DAY. You take them off, you wind them up around your hand if you have 10 seconds, and you stuff them in a pocket. Then, magically, when you pull them out of your pocket, your ear buds are teaching you a lesson in ancient mythology as they are doing their best impression of the gordian knot, and you have to consider whether it is easier to untangle them or buy new ones.
What you really need is a tool for wrapping up your earbuds which always thwarts the universe's entropic march to disorder (and knots - someone needs to explain how a knot is always the result of leaving a cord in a pile), never gets lost, and does not require a 3D printer, a machine shop, and an eBay purchase from China which takes 6 weeks to deliver.
And seriously now: the tool will cost you only about 15 minutes.
Interested? Me, too. Let's go.
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Step 1: Materials and Tools
So to make this project, what you really need is one spent gift card. My son just spent a XBOX gift card, so I had a nice white one to match my iPhone 6 white ear buds -- but you can do this with any gift card. You also need a set of ear buds (duh).
However, to actually transform the card into an anti-entropy ear bud detangler, you will also need two tools: something to cut the card in half (I used a paper cutter) and something to poke two holes into the card (I used my 3-hole punch). You should test whatever hole-puncher on a piece of scrap to make sure that the widest part of the plug for your ear buds will easily poke through the hole.
Step 2: Cut to Scale
Seriously: just cut the card in half. If you need 2 detanglers, you have enough material for 2 of them.
Step 3: Punch the Holes
So you have half a card now. Punch holes in it as in the photo above. My holes are off-set from the center line. The OCD among you are right now are rolled up in a fetal hug. Please punch your holes in your card in such a way that it does not damage your mental health.
Step 4: Why You Will Never Lose It
Now you have this tiny piece of trash which you will lose if you don't do something with it right away, and I promised you that you would never lose it.
Well, thread the jack for your ear buds through the two holes as shown above. If you leave the detangler always on your cord, you will never lose it, and you will always have it where you need it before you put your Gordian Knot larva in your pocket.
Step 5: Step 4: Tame Chaos; Thwart Entropy
Now that you have the device and will never lose it, use the winding instructions above to get the cord under control. Notice that this method of winding tames the ear buds, the microphone (if your cord has one) and keeps the cord from unwinding and defeating your purpose.