Easy Retro Steampunk Headphones




I wanted to share this, its really straightforward. I know there are many steampunk headphone instructables on here, but I felt that none were as easy or practical for everyday use. It's my first instructable, and I wasn't planning to post it so I'm afraid the pictures do not reflect the painting process, but I tried to be as thorough as possible. If you can find yourself a pair of WWII pilot headphones, or really any other model from the era, and have a pair of skullcandy skullcrushers (the kind with the AA powered bass amp), the speakers fit perfectly into the existing WWII -era frame.

Step 1: Materials

To make these headphones you will need the following:

*A pair of skullcandy skullcrusher headphones. They might? be discontinued, so buy them online, or find another pair with a similar attachment mount (2 inch diameter or therabouts). pull the drivers off of the folding headband. They should snap right out without breaking anything.
*Two cans of spray paint (i used enamel for plastics), one flat black, the other gloss clearcoat
*Silver (or whatever color you might like) bronzing powder
*A tool to make cracks and gouges
*A very soft brush (I use makeup brushes for all my bronzing, $1 at the dollar store)
*A pair of old WWII-era headphones with semicircular driver mounts. Mine had a patent leather head cushion attached, but it was severely dry rotted so I nixed it. I polished the brass up with some brasso so I could turn the nuts, hopefully yours is in better condition. Remove the old drivers and metal cases. If you want to try and retrofit the driver cases, good luck. there is just enough space for the cellophane membrane and some copper wiring, I tried.

Step 2: Paint the Skullcandy Drivers and Amp Case

Okay, this is the hardest part. I had already painted mine before I thought about making this an instructable, so I'm sorry you don't get any real in-process photos.

*Dissassemble the driver cases and amp case. You can prime them if you like. I didn't. There is a space on the driver cases where you can fit some cool hardware, or wire some LEDs. The lines going to the bass drivers in the headset probably carry enough juice.

*Spray them with the flat black and let dry. I would do two coats if I were you, remember that you will be gouging into it to make the cracks. If you would like a gritty effect, drop a few grains of play sand onto the wet black paint. they will show up (to cool effect) later when you bronze. Alternatively, a very dirty work area will suffice.

*Now, once the flat black has dried to a tack (its fairly important to make sure it is still tacky),
Load your brush with just enough powder to cover the tip of your brush. Gently buff down the case parts, covering the areas that would logically be exposed to rubbing. This should give the effect of a patina, where the recessed areas remain black and the raised portions are now bronzed.

Step 3: Gouges and Cracks

*Now that your cases are bronzed, take your sculpting tool/xacto/grandma's fine silver pork knife and make hairline scratches into the bronzing powder coat. A well-done pattern will look really cool when you are done.

*If you are dissatisfied with the weathering, you can start over by applying clearcoat and then re-bronzing. You can also build up a coarser texture by layering powder coats, or a cool patina using a combination of silver and brass colored layers. I didn't.

*When you are happy with your weathering, go ahead and clearcoat those bad boys to protect the evidence of your painting prowess. At this point, you may stand up and announce that you are fly.

Step 4: Assembly

*Screw everything back together. Be sure to get the power switch in right if you chose to paint it.

*The metal prongs on your old headset may need to be bent to fit. Do so. With Gusto.

*Now snap your painted and assembled drivers into the old frame.

Step 5: Listen to Music. But More Stylishly.

Voila! You are done. Wear them. Listen to Bach. Or Nine Inch Nails. Perhaps some Slim Whitman, if that's what you're into. And if you used the skullcrushers, enjoy that bass! Grrrr....

I know there is a lot of room for expansion here. Please post pictures if you follow this instructable, I'd love to see some inspired work!



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    10 Discussions


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Absolutely! It would be a trick to fit them into the old driver cases though, the wwii era cases have just enough room for 2 cellophane plates, not a modern driver.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Sorry for a late reply but I actaully managed to put my new headphones with in the old headphone case, but unfortunatley I lost them :(


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I don't have tthose "metal prongs" you used as a new frame for the headphone,,,,, what can I use as an alternative to make it look like a steampunk style??? :(


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This Looks Really Good. I Was Thinking About Doing This For My Turtle Beach Headset. I Have One Question Though, Were Did You Get The Headset Piece? Overall, Keep Up The Good Work!

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    This seems like a waste of $200 headphones if you get rid of the main body, then scratch the speaker case. I'm going to do this. but on a generic brand of $10 headphones.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I was lucky enough to get the first run of these years ago when they were on sale at fye for $35. Now Skullcandy makes the aviator model, which looks VERY similar to this set.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    ....Now to find those WWII Era Headphones that my mom used to have...Oh joy. Now I have to dig around in the attic & the closet-room...thingy...And I have to find my old purple headphones that will work instead of the skullcrushers. this is gunna be a long time or finding stuff.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Good news! Skullcrushers aren't discontinued, they just come in different packaging now!