Need a better set of ears when listening through your headphones? Want to enjoy ocarina music in style? Make these custom headphone ear cushions in the shape of Link's elf ears from Legend of Zelda. You can also make a set of Vulcan ears. How about troll or Hobbit ears?
(yeah, yeah, I just noticed I put the headset on backwards in the pictures)
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Step 1: Trashed Cans...
Well, here is my set of Sony MDR-V6's. The ear cushion covering is flaking off from heavy use and age. Time to replace the ear cushions by buying a new set but why not make them?
All you need is some kind of soft padding and a cover.
I will be using sheet craft foam and felt to cover it.
You can upgrade the quality of materials used but the construction is the same.
The only special tool I used was a felting needle. This helps soften and blend the cut edges on the felt.
It's all put together with craft glue.
Note: Felting needles and felting tools containing felting needles are very sharp. They are bigger than your standard sewing needles and really hurt when you get pricked. Be careful when using.
Step 2: A Little Bit of Padding...
I needed something soft and flexible that was like cartilage to support the fabric ear.
Instead of a wire form or stiff cardboard, craft foam is the ideal material to use.
It is easily glued with regular glue and easily shaped with scissors.
We can build up the shape of the ear with several pieces of the craft foam. We are trying to form a cover over the ear piece so it will wrap around it just like the ear cushion. You can take more care in forming your ear shape around the earpiece so it is smoother and not as awkward looking as mine.
Start by wrapping the headphone earset with a piece of craft foam cut in the general shape of the ear.
Use masking tape to hold the craft foam in place as you cut darts or slits so the craft foam lays flatter and conforms to the curves.
Reinforce the edges of the ear shape by gluing on another piece of craft foam to build up the edge.
Cover the headphones with plastic wrap so you don't get any glue on them.
Start gluing together the craft foam. You may need to tape or use binder clips to clamp in place until the glue sets,
Step 3: Reinforced Cups...
When the glue dries to get the rough shape of your ear piece, mark where it may need to be trimmed.
I glued on some pieces of scrap cloth to smooth out any of the rough edges or bumps. It will also reinforce the places where the glue joint can fail if the dried glue flexes off of the foam.
Where the sound has to come through, punch holes in the foam. Make only enough holes so that the craft foam is still intact. Although, you can just cut a hole for the speaker opening as the felt or fabric will cover it
Step 4: Felt Over...
Now comes the part to cover it all in felt or whatever fabric you have. You can do this with faux fur material to get the animal look.
We are just going to glue it on instead of sewing some kind of pillow case like cover.
You can cover in several pieces to make things easier so think about where you want the seams to lay so that they are less noticeable in the finished product.
Start by gluing the felt to cover the inside part of the ear. Leave about 1/4 inch extra border around the outside edges.
Just glue around the area to be covered leaving the glue shy of the outer edge. The felt is porous and soaks up a lot of glue so it needs more time to dry when glued to the craft foam.
Wait until the inner covering glue is dry before you start gluing on the outside pieces. Otherwise, the inner piece will start shifting as you hold it and you will start getting glue all over the felt from places where it seeped through. The errant glue spots will mat down your felt or fabric into hard spots.
Leave that extra allowance of felt or fabric on the edges of the ear.
Figure out how to best wrap around the front of the ear. I just folded over and glued the excess that wrapped around the curve in the front.
Since we have to join the edges of the two pieces of inner ear and outer ear felt covers, we will felt them together to create a seamless look. Felting works by taking a special needle that has bumps on the shaft of the needle to catch fibers as it is inserted into the fabric. With multiple passes, the fibers get intertwined to create one felted mass. Randomly stab the edge over a foam or brush felting block. Pull off the felting block often to brush down and consolidate the loose fibers. Go over the entire edge front and back to felt it. Try not to jab the foam part underneath the felt as It may break the needle.
And that's it.
The custom headphone cushions should just slip over the headset. You can remove the old ear cushions or leave them as is. It should fit like a glove or just put a piece of double-sided tape to secure.
Make a pair of headphone cushions in any design you like.