Monitorhead: Re-personalising the Pc




About: A very hairy manchild studying illustration whilst playing around with as many different strange and intersting techniques and still trying to have a good time while i am at it (much to my tutors horror). I ...

Intro: Monitorhead: Re-personalising the Pc

An alternative to email. Inspired by the Glomi style of Marque Cornblatt (check out his short film "Bubble" on and Canti, the robot/space pirate from the anime series Furi Kuri (or Fuli Kuli).
Great for popping over to see some mates.

Step 1: Items

Defunkt monitor (found in skip) - could also be done with a tv, fishtank or a cardboard box if you are feeling ghetto enough. I could tell the monitor had died because when i picked it up, water came streaming out.

Plastic Coathanger (i swear these things breed in my wardrobe O_o i keep finding more and more of them)

Pipe Insulation (Left behind by a mate when she was making some foam nunchucks for her boyf - possible instructable coming soon)

Bin Bag (found in kitchen)

Random pieces of 1" thick foam (found in a skip too unsuprisingly) - you will need a piece about 50 cm x 10 cm and another about 20 cm square. Its best to just have a big sheet handy and cut to fit... you'll see

£8 soldering iron that you aren't too fond of
Things for getting into the monitor - phillips/ flathead screwdrivers, pliers and wire cutters
Scalpel and Stanley knife
Gaffer tape

Something that nearly ressembles common sense
A well ventialted area

Step 2: Deconbobulate the Monitor

Take out all the guts (i dont have any photos of this as i did it a couple if weeks beforehand).

There should be a couple of screws hiding behind the fram at the front and some at the back too... check under stickers (NB. this will possibly void your warranty :p)

Once inside proceed to take an insulated screwdriver and touch across ALL the contacts you can see. Make sure you are in no way touching the metal at this time. Also be careful taking out the crt as these things are in a near vacum and have a tendancy to implode when dropped/cracked/blown on, so be very careful.

I kept all the circit board inside as well as the focussing coils for wire usage in other things.

Step 3: Flame On

Darw an oval on the base of the monitor that is wide enoguh to safely get your head thru. Open all windows and possibly even go as far as to put on a mask

Heat up your soldering iron and poke holes all the way around your oval every half centimetre. Scrape off the excess molten plastic off your soldering iron and then proceed to join up the dots, applying moderate pressure and avoiding your digits.

(In this pic you can also see the holes for the coat hanger pieces and the foam to support your head)

Step 4: Foamify

Work out how far forward you want your head to be (put it on as a guideline)and then bend the long strip of foam into a headband and secure in place with gaffer.
If the top of your head is uncomfrotable resting on the bare plastic of the monitor in this space then place the other square piece inside of this (you may want to play around with the thickness of this piece using a knife or even carve a shallow depression for your head to fit into)

In the back are two small sections of pipe insulation to support the back of the head. they stick out horrizontally and keep the head in a centralized position. Also on the sides are the pieces of gaffer for keeping the front on (I would find the original screws but they are in a bits box somewhere and I am still only in beta)

Step 5: Cushion

Open out the pipe insulation and fit it around the rough edges of the hole. This will stay in place by itself but a little gaffer never hurt (apart from when someone sticks in on your hairy arms as a prank - my advice is to go with the grain O_o)

Step 6: Add Supports

If you try your new headgear on now you may notice it has a tendancy to be nose heavy and dip forwards. To fix this i burnt two holes on the bottom of the monitor roughly in line with my shoulders and then fed the broken halves of a plastic coat hanger through them so they pushed against me and kept the monitor level (see step 3 for a pic of where the holes are)

Step 7: The Screen

Cut out a rectangular section of plastic bin bag (make sure you have the cheap, near see-thru ones) slightly larger than your screen and then affix to the inside of the front using small pieces of gaffer - if you do the sides in opposing pairs it helps keep the plastic flat and the screen looking wrinkle free (it didn't help enough when i was making tho O_o)

All you need to do now is to replace the front, fixing with tape on the inside (or you could use the original screws to be really picky), stick it on your bonce and then go off and interact with people.

Step 8: Final Thoughts

I had fun making this and intend to add to it further using some metal shower tubing (found in a skip as well) to link to a backpack and possible forearm gauntlets, attach a VGA or a wall plug on a length of cable (DO NOT WIRE UP THE PLUG - sheesh) and then wander around in a search for power. Either that or put on a suit and become a messaging service for the day, delivering handwritten mail between people on campus. I am also tempted to go to a friend's noise/ambient gig during the next "First Thursday" - college open evening/strangeness on the 1st of march (North Wales School of Art & Design, Regent Street, Wrexham) They have a myspace:


The bin liner is too opaque, i didnt have any fabric at hand but might have to "aquire" some thin black cotton to replace this. Its all very well in bright light as you can make out vague shapes but as i was walking over to a friends house at night... across a busy main road, i decided more clarity was needed.

LED's - some form of emoticon system or a scrolling message board would be great and certainly add a daft punk vibe - the main problem would be if it started to impair vision.

Step 9: *update* Pics From the Event

Decided to go ahead with the email idea. Replaced the binbag with a sheet of perspex (thanks matt - he found it in a skip) and stuck some frosting on one side - this was the only thing i paid money for - about a fiver for the whole roll.

I had lots of cables and wireage as well as a defunkt wireless keyboard knocking around (guess where they came from) and as there was a hole in the back of the monitor i decided to have lots of trailey cables. As for the keyboard i whited out the keys with stickers and posted vague instructions on them (i.e. write stuff on screen, tell me who it is for and send me on my way) I had a board marker and a wiper on the cables for easy use...

Step 10: Power Down



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    20 Discussions

    I saw the Blue Man Group do this, they mounted lcd screens in the case also.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea man! I might try adding a load of LED's and a microcontroller for smilies! Then look through a periscope! :P And maybe stick a piece of paper on so people can write their messages. And then... a voice changer so I have a robot voice... And a laptop so I can browse Ibles on the go. (But this may need special mind control equipment... and probably a pair of glasses :/) Start up a whole "the corporations turning us into robots" thing.

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Hey, I could write "the corporations turning us into robots" (for example) in keyboard keys on my shirt... Man, I'm so doing this, anyone want to join me?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    haha. If any of you guys have tried the game "city of heroes" (or villains) then you'd laugh your ass off. There's one of the mobs that's a TV head. literally a big guy with a TV as a head :D Also you could cosplay as the robot from FLCL anime quite easily once you have made this Instructable. :) Love it!

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    woops. just realized that FLCL is the same anime as furi kuri you mentioned in the beginning. guess furi kuri is the way the japanese would say FLCL in romanji


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome! There are a lot of similar ideas floating out in the ether, i only got hit by a few of them


    11 years ago on Introduction

    LOL, a bout weeks ago, i was on holiday and in a small town there where loads of plays and people where advertising different ways, two of them where on stilts with flat screen monitors as masks, but those where working... so it showed a face and the play


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, you could go as the Blue Screen Of Death! Strike fear into the hearts of PC users around the world!


    11 years ago

    another great instructable, very creative! Jen


    11 years ago

    Nice... Perhaps in a later build, you could use a 1 way (or is it 2 way?) mirror so that you can see out, but people can't see in. I'd suggest placing a piece of thin, strong plastic between you and the mirror if you decide to go that route :)

    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago

    I was thinking of a sheet of perspex, with a thin layer of plastic sheet on my side so i could still see out, but because the inside is dark people wouldnt see in. It would be really tempting then to wander around with a drywipe marker and get people to write their messages actually on the screen. Its all held down with gaffer anyway so its fairly flexible to re-arrange.


    Reply 11 years ago

    The hole at the bottomis larger than my neck so air can get in that way, but the monitor housing itself has loads of little air holes in it to stop the crt overheating back when it worked.