Upcycled iPod Speakers Tutorial

This Christmas I requested mini speakers for my iPod touch- the kids came through with some little round ones. DH steered them toward speakers that have a battery, so they don’t drain so much power from the player.

However, what I wanted the speakers for was for playing music outside- I mostly hate earbuds- I want to be able to hear what’s going on around me. I wanted something portable, and cute.

Enter the upcycled jewelry box from the thrift store with holes cut in sides and rope lid with cool paint job and funky clasp… that’s a terrible name. Speaker Box 3000, aka SB3. iBox?

We’d better think of a cool name, because this could be the girl’s summer job-manufacturing and selling these. We’ll get all the thrift store boxes we can find.You know you want one!

Step 1 Find a box. Our local ARC has a ton of wooden boxes of all sizes and conditions. You might even have a box already, just begging to be used. I got our on orange tag day, so it was half price, only $2. The original Hobby Lobby tag was still on it- somebody paid 10 bucks for it…

Step 2 Find speakers. Like I said, these were Christmas presents, but I’ve seen similar ones at Walmart for around $5.

Step 3 Cut holes. there could be a step 2 and a half:  buy a hole saw, which is what I did. They fit onto a drill, and come in various sizes. My speakers are roughly 2 1/4 inches in diameter, so that’s the size I bought. It was about $8. I already had a drill, and since I plan on making more than one, I figured the $8 was worth it. I might go around looking for things that need holes cut…Anyway, step 3, put the box in some kind of vise, or clamp, or hold it steady some way, then cut the hole. You could also probably use a coping saw, but I decided to invest in the hole saw.

The hole saw is visible on the workbench- the boy was amazed by the tool. "How did you get them so symmetrical!?"

Step 4 paint the box. The girl helped- I picked the colors- kind of turquoise on top of vibrant green, with some sanding- a little vintage-y, as the girl said. Depending on the box you start with, you might decide not to paint. 

The original color was virulent pink, with a butterlfy decal on top. The girl was happy to paint it.

Step 5 Install the speakers with hot glue…. I have some foam, so I plan to cut out a block, then a rectangle for the iPod and battery case. I also need to add a handle and clasp.  The plan is to be able to carry the box around the garden, so I can weed the asparagus and listen to tunes… I’ll post a photo when the paint is dry.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Felecia
    Feb 21, 2011 @ 21:02:52

    Wow. Awesome tutorial! I might have to go buy a hole saw! I’m so impressed with your frugal design-on-a-dime projects. I get inspired to have a garden and a hole saw…and to do some cool things with all that junk in my garage.


  2. katsmama
    Feb 22, 2011 @ 05:43:31

    If you lived closer, I’d lend you mine!


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