Back in January, I posted on my Facebook profile:
The foam pads (read: plastic) on my headphones are wearing out. Motivation to learn to crochet because I hate round knitting.
Well, this weekend, April 23, I finally summoned up the motivation to learn enough crochet basics to fix my headphones.
See, even though I use my wooden thinksound ear buds for most electronic listening, I also have a pair of big cordless headphones for watching TV late at night and another scrappy pair of regular headphones that probably came with an old Walkman or something. The foam pads on both pairs were just in shreds. And while it’s possible to buy replacements, I didn’t want any new plastic.
So, after Googling for a while (my favorite thing) I found some instructions for crocheting my own.
Crochet Headphone Covers from Craftbits.com
Crochet: Headphone Covers, Revisited from Sewhooked.org.
Great! Except I didn’t know how to crochet. My grandmother taught me to make Granny Squares when I was little, but that knowledge has gone the way of the monster under my bed waiting to grab my feet. Fortunately, being a knitter, I knew I could learn easily and already had the yarn and even a few crochet hooks. So, I consulted Youtube to learn to do the things I needed to do:
1) Make a Magic Circle. There are several videos explaining this procedure, but this one was the easiest for me to follow at midnight when I started my project.
2) Single Crochet.
3) Double Crochet.
Since my headphones were different sizes and shapes, I had to play with the instructions to make them fit. The first pair were fairly round, and I just followed the instructions from Craftbits.com, adding a couple more rows to make them bigger.
When the ear pads were the right size, I put them on the headphones and used a needle to weave the tail of the yarn in and out along the edge and then pulled it taught to make a tight fit. Then, I tied the end into a bow so that I can easily get the ear pads off again if I need to clean or repair them.
Making the ear pads for my cordless headphones was a little trickier because the headphones are kind of egg-shaped. I used the double crochet for the longer part and kept that section narrower than the rest by making 1 double crochet in each of those stitches while I was making 2 single crochets in every other stitch of the wider rounder part. If these instructions are not terribly helpful, it’s because I don’t really know the language of crocheting, and I’m not even sure I did it properly. But my creation works. Here are the cordless headphones:
So, how does the sound through the wool yarn compare to the sound through plastic foam? I don’t hear much difference. These are not the headphones I wear for serious music listening, so it doesn’t really matter anyway. For listening to TV or computer at night, they sound just fine to me.
Now don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not making you a pair, so don’t ask. The point of this post is that there’s usually a DIY way to avoid buying new plastic, that fixing things should be the first strategy before replacing them when they break, and that Google is our friend. Usually. (I think I might have found these instructions via Bing back in January when Google refused to cooperate. Supposedly Google has gotten better.)
If your headphone ear pads go bad and you can’t crochet, don’t want to learn, don’t know anyone else who does, and can’t think of any other way to fix them, why not put in a request on Etsy.com? Many Etsy craftspeople are happy to do custom orders. Just find someone with the type of skill you need and contact them.
Here are a few more relevant links: