DIY Ombre Wrapped Headphones

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There is no such thing as too much color in your life. Though I’m sure there are those who’ll disagree on that front, you’ll have to admit that a punch or pop of color can really brighten up an everyday object. That is the inspiration behind today’s DIY. I use my headphones every day, and when one pair started to show some serious wear and tear on the cord cover I started brainstorming ways to cover it up (I did not feel like dropping $30 on a new pair…). That’s when those hair wraps of days long past came to mind. You remember, your girlfriends in middle school would go on a family cruise and come back with three things… a pucca shell and hemp necklace, a tan, and a colorfully wrapped section of hair with a little charm on the end. Well this DIY finally puts those hair wrap skills to good use!

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When you’re getting started, be sure to choose embroidery floss that’s close in shade variation, using four shades provides a more even transition from dark to light but 3 will work just fine too! I nabbed three shades of my current color obsession, purple!

What You’ll need

  • 3-4 bundles of embroidery floss in varying shades of the same color
  • Glue, I used the mighty E600
  • Earbuds of your choice
  • 1 wooden skewer/stirrer
  • Clipboard (optional)

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 Step 1: Place a small drop of the glue at the base of your earbuds near the plug, then take your lightest or darkest color embroidery thread and tie it in a knot right over the dab of glue. This will help keep the knot secure and prevent the thread from slipping up the earbud cord with use.

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Step 2: When you’re ready to start wrapping take another daub of glue and gently smear it up one side of the headphone cord (As in pic 1). Hold the loose end of your knot (the little flyaway thread) to the cord and start wrapping the thread evenly around the cord and the loose thread. This will tuck the thread safely away.

Note: See that paper towel in my clipboard? That keeps the earbud cord from getting dented!

headphones17Step 3: Continue to wrap in this pattern: Add a little glue to the side of the headphone cord (no more than an inch at a time) and then wrap the embroidery floss evenly over the glue.
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Step 4: When you’re ready to change colors (I mark off sections of my cord before hand with a permanent marker so I know when to change colors) double knot the new color on to the embroidery thread you’re currently wrapping with. Hold the loose end of the knot to the empty cord (like you did in step two) and continue to glue then wrap with BOTH color threads for about an inch. This will make an easier transition between colors.

Repeat steps 3 and 4, choosing lighter (if you started on your darkest color) color threads as you go or vice versa until you’re on your last color and have wrapped up to the last two inches before the headphone cord splits.

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Step 5: If you’d like a little decoration on your earbuds, now’s the time to think about it! I like to use tassels, they’re nice and soft and won’t get stuck in a coat or a scarf. You can find a link on making tassels here or if you’re feeling daring try making some pom poms! You can also use a little charm,etc. Whatever you choose, be sure to leave roughly an inch and a half tail of thread on it (as above on the top of the tassel).

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Step 6: With a little glue on the cord, gently press the tails of your tassels to the cord. Then do one loose wrap over the entire tail, as above.

Step 7: Smear a little glue over the tail and the loose wrap then slowly and evenly wrap back down. Continue until the tail is completely covered and the wrapping looks more or less even.

Now you can either tie off the embroidery thread here and secure it with a bit of glue on the knot. Or you can quickly wrap back up to the tassels and tie off the thread behind the tassel so it’s less noticeable. Just remember to secure the knot with glue!!

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Okay so at this point you may be asking. Why do I have to keep stopping to glue!!! I know it’s a pain, but it’s worth it for a lasting effect. What you see above is my first attempt at this project without glue six months ago (Green) and the second attempt (purple). The Green has held up remarkably well but do you see how loose it got near the plug end (top left corner of the photo). The constant dropping of my phone into a bag, pocket or holding it in my hand made the end unravel a bit. The purple has faired much better! So keep calm and glue  on my friends! The end product is worth it!

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