Monday, April 15, 2013

Tutorial: DIY Tangle Free Ear Buds


{ Post via our contributor, Heather! }


I have no idea if any of you  have a pile of earbuds that look like this. With 4 kids and several mobile listening devices, we always have a bunch of ear buds laying around our place. Invariably, this is the mess I'm greeted with whenever I actually want an ear bud, and it drives me nuts! 

A few months ago, I was in Joanns Fabrics waiting in a very long fabric line and I noticed the lady in front of me had some very fun, colorful earbuds in. I stared at her the whole time I was in line trying to figure them out. Im sure she was getting a bit creeped out, but I was pretty into those buds. 

As far as I can figure, she literally wrapped her buds around and around in a circle with embroidery floss. So I came home and googled it and found pretty much nothing about it, so I started experimenting. I started with embroidery floss and tried the way she did it, but I wasn't nuts about it. So then I tried yarn and loved it. I used my old skills of making friendship bracelets when I was a girl, and started a chinese staircase, which is simply making a knot over and over again. I love how it turned out, and now my buds never get tangled and I think they look pretty darn cute!  I hardly ever wear my earbuds in public, I need to be able to hear my kids, but on the few occasions I have, I get tons of compliments on them. So heres how to get started making your very first pair!



Grab your yarn! I picked variegating pink  because in our household of 6, 4 of us are girls. We cant go wrong with pink. You can do a solid color, camouflage colors, or any combination. I love the look of the changing colors, but to each their own.


Tie a knot at the base of the buds. Leave an end of about 4 inches and then as you start making the knots, just keep that starter thread under the knots you make, like this...




Keep making your knots like so, and pull them nice and tight so you have a uniform staircase. I put my end in my desk drawer so there is some tension and it goes much faster. Or you can just grab a nearby kid and have them hold it as Ive also done.


Starting to form the chinese staircase.


 Heres a closeup of the knot that you slide down.



I dont recommend doing this with the help of a kitty.






When you get to the end, cut off a 4 inch piece, thread it into a large needle and hide it back under the knots you just made. You don't have to hide a lot of it, just enough to keep it in place. Then continue the same process the rest of the way, knotting over your beginning threads and using the needle to slide the ending thread under, until you get as far as you want. You can stop before the earbuds split if you want to keep the ear bud parts lighter, but I went all the way and I really like it!


 Heres what it looks like as you finish the first part.


 And here is after I hid the thread with the needle.


This is a completed pair, where the ear buds parts are not covered.


 Heres a pari where I did the whole thing, they really aren't that heavy at all.


 A closeup


And if you think this looks too complicated or time consuming, heres a pair my 8 year old daughter whipped out in less than an hour. Her first time no less.... You can also use this on the cords that plug into the computer, speaker cords, really any cord that you want to bedazzle.

Enjoy your new tangle free buds!!
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