DIY headphone covers (earpads & headband)

As the saying goes, you gotta sometimes scratch your own itch. In my case, I bought a pre-loved Audio-Technica M50X that needed some love on the skin front. Audio from the M50X is superb and thought the skin needed some saving, so here it goes.

DIY Headphone cover using socks
diy materials & tools

Things I used:

  1. lotsa packing tape
  2. pair of crew socks (shin high)
  3. fabric scissors or brand new pointy scissors
  4. stapler and lots of staples
  5. fork (for wedging)

Step 01

a chockfull of adhesive tape

Use the packing tape to remove all loose skin and dust. Be thorough on this first step to ensure that all loose bits and particles are gone. In my experience, I had to do this about 4 times in 3 sitting until there was no more debris falling onto my worktop.

Step 02:

Insert the top most part of the sock and start fitting it onto the right can. The end part of the sock where there’s most elastic should just sit nicely on the outer frame of the plastic component of the headphone.

Cut off the a good portion of the sock (while leaving enough for the headband) and make 4 snips on the cut portion. The snips will help later when tucking in the fabric to the insides of the ear pad.

Use a fork to tuck in the excess fabric. Its easier when you do this bit by bit till you go full circle. Then use your finger to do a final sweep of tucking.

Step 03:

Using the balance material from the first sock (from toe, heel to high ankle portion), cut a small opening on the toe part to allow the fabric to go through the uncovered can. Also at this juncture, I turned the sock to its reverse side as I’ll be reversing it again after I finish with the stapler seams. Another thing to note is that I decided to do the left can cover last so that the fabric can go through easily first. Note that the heel part of the sock (pointy side) should be on top (as shown on above photo) so that you will have a pretty even and straight fabric to work with.

Step 04:

On hindsight, I would also recommend that you ensure you have no gaps on your stapling effort. I missed one small area and had to staple from the outside much later on.

Staple away on interval points along the edge of the headband. Idea I had here is to do a quick seam without resorting to sewing. You will need a lot of stapler bullets to do this so have some spare on your side. After finishing the interval points (ends & mid sections), I went over the whole arc of the headband and stapled away like making a stitch). While I do this, I slightly pulled the fabric so that I can have a bit of tautness on the desired final outlook.

Step 05:

Trim off excess fabric as shown (left approximately 1cm). I recommend not cutting too little or too much. This excess will later form a bit of cushion feature on your head.

Step 06:

Im now reversing the cover to hide the stapler seams. Do this slowly by tugging and gently pulling. I used the metal extension feature area of the headband to do this as this area is smaller and therefore I had more space to manoeuvre the fabric & the seams.

pull and tug gently!

Step 07:

By now, your WIP should look like the first photo. The edge looks unfinished and longer that the headband itself. To make it look neater, use your index finger and fold in both ends to your desired length. While I do this, I also pulled the cover across the entire headband to remove any bunching or slack.

Step 08:

The last bit which I felt slightly challenged was how to go around making the hole for the headphone jack. I did the same step as the right can but gave some attention on where to snip (a sharp fabric scissor will give a precise snip). After I positioned the the 2nd pair end sock to the can, I made a really tiny snip, after the jack started to show, I enlarged the snip for just a bit. In my estimation, since the sock had a lot of stretch and give, the snip is only about half a cm or less.

On hindsight, I probably would want to snip nearer to the edge of the sock by a few millimetres so that it would look more identical to the right can.

Final result

So here is the finished product. I forgot to mention that the sock fabric material is very elastic with some bling threads woven to it. I think the sock I chose was able to hide the staples very well.

I recommend you use a dark sock for this project but would not discount rich hues, stripes or cool irregular designs from Happy Socks to try out once you are done with experimenting with an old sock and feel confident to do this for real.

You may want to check some of these designs out for an interesting outcome – specially the funky ones and remember, you can always do a test fit first before you start cutting away. And I’ll probably do hand stitch instead if im using such cool and nice looking socks 🙂

result: blue muffs with a black/teal/blue headband

result: green muffs with an artsy looking headband

result: duotone muffs with sleek striped headband

buff combi pattern muffs with full geo ochre headband

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