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1  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: iBook / Backpack / Boombox / Rabbit - Now with Pic-Heavy Tutorial on: April 25, 2005 12:17:41 PM
Dad had a pile of junk ready for swap meet, and I found a radio. Which is now on my workbench, disemboweled and ready for finishing touches.

Though, I went ahead and made my own modifications, using a braided power cord for a strap and leaving the battery case intact as a sort of exterior "pocket" for little things that would get lost in the body of the radio (chapstick, ect). Hinges are shiny stainless steel (also swapmeet sacrifice). I don't quite yet know what to do for a clasp,but I'll figure something out. While I do not yet have an amp, I'm leaving the cords on the speaker intact and have a headphone jack ready and waiting for treatment.

Great! I'd love to see pictures when you finish!

wow! how absolutely adorable. i'd probably kill myself with all those scary wires though.

It's funny you should say that, because that's exactly how I feel about so many other projects on craftster. Recently, my classes have been hectic, but I will have a lot of free time in a couple weeks. Therefore, I am willing to construct these boombox backpacks for sale.

I'm not sure on the price yet, but it will depend on how quickly I can find and construct them.

This boombox backpack took me several weeks to construct because it was a lot of experimentation and I was unfamiliar with what I was going to find. With my gained experience, I should be able to produce them much faster.

Don't let this stop you from making your own! I can still answer questions and help you with your own projects, if needed.
2  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Re: my first piece of art for feminism show on: April 22, 2005 03:16:40 PM
Sooooo awesome.

I'm so happy that I have a friend who is also an artist! Now I can ask you all of my pertinent questions about the art scene! Question number 1: Where is the art scene?

Just kidding... Keep up the good work. I'd love to see more!
3  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: iBook / Backpack / Boombox / Rabbit - Now with Pic-Heavy Tutorial on: April 22, 2005 05:49:55 AM
We have found our god !

Oh, I'm no god... I'm just a guy who likes to get a little crazy with a glue gun. I'm sure there are tons of guys just like me out there, they just haven't found this wonderful site yet.

One question...does this start to hurt against your body if you carry it for a while?  I'm not explaining my question well, but what I mean is because it's made of hard plastic, and not soft & padded like a regular bag or pack, does it swing against you and hurt, if you're walking while carrying it?

Okay, I lied.  Grin  I have two more questions.
This amplifier thing...could you take it out of an old stereo (the kind with separate speakers)?  Or the stereo speakers?
And you mentioned that the magnets in the speakers could mess up the laptop...have you had any problems with this, or was the layer of padding enough to keep it safe?

First Question: It doesn't really swing against me and hurt while I carry it. This might be because the belt I used for the bag is kinda short, and it keeps the box pretty flush with my back/side/backside. However, I could see the boombox "flapping" and hitting me if I were to, say, run, dodge, leap, or tumble. In these cases, I would just shift the box to my side so I could stabilize it with my arm.

If you are worried about support, you could also consider making two straps for your boombox. That way, it would be supported vertically on your back like a regular backpack...

Second Question: All stereos have amplifiers that you could use for this project. If you are electronically-inclined, I'm sure you could even use the amplifier in the boombox you use for the project. Here are my problems with that: 1) I'm not that electronically-inclined. You will need to rewire the amplifier so it can plug into a headphone jack. I'm sure you can pick up a simple electronics book and find out what the amplifier looks like and how to make it work, but I didn't have the time. 2) The amplifiers need power, and if you took the amplifier from another stereo, it would need to be powered by some power source (usually a bunch of heavy D cell batteries). You could probably rewire the amplifier/power source so it used smaller and less batteries, but that would take me back to problem 1.

I used my amplifier because it was simple and small, but don't let my complaints stop you from using a regular amplifier. I'm sure that if you do, you will end up with a boombox backpack that is much more solid and impressive than my own.

Third Question: From what I understand, magnets can really screw up computers, hard drives, and personal relationships. I want to emphasize this because I would hate for someone's computer to be ruined by attempting this project. If you are afraid, consider making a backpack for everything but your laptop. No padding would be required in that case, and you could store a lot more stuff.

For me, however, I have had no problems with the magnets and my laptop. In the beginning, I would make sure to take my laptop out at night, just in case... but recently I've become lazy or I'll forget, and leave the laptop in overnight. Still no problems. If my computer dies one day because of the magnets, I'll immediately post a heart-wrenching warning here on Craftster (from some library computer).
4  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: iBook / Backpack / Boombox / Rabbit on: April 15, 2005 06:06:33 PM

I promise... PROMISE that a tutorial will be posted by this Thursday night. I've been ambushed by schoolwork and I need just two more days to recover.  If you bear with me, I will write all of your names in a heart on one of my notebooks.
*clears throat, looks around, whistles a bit* Just kidding, do it when you can...I'm just excited is all

Don't lose faith in me, littleone1098! I did provide as promised. If you go to the first page of this topic, you will see that I did write the tutorial, I just appended it on to my first post and then updated the subject line... and I posted it at 11pm on Thursday. (I did some grammatical correcting at 1 this morning). Enjoy!

What a coincidence! I have a cook-out, office party, wedding, AND an ice cream social coming up!  Do I need to pay you?  Or just fly you up here to yon Maine town?  Are you going to bring the reconstructed boombox?  I know all the other guests would think I was SOOO much cooler if you did. . . Smiley

Great! I require no payment other than a welcoming hug and maybe a pile of hay on which to sleep at night. I will use my boombox as a suitcase, and I will pack it with nothing but gifts from my favorite thrift stores.

whoa. that is so cool. =O looks kinda heavy though. is it?

I will be the first to admit that it is not light, but it is not extremely heavy either. You remove practically all of the inner electronics from the boombox, which does lighten it somewhat, but it is still a little heavy (I don't know the actual weight). You don't have to make a bag from a boombox this large, though. Any size boombox should work as a pretty nifty bag!

yesterday i searched all over victoria for a boom box similar to yours and found nothing. i've looked in thrift stores, pawn shops and other stores that carry old electrical equiptment to no avail. do you have any tips of places to look to find an old boom box?

I'm sorry to hear that, but I have found very similar conditions here. Only every once in a while will I come across an old boombox. My tips would be to seek out several thrift stores that have a lot of non-clothing junk, and get their phone numbers. If you can call them and ask if they have any "old silver or black cassette boomboxes without cd players" in, you can save yourself the trip, and you can check often. I haven't had much luck in pawn shops, but I have heard of stories from people who have. My two favorite boxes came from just some random flea markets where vendors just happened to have one for sale. Keep you eyes open and don't lose faith!
5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: iBook / Backpack / Boombox / Rabbit on: April 13, 2005 03:54:22 AM
Dear Diary,

I've made a ton of new friends. They're so funny and smart and supportive; I'm really in like with them all (I'll explain later). I think we're all going to get married!

Your Friend,

You are too cute! So I must ask:
1. are you single?
2. are you gay?
1. Single!
2. Straight!
Does anyone need a date for office parties, cookouts, proms, weddings, or ice cream socials? I'm pretty flexible in that regard, and I'll try my best to be charming!

Ive been hassling everyone I work with for old 80s cassette walkmans (walkmen?) because I want to hollow them out and make a little walkman bag!

Of course, they all thought I was weird and I showed them your pictures to explain what I wanted to do youre now famous at Cumbria County Council!

Anyway, do you have any tips for the hollowing out procedure (sounds a bit clinical, yuk!)  Is it quite straightforward once youve managed to break into the case?
That sounds like a great idea! There was a lot of excess plastic on the inside of the boombox, so I used a dremel tool (www.dremel.com) to cut most of it out. For something as small as a walkman, you might be able to get away with using pliers and screwdrivers.

Thanks for all of your patience on the tutorial! Your support is what gets me through the day!
6  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: iBook / Backpack / Boombox / Rabbit on: April 11, 2005 08:17:20 PM
Words cannot express the happiness you have bestowed upon me, fellow craft-stars. There's so much love in this post that I feel we should all just move to a commune and live a tax-free life of crafting and dancing. I'm sure the government wouldn't mind.

pardon my ignorance, but how can the boombox play if the insides have been hollowed out?

The boombox is rewired (very basically) into an sound amplifier that I found on a toy. The setup of the laptop -> amplifier -> speakers is all that is needed to play sound.

I promise... PROMISE that a tutorial will be posted by this Thursday night. I've been ambushed by schoolwork and I need just two more days to recover.  If you bear with me, I will write all of your names in a heart on one of my notebooks.
7  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: iBook / Backpack / Boombox / Rabbit on: April 01, 2005 11:40:32 AM
Wow! Thanks for the compliments! You are all so nice on this board. I want to print off everyone's posts and wrap myself in a warming blanket of craftster-love.

What brand of boom box is that, and what are the dimensions? I must go buy one now.

The boombox is an Emerson Model CTR965. 18.5" long, 10.5" tall, and 5" wide.

Searching out 80s-style boomboxes can be tough, but they are out there. I highly suggest hitting thrift stores and flea markets (of course) before you go to eBay. The ones on eBay, in addition to being way overpriced, are often measured with their top handle up. This gives off the sense that they are 3-4 inches larger than they actually are, which can be disastrous.

For a 12" ibook (around 8.5" wide), you need a box that is at least around 10" high. I had this project on my mind for a year or two before I found a boombox of adequate size that I was willing to dismantle. I love my other ones too much (I sleep with them).

Hey, look at that. I've turned into a boombox snob. Great.

preg_replace('/(.{49})/', '$1 ', 'tutorial.............................PPPPPPPPPPPPPLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE')!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You got it. It will take me a little while, though. Looking back, there are more steps than I originally remembered.

8  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Tutorial: iBook / Backpack / Boombox / Rabbit (Pics fixed - 1/11) on: March 31, 2005 10:37:14 PM
Hi! I'm new here.

I "finished" this craft in 2004, but I did not find out about this amazing site until a friend recently recommended it to me (Thanks Aliza!).

I was looking for something interesting/original to do with eighties boomboxes (how I love them so), and I ended up with this:




Basically I hollowed out the boombox, added hinges and clasps, created a foam interior, created a strap attachment, and... well, attached a strap. Now it holds my ibook and one or two other books.


With rudimentary electronics skills, I wired the boombox to play music from the laptop or from any ipod/walkman/etc that you place inside. I added a small amplifier that I found on some toy speakers to increase the sound volume and quality.  Don't worry, I respect others when I play music. It's my school backpack first and foremost.

Everything shown is from a thrift store except for the eyelets/hinges/clasps, which came from a local hardware store. The strap is a modified women's belt, and the boombox had a damaged speaker cover that I replaced with that rabbit.

I was picking up food from a fast food restaurant one day, and an old man told me that he is happy that I'm "taking the music to the streets." That practically brought a tear to my eye.

Ready for action!

I will gladly go into details on the construction or answer questions if anyone wants. The project was not very hard, just very time consuming for me. Slightly larger pics here: http://www.wam.umd.edu/~anthony/crafts/

Hi! I'm back. Here's a tutorial!
*Boombox: Old and boxy = Hip and trendy
*Strap: Women's belt? Metal Chain (ouch)? Luggage Strap? It's up to you.
*2 Ringlets: From a hardware store, they need to be pretty thick for support.
*Hinges: Any size
*Clasps: To keep the box closed. You might have to be creative with this; I used window locks.
*Amplifier: Explained later
*Cassettes: one for each deck. You won't be able to use them again, so don't pick your favorites.
*1 Pair of Old headphones: you just need the headphone jack

*Electrical tape
*Wire cutters
*Screwdrivers: The long thin ones from dollars stores are perfect.
*Glue: I started with hot glue and eventually went to Liquid Nails "Perfect Glue 2".
*Dremel Tool: Any type of grinding tool.   

1. Take a picture with a digital camera, or write down how the front of the boombox looks. You will need this for later.
2. Remove batteries and unplug the power cord. (I don't want you to die. You're my craft friend and I need you.)
3. Unscrew all of the screws on the back of the box.
4. Separate the case and remove all of the electronics except for the speakers. There will be wires connecting everything. You can snip most of them, just make sure that the wires that extend from the speakers are as long as possible when you snip them.

full size pic here: http://web.archive.org/web/20060629070649/http://www.wam.umd.edu/~anthony/crafts/tut/34.JPG

5. The back of the boombox should have a bunch of huge plastic pieces that supported the electronic guts. Use the dremel tool to grind/cut them out of the box.

6. When you removed all of the electronics in step 4, a lot of the buttons and things on the front of the box were probably removed as well. Separate these buttons/switches from the electronic guts, and using the picture you made in step 1 as a guide, glue these buttons/switches back into their places from the inside of the case.

7. Take apart the cassette decks from the electronics, and glue the little wheels into your cassettes (so it will look like the cassette is playing). Place these cassettes behind the cassette doors on the front half. Glue the doors shut from the inside.  

9. Place the front and back half together, and tape them shut. Flip the boombox so the bottom faces up. Attach your hinges to the bottom. Make sure the boombox opens and closes properly.
10. Tape the box shut again, attach your clasps/locks to the box where ever you can find space. I found space on the left and right sides of the box.

11. Drill holes in the side of the box for the ringlets. Secure them to the box with a nut and add a washer on the inside for support.

**Electronics Portion**
12. Take the old pair of headphones, and snip the wire. You will the need the headphone jack portion of the wire, so leave a lot of slack. The headphone wire is actually 4 separate wires (two groups of two wires). You will need to separate them all, and strip the insulation off of them so there is an inch or so of copper wire showing.

full size pic here: http://web.archive.org/web/20060629070707/http://www.wam.umd.edu/~anthony/crafts/tut/56.JPG

13. There should also be 4 wires that extend from the speakers on the inside of the boombox (also in two groups of two). Strip the insulation off of them in the same fashion as the headphone wires.

14. Connect the headphone wires to the speaker wires by twisting the corresponding copper wires and securing them with electrical tape (one group of two wires from the headphones to one group of two wires from the speakers, and then the second group from the headphones with the second group from the speakers)

15. Find an amplifier. The amplifier will take the sound from the laptop, mp3 player, etc. and make it louder so you can actually hear the music through the speakers. The amplifier that I found was in the "boom boom multibox," and I paid less than three dollars it. After I pried it out of the  multibox and spray painted it black, it looks like this:

You can purchase it from this site (http://www.boomboombox.com/product_detail.htm) for $20, but that is waaaaaay too much. You can also find it on ebay for about half that price, but I still think it's too much. I'm sure you can find it for cheaper if you do a little searching. Note: You do not need to buy this brand for the headphone amplifier, it's just the one that I used because it was readily available. If you do use this multibox thing, you do not need an extra pair of headphones, you can take the extra jack from the multibox itself.

16. Test the sound. Plug the headphone jack that you attached into the speakers into the amplifier, and plug the amplifier into your laptop/mp3 player/ etc. Turn them all on and the speakers should be functional. If not, check the wire connections and make sure they are secure.

17. Attach the strap to ringlets. Pretty self-explanatory. I used dollar store keychain carabiners to make it easier.

18. Lining the interior: I lined the interior with some spray painted vinyl tiles from the dollar store. Lining the interior is optional, but it really cleans up the look... and people always want to see the inside.

19. Divider: If you decide to use the bag for a laptop case, you will need to put some sort of divider/spacer to keep your laptop from getting too close to the speakers. The speakers have strong magnets, and magnets can really screw up computers. I used a piece of pillow-stuffing foam from Joann fabrics', and then lined the visible side of the foam with more spray painted dollar store vinyl tile.

20. Put everything together, and hopefully you've got a boombox backpack.


I'm sorry this tutorial turned out to be so complicated. I don't really have pictures of the construction, since I made it about a year ago. If you want me to clarify anything, just ask and I will try my best to elaborate further.

Also, I'm sure there are better ways to do most of the things in this project. If you come up with any, please let me know!

NOTE: You don't have to make the backpack just for a laptop. You can find smaller boomboxes and turn them into purses or smaller notebags. You can follow the same steps as above, but due to their smaller size, they can be powered by cd and mp3 players .

In fact, I picked up this smaller one (http://web.archive.org/web/20060629070636/http://www.wam.umd.edu/~anthony/crafts/tut/08.jpg) two weeks ago from a thrift store for 5 bucks... I will turn it into a purse/bag (with all of your help and recommendations, of course!) and I will document the construction a lot better. Stay tuned!
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