I'd HAD IT with tangled earphones, and finally the other day, it occurred to me what to do about it. I thought if I wrapped them in embroidery floss, not only would they look more lovely, but the floss would help keep them from tangling every single time I throw them in my handbag or gym bag. And they'd be easily identifiable as MINE. (Not that things like that commonly disappear at my house or anything…). Now, I am sure others have had this same idea before, and may even have a better way of doing it, but I decided to strike out on my own here instead of seeking out a tutorial. I was happy with how they came out - it didn't add much bulk, and the cord is still flexible enough. I'll give instructions for changing colors along the way, but you can always keep it simple and wrap with one color or get a single variegated floss that will give you the color blocked look with less effort. I tried to take as many pics of the steps along the way as I could, but I was on my lunch hour at my desk and well, I only have two hands. And this project definitely requires both hands. And a lot of patience. And if you don't have arthritis before you start, you might when you finish. Not trying to discourage – it's loads of fun! But it's tedious work. You've been fairly warned...
Start at the plug end of your earphones. Position the loose end of the thread so it is heading the opposite direction of the plug. You'll need about an inch long tail. Start wrapping around the cord as close as you can to the plug. As you are wrapping, try not to do it haphazardly, overlapping the floss, which will make it look messy and bulky. Instead wrap it around neatly like a coil, covering the cord as you go. Be sure to wrap the floss close together on the cord so there are no gaps. Also make sure you are also overlapping the beginning tail of the floss, trapping it under the coil as you wrap. Keep wrapping until the section of color is the desired length.
Changing color: Hold color #2 flat against the wire as you wrap, gradually overlapping the loose end with color #1. Make sure you overlap at least 1/2" – 1" of the tail of color #2.
Once the loose end is secure, pick up color #2. Cut color #1 leaving at least a 1" tail. Start wrapping in the same way with color #2, overlapping color #1 until the loose end is covered. Keep wrapping until this section of color is the desired length. This effectively traps the loose ends of each color so they don't come loose.
To make the stripe effect: When adding a new color, cover the loose end of color #2 as instructed before, then wrap with both colors at the same time, side by side.
Finishing: When you reach the fork in your earphones, wrap as closely as you can to the end of the cord. Knot the floss a couple of times, securing it to the cord close to the fork, then add a SMALL drop of fabric craft glue. Cut the floss leaving a small tail. Coil the tail around the cord through the glue, smearing the glue over the loose end. If possible, try to shove the end of the tail down in the crevice between the floss and the base of the fork. You'll need to do this again when you get to the microphone, and at each ear bud. If you have iPhone earbuds, you can shove the knots and loose ends up in the earbuds to hide them. When you start wrapping again after the fork, use the same process that you did at the beginning of the cord.
Wrapping tips: This can quickly become a tangled mess of floss and cord. After obvious trial and error, I found it was easiest to keep the cord ends in my lap, and the bulk of the floss on the desk in front of me as I wrapped, so they don't get tangled together. I held the floss between my right thumb and forefinger, close to the cord, while twisting the cord towards me with my left thumb and forefinger to coil the floss around the cord. This was the most comfortable for me, but it may not necessarily be the best way for someone else. Do what feels the most comfortable to you! Still, you can expect to do some untwisting and untangling along the way.
You're not likely to finish this in one sitting, so use a paper clip or binder clip to keep your floss from unwrapping or getting loose while you are taking a break.
Like I said before, it's a bit tedious, but worth it when they are all finished! And you're days of untangling earphones will be a thing of the past...
But I'm biased on both counts, of course, being Texan...and that being my little Texan sittin' there in those beautiful Bluebonnets. And in case you're not from here, it's practically state law that you take pictures of your kids in the Bluebonnets. Well, at least it should be. :)
My husband and I run a little business on the side personalizing flower pots with house numbers and names. We'd love to paint a special pot for you or a friend. For more information, visit my website.