iPod Retro Radio

iPod Retro Radio

How to make a vintage radio iPod - that works!

What you need

iPod Mini
Vintage Radio


Step one:

Find your radio. It might be helpful to bring your ipod with you, for sizing purposes. I got mine at a thrift store, but they can easily be found at swap meets and yard sales. This step is the most fun! keep your eyes out for other cool craft projects while you’re there.

Step two:

Take it apart. My radio was held together with four phillips-head screws. After removing them, the case was conveniently held together by plastic tabs that were already built in. This made my life much easier, but it isn’t necessary–If your radio is held together only by screws, you’ll have to find a way of securing it. Small hinges and hooks can be found at any hardware store.



Step three:

Gut it. I’d originally planned on hooking the ipod directly into the speaker, but had overestimated the depth of the case–the ipod wouldn’t fit with the speaker left intact. If your radio does fit, wiring the ipod to a speaker is fairly simple. If you’re comfortable stripping wires you can probably figure out how to cut up an old pair of headphones and make a speaker connection. If not, it’s probably best you don’t try. Find a geek.

Step four:

Remove any extra stuff. My radio had a piece of plastic that blocked the ipod. I used needle nose pliers to snap it out. Once you have enough room for the ipod:

iPod Retro Radio Steps


Step five:

Foam it up. The foam I used was left over from an air conditioner install. It has adhesive on one side, and is perfect for the job. You can probably find it at Home Depot. Any soft foam will work, though–break out the glue gun. The foam’s job is to keep the iPod steady–we don’t want it bouncing around. If your foam is too thick, scissors do a pretty good job of cutting it down to size.

Step six:

Route the cables. If you want to go crazy here, you could try to hook the radio’s headphone jack up to the ipod’s own jack. This is pretty simple if you can use a soldering gun. If not, skip it. I didn’t bother, because I wanted to use the ipod’s remote. I ran the remote into the battery compartment, where it fits perfectly. When I listen to the ipod using the case, my headphones plug into the jack on the remote.

Step seven:

Go show off. Ride the subway, letting others know how hip you are, rocking the 80s radio. special bonus: you probably won’t get mugged

This Project was Designed and Created by Taylor Finley  “Taylor Finley is a recent film school dropout in Hollywood, California. He’s currently employed there as a writer’s assistant.” and might I add he is very creative and we love this iPod Project.


  1. “Special Bonus: You probably wont get mugged!” Hahahaha! I love this idea! Hats off to you!

  2. Wow, too bad people can’t understand what a wicked craft this is…I do think the recommendation about using a shuffle might be a good idea. Anyway, sweet idea.

  3. It looks cool but maybe i´d use an mp3 player with no screen instead of an ipod. Or just my really old walkman and some old fashioned tapes :p
    Also, it might be more practical if it´s a case that you could remove easily, and just use it to store it. But I like the look, it’s a nice idea.

  4. You guys should shut the hell up! This is cool and creative! If you don’t want to do it, don’t! Other people may want to!

  5. awesome

  6. cool

  7. why waste a perfectly good ipod for something so outdated?

  8. Well i liked it but i can’t seem to understand how to do it… Pretty kool 😀 ttly would show off if i could do it oh yeah

  9. nickylovescupcake13 says

    So when you say geek, shoiuld we ask you? LOL Totaly joking!I think I would probably prefer setting it up a little different, just because I would rather not harm a perfectly good ipod or MP3 player. I realy like this one, it’s a pretty cool gadget!

  10. great idea but….

    how do you use the ipod??

    instead of waisting an ipod i recommend putting 80’s music on your ipod

    you get the best of both worlds!

  11. you can’t see the screen or use it!

  12. Awsome!!!

  13. meh… I don’t see much creativity here. Maybe if you used a shuffle and just hacked it into the existing electronics so you could listen to both radio and ipod through the speaker.

  14. Wicked retro. It’s all about vintage baby! But i stick with my cds, but probably do it with an ipod if i had one. Who cares about the screen and buttons, their gadets anyways >>

  15. Gut an antique for no practical reason. Does that constitute craft now?

  16. goood idea..but where the hell am i gonna get a vintage radio?? lol

  17. lol it looks pretty awsome and i want 2 try it wif my mp3 player but it looks way hard and i dont want 2 waste my money OR wreck my mp3 player

  18. chinchilla_chilieboy says

    ok now for the rating!!!!I LOVE THIS IDEA!!!!except for the fact that im still at the ”retro” as my friends call it,CD player!!!!lol love it….

  19. je n’ y compren rien ms alors rien du tout !

  20. Great Idea!!!
    Looks fantastic, and will do myself.
    Just a little warning though, if you have an ipod with a hard drive, the magnet from a speaker could severely damage your iPod, and render it useless.


  21. good idea but screen and buttons aren’t aviable…

  22. yeah very good until you realize you can’t access the control buttons

  23. Very Creative

  24. Sorry 🙁


  25. CraftBits (Shellie Wilson) says

    David, Your comment was deleted due to the words used it was obvious what your words were. If you can not use “Child Friendly” words then I will have to delete them. I am sorry if this has upset you. I have also removed your phone number

  26. Where are the comments I put yesterday? Can’t take the criticism? Was I too harsh? I used the “*” symbol.Call me…David

  27. like the idea.. and with the remote, you have the functions of the ipod.. great idea… now if it still has the antenna that would be awesome or how about a big set of the stereo headphones with the antennae like on Towering Inferno that the kid was weari

  28. i’ve deicided to turn my ipod into a goldfish tank….beware though you need to make the ipod water tight beofre putting it in the tank, as i found out to my dismay….

  29. Great idea, very cool, but I don’t like how you lose the screen for your new ‘case’.

  30. It is a very good idea,new creation.

  31. I do it with my nano. Cool!

  32. none of the buttons are functional…

  33. I’ve been planning on doing something like this for a few years with an old transistor radio I bought. I just found a perfect screenless MP3 player to graft in, but I’m outta cash…

  34. make a speaker for your iPod i will be crazy idea!!!!! Peace!!! 🙂

  35. Awsome and petty cool!!! Make something else cooler

  36. This is hilarious and so cool. Connecting your player to the speaker when possible would make it even better.

  37. very cute idea!

What do you think of this project? Let us know!