Got some old speakers lying around? Don’t just leave them there collecting dust—reuse them! If they’re still working, you can use a Bluetooth adapter to bring them back to life and turn them into wireless speakers. If you’ve got some old big box speakers, with the right tools and supplies, you can repurpose them into an interesting piece of furniture for your home.
Converting to Wireless Speakers
Choose a Bluetooth adapter to connect to your speakers.
A Bluetooth adapter is a device that you can connect to old speakers to play music through them wirelessly. Pick one up from your local electronics store or order one online so you can hook it up to your old speakers.
- A few popular Bluetooth adapters include the Vamp, Raspberry Pi, and Chromecast Audio.
- A Vamp Stereo can power up to 2 speakers at the same time.
Plug in the adapter to the audio jack of your speakers.
Bluetooth adapters connect to speakers through the audio jack. Look for a two-way audio jack on the back or bottom of your speaker, and then plug your Bluetooth device into the jack.
Attach the device to your speakers with a foam pad or magnet.
Your Bluetooth adapter will come with a foam pad you can stick to the outer surface of your speaker to keep it attached. Some devices, like the Vamp, come with 2 magnets—1 you attach to the bottom of the device and another you put inside the speaker so it connects with the magnet on the device to hold it in place.
- If your device doesn’t come a foam pad or a magnet, you can use tape or another adhesive to attach it to your speaker.
- You also don’t have to attach the device to your speaker if you don’t want to!
Pair the device with your smartphone or tablet.
Turn on your phone or tablet’s Bluetooth and turn on the device. Pair them together so they’re connected and you can send audio through the speakers.
- For some Bluetooth devices, like Chromecast Audio, you’ll need to download an app from your app store to connect to it.
Play music or audio through the speakers.
Once you’re connected, you’re good to go! Play a song, audio file, or video and your Bluetooth device will play it through your speakers. You can adjust the volume using your phone or tablet.
- You’ll need to keep your Bluetooth device charged so it’s able to power the speakers.
Making a Table
Use old box speakers for this project.
Choose old box speakers with sturdy frames to build your table or bookshelf. Check out garage sales and local thrift stores to find some cheap speakers you can use for your project.
- Make sure the outer frame is in good condition and is sturdy.
Remove the inserts, cones, wires, and padding from the speakers.
Cut off the outer screen with a knife or box cutter and remove the screws holding the speaker cones in place. Pull out the inserts and cones, which are the round speaker parts in the front of the speaker. Take out any foam padding and wiring that’s inside the speakers so you’re left with a hollow box.
- Once you take the parts of the speaker, they won’t be usable, so don’t use speakers you don’t want to break!
- Check out local thrift stores for old speakers you can turn into a table or bookshelf.
Sand the sides and wipe away the dust.
Take some medium-grit sandpaper and sand all the sides of the speaker to remove any old varnish and create a rough surface that your wood stain will adhere to. Use a clean cloth to wipe away the dust when you’re finished.
- It’s super important that you remove the dust so it doesn’t get all gunky in your wood stain.
Apply a layer of wood stain and let it dry.
Choose a wood stain color that complements the natural color of your speakers. Use a paintbrush to spread a thin layer over the surface of the box. Wait about an hour to allow the wood stain to fully dry (but check the packaging for specific drying times to be sure).
- For instance, if the speaker box is a darker wood color, use a darker stain to match it.
- If you want to go an extra step, you can paint the rim of the speakers in a bright, fun color to really make it pop, but it’s totally up to you.
Unscrew and remove 4 legs from an old wooden chair.
Find an old wooden chair that you don’t use or go to a thrift store to buy a cheap one. Unscrew the screws connecting the legs to the chair and remove them.
- You could also use a saw to cut off the legs if that’s easier.
- Use 4 legs so the speaker box is stable.
Spraypaint the feet of the legs with gold or silver and let them dry.
Tape off the area just above the feet of the legs with painter’s tape. Place the legs over some newspaper or paint them outdoors so you don’t get paint everywhere. Shake the can of spray paint really well to mix the paint and spray a thin layer over the feet of the legs. Allow the paint to fully dry when you’re finished.
- Check the directions on the can of spray paint for specific drying times.
- Make sure you work in a well-ventilated area to avoid breathing in the paint fumes.
Drill 4 mounting plates in each of the corners of the bottom of the speakers.
Mounting plates are metal plates with a slot in the center that you can use to screw your chair legs into. Hold a mounting plate against a corner on the bottom of the speaker and drill a screw into each slot to secure it in place. Install a mounting plate for each leg in each of the 4 corners of the bottom of the speaker.
- You can find mounting plates at your local hardware store. You can also order them online.
Install hanger bolts to the tops of the legs.
Hanger bolts are special screws that you install directly into something to connect it to something else. Choose hanger bolts that match your mounting plates and drill a matching-sized hole in the top of your chair legs that’s deep enough to hold the bolt. Push a hanger bolt into the slot of each of the legs.
- Your local hardware store will have hanger bolts you can use for your project.
- Make sure you use hanger bolts that fit your mounting plates!
Connect the hanger bolts to the mounting plates.
Insert the hanger bolt into the mounting plate and rotate it to screw it into place. Install all of the legs into the mounting plates to finish your project.
Flip the speaker over and make sure it’s balanced.
Carefully pick up the speaker and place it on the legs you installed. Make sure the legs aren’t wobbly and tighten the hanger bolts if they are. You can then start using your new bookshelf or table!
- Chances are there’s an adapter out there you can use if you have some old speakers that won’t plug into any of the devices you have.
- You can also freecycle working speakers so someone else can use them. Search online and on social media for local freecycling groups and ask them if anybody wants your speakers.
- If your speakers are broken or you just don’t want them anymore, take them to a recycler who can handle electronics to help keep them from damaging the environment.