Creating a Customized Xbox Controller

For the holidays my husband got the idea to make a customized Xbox controller for his good friend “5” as he is known in the world of Xbox live. :) So after watching a few informative YouTube videos of how to take the controller apart without breaking it, our minds started going crazy with ideas. And of course I (Cara the chronicler) chronicled the creative action so you can have an idea of how to do this yourself. Or you can just do a YouTube search as there are plenty of others who have undertaken projects like this. 😉 None the less… here is how we did it.

First get yourself a new Xbox controller and keep the packaging as you will need this later (if it’s a gift of course). Get your tools/supplies ready and organized. TIP: You will need a T9 screw driver, its probably best to pick up a set of these screwdrivers if you don’t have them already.
You will also need, a small Philips head screw driver, sand paper, painters tape, a matte knife, cutting surface, tweezers, spray primer, spray paint, glossy clear coat spray, small Ziploc bags, news paper or something to paint on.

Step one: Take apart the controller, sand and primer it

I would advise to do a quick YouTube search to find out how to carefully take apart the controller. I would add a link, but I don’t have time… After you get it taken apart, sand it, tape off the areas that house the battery, and if you wish… using a Zliplock bag and painters tape, seal up the motherboard area that connects to the trigger buttons so that only the trigger buttons get painted (if you choose to paint them). Set out your newspaper and primer that bad boy up. 😉

Step 2: Print logos/stickers and add paint!

After the primer has dried, it’s time for some real paint, we chose dark blue as the undercoat. I unfortunately did not take a photo of spray painting the pieces blue, but you get the idea of how it looks painted blue with the stickers on it in the photo below.

Our concept was to add a logo we quickly created for our friend “5” and some gears to the top of the controller, those would be blue and the over all controller would be metallic gold. So after the primer dried we spray painted it a nice dark blue. And after that dried its time for some personalization.
Luckily we had some sticker paper, so I designed a quick “5” logo and printed it out on sticker paper with some gears of varying sizes.

After carefully cutting them out and placing them on the blue controller, it was now ready for metallic gold paint!

TIP: If your metallic gold spray paint explodes while outside… the last thing you should do is run into the house with it spraying EVERYWHERE trying to figure out what to do with it…
TIP: Paint thinner removes metallic gold spray paint from walls, stainless steal sinks, tile, counter tops, floors, my husbands hands, and many other items if you use it quickly. Found that out the hard way. :O My husbands new nickname is.. “Goldfingers” LOL!

Step 3: Remove the stickers and add a protective clear coat

Now that the gold paint is dry you can carefully remove the stickers using your tweezers to reveal the dark blue paint under them. This is where things start looking cool. :)  Then spray on a layer of glossy clear coat spray to protect/seal the paint. Be sure to let everything dry for a while each time you add a layer of paint. The glossy clear coat really makes the controller look fantastic!

Step 4: Remove tape, put back together and repackage

After the clear coat is dry. Remove the painters tape, carefully put the controller back together.

Repackage the finished controller for a professional look.

Add some kind of geeky gift wrapping and a bow of course, because gamers appreciate good gift wrapping. In this case we had some left over stickers we stuck on the box and gift wrapping (not pictured). And your done!! This gift rocks pure creativity, in a useful and yet personalized gift you just can’t find in the stores. :) You will soon be the envy of your Xbox buddies, with a controller like this one. :)

Cara -

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