How to Make a DDR Arcade Machine Dance Pad Cover

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Okay, so I know not everyone out there went crazy and bought a Dance Dance Revolution arcade machine with their tax return / money that was supposed to go toward paying off the car. BUT! If you did, then this mini tutorial is for you!

Now, it needs to be stated that there is a phenomenal amount of dirt and grime that gets pounded into the cracks of the dance pads, and excess dirt and debris will affect game play. If you have bought a machine from an arcade or private party, the first thing to do it to open that bad boy up and clean out the innards (plan on this eating up a whole day.. not even joking), and take time to familiarize yourself with the machine and its components.
My husband and I spent our rare weekend date time taking our machine apart and the results weren’t pretty. Check out some before and afters:

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Needless to say, after toiling over (literally) inches of caked on arcade dust and grime, and possibly contracting who knows what exotic rhythm action dance game disease is out there, we are now EXTREMELY interested in keeping this son of a bitch clean. FOREVER.
I am now acutely aware of every dust, speck, smudge and miscellaneous smidgen of filth that gets tracked onto my dance pads. With my machine living in my garage, and us being located in the Central Valley of California (basically, where all the farmers like to kick up dust 24/7), it is impossible to NOT get dirt and grime on the machine while playing, even with wiping shoes off before gameplay. So a dance pad cover was definitely in order.
Now, you DO NOT have to make your dance pad cover special or fancy. Really. A twin size fitted bed sheet with notched edges (not the kind that has elastic all the way around) will fit over the corners, with a little awkward tension around the balance bars. You can usually find twin fitted sheets dirt cheap at a thrift store. (I happened to steal this one from my mother, because I am cheap like that.)
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Note the tension around the back edges. It works, but it could be so. much. more. *dramatic*
I decided to make the sheet a little more form fitting with slits for the balance bars because with two toddlers, five cats and a giant moose of a golden retriever going in and out of my garage, it is easy for the back edges to pop right off. Also, I like spending my increasingly limited time working on frilly projects that have no real value in the grand scheme of existence.

So here’s, what I did to make my dance pad cover!

Put the twin sheet on the pad, with the elastic corners snugly down on all four corners of the dance pad. Pull the sheet up the balance bars until the sheet is nice and taut (not freakishly tight, just snug) and then grab a marker to mark the cut line. Be sure to mark how wide the slit needs to go as well – about half an inch beyond the bars on each side so it has some give and wiggle room.

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Cut the slit in your sheet and then trace it out on the dance pad. Now if you are really lazy, you can stop right here. BUT, the sheet is liable to tear sooner or later, so you have a couple of options.

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At this point you can turn the edges under and hem them on a sewing machine. You could also turn them under and secure with fabric glue. You could even gob on tons of fabric glue along areas starting to fray. OR, you can go all Susie Homemaker and put a cute decorative border along the slit. LET’S DO THAT!!!

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 I decided to use this Marvel Superhero fabric that was left over from the burp clothes and diaper covers I made like.. three years ago? (Holy crap. That was a long time ago. CLICK HERE to check them out. Melt your face adorable!) I did a rough measure of how wide I wanted my decorative border, cut out the fabric, and secured it using primarily top stitches over the top of the dance pad, being sure to reinforce the corners where the sheet will experience some friction and tension if pulled on.
Aaaaand, that is pretty much it. Easy peasy. You can also iron the sheet if you want to. I didnt want to. So there.
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Keep some gentle cleanser in a spray bottle and some paper towels handy and whenever you are done playing, just wipe the machine down and slide the cover over, placing the slits over the balance bars first, then tucking in each side until the sheet is snug.
Oh, and be sure to tell your friends that they have to take the cover OFF before playing. I kid you not, my friend playing with it on, FELL DOWN, and came inside the house all confused, asking what the purpose of the sheet was. YEAH, SAYLOR, I AM LOOKING AT YOU!

Hope this tutorial was helpful for someone (anyone?!) out there. I may be wrong, but it seems like DDR arcade machine owners are a bit of a rarity. 😉

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Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman
Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls.

Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Gingi Freeman

Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls. Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

28 thoughts on “How to Make a DDR Arcade Machine Dance Pad Cover

  • 20 September, 2016 at 3:16 am
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    Haha Gingi, I love how you spent your date night and your short amount of free time making something unimportant…. the question is did you have fun? I have to say you’re highly creative… it turned out nice, thanks for telling me the sheet would have to come off, I had no idea lol… I hope you enjoy years of fun with it xox ♡

    • 20 September, 2016 at 3:31 am
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      Haha, yeah, we had a blast! I love working on project with my husband, and sewing ANYTHING is a blast! As to taking the sheet off.. you cant see the arrows without taking it off! haha! Thanks for stopping by my page sweetie! <3

  • 20 September, 2016 at 7:31 am
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    Is important to do things together, results of your job are very nice 🙂

    • 20 September, 2016 at 3:16 pm
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      Thanks Alice, I love working on projects with my husband, he is my best friend! <3

    • 20 September, 2016 at 3:16 pm
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      Thanks Laura! <3

    • 20 September, 2016 at 3:17 pm
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      Thanks Carrie! Loved your last post BTW!

  • 20 September, 2016 at 11:44 am
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    Okay, that is a serious DDR game! We had the one you use in your house, and it was just about the only “video game” my girls really liked. Of course, this was years ago…. I know there are some great games out there now. But I always felt good about this one, because it can be a real workout if you get good. VERY IMPRESSIVE before and afters on those dirt photos – wow!

    • 20 September, 2016 at 3:18 pm
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      Yeah, I played this game pretty much EVERY DAY in the arcade from age 14 to 18, haha. I used to volunteer to work at the arcade and would get paid in arcade tokens. I was a serious addict haha!

  • 20 September, 2016 at 12:57 pm
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    Gotta say, this is the first tutorial for this i’ve ever seen!

    • 20 September, 2016 at 3:18 pm
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      hahaha, right?! I was like, I GOT A CORNER ON THIS MARKET!!!

    • 20 September, 2016 at 3:18 pm
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      Hahaha, thanks for stopping by Christine! <3

  • 20 September, 2016 at 3:13 pm
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    I think this is clever. I don’t own a dance machine (have two left feet) but if I meet someone who complains about their dirty machine I will show them this. 🙂

    • 20 September, 2016 at 3:19 pm
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      Hahaha, thanks sweetie! 😉

  • 20 September, 2016 at 7:08 pm
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    This is such a cool DIY; I love the design you went with! Thank so much for sharing, girlie, and I hope you’re having a great start to your week so far!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

    • 21 September, 2016 at 2:55 pm
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      Sure thing Jalisa, thanks for stopping by! <3

  • 20 September, 2016 at 8:19 pm
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    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. Now, it’s my turn to return the favor. 🙂

    Okay, no I don’t have one of these gizmos. That’s because I’m not only old, but I’m such a creative klutz, I’d probably invent a way to hurt myself on it if we did have one. But, I still thoroughly enjoyed your post. You’ve got a great sense of humor, and naturally fun writing style. PLUS, your project turned out great! Super idea.

    It’s very nice to meet ya.

    • 21 September, 2016 at 2:56 pm
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      Awww, thank you for stopping by! I loved your blog, btw!! And you should try this game.. it is great, even for beginners! <3

    • 21 September, 2016 at 2:56 pm
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      Thanks sweetie! <3

    • 21 September, 2016 at 2:56 pm
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      Hehehe, thanks for stopping by Tessy!

  • 22 September, 2016 at 12:43 am
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    That’s hilarious your friend tried it with the cover on! Love the Marvel addition there though, huge Cap fan over here!

    Raindrops of Sapphire

    • 22 September, 2016 at 3:42 am
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      Right??!?! I seriously wish I had seen it!

    • 22 September, 2016 at 3:42 am
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      Thanks for stopping by my blog!! <3

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