My Kinect is a very cool toy, but it was not lost on me, as I was plugging it in, that I’d given the Microsoft hive-mind a pretty sophisticated set of eyes and ears straight into my living room. Sure, I suppose I could only plug it in when I’m using it, but I’m kind of a neat freak about my entertainment center wiring and I don’t want to be digging the Xbox out every time I decide I want guaranteed privacy. Some kind of lens-cap arrangement seemed the easiest solution, and making it out of the foam that the Kinect itself came packed in avoids the danger of picking some material that might scratch the device or otherwise be incompatible with it over the long term. Plus, it makes it easy for anyone who owns a Kinect (and still has the packing) to go and do likewise, should they be so inclined.

Project Steps

Remove foam strip

The lid of the Kinect box includes a 11″ x 1.5″ x 0.375″ black foam strip. This is our starting material.

Grab it at one end and pull it off the cardboard. Some paper and adhesive will probably stick to the back.

Clean off adhesive residue

Squirt some Goo-Gone on any paper and/or adhesive residue that remain stuck to the foam strip.

Let it soak for fifteen minutes.

Flake off the paper residue with your fingernail.

Wipe off the remaining cleaner and adhesive residue with a paper towel.

Measure and mark foam

Make a mark 4″ from each end of the foam strip. I found blue painter’s masking tape a convenient means of doing this.

Cut foam

Use sharp scissors to cut a 4″ piece off each end of the foam strip.

The center piece that remains should be 3″ long.

Remove the marking tape, if you used it.

Clip the corners of the 4″ long pieces at a 45-degree angle, just for looks.


I’m fairly certain the Kinect package foam is EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate), which is the same material hot glue sticks are made of. In any case, hot glue bonds it extremely well. In my tests, the foam itself tore before the hot-glued joints failed.

Apply a bead of hot glue across each end of the short foam strip.

Attach the edge of each long foam strip as shown, making sure to center everything as best you can.

Give the glue a minute or two to set up, and you’re done.


This lens-cap blocks all three apertures on the front of the Kinect, even though only two of them are cameras. When not in use, it can be removed entirely, or just slid to one side as shown. My Kinect functions perfectly with the privacy guard slid to one side as shown in the photograph.