Last Christmas I decided to do this project as a Secret Santa gift for a friend.
It was my first real soldering project and gave me an excuse to by a soldering iron station and feel like a hacker and/or terrorist as I assembled the capacitors, resistors and chips onto a breadboard.
It was another learning process, and the most challenging step was mounting the speaker since the front, which used to be the cigar box lid, was of the tongue and grove slide in variety, meaning I had to slide one hand in a half-inch gap to tighten bolts, cutting my hand on the solder in the process. And then a wire was loose, so I had to take it all apart, find the problem, and try again.
The end product has an Etsy-like charm, and audio quality was surprisingly decent, considering it's mono and not stereo.
I've made a stereo version since, and the process went much faster and easier. So even with the the cost of materials and time, the experience, and the reception by the Santee, definitely made it worth it.