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How to Create a Custom Kodi Build with Widgets (Step-by-Step)

How to Create a Kodi Build

Kodi users looking for an advanced user interface will enjoy this guide that shows how to design your own Kodi Build by changing the Skin & adding custom Widgets for a fabulous streaming experience.

This is a great way to use all of your preferred addons and customize the home screen to curate the exact content you are looking for. And best of all, it is much easier than you might imagine.

If you are a Kodi user, you have likely used Kodi Builds in the past that provide a streamlined Kodi experience with tons of content including Movies, Shows, Live TV, and more. Many prefer builds instead of addons due to their abundance of addons and content as well as the unique interface they provide, similar to streaming apps and APKs.

The updated home screen that you see when using builds comes from Kodi Skins which are the interface options available for this software. These Skins are oftentimes incorporated with various Kodi Builds that provide a complete system for streaming. However, you can also use these with your preferred addons and design the layout exactly as you please, creating your own Kodi Build!

While many are accustomed to the original interface provided, we can easily change this to customize our Kodi home screen. Pictured below is an image of the original Kodi home screen which uses the “Estuary” Kodi Skin.

Estuary Kodi Skin

However, there are also tons of other skin options that will upgrade the user interface provided and improve your overall Kodi experience! Pictured below is just one example of a popular Kodi Skin that enhances the layout and content options to choose from.

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aeon Kodi Skin

Kodi Skins vary in size, layout, design, features, and much more. One of the best features available with some of these skins is the ability to add and adjust widgets that display the content provided.

This is a fabulous feature that  Kodi users can take advantage of to customize their Kodi interface with the content they are looking for including categories for Movies, TV Shows, Live Streaming, and more. This is how developers create their own Kodi builds and you can do the same using the guide below.

Kodi Widgets integrate perfectly with any Kodi Addon you have installed including all of those listed in our guide of Best Kodi Addons. When you establish widgets within Kodi, you no longer have to open your preferred addon each time you launch the app and can simply browse through your preferred content options.

NOTE: Not all available skins have the ability to create custom widgets so it is important to test different options and see what works best for you.

In this guide, we will use the ever-popular Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max. This is one of the most popular choices for Kodi users due to its affordable price and ease of jailbreaking.

These instructions also work on other options including Android TV/Google TV Boxes such as MECOOL, NVIDIA SHIELD, onn. with Google TV, or any other device you have the Kodi software installed on.

How to Design a Custom Kodi Build

There are various methods to create your own custom Kodi build. The best way to do this is by installing your favorite addons and then adjusting the Kodi Skin to your preferred option. After doing so, you can enable and add custom widgets for instant access to VOD Content, live streaming, and more.

In the guide below, we are using the Arctic Zephyr Reloaded Skin which is one of the choices that provides this capability. For an updated list of the best Skin options, use our guide below.

Best Kodi Skins to Upgrade Your Interface

Step 1: Change Kodi Skin

1. From the home screen, select the Settings Icon.


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select settings

2. Choose Interface.

choose interface

3. Select Skin.

select skin

4. Click Get more…

click get more

5. Choose Arctic: Zephyr – Reloaded (or other Skin of your choice).

choose arctic zephyr reloaded

6. Wait for the skin to install.

wait for kodi skin to install

7. Click Yes.

click yes to keep kodi skin

8. Your Kodi Skin will now load.



new skin will now load

9. You are then presented with the new interface this skin provides.

arctic zephyr reloaded home screen

In order to use this new interface, you must set up custom widgets which we provide instructions for below.

Step 2: Set Up Kodi Widgets

Using widgets within Kodi is a fabulous way to see your preferred addon’s content without launching the addon itself. The library of Movies, TV Shows, and more is provided directly on the home screen of Kodi!

NOTE: Users must have their Kodi addons already installed and in this guide, we have pre-installed the popular POV Addon, DaddyLive addon, and more. You can use any and all addons you prefer including any options from the following:


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After installing your preferred options, we can integrate them with custom widgets by using the following steps.


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Add Movie/TV Show Widgets

1. Launch Kodi and from the main menu, select Settings.

select settings

2. Choose Skin settings.

choose skin settings

3. Click Customise home menu.

click customise home menu

4. Hover over Videos and scroll down to select Widget 1 – Fullscreen.

hover over videos and select widget 1

5. Choose Widget 1.

choose widget 1

6. Select Add-On.

select add-on

7. Click Video Add-On.

click video add-on

8. Choose POV or other addon of your choice.

choose POV or other addon of your choice

9. Select Movies.

select Movies

10. Select Popular or other Category of your choice.

select category of your choice

11. Click Use as widget.

click use as widget

12. Type a category name of your choice and click the checkmark.

type category name and click checkmark

We will now set up a TV Show widget using the same method.

13. Return to the Settings menu and select Widget 2.

choose widget 2 for tv show widget

14. Make sure the Status for this Widget is set to Enabled.

enable widget 2

15. Follow the steps above to select your preferred Video Addon for TV Shows and select your category.

select your tv show category

16. Enter the title for this category and select the checkmark in the lower left-hand corner.

type a category name of your choice

17. You can continue enabling and setting up as many widgets as you prefer using the same instructions as above.

enable as many kodi widgets as you prefer

Return to the home screen and you can see your widgets enabled with preferred category options.

Kodi Widgets enabled

Scroll down to see the other custom widgets that you set up with the steps above.

TV Show Widgets enabled

Add Live TV Widgets

As noted above, you can integrate any addon or category you prefer and this includes Live Streaming.

Use the steps below to add a Live TV Widget to the home screen.

1. Open Settings and select the Widget you wish to enable.

choose your preferred widget

2. Make sure it is enabled and click the Widget again.

click widget

3. Click Live TV.

click live tv

4. Choose Add-On.

choose add-on

5. Click Video Add-On.

click video add-on

6. Select the addon of your choice.

select your addon choice

7. If provided, choose a live-streaming category.

choose live streaming category

8. Click Use as widget.

click add as widget

9. Enter a name for this live streaming category and click the checkmark icon.

type a name and enter the checkmark icon

Available Live Channels will now display on the Kodi home screen for quick access.

kodi live widget with skin

Enjoy!

Step 3: Create Custom Kodi Widgets

Besides using the pre-programmed Category options, we can easily set up a custom tab with the content of our choice by following similar steps. In the steps below, we will create a custom widget for the home screen that will display Sports Content.

You can also create a widget for anything you prefer for complete customization!

1. From the customization menu, hover over a category tab and click the Plus (+) button.

click the plus button

2. Click Label to change the Label name.

3. Type whatever you wish to name this tab and click the blue checkmark button.

type tab name of your choice

4. Select Widget 1.

select widget 1

5. Click Add-On.

click add-on

6. Choose Video Add-On.

choose video add-on

7. Choose your addon choice.

click your addon choice

8. Select Live Sports or other streaming choice you wish to add to the home screen.

select sports category

9. Click Use as widget.

click use as widget

10. Enter the title name you wish to describe this tab with and click the checkmark icon.

enter the category name

11. The home screen will now display your custom widget.

custom widget now enabled

Enjoy!

How to Install Addons

If you are used to using the default Estuary skin, you probably know the steps to installing 3rd party addons with File Manager. We can still install these addons after changing the skin by using the following steps.

1. From the main menu, select Settings.

select settings

2. Click File Manager.

click file manager

3. Click Add Source.

click add source

4. Choose None.

choose none

5. Type the Repo URL of your choice. (In this instance, we are entering the URL for Seren).

type the repo url

6. Enter a media source name and click OK.

enter media source name and click ok

7. Return to the Settings Menu and click Add-ons.

click addons

8. Click Install from zip file.

click install from zip file

9. Choose your media source.

choose your media source

10. Click the zip file.

click zip file

11. You will see your Repo installed message.

repo installed message will appear

12. Click Install from repository.

click install from repository

13. Select the repo of your choice.

select your repo

14. Click Video add-ons or other add-ons choice.

click video add-ons

15. Select your preferred addon.

select your addon choice

16. Click the download button.

click the download button

17. If prompted, click OK.

click ok if prompted to do so

18. You will then see an installation success message for your addon in the upper right-hand corner.

addon installed successfully

Addon installation is now complete!

More Details & Features

The best way to test out and use these custom Kodi Skins and Widgets is by trying them out on your preferred device.

You can easily add and customize as many widgets as you prefer including those for Music, Pictures, Programs, and more. You can also remove pre-programmed category options by clicking the X button within a title selection.

Remove tab options

There are other customization options as well including the ability to change the Home menu style.

change home menu style

You can adjust the screen Background including Brightness, Fadetime, Fanart, and more.

As noted above, there are tons of different Skins available that vary in size, layout, and widget options. We suggest installing and testing numerous skin options until you find one that suits your preferences. An official list of Kodi Skins is available on the Kodi website by following the link below.

Kodi Skins

For more tutorial guides to get the most out of your streaming device and more, check out our popular resource guides below.

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Notable Replies

  1. Would i be able add pics of my grandkids or any background pics whatsoever as my homescreen?

  2. Avatar for PapaS PapaS says:

    That’s what I use for a few backgrounds on Aeon Nox Silvo and Fentastic skin. :+1:

  3. Thanks for that great tutorial. Is there a way, once I have it set my way, to save the build so I could install on other devices? Would a fork be the right path, and if so, how do I make a fork?

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