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June 17, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Repurpose your Music

By Mellissa More Blogs by This Author

I never thought I'd live to see the day when records and cassettes would be an obsolete form of musical playback. I grew up on vinyl records and cassette tapes. When I was almost 14, I owned my first CD player, and marveled over it. Now, a decade later,  I haven't bought a physical CD in almost five years. I sadly realized earlier this week it had almost been a year since I used my mp3 player because I moved all my music files onto my smartphone.

Ah yes, technology is moving along at an almost alarming speed, introducing new innovations every year. With these continued “upgrades” we're often left with piles of objects that clutter the garage now that digital copies are available. You may be thinking that all the usefulness of these things are gone, but that's definitely not true! Dry those tears, you won't have to say goodbye or become a pack rat.

Cassette Tapes

Cassette tapes can be upcycled into almost anything! Their compact size is why they were so handy in the first place, but that's also why they're so handy to use in DIY projects. My personal favorite is the cassette wallet.

Cassette Wallet:

  • hot glue gun

  • fabric 2x's the length and width of the cassette

  • scissors

  • a zipper long enough to line 3/4ths of the cassette

  • sewing needle and thread*

Instructions:

  1. Carefully take the cassette apart (depending on how old the cassette is, you may need a small screwdriver).

  2. Once you have both halves separated, measure and cut your fabric to match the width and length of the cassettes.

  3. Heat up your glue gun, and glue the zipper into one of the cassette halves, folding it at the corners. Cut off the excess length, and sew the end of the zipper teeth.

  4. Hot glue the other lip of the zipper into the remaining half of the cassette (unzip it as you go to keep glue out of the teeth).

  5. Hot glue the fabric you cut earlier onto the edges of the zipper on the inside of the cassette halves.

  6. Stitch up the bottom corners of the wallet so that it opens into a “v” shape.

    *Note: If you're not great at sewing, you can substitute stitching with well placed hot glue

That was pretty neat right? But, if you'd like to try something even more simple yet still artsy, give wall art a go. This blogger attached hers to canvas with a chevron pattern, but I have a slightly different spin on that project from my own art pieces.

Cassette Wall Art:

  • a stack of cassette tapes

  • spray paint, acrylic paint, or latex paint

  • sandpaper

  • 3M interlocking fastener adhesive strips (the damage free ones seem to work best)

Instructions:

  1. Peel off any stickers on the cassettes, and lightly sand them with the sandpaper on both sides.

  2. Paint them with your chosen color and type of paint (if you're spray painting, do it outside) and allow them to dry.

  3. Peel and attach the 3M fastener to the backside of the cassettes, and do the same to the wall, arranging them any way you like!

The re-purposing of cassette tapes doesn't stop there! Conceptual artist Alyce Santoro creates fabric out of the film from cassette tapes. The most amazing wearable design is the Sonic Fabric Necktie.

Vinyl Records

Other than being cool enough to be wall art on their own, vinyl records can be re-purposed into cool DIY projects. One of the easiest ways to re-purpose vinyl records is to make them into  bowls.

Record Bowls:

  • Oven safe bowls

  • A stack of records

  • Of course, an oven

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350.

  2. Place the bowl in the oven with the record over the top.

  3. Watch it closely, and remove it when the record starts to warp (do not leave the room, you will only want the record to start getting soft, not melting it)

  4. Press the now softened record into the bowl in any shape you want.

  5. Allow it to cool and harden.

Vinyl records can also be used as placemats, garden planters, and clocks.

Record Clock:

  • Electric clock movement

  • 1 vinyl record

  • Screwdriver (if you take the movement out of an old clock)

Instructions:

  • If you're using an old clock's movement, unscrew the back of the clock, and remove the hands and movement.

  • Screw the movement onto the backside of the record.

  • Attach the hands on the front.

Even more DIY fun!

These projects are only the tip of the iceberg in DIY fun using cassettes and records. Even more amazingly easy projects can be found at instructables.com. Here are a few more sweet projects to inspire you:

Have fun, and be creative!

Resources:

http://www.instructables.com/

http://www.starsforstreetlights.com/

http://www.sarahsaturdiy.com/2012/09/ombre-cassette-tape-art.html

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