How To's & Quick Tips

5 Things to Do with… Cassette Tapes


Chances are good that in some remote corner of your home there lies a box full of dusty cassette tapes. Be honest: When's the last time you listened to one? Now that digital music is the format of choice for the majority of music-lovers today, cassette tapes' only real value is sentiment. With these cassette tape recycling projects, you can keep your collection for years to come, using it to create novel objects that have practical benefits not likely to be rendered obsolete anytime soon.

1. CONSTRUCT A CHAIR

Back in 1987, you may have been dancing to the sounds of cassette tapes, but today you're probably more interested in sitting down on your analog assets. Start with a wood chair frame. Using cable ties, lash tapes into panels-one to cover the seat, one to cover the back-then finish by fastening those panels to the frame.

2. MAKE A LAMPSHADE

Crafted almost entirely of the same types of cassette tapes that are currently hogging space in your too-small closet, this is no ordinary lampshade. To make your own, wire together a selection of tapes that have transparent plastic casings. Line the inside of the assembly with a layer of plastic sheeting, then fit the shade over a light bulb.

3. CREATE A CARRYING CASE

Locate an empty box-cardboard, plastic, or wood-that features a hinged lid. Next, use a strong adhesive to cover the box on all sides with cassette tapes. Finally, glue a handle to the side that opens and closes. An equally easy alternative is to bind together a couple of dozen cassette tapes to create an open-topped crate.

4. ASSEMBLE A WALLET

Transform a cassette tape into a one-of-a-kind, perfectly pocket-size wallet. Here's how: Pry apart a tape casing so that it splits into halves. Next, glue a cut-to-size length of zippered fabric onto both halves. As a last step, seal the nonzippered side of the wallet enclosure with a narrow band of glued-on fabric.

5. CRAFT A PENCIL HOLDER

To make a desktop pencil holder-or a small, open-topped box that's useful for scores of miscellaneous purposes-you just need four cassette tapes and one compact disc. That's it. The rest is a simple matter of applying enough glue to make all the components “jam” together.