**NEW TEMPLATES COMING MID-FEBRUARY 2015!**
I am super far from my photoshop-capable PC, but they're coming. And they'll be hosted more reliably, promise.
I remember the days of the mixtape. Requesting songs from the local radio station and sitting by the cassette deck, finger on the record button. I remember the glorious day I got a dual cassette deck so that I could copy music from one tape to the next. Spending hours making mixes for friends, coloring cassettes with permanent markers or nail polish or glitter. Whatever I had lying around that could safely go into the tape deck. They weren't just plastic cassettes filled with noise, they were little works of art.
With the advent of digital music, it's all too easy just to send someone an iTunes gift card and song list. The physical aspect of the gift is lost, reduced to something that can't be seen or touched. As an expression of affection, I feel it's lacking.
I still want to make mixes for people. I love to give the gift of music. But I want it to be something they can hold, something real and tangible that they can take out and look at. A gift that has a physical presence. Thus, the MixDrive..
Step 1: What You Will Need
- a USB stick
- a cassette tape
- a craft knife
- a small screwdriver
- a permanent marker
- a tool for cutting the casing of the cassette (I will be using chisels- a rotary tool would be good for this step as well)
- electrical tape
To Make A Label and Case Insert For Your MixDrive (Optional):
- High quality paper for your label and case insert (I am using some free samples of glossy photo paper that came with my last ink purchase.)
- a printer
- adhesive for paper/plastic bonding (I will be using rubber cement.)
Now that we've assembled all the supplies we will need to make our MixDrives, let's get started, shall we?
Step 2: Liberate Your Flash Drive
Since your drive may differ from mine, I can't guide you through this step with great precision. For most USB flash drives, the casing is two halves of a plastic shell which are glued together. The easiest way to disassemble this type of casing is to find the seam and gently work your craft knife into it. Carefully work your craft knife along the seam until the casing feels loose or pops open. You should be able to remove the USB stick from its housing. Take the bits of the case and set them aside for now. We'll salvage some plastic from them later.
Step 3: De-construct Your Cassette Tape
There are tons of removable bits inside, and we don't want to spill them everywhere, so place your cassette flat on your work surface with the screws facing up. Remove the screws, and the top half of the case should lift easily from the bottom.
Step 4: Remove the Insides!
Step 5: Mark It Up!
Step 6: Hack Away!
Step 7: Make Sure It Fits.
Step 8: Kick It Up a Notch.
Take one half of the cassette casing and place the USB stick in the notch we have cut. Make sure that you place it in the notch in the fully extended position. There should already be a small notch in the top of the casing. We will want to line our slider button up with this notch. You can make a small mark with a permanent marker on your USB stick to mark this location.
Now place the USB stick inside the casing in the fully retracted position. I like to line the metal plug up so that it is flush with the outside edge of the cassette housing. The notch that will allow the button to slide must extend just beyond the mark we have made on the USB stick for the button. Mark the casing just behind the mark we have made for placing the button on the USB stick.
Once you have your notch properly marked, start cutting.
Step 9: Make a Button!
Take your little bits of plastic and wrap them with electrical tape, then trim off the excess tape.
Step 10: Wrap It!
Place the button on the top edge of the USB stick, and tape it down with the electrical tape. After securing the button, use the tape to cover the rest of the USB stick.
Step 11: Double Check the Fit.
If the button isn't tall enough to be usefully accessible, try adding a couple of layers of electrical tape to bulk it up, or taping on an additional piece of plastic to bridge the gap.
Step 12: Reassemble Your MixDrive!
Put the top half of the cassette housing on and screw the cassette back together - leaving out the screw in the corner where the USB drive now sits, which is no longer needed. The empty reel should hold the USB drive against the top of the case.
Step 13: Pat Yourself on the Back!
Step 14: (Optional But Awesome) Make a Label and Case Insert!
Grab them here.
Photoshop your templates or just print one out and grab your pens, pencils, markers, or even crayons! Color it up and make it your own!
Use the guide lines to cut out the label and rubber cement (or other adhesive) to attach it to your cassette.
Voila! Your personalized MixDrive is complete!
Take photos of your handiwork and post them so we can all be impressed by your wicked style!