Introduction: VHS Cassette Clutch!

About: Grad student, salsa dancer, amateur telescope maker, Judo & BJJ player, crochet ninja, cyclist, amateur Miata mechanic, balloon twister, co-founder of sports related disinfection company, future pilot (homemad…

Skeined Productions - Under 1 hour VHS Cassette Clutch upcycle! This project involves using any old VHS cassette, crocheting the magnetic tape into the shoulder strap and some clever tricks to make a unique clutch!

Tools Required:
Hot glue gun
Clear packaging tape (or thin clear plastic sheet like used in old transparencies for projectors)
Crazy glue (or super glue)
Crochet hook (I used size I/9-5.50MM but could use 1 size smaller or bigger)
Wire Snippers
Silver marker (or white grease pencil or anything that will show up on the cassette plastic)
Small Phillips head screwdriver (not seen in photo, my apologies)

Supplies needed:
Small hinges (Could also use flexural hinges if wanted)
Fabric (I used some thin dark green fabric, anything will work - Not seen in pictures in this step)

Step 1: Disassemble VHS Cassette

First remove all screws from the back side of the cassette (no need to save the screws they will not be needed). By pulling apart the cassette the spools and parts will all fall out, keep the spools and discard the rest of the parts. 

Next pry off the metal spring using a screw driver or pull with fingers (watch eyes)!

Also remove the hinged lid that covers the magnetic tape, you can discard any springs attached to it.

Lastly remove the spring loaded plastic clip that locks the lid in place and discard it (see final photo)

Step 2: Trim Insides to Allow Hinged Movement

Using the wire snippers, trim the protrusions to as close to the base as possible (see photo 2) . These peg like protrusions originally were there to help align and hold the cassette together but now only interfere when the two halves are hinged open and closed.

Also trim other protrusions at the top (as seen in photo 3).

Lastly trim the two flat protrusions down for they are the last interference's (as seen in photo 4).

Step 3: Attach Hinges

On the bottom side of the VHS cassette attach two hinges. I used the crazy glue to affix the hinges (so far has held up without breaking apart).

If more strength is desired, use a small drill bit slightly undersized of the screws provided with the hinges, drill pilot holes and then screw in the hinges. 

Step 4: Crochet the Magnetic Tape Into Clasp and Hook

I am going to assume some basic skills with crocheting for this next part. If not or wanting to use another material like yarn or a mechanical clasp and hinge is fine, I just wanted to upcycle as much from the cassette as possible.

a) The first step is to crochet a simple chain approximately 4" long. I folded the starting tail and chained over it so it was tucked away but it could easily be tied off and cut to length.

b) After the chain is finished, cut off a tail of about 1.5" and weave it back through the chain and cut the excess when no more can be weaved through

c) Repeat steps a & b to create two chains of this length

Step 5: Attach the Crocheted Clasp and Hook

Loop the one chain until the ends touch and shove into the hold as seen in the first photo. Liberally apply the crazy glue and carefully hold the two ends in the hole until the glue sets (see photo 1).

Next lay the lid down in the open position (ensure correct orientation) and mark off the boundaries of the gap seen to the left of the silver markings (see photo 2).

Lastly apply glue liberally and coil the chain so a lot of surface area is in contact with the glue area and let it set (see photo 3).

In order to secure the clasp, just tape the loose chain and loop it through the hook a couple times!

Step 6: Attach Fabric Insides

Open the cassette to a reasonable angle (about 45°) and trace out the shape onto a piece of fabric. Cut this shape out and repeat cutting an identical second piece of fabric.

Starting with just 1 edge, lay a bead of hot glue down along one of the red lines (seen in photo 2) and quickly place the fabric onto the bead. Lay another bead of glue on the other red line and place the fabric on it creating a side piece.

Repeat this process for the other side. The final result should look something like photo 3.

Step 7: Plastic Windows for Two Main Holes in Cassette

This next step could be done with clear plastic sheeting or solid material, packaging tape was what I had available at the time.

Cut two squares of tape and place them on the inside of the case covering the hole, press all the edges down so the tape won't come up (see photo 1).

On the outside of the cassette, place another piece of tape with the sticky side to sticky side and starting from the middle, press out the contact till it reaches the edge of the hole (see photo 2). Repeat this for the other hole as well

Lastly, using the exacto knife, trim the excess around the hole (carefully!) (see photo 3)

Step 8: Create Shoulder Strap and Attach It

Again crochet experience here is expected however this strap can easily be done many different ways! Some creative ideas involve braiding the magnetic tape, just twisting, using it flat, tying many knots or using a different material completely!

Here is how I did it. I created a chain about 2.5' long, did a full row of single stitch and went back on the next row just doing a slip stitch. Goal was to have a symmetrical strap, chain on the outsides with a single stitch on the inside. Could really be any pattern you want and any width. I do have a video of my hands crocheting the tape. Let me know and I'll upload if anyone wants to see it.

Next step was to glue it onto the side of the cassette. I squeezed the width down a bit and glued a 1" section of strap onto the side using crazy glue. I repeated this for both sides.

Step 9: Wear and Enjoy!

The VHS Cassette Clutch is now complete and ready to be worn and used! 

(I apologize for the final image, I didn't have any female models at the time...)