Introduction: Cassette Tape Wallet

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I love cassette tapes, they're an awesome reminder of when the 80's and 90's were all about acid wash jeans, mullets, plaid, drinking <insert dad's beer brand>, and above all: tape cassettes. The cassette tape is retro reminder of how cheesey-awesome these times were and even though you probably threw away you cassettes when you got something more modern you might still have one or two hiding somewhere, like under the back seat of your dad's Scirocco. Let's see what's back there; BoyzIIMen, Fleetwood Mac and Phil Collins? Perfect!

There's new life for these classic cassettes, by adding a zipper and you can make your favourite cheesy tape into a cassette tape wallet! You've propably got a Twisted Sister or soundtrack to The Breakfast Club too, go ahead and make a few for your friends.

Here's what you need:
  • screwdriver
  • epoxy

  • plastic cassette tape
  • fabric zipper
  • scrap fabric
  • plate for mixing epoxy
  • stir stick

Step 1: Find and Disassemble Cassette

You can usually find cassette tapes in almost any Thrift Store, steal it from your Mom's collection or maybe you have one hiding in some forgotten drawer in your store room. However you come across your cassette there are typically 2 types: ones that are held together by screws and ones that are sonically welded together. Remove the mechanical fasteners or break the weld at the cassette seams, then remove all the insides and clear out any small plastic posts or nubs on the inside to create a clean cavity. 

Step 2: Prepare Zipper and Epoxy

If required, trim your zipper to fit around the sides and top of your cassette and sew the end to make sure the zipper doesn't run off the track when completely opened.

I used a 2-part epoxy, measure equal portions and mix. I applied epoxy in several small separate sections, one at a time. On a scrap piece of cardboard mix a dime sized portion of epoxy to start. Remix new epoxy for each application. 

Step 3: Install Zipper and Pouch

Epoxy is a good choice for this application as it is very strong and durable, however there is a curing time associated with using this type of adhesive. Some epoxy glue is "quick set" and may become tacky in a shorter time. 

Arrange the cassettes mirrored along their top. With a stir stick, dab epoxy on inside of each top side of the cassettes. Working from the middle of the zipper, with the zipper closed and zipper facing down, gently press each side of the zipper onto the epoxied cassette tops. Press gently to ensure good contact. 

I waited about 10 minutes and my epoxy, while still "wet", was able to be worked around without breaking the bond. Unzipping the zipper the cassette sides could be glued. After mixing a new batch of epoxy the sides were glued using the same method as the top, only this time with the zipper open. By gluing in stages the epoxy has time to set and between each section being worked on. After the zipper was installed I let the epoxy to cure for about 30 minutes.

Start by unzipping the cassette and laying it flat on a table. Cut a scrap piece of fabric to the same width as my cassette, then (with a new batch of epoxy) the scrap was installed on the bottom of the cassette.

After installing the zipper and the pouch and ensuring the two sides aligned I let the epoxy set overnight. 
While the epoxy is setting we can work on the inside.

Step 4: Inside

The inside of the wallet looks unfinished with all the glue and fabric ends exposed. I covered these up by trimming the inside of the wallet with the paper insert that came with the cassette tape. I chose to use the cover and song list, keeping the connecting spine of paper between them.

Small openings:
I then cut scrap paper in a rectangular shape roughly the same size as the reel opening and small window of the cassette. This paper was filled with a black marker (to match the cassette colour) and glued onto the inside to cover the openings. 

Since my zipper has is rounded at the corners of the tape I had to round the corners of the paperwork in order to make them fit. Some additional trimming may be required to get your paper insert to fit correctly. After dry-fitting I was ready to commit by gluing down the paper. Since the inside paper is an aesthetic you can use almost any type of glue here.

Step 5:

You're now ready to load up your cassette wallet with your credit cards and rock your way to the nearest cashier in style, and the crazier your cassette tape is the more awesome you're sure to be in the lineup. Extra points if you work in song titles on your cassette into your conversation while others are admiring your retro tape.

Did you make your owncassette tape wallet? I want to see it!

Happy making :)

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