Movable Record Player Greeting Card From a Floppy Disk




The actual disk part of an old 3.5" floppy disk looks suspiciously like a record, doesn't it? It only takes a few minutes to turn one into this personalized turntable greeting card. The best part is that the card is assembled with brads so the record spins and the player arm moves, too. Perfect for audiophiles and geeks alike.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Assemble Your Materials

For this project you'll need:

- an old 3.5" floppy disk
- a flathead screwdriver
- scissors
- hole punches
- blank greeting cards or cardstock to make your own
- small brads
- cardstock or corrugated paper for the record player arm
- embellishment items: stamps, collage paper, glue stick, etc.

If you don't have 3.5" floppy disks of your own, try a local second-hand store. In the Portland, OR, area both SCRAP and Free Geek usually have them for 25 cents or less apiece.

Step 2: Free the Disk!

Start by busting into the floppy disk. Pull off the protective flap and slide the screwdriver between the plastic sides and twist to pop the disk case open. Try to avoid marring the disk inside with the screwdriver.

At this point I always remember past teachers' admonishments to never! touch! the disk!

Ha! I'm touching the disk!

After you've broken it open, you'll be left with several parts of the floppy disk case that are not used in this Instructable. All you need right now is the round, magnetic disk. You can use the other bits to make something else.

Step 3: Lay Out the Card

Lay the disk on the card and mark spots in the middle of the disk and where the arm of the record player will be located.

Step 4: Punch the Card

Punch small holes where you made the marks in the last step. You can use a narrow punch like this one, a darning needle, or whatever else you have handy.

Step 5: Attach the Record

Attach the disk to the card with a brad. I like to punch a larger circle of paper to go between them, but it's not required.

Step 6: Attach the Player Arm

Cut a thin strip of corrugated paper or cardstock to be the arm of the turntable. Punch a small hole in one end and attach it with the second brad.

Step 7: Personalize Your Card

Now decorate the card however you like. I tend to favor silly music-themed puns cut from old magazines, but maybe that's just me.

Step 8: Share the Love

You're done! Now go give the card to someone.

Oh, and if you come up with other cool uses for the leftover disk parts, please mention them in the comments here or on my blog.

Epilog Challenge

Participated in the
Epilog Challenge



    • Make It Fly Challenge

      Make It Fly Challenge
    • Stone Concrete and Cement Contest

      Stone Concrete and Cement Contest
    • Spicy Challenge

      Spicy Challenge

    39 Discussions

    “Every year, tons of electronics are thrown in the garbage, creating a severe worldwide e-waste problem. Still, most of us love our gadgets and pine for the newest versions when they’re released.”

    What should we do with our tech leftovers so we don’t contribute to the dilemma? ‘a0Here are some ways to re-purpose your old PC, Smartphone or monitor that will help you get more life out of it while taking care of Mother Earth.

    Make a Media Center —Your PC or laptop isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer anymore, but it can still be a useful media storage device. Back up your pictures, music and videos to your old machine, then install software that allows you to easily stream content to your home theater, like Plex ( Voila! You’ve got a server from which you can watch movies through a network connected Xbox or Blu-ray player.  Computer Repair Portland


    9 years ago on Introduction

    What would make this VERY cool project even cooler, would be to go and get a few (one for each card, you need) cards that have the circuitry within them to play back something you've recorded on them (by pressing the right mini button and speaking, or playing music). I have seen them in some discount stores, so they can be had for cheap - around a $1 or 2 (compared to buying a Radio Slack voice module that is both too big and way too expensive, and really doesn't sound good either, for nearly $20).

    You could then use the activating strip from the bought card AND the voice recorder/playback module in your card and the record would sound like it plays ;-)

    2 replies

    The only drawback is time. If you have only a few (5-10) passwords, they may fit, otherwise one would have to have more than one or try to find a small digital voice recorder circuit that records more. Radio Shack, at one time, sold the chip and you could build a small circuit around it; but they no longer sell that, and the kit they now sell isn't worth buying, unless you don't mind adding an amplifier circuit to the thing. :-)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Hey guys, imagine a gramophone player, but in reverse. I made a smaller gramophone recorder and used an old Mc donald's windup toy as the power source by talking (loudly) into the cone. The vibrations travel down the cone to the needle (slightly sharpened) and become etchings on the floppy disk. Still writing the instructable, will be up soon!

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Very cool. If I find all of those old floppies; now I know what to do with them! FTG


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I managed to make an actual working record card what you need is to make a stationary metal cone (basic microphone) connected to a sharp needle which will drag along a slowly spinning disc of plastic or wax, thin aluminium (I used the floppy). create a disc that when you pur a blunt sewing needle into a paper cone the system works backwards and plays the sound (which is the bumps in the metal. I will post an instructable on how to do this shortly

    3 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Do post it, that's a very cool project and reaches into the Mind of Thomas Edison!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    You should be able to use the head from a disk reader and actually record Audio onto the floppy disk. It's just recording frequency instead of Data. Then when you spin the disk you'd get sound. Think of it as a circular tape machine.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    really great instructable! i used a button and a metal sharpie pin for the needle, also i added one of those music players from a musical card and it played when you spin the wheel. you are very creative :) pretty awesome!

    2 replies

    well when the music player is in the card it plays when it is opened and it pulls on a tab, so i just cut a slot through the bottom of the card and taped the tab to the record and boom! there you go :)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    How about combining this idea with paper gears, and have the arm rotate when you spin the record? You'd have it geared down, say 20:1, so that you notice it's movement, but you can still spin the record quite a bit before having to go backwards to return the arm. Could also be a good excuse to remove the metal portion of the floppy magnetic disc, and replace it with a paper disc with their favourite song's album printed on it. If you were bored/ambitious enough, you could probably combine this with a little sound-chip from some random greeting card, and have it activated when the arm rotates past a certain point.