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What Can I Do With Old Audio Cassettes?

By Shelby Burr

We all remember those days. Running to your room to select the perfect cassette tape to blast in the car, or enjoy on your walkman. It was the perfect way to listen to your favorite song over, and over, and over again. Plus, it was easy to trade and record with your friends!

Cassette tapes are little treasures that hold memories of our past.

So, now that the years have come and gone, you’re probably recalling all of your cassette tapes that are tucked away in your attic, garage or storage. Yep - you’re not alone! There are hundreds of thousands of cassette tapes out there that are, sadly, taking the back seat as new technology paves a new path. That said...what can you do with all of your cassette tapes?

We totally understand. These cassettes are precious, special, one-of-a-kind! You don’t want to just chuck them in the trash...that feels like a disservice considering how much joy those cassettes brought you. That’s why we found five awesome things you can do with your old cassette tapes! Here’s how to make your cassette tapes live on…

Cassette Tape Pencil Holder

Looking for a new pen or pencil holder? Well, this fun, rock and roll look will definitely give your spare pens and pencils a good home. Here’s what you’ll need:
Hot Glue
Cassette Tapes
Spray paint (optional)

This DIY is so easy, you could do it in your sleep! Gather your cassette tapes and decide how large you would like your pencil holder to be. You will need 4 cassette tapes. Plug in your hot glue gun and apply a line of glue along the horizontal line of a cassette tape. While still hot, apply it to another cassette tapes horizontal line. Repeat until you have made a “cube” like shape of 4 cassette tapes.

For the bottom, you can either leave it empty to where your writing utensils are touching the table, or hot glue 2 cassette tapes to the bottom. And voila!! You have a fun, rock and roll cassette tape pencil holder. For those that want a more subtle look, apply paint of your favorite color to the entire structure. That way, it looks more simple, but you can still see the cassette tapes.

Cassette Wall Art

This is such a fun DIY and will be the show stopper in any house! Again, so easy, you could make this in your sleep.
Cassette Tapes (a lot of cassette tapes)
Hot glue
Gloss Finishing Spray
Spray paint (optional)

Head to your nearest craft store and select a size that’s perfect for your home. Next, pull out all of your cassette tapes and lay them in the order that you would like them to appear on the canvas. We want your canvas to be covered completely in cassette tapes! You can either leave the canvas white, or spray paint it your favorite color.

Next, plug in your hot glue gun and get it hot! You’ll want to apply a good amount of hot glue to the back of a cassette tape and place it on your canvas. Continue this process until the entire canvas is covered. Next, take your finishing spray and coat the entire thing. This will give your cassette tapes a nice shine and your canvas the perfect finished look!

If you want a more chic look, you can also paint over the cassette tapes so that the entire canvas is one full color. Or, paint a scene onto your cassette tapes! You have total artistic freedom when it comes to this fun DIY.

Cassette Business Card Holder

First, unscrew or detach your cassette tape. Then you’ll want to remove all the inside pieces. Pull out spools of tape and a few posts that you can remove with pliers. Next, you want to create a hinge for your cassette tape. The most simple way to do this is with a piece of tape. Use gaffer’s tape. Fold a little seam in the tape above the joint, and make sure the tape doesn’t stick that well to the top edge of the wall. That way when the cassette case is closed, the tape will push inward and let the case close all the way. And you’re done! Slide in your business cards and have fun!

Recycle Cassette Tapes

Yes, you can go green and recycle your cassette tapes! There are two different ways to recycle: Call your local recycle company or do it yourself. If you decide to recycle yourself, you have to take out the magnetic strip and tape from the cassette first. Then you can recycle the plastic cassette casing. If not, you can send your cassette tapes to your local recycling company that will take care of your cassette tapes for you. Make sure you call the company first to confirm that they will take your tapes!

Digitize Your Cassettes

Now, before you do any of the above, digitize your tapes first! This is also a great option if you want to keep your cassette audio, but want to avoid the bulky-ness of the tape. At Southtree, you can send in your cassette tapes and have them digitized to digital download, thumb drive, or CD! That way, your audio is preserved forever. Southtree will send your cassettes back, plus your new digital media. From there, you can either craft with your tapes, or safely recycle them. Up to you!

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