Cassette tape tutorial

A few days ago I posted about my cassette tape wallet and how it’s held up over the past 10 months, and I promised a tutorial. Well here it is!

First you need to get your hands on a cassette tape. For my first wallet I already had those at my house, but for this one I ordered them from American Science and Surplus. These ones were screwed together, so it was super easy to take them apart. My first one was glued together, so I had to carefully pry the pieces apart with a flat head screw driver. If you have to separate your tape like this, be very careful. I cracked one in half because I was trying to rush it :( Some are glued up pretty good.

Here are the pieces together. The zipper is 9 inches and I just placed the two pieces of the tape over the inside fabric to see how big it had to be. Like so:

But you still might have to cut it down a little more than that, so it fits snug inside. I actually ended up using a piece of red felt for the inside rather than this hot pink jersey material. The felt was thicker and I like how the thicker fabric looked better than the thinner jersey.

Take some pliers and go to town on the little pieces that stick up on the inside. Be careful as you get to the pieces close to the edge, you might end up taking a whole chunk of the outside of the tape as well. I almost did a couple of times! You could use a Dremel tool to do this part.. It’s what I used for my first cassette tape wallet, but I wouldn’t recommend going that route, because it resulted in many tiny burns all over my arms and whatnot from molten globs of plastic that shot at me from the Dremel.

Now here’s the fun part.

Take your zipper and slowly start to glue it to the inside of the tape. I use the glue E6000. I’m pretty much in love with that glue, it works so well. Some people have recommended using hot glue because it doesn’t take as long, but I don’t think it’d hold as long as the E6000 has.

Anyway, as you glue it in, only apply glue to about an inch and attach the zipper, and hold it for a few minutes. Make sure the zipper foot has enough room to easily zip and unzip. Rinse and repeat until you’ve made it all the way around. If you don’t hold it down and wait for those few minutes, the zipper and tape will come apart and result in much frustration and glue-fingers. As you see here, I have quite a bit of zipper left over, so I just ended up making it go a little further onto the bottom of the tape. On my original tape the zipper ended up fitting perfectly, I don’t know what the deal is with this one! You should do this step with the zipper unzipped or else you’ll end up having to really carefully unzip the stupid thing when the glue hasn’t cured all the way.

Here it is unzipped. Glue on the other side of the zipper to the other cassette tape half.

Here are the two sides all glued in.

Slather your glue of choice all over the inside of the tape and apply the inside fabric. Press it down with some pressure and hold for a minute or two, and that should be fine.

Now, I recommend not to touch this thing until at least 24 hours have past. If you don’t you’ll regret it because if you don’t give it at least 24 hours for the glue to cure, it will probably fall apart a lot faster.

Here’s the finished product. I painted it with enamel paints :)

I ended up giving this one to my little sister. She’s had a good birthday weekend. If anyone has any questions about this tutorial, please feel free to ask!

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  • Kelli Matthews

    What a cute project! I’m putting together some links to fun e-6000 projects on the new Eclectic Products blog and I’ll include this one for sure. Eclectic Products makes e-6000 and we’re always excited to find passionate users!



    • Chezlin

      Thanks! I’m honored to be on that list of projects :)

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  • RecycleCindy

    Outstanding job and a fantastic tutorial. I love your projects. Keep up the great stuff!

    • Chezlin

      Thanks! I saw your reply to my post on Craftster.. I was looking at your avatar/name and was thinking you looked familiar :) haha

  • Rachel

    I came upon your blog after facebook told me someone commented on the table you made. And now I’m SO inspired to make a this CUTE purse!
    Also, the fact that I’m also called Rachel, live in Texas, and am in my twenties spurs me on a bit for some reason. haha

    • Chezlin

      Haha awesome, I didn’t realize people were discussing my stuff on facebook :) I’m glad I’ve inspired you. And yay Rachels! I always meet “Rachaels” but never Rachels. Haha.

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  • ro95

    this is adorable!!! im definitely going to make these for all my friends birthdays, it gives so many options for personalization!

    • Chezlin

      Awesome! You should send me some pictures of them if you end up making some :)

  • Morgan


    • Chezlin

      I’m glad you love it :D

  • lilred

    WOW!! This idea is totally rad crazy. I’m in the process ofcollecting tapes to make these..they are really creative! Thanks for the tut! :D happy.

    • Chezlin

      You should totally send me pictures of your wallets whenever you make them! I’d love to see them.

  • Addie

    Thank you so much for this tute! I can’t wait to try it!

    • Chezlin

      Your welcome! :D

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  • Katrina

    Wow! This is an awesome idea! When I need another wallet I am totally going to try this. It’s nice to have a use for all those old cassette tapes that hardly anyone uses anymore. Plus, the fact that this one has a squid on it made me happy. XD I love squids. Thanks for the tutorial, I saw you featured on the Craft Blog and just had to come and take a look.

    • Chezlin

      Thank and you’re welcome! :)

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  • Lisa

    Sweet!! Love it! Thanks so much for the tutorial. It actually sounds like I might be able to make this! LOL But the awesome paint job you did is definitely something I can’t do!

    • Chezlin

      Thanks! Sometimes the original tape has enough decoration already, like on my yellow one.. it’s just that these ones were boring white, so I had to spruce it up :)

  • La Woodstock

    what a cute wallet!!
    thank you very much for sharing :)

    • Chezlin

      Thanks! And you’re welcome :) I’m glad you like it

  • yz

    mmm i wanna try! XD
    haha i wonder if i can sell them ?
    after i make them @_@

    • Chezlin

      Uhh, I guess you could?

      • yz

        really? that would be awesome! thank you very much :D

        • Chezlin

          I didn’t realize you were asking for my permission.. It’s not my permission to give, the idea isn’t mine, as I mentioned in my first cassette tape post. You’d have to ask them. That’s why I’ve never made mine for profit, because I don’t have permission. I make them for myself, friends and family, for free.

        • yz

          im sorry if i offended u
          but tat was the reason i asked for permission in the first place

          nvm i’ll just try it out for fun then

        • Chezlin

          It’s okay, it’s just not my permision to give.

  • Mike

    I just stumbled this and think it’s pretty cool wouldn’t work for a guy too well though. One question, why would you give yz an ok to sell your idea and intellectual property for his/her own profit? yz you are an ass.

    • Chezlin

      Thanks! Yeah, it’s more ideal for a girl because we can throw them into our purses rather than having to face sitting on them and being uncomfortable.
      Regarding yz, I didn’t realize they were asking for my permission.. I thought they were simply wondering if they could sell them.. which I thought was kind of rude, that’s why I commented like I did. Now that I’ve realized that though.. it’s not my permission to give, I used someone else’s idea to make my own, thats why I don’t sell them for my own profit.. It kind of irks me when people take other peoples ideas and sell them, so I try not to do that to others.

      Long post! haha, thanks for visiting :)

    • yz

      im sorry if u feel that way
      this is the reason i asked for permission in the first place.

  • Michelle

    i’ve already made 3 today. =)
    thanks you very much for adding a tute.
    on question. what type of paint did you use to pain the cassette? or is it painting down then using sharpies or soemthing along those lines.

    • Chezlin

      Wow! I’d love to see them! :) The paint I used was the kind they use for model cars.. enamel paint I believe. I used sharpie, but just a thin yellow one for the under sketch.

  • Lou

    These are really cool – I love it when someone takes something old or vintage and re-works it into something unexpected AND useful. Great idea! (and seems easy enough, too.)

    • Chezlin

      Thanks! :D

  • Chelsea

    This is so awesome! I’m thinking it could be modified just the slightest bit to hold an ipod…with a hole in the fabric where the holes in the tape are for the headphones? What do you think?

    • Chezlin

      That’s a great idea! People would get so confused if they saw someone walking around with a cassette tape that had headphones sticking out, haha. Maybe I’ll try this out :) Thanks for the idea!

      • Chelsea

        Haha, I think it’ll work. I’m working on it right now. I’ll be sure to send you some pictures once its done!

  • Claire

    I am planning to make one wallet like this, however when using the pliers, should you wear some kind of protective eye wear or am I just being to paranoid?

    • Chezlin

      I didn’t wear anything (other than my glasses) because I wasn’t knocking off any pieces, I was firmly grabbing ahold of areas and breaking them off, so there were no flying bits of plastic. I mean, if you feel like you should, by all means go ahead, it’d probably be better anyway, I’m just pretty unsafe when it comes to crafting, haha.

      Thanks for visiting :)

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    • Chezlin

      I can’t understand this.. but thanks for visiting! :)

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  • Thomas


    • Chezlin

      Why not? :D

  • Mandy!

    thaaatss waayy too coooll

    cantt waait to doo onee!!! ^^

    • Chezlin

      Thanks! I’m glad you like it :D

  • Stephanie

    lol um idk if this is a stupid question but did you buy the .50 blank tapes from the science store? And this is super dooper awesome and i’m soo happy you made a tut because everyone kept saying they would and no one did. so tytytytytyty!

    • Chezlin

      I ended up buying a pack of like.. 5 old cassette tapes with self help kind of junk on it. It was only a few bucks from the American Science and Surplus.. I didn’t get the 30 second ones cuz I figured those were the tiny ones you stuck in an answering machine.. although, those would be cute for a little coin purse probably :)

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  • Tami

    so I tried this tonight (went raiding my basement for all the tapes I could find) and went to buy some zippers.

    Well, at first, I glued the zipper inside out, didn’t realize it til I went to glue the other side on. Then after taking off the zipper, I did it again!

    When I FINALLY got it, when I zipped it up, it was lopsided! needless to say, I give up for tonight! But it would be a PERFECT accessory for the record purse I made!

    • Chezlin

      I’m sorry it didn’t turn out too good for you. My very first one was pretty tricky as well. Hopefully it will turn out better if you try again! :)

  • Maluro

    This is super nice!
    I’m trying to make one right one… (except that I can’t paste it yet since I don’t have nothing to paste it with XD)
    Anyway.. my question .. I have this cassette that has stickers and I trying to get rid of them so I can paint it later. But its a bit too hard!! Any suggesting of how to get rid of the labels =D??

    • Chezlin

      When I was little we used to remove stickers by soaking them in water and rubbing them off.. so that’s what I am going to suggest to you. :)

    • gen

      try Goo Gone to get stickers off – it works GREAT on all the stickers my kids put everywhere – mirrors, windows, hardwood floors, walls, etc… – i have a small bottle (less than 4 oz) that has lasted 3 years so far. bought it at the hardware store, but probably available at the big-box stores….if not with cleaning products, check the hardware section – ask the guy at the paint counter

      • Laura

        you can also try to use a hairdryer on it for a few minutes, thats what I allways do and it works perfectly fine, never tried the others

  • kyra

    hi i love your tutorial! thank you very much.
    but i’m wondering if how could i make the wallet thicker?

    • Chezlin

      Hm! I’m not sure how you could make it thicker.. Maybe you could try to just barely glue the zipper in.. like, towards the edges of the zipper or something.. sorry I can’t help any more than that! Mine are always pretty thin.

  • tk

    are the zippers closed-end or open-end? i’m not sure what kind to get. i haven’t looked for zippers yet, but where did you get yours? are they at specialty craft/fabric stores only, or would walmart have them?

    • Chezlin

      I usually get the closed-end zippers, you should be able to get them from any craft store, and Walmart too.

  • maggie

    so how do you get the tape apart?
    the flathead screwdriver thing is just not doing anything.

    • Chezlin

      I use an exacto knife on mine.. veeeery carefully! :)

  • maggie

    haha ok i found some that screw closed.

    • Chezlin

      I’m sorry you couldn’t get any other ones opened.. some tapes are kind of stubborn unfortunately. I hope you make some awesome wallets out of the screw-closed tapes!

  • jess

    what exact glue did you use??? and does it stick to other plastics as well????? thanks!!!!! -jess

    • Chezlin

      I believe I covered what kind of glue I used in my post..

      “I use the glue E6000.”

      Haha, yeah :) I hope that helps!

  • c5

    This is a great recycling idea. I’m a recycling fan. I’ll try to look for old tapes to try an improvement–more like a divider–to be able to safekeep bills (banknotes) instead of being loose when you open the purse.

    Great site!

    • Chezlin

      Thanks for visiting! :)

  • Eridel

    Thats pretty awesome. I have tons of old cassette tapes laying around. Looks like i’m going to have to try this out.

  • Pegs

    WOW! I’m gonna try this out! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Sarah

    I will be making some.

    • Chezlin

      Thanks! You should send me your pictures if you make some, I love seeing other peoples crafts, too :)

  • bella

    uhh that is awesome..i’m gonna have to try that.

  • Melissa

    i am going to go right out and buy like 5 thousand tapes at the secondhand store and make a lot of these. also, i have that same sewing machine that is at the top of the page there.

    • Chezlin

      You should send me pictures of your tapes if you do this! :)

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  • putingtikbalang

    Thank you. you just gave me my first idea for Christmas gift-giving. (hugs)

    Linking to your blog, if I may? :)

  • daniel

    tried one of these before after seeing that one designer selling em for a ridiculous amt of money, didn’t turn out so well. so far the method with the e6000 glue is going good, but i’m just worried about how to nicely/cleanly close off the ends of zipper material at the bottom of the wallet.

    i’m ok w/ sewing by hand and think i might need to do some of that to get the whole thing closed off with the zipper fabric attaching to the felt/interior material, so that there are no little gaps at the corners. not sure if i’m making any sense, if you could elaborate on how you closed off the loose zipper fabric ends itd be helpful =)

    • Chezlin

      The way I made it look “clean” was to fold up the extra fabric tabs on the end of the zippers and glued them up inside the tape. Then when I glue in the fabric it gets covered.

      Hope that helped!

  • Ashley

    I saw the pictures of this a while ago and planned on making it, but when I finally got my hands on a tape, it was one of the glued together ones, not screwed together. So today I decided to dig up a screwed together one. Tips for anyone trying to do this, make sure the zipper is the right way when you glue it in, the first time I glued mine it it was backwards X_X. Also, make sure to either use an opaque tape or paint/sharpie a clear one, you can see the glue all over. Also, when putting in the zipper, start with the zipper end, not the end end, so you can lay it flat to put the fabric in, I started with the other end and it wouldn’t lay flat. But it turnd out! I’m going to decorate it once the glue’s cured and maybe I’ll get some pictures for you.

    • Chezlin

      Actually, the very first tape I made was glued together. I think I even mentioned it in my post as well. The screwed together ones just make it easier hehe :)

      Yeah, I don’t like doing clear tapes because of the glue issue, that’s why I’ve only ever done opaque ones :)

      You should send me those pictures! I’d love to see them.

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  • Nakedcube

    So I decied to make this today and I have come across some useful hints, I didn’t read all the comments cause there are just too many, but here they are. One is I broke a plastic knife in half to help push the zipper down and around the corners/edges while gluing. Also as I held it in place with the knife, I let a warm hair dryer run over it which helped keep the last piece I glued stay and not move before I glued the next section. I am thinking that maybe for the next one I can sew the zipper to the fabric and then glue the whole piece inside. What do you think? I am thinking it will work ok if I use a thicker fabric, like a wool felt.

    • Chezlin

      When I made mine I just held it together with my fingers for a few minutes till the glue would stick..then I’d glue down the next half inch and repeat.. so it took me quite a while haha :)

      I’ve seen people sew up a wallet and then just glue the tape onto the sewn wallet, so I’m sure that it would work for you as well.

      Yeah, I like how it looks with the thicker felt as well.

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  • derya baykal

    You are great

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  • Misty

    It looks realy nice, but isn’t a bit fragile on the long term use? Wonderfull idea though.

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  • Alex

    when i saw this i had to try it out eeee!
    so cute, here’s how mine turned out:

  • Emilie

    Freaking awesome project!!!! I love it… its perfect for christmas presents… I love the idea of painting them… I did a couple old school nintendo designs on them and am in love :)

    thanks for sharing this!!!

  • Steph

    I just made one of these as a Christmas present for one of my friends. :)
    I painted Gir, hearts and Tacos on the outside in acrylic and ink and sprayed it fixative afterwards. Used some black scrap fabric from an old sweater and it turned out awesomely.

    Thank you!

  • Mallory

    I tried this last night and made a horrible mess with the glue. The e6000 likes to keep squirting glue long after I’ve stopped squeezing. Any tips for not getting it on the zipper teeth? I’m going to try again tonight, with a stiffer fabric and a sturdier tape.

  • Rachel

    This is so cool! Thanks so much for the tute, I’ll be linking.

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  • Carissa

    Love it! Thanks for the tutorial :)

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  • Billy Tea

    Hi Chezlin! I love this idea.

    It is my ‘female companions’ birthday soon and I made one of these for her.
    Using a Black cassette, Red Zip and Green inner material.

    It took me 4 hours! :P
    I made a few mistakes but got there in the end.

    I hope my female friend likes it! :P

    Thanks for sharing your idea. :D

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  • marina

    jaja me sirve para hacer la tarea de naturales

  • Kelly

    My daughter found these on a website and they were 43 dollars. I knew we could make these, so we searched the internet and found you!!

    thanks so much for the tutorial. We can’t wait to get started.

  • michel

    i loved that idea please change it to spanish because i do not talk english very well. Please send to my mail new ideas about of recycle¡¡¡

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  • Debra Svedberg

    Very nicely done, sweet tutorial! Now when I’m thrift-store-treasure-hunting I’m going to look for some cool retro cassette tapes. I’d also like to try an 8-track if I could ever find one.


      I WAS THINKING THE SAME THING! And with a VHS too! Yes we still have tons of them around here. Ima ask my parents for some 8-track tapes too! =D

  • Brand Bags

    Great DIY!

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  • Конституция

    Спасибо за хорошую статейку

  • Chiara

    Hi!You works are so beautiful!
    (Excuse me for the grammar,but I’m italian!)

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  • F

    love it, love your tutorial, love the way you explain…sweet, simple, and explaining all the important stuff( the details!) ;) thanks a lot! F.

    • Chezlin

      @F: Thanks! That means a lot :)


    OH EM GEEE!! THIS IS SO HOTT!!! Sorry for shouting but this soooo rocks! no you have me thinking of VHS clutch! LOL im very crafty too! My aunt taught us very young (7yrs old or so) how to make picture frams out of cardboard, fabric, glue and batting! We made so many of those darn things! LOL! Girl i love this and your lil coin purse! I have a BUNCH of tapes from the 80′s (i hope…hmmm i may have tossed them :( ) in storage. I love your graphics too! Im going to get my 9yr old daughter on these projects! THANKS SO MUCH!

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  • abc

    bu allah için nece.çincemi yunancamı

  • Marchelle

    Could you give a tutorial on doing the paints? THEY’RE BEAUTIFUL!

  • Marceline Bonnet

    idée géniale
    merci beaucoup

    • Chezlin

      Aw, thanks! I’m glad you liked it :)

  • Christa Sunderland

    So cute and a very clever idea :) I am going to give this a try soon :)

    • Chezlin


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  • Jennifer Cole

    For the zipper. Do I need to go out and buy one? Or, can I cut one out of a pair of old pants that I no longer need? Would that work you think?

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  • Treenarenee

    very nice and it looks easy!

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