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REPURPOSE | Trash into Treasures

Cassette Tape Purse

Text and photos by Wendy Becktold


Lori Eanes

Embarrassed by your obsolete musical collection? Let it sing a new tune as a clever, classy purse.

I recently read about a woman who was arrested for keeping 95 cats in her house. It seemed incomprehensible until I thought about my own hoarding streak: I have hundreds of cassette tapes packed up in boxes. OK, so maybe the neighbors aren’t complaining about the smell, but the detritus of my earlier musical phases is a nuisance in its own way, taking up space in my closet and psyche. I don’t even own a cassette player anymore.

I got to work constructing a chic cassette tape purse, using little more than glue and some felt. It didn’t make much of a dent in my collection, but it was liberating to stop revering the tapes as tokens of the past and to see them as material I could use for reinvention.

What You'll Need

° 12 cassette tapes
° Flush saw
° File or sanding block
° Quick acting craft glue
° Felt or other fabric (a ½ yard is plenty)
° Belt, rope, or strong ribbon
° Two small screws & corresponding acorn nuts
° Scissors
° Fabric chalk
° Tape measure or ruler

Use the cartridges as they are to show off your sophisticated taste in ’80s music. Or if, like me, you prefer not to advertise how uncool you were as a teenager (Amy Grant’s Christmas album? Really?), cover them with stickers and decals.

If you’ve never known a world without CDs and iPods (or you jettisoned your cassettes long ago), don’t worry: The tapes are easy to find. Just ask around. Diving into your aunt’s trove might tell you a lot about her younger days and why she became a crazy cat lady.

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: 2

CONSTRUCTION TIME: 2 hours

The hardest part is sorting through your tapes and deciding which ones to use.


Based on a project by Tami A. Walker on instructables.com.


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