( USB edition )
To avoid all the consumerism at Christmas, this year I wanted to give more gifts that were made rather than bought. Although that didn’t really happen (it takes a lot of time to make stuff!), I was able to tackle one project I had in my head.
I’ve always loved the idea of a mixed tape and how personal it is to give to someone. Problem is, as cool as they are, everyone has ditched analog to go digital. How about burning CDs then? Do you even have a CD collection? Nope. If you want to share music chances are it’s probably a virtual exchange done on something like Facebook where you can post links to Youtube or SoundCloud.
So what can you do if you want to create or share a playlist with one person? You can make a customized USB Mixed Tape for under 20 bucks, that’s what!
Head to your local Value Village and pick up some cassette tapes – the extra old ones with screws make it easy to dis- and reassemble. You also need a slim USB flash drive that has a keyhole ring like this $16 one from Best Buy and some $2 nuts and bolts from Canadian Tire. Grab a screwdriver, some pliers and an X-Acto knife and you’re good to go.
The instructions above should be pretty straight forward: You clear out some space at the bottom of the tape, slip the usb drive between two nuts and thread a bolt through, anchoring it to one side of the tape so it folds in and out of the compartment you just made in the bottom of the cassette. Then slap on some retro covers and customize your label if you have an old-school label maker, and you’re done!
You can go the extra mile and decorate your new usb mixtape with a handwritten booklet or track list, with or without stickers.
My printer’s colours were off so my labels turned out pink instead of orange. Orange may be the new black but pink is what was hot in the 80’s so it works.
Ready to print cassette labels:
Verbatim TUFF-‘N’-TINY USB Drive
$16 from Best Buy
4-40 x 1/2” Flat head bolts with nuts
$2 from Canadian Tire