How To Make A Mixtape & A DIY Case To Go With It!

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I miss the days of mixtapes.  My first car was stocked with cassettes, mixes I made and mixes from friends and past boyfriends. I used to spend hours trying to make the perfect mix – choosing just the right songs, putting them in just the right order so that they flowed perfectly from one to the next, and crafting personalized artwork for the case.   I still have the tapes, but my current car doesn’t have a cassette player.  The art of making mixes can still be applied to CDs though, and I like to get creative with it to bring back some of the fun of making mixtapes. I tend to buy the packs of blank CDs that come in a big stack without cases, and it can be really fun making CD cases out of thick paper and personalizing them for whoever you make them for.  Here’s how!

how to make a mixtape

Picking the songs for the mix is always the best part.  The method I’ve come to use for this is scrolling through my music on iTunes or browsing through my CD collection.  When I come across an artist or song I want to use, I write it down and make a list. Once I have all the songs compiled, I rearrange them into the order I like.  The perfect mix always needs a great opener that sets the tone for the rest of the CD.  I always like to end a mix with a really strong song as well.

how to make a mixtape

To make a case for your mix, you will need a blank CD, a pencil and marker, ruler, scissors, and some thick paper (I used paper meant for drawing with pastels – I bought a pack of it at my local art supply store).

how to make a mixtape

Lay the CD on the paper, making sure you have plenty of room on each side. Using a pencil, make marks on each side of the CD and then connect them with straight lines using a ruler.

how to make a mixtape

Here are the measurements that work perfectly to make a CD case.  Cut the paper along your lines to get the above shape.

how to make a mixtape

Cut the corners off of the side flaps to make it look like this.

how to make a mixtape

Fold over the top flap and cut it so that it’s even with the bottom of the case. Make a half circle at the bottom, where it overlaps with the bottom flap. Cut as pictured, and make a slit in the bottom flap so that you can close your case by sliding the tab into the slit.

how to make a mixtape

Make your list of songs on a separate piece of paper, and decorate it as you please – then glue it on the inside of the case.

how to make a mixtape

how to make a mixtape

You can also make pretty artwork on the outside of your case! Once you have these basic steps down it’s really easy – and addicting – to make lots of these! I made one for my boyfriend as well. :)

how to make a mixtape

Do you like to make mixes? If you have a cute and creative way of doing it, I’d love to hear about it!

Photos by Julia.

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Comments

Blaubarschmaedl -August 27, 2012, 10:59AM

Wow, it’s such a cool and easy idea. I need to do this for my own favourite mix tape. Thanks for sharing this!

aria -August 27, 2012, 12:36PM

Wow cool idea! Hey what songs or albums would you guys recommend for working on remodeling a new home??!!! I’ve been taking off wallpaper and much more to do but I need some gooood music!!! Help! :-). Also do we get a sneak peak soon at the upcoming catalog?? :-) can’t wait!

fp julia -August 27, 2012, 1:23PM

Aria – tough question! I think for something like that I would recommend something pretty chill that let’s you zone out and forget about whatever tedious task you’re doing… try one of these playlists:
http://www.rdio.com/people/FreePeople/playlists/988902/A_Playlist_for_the_Water_Element/
http://www.rdio.com/people/FreePeople/playlists/921247/Friday_Tunes_Air_Element_Playlist/

Angi -August 27, 2012, 2:41PM

A friend of mine made this for my birthday a few years agow! The cd case had all different kind of images which could move. It was the perfect gift :D!

Maria -August 27, 2012, 3:18PM

<3 this idea!

Angela -August 27, 2012, 7:25PM

OMG! so cute! i still make my own mix cds… but i usually just write on the cd with a fine tip sharpie (i got the set with like a dozen colors) and depending on my mood or time, i’ll write in different colors. i figured i’d lose a case in my car… i often also will burn two copies (one for me & one for my bestie who LOVES myh compete randomness of song choices)… i think next one i’ll make a lil cd jacket for it (i also think it would be cute to just make a kind of sleeve if you will (cut the paper in a rectangle, prolly about a half inch bigger than around the cd… and use some glue, or staples and seal 2 open edges… you can write on the the outside of the sleeve and deco it… )

Molly -August 27, 2012, 8:48PM

Sweet idea! I love the geometric shapes on the cover as well.

Lauren -August 27, 2012, 9:13PM

I’ve been making mixed tapes and then later mixed CDs for my friends and sisters for as long as I can remember! At the end of every school year I’d make summer mix tapes of the songs I thought would be really popular, and then when I learned how to use Photoshop, I used to make crazy covers and track listings! I think mixed CDs are quite possibly the best gift you can give someone; you can make one for any occasion and you can introduce the giftee to all kinds of excellent music, new or old. I love this tutorial, and I’ll definitely try making this cute little envelope!

shea -August 27, 2012, 10:00PM

i love love love this!! im gonna make a senior year mix for me and my friends! <3

amy -August 28, 2012, 2:12AM

I love this idea…My husband & I are working on an app called Mixtape it will be available on the Iphone in the coming weeks. The rad thing about our app is not only reviving the art of creating the Mixtape but to discover and share music by making mixes and tagging your friends on Facebook and Twitter.
http://www.mixta.pe/

fortydogg -December 29, 2012, 5:21PM

kool idea…if u like hip hop musik and i mean not the everyday top 40 that evey other person plays then check out my mixtapes http://www.mixcrate.com/fortydogg, pass it on if you no people who might like these mixes

Bronte -May 10, 2013, 10:01PM

I made my mom a mixtape for Mother’s Day and this idea was so cute not to use! It looks adorable and you can add your own touches to make it unique. I know my mom will love it!! I’m so excited to give it to her.

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duppelo -August 30, 2013, 6:21AM

Great art(work) and songs. Thank you for your inspiration. I’m still searching for a website, where I can swap mixtapes with people all over the world. Any ideas? Please let me know.

Abbie -January 1, 2014, 4:13PM

Cute and fun idea, but I really don’t feel the instructions were clear enough.

Emily -January 27, 2014, 11:30PM

The directions sucked. Lotsa missing parts.

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