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!
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.
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).
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.
Here are the measurements that work perfectly to make a CD case. Cut the paper along your lines to get the above shape.
Cut the corners off of the side flaps to make it look like this.
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.
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.
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. :)
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.