Saturday, June 21, 2008

Record Album Cover Box Tutorial, Here We Come!

So even though my Bargain Hunter swap partner really wanted some nice storage containers, those were pretty much the only things I wasn't able to score for her at the various thrift stores and yard sales and dumpster-diving locations I visited during our swap. I found billions of knitting needles and yarn and books to alter and cool Spanish T-shirts, but no storage containers. So the day before I sent, hanging out at home alone with the girls, I made some record album cover boxes out of records I got at the free day at the Monroe County History Center garage sale. The girls could entertain themselves for an hour, I figured. Thus follows the course of that hour:


1. Gather your materials. You'll need some record album covers, scissors, a good long ruler (bonus if you've got a ruled cutting mat), a pencil, and a hot glue gun with glue. While you do this, your girls will be putting together a giant velociraptor puzzle:

2. Separate your record album cover into two pieces, front and back. Sometimes you'll need scissors, and sometimes the cover will be so old that it will easily separate by hand. When you're done, it will look like this:


You'll need to sacrifice a cover to your girls so that they can do this, too, because tearing things up is fun. NOTE: The cover you sacrifice will NOT be usable after the girls finish with it.

3. Starting with the cover you want to be the top, decide how tall you want your box to be. It will be a square box, and the taller you make it, the narrower the box width will be. 1" tall is wide and flat, 3" tall is tall and narrow, but 2" is a good height for a generic box. Using your ruler and your gridded cutting mat, if you have one--

--mark a line 2" from the edge of the cover all the way across on all four sides of your cover:

Press hard with your pencil, because you'll later be folding along these lines, and the pencil indentation will make it easy to fold. While you're doing this, the girls will have moved on to clay.

4. Do the same with the side that you want to be the bottom of your box, only now you need to measure 2 1/16" from the edge of the cover on each side. This will make the bottom of your box slightly taller and narrower, and since the top of your box will be slightly wider, it will fit over the bottom snugly but not too tightly. When you're done your two covers will look about like this--

--and your two girls will be done with clay:


5. Notice that in each corner, your lines have crossed to make a square. On each side, cut the right-hand line up to where it meets the perpendicular line--

--and then fold all the ruled lines you made, making sure they bend easily at a 90-degree angle:


While you're doing this, your girls will be emptying out the dress-up bin, looking for their tutus that they actually left in the car after the last dance class.

6. So you can see how, when you snipped the right-hand line up to where it met the perpendicular line on each side of your cover, you made square tabs, each 2" square. Take two adjacent edges of your cover and fold them up to a 90-degree angle along those lines you drew. On the side of that tab that has the cover art on it, you're going to spread hot glue, and then tuck it inside the box and press it onto the inside of the adjacent edge:


This forms one corner of your box. Press firmly until the glue cools down, and then repeat for your other sides. It should now look like this:

And your dancing daughter looks like this:

  Repeat for the other half of the box until it's finished and looks like this:


And then quickly, while your daughters are blitzed out on Jumpstart Kindergarten--

--repeat three more times until you have this:

Whew! What an hour!


Abiail Andrews said...

I just wanted to thank you for posting this! I recycle old Vinly records into awesome things and I have been trying to figure out what to do with the hundreds of album covers that have been stacking up. I make coasters out of some but now I can put all of them to good use by making these gift coxes for customers, especially with Christmas shopping getting closer.

Marilize said...

I just made one! I repurpose the paper goods from charity shops here in Cape Town and a couple of covers landed in the pile. Great tut and so easy :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting!

Do you have any tips for handling albums that are thicker and crack at the fold?


julie said...

If the box has aged in such a way that it's now brittle, you may have to choose another re-use for it. I also make these album ornaments--

--and these album business cards:

Anonymous said...

thanks for showing how busy moms get time to craft. and the pictures

Shawna said...

Cool idea. I have a pile of old sleeves to use up. I wish I'd seen this before Christmas ☺️

Shawna said...

Cool idea. I have a pile of old sleeves to use up. I wish I'd seen this before Christmas ☺️

Shawna said...

Cool idea. I have a pile of old sleeves to use up. I wish I'd seen this before Christmas ☺️

Shawna said...

Cool idea. I have a pile of old sleeves to use up. I wish I'd seen this before Christmas ☺️

Unknown said...

Any idea how to strengthen and preserve the boxes? I've tried modge podge and wood glue, but they haven't worked.

julie said...

I would think that polyurethane sealant would strengthen and preserve. I use it a lot as a top coat when I decoupage. I also used it to seal a tray I made out of upcycled corrugated cardboard, and it's held up great even thought it's constantly in use.