Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tutorial: Record cover postcards

This is one of my favorite paper upcycling projects: making postcards out of old vinyl record covers. Easy, useful and super cool- not to mention cheap! I've found records as low as a quarter a pop, but I'd say they average a dollar at most thrift stores. I might shell out two or three for a really cool cover.

 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make sure you're not cutting up something really rare or valuable! A quick ebay search will save you from kicking yourself later. If you pick your records up at a thrift store or a music store's dollar bin, you're probably just fine, but better safe than sorry.

Pretty colors!!

Once you've got your covers, it's time to cut! If your album has a thin paper slip cover, set that aside for now.

My little brother got to this one before I did, and cut out the robot on the front. But that's ok, because the back is covered in SPACE!

Figure out which rectangle-shaped (or square, let's not be picky) areas on your cover will look best. Grab your cutting tools of choice and have at it!

Ta-da!! How awesome is this? Now I can send someone a little piece of the universe. I was able to get four postcards from the back cover. This is unusual for the back side- usually it's covered in words.

Most record covers, especially the older ones, are made of paperboard. This means the back side will be brown. Which is fine, if that's what you want, but it's easier to write and read on a white background, yes?

I glued my post cards to the "wrong" side of a slip cover, the thin paper jacket many records have. It's not the end of the world if you have to use something else; I like the ecofriendliness of using the slip cover, though. Sometimes you can even find big bunches of old slip covers and other inserts from old albums that were orphaned, grouped together, and sold cheaply. 

But wait! The back will be blank. wouldn't it be nice to have some guidelines for a stamp and address, to make it look like a real postcard? I think so.

There's more than one way to achieve this. You could free hand it, use a ruler, make a stamp, or make a stencil like I did.

Grab old postcard. Or two or three, if you think you'll screw up like I did the on the first try. I used a craft knife and ruler to carefully cut along the guidelines and where the stamp box was. Then I used a small pair of scissors to widen the cuts so I could get a pen tip in there.

This was not my first try. As you might guess, the lines I get from this stencil are not perfectly straight and even all the way across. And I like them that way. The possibilities with this project are endless! That's what I love about upcycling.

I'm going to put myself out there and say this is the first craft tutorial I've ever written, so if anything is unclear please please please let me know! I would be ever so thankful.

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