“Upcycling VHS Tapes into Jewelry”

“Upcycling VHS Tapes into Jewelry”

Upcycling VHS Tapes into Jewelry


VHS tapes seem like a relic of the past, but they can be given new life by upcycling them into jewelry. As someone who loves arts, crafts, and finding new uses for old things, I was excited to try this DIY project. In this article, I’ll share everything I learned about how to upcycle VHS tapes into jewelry.

Gather Your Materials

To upcycle VHS tapes into jewelry, you’ll need:

  • VHS tapes – Look for ones with cool printed labels, designs, or colors. The plastic housing is what you’ll use.
  • Jewelry findings – Jump rings, chain, clasps, pins, etc. Get creative!
  • Craft glue – E6000 or other strong glue. Avoid hot glue.
  • Scissors or rotary cutter – For cutting the VHS tape plastic.
  • Sandpaper – To smooth cut edges. Start with coarse and move to fine grit.
  • Acrylic sealer – Seal and protect your finished pieces.

Optional: acrylic paints, marker paint pens, and so on to decorate.

Take Apart the VHS Tapes

First, you need to take the VHS tape apart to extract the plastic housing. Here’s how:

  • Carefully pry open the plastic seam on the side using a flathead screwdriver.
  • Remove the black ribbon inside by pulling it out.
  • Take off any metal screws or brackets.
  • Remove foam padding if present.

Now you’re left with the bare plastic VHS tape housing ready for upcycling!

Cut and Shape the Plastic Pieces

With scissors or a rotary cutter, cut the VHS tape plastic into the desired shapes and sizes for your jewelry designs. Here are some ideas:

  • Cut strips to use as bracelet or necklace links.
  • Cut small shapes as charms for necklaces or bracelets.
  • Cut rings from the round reels for finger rings.
  • Cut large pieces into interesting earring shapes.

Tip: Draw your shape on the plastic with marker first as a guide for cutting.

Cut slowly and carefully to get smooth edges. Use sandpaper to further smooth and shape the cut plastic edges.

Add Jewelry Findings and Decor

Next, attach your choice of jewelry findings using strong craft glue. For example:

  • Glue jump rings onto cut bracelet links to connect them.
  • Glue clasps, chain, and other findings to finish necklaces and bracelets.
  • Glue posts, clips, pins, or other findings to earrings.
  • Glue bands onto rings.

You can also decorate the plastic pieces with paint, nail polish, markers, collage papers, and more to create one-of-a-kind designs! Apply acrylic sealer over the finished pieces for protection.

Create Unique VHS Tape Jewelry

With some simple tools and techniques, you can upcycle VHS tapes into awesome jewelry. Let your creativity run wild! Combine different shapes, colors, and decorations for really unique designs. Give new life to your old VHS tape collection and make fun jewelry you won’t find anywhere else.

Tips for Successful VHS Jewelry Projects

Here are some additional tips for recycling VHS tapes into great jewelry:

  • Choose eye-catching tapes – Look for colorful or patterned labels and housings.
  • Combine with other materials – Layer in leather, fabric, beads, game pieces, and found objects.
  • Make matching sets – Use tapes from the same movie or TV show to make coordinated necklaces, earrings, etc.
  • Try embedding small objects – Glue small charms, game pieces, rhinestones into cut plastic before sealing.
  • Seal thoroughly – Seal well with acrylic to protect from moisture and wear.
  • Distress for vintage look – Use sandpaper, paint, or baking soda solutions to age and weather the plastic.

With some creativity and vintage tapes, you can make awesome jewelry!

Common Questions

Are certain types of tapes better than others?

Generally thicker, sturdier cassette housings work best. Tapes that are vinyl or already patterned/colored can yield cool effects without paint. Unique printed labels also make for nice jewelry accents.

What if the tape splinters or cracks when cutting?

This can happen with thinner, weaker tapes. Try a sharper blade, slower cutting speed, and sanding gently. Soak in warm water to soften before cutting. Consider using these pieces for smaller charm elements.

How do you get clean cuts in the rounded reel area?

Use sharp scissors and take your time cutting slowly. Mark cut lines with pencil first. A rotary cutter and ruler helps get straight lines. Sand well after cutting. Practice on less desired tapes first to get the hang of cutting curves.

What kind of glue works best?

I recommend E6000 craft glue since it bonds plastic strongly. Be sure pieces fit well together first. Apply glue sparingly along the inside edges, assemble, then let set 24 hours. Superglue can also work but dries quickly. Avoid hot glue.

Any other upcycling ideas for old tapes?

Yes! You can make bowls, frames, boxes, coasters, buttons, book covers, and more. Let your creativity run wild! Upcycle tapes into any project needing plastic sheets or cases.

Final Thoughts

Recycling old VHS tapes into new jewelry gives them a fresh purpose. Follow the steps to take tapes apart, cut unique shapes, add findings, decorate, and seal. With some simple tools and techniques, you can make your own fun earrings, necklaces, rings, and bracelets from vintage tapes. Get creative with different materials and designs! Show off your DIY VHS jewelry creations.