How To Make A Mix Tape (In A Modern World)

I really love to make things, as you’ve probably noticed… anyway, so this coming Monday is also my first wedding anniversary (yay!)

I have been working on this present for Josh, so figured that I’d share with you what I’m giving him and how to make it.

For Josh and I, music has always been a corner stone of our relationship.

I actually remember one of our first conversations was on bands we liked, and we exchanged little notes with our favourite five bands listed for each other to check out.

Needless to say when it came to our wedding, music was a pretty huge feature.

Those who know me can testify, that I absolutely obsessed over it.

The decision of what song I’d walk down the aisle to wasn’t a ‘google and see what songs people walk down the aisle to’ kind of deal… it was a ’emotionally reflect on my whole life and relationship with Josh until this point and since I cannot pick one song, put two songs together.’ kind of thing.

In addition to music being a huge part of our relationship, and there being these ‘key’ songs, we are really into ‘retro/vintage/old school’ stuff.

If was in reflection of these two things that I thought of the perfect gift: A Mixed Tape.

Something that people took for granted in the 90s because seriously recording things on a cassette was like… the only option for a while there, and they are a total ‘cliche’ when it comes to relationship gifts.

I figured that making Josh a mixed tape would be the perfect gift, an heirloom (I thought idealistically) to be handed down from generation to generation in memory of our relationship – that’s if the tape lasts that long.

So this is how I did it:

Step One: source a Walkman

I got mine from Trademe with two blank cassettes for $50.00 NZD. It felt like a lot… but it was working and one day I suppose we’ll have grandchildren who blink at them with wide eyes in horror that we used them to listen to music.

walkman

(Sorry about the Trademe picture)

Step Two: decide on playlist.

Generally it is best to think of a theme. For me it was easy, what songs encapsulate our relationship for whatever reason.

The One Direction Cover of Teenage Dirt Bag because I caught Josh listening to it over and over one time while cuddling a One Direction cushion? Yes!

Electric Blue by Australian Band, Ice House, because I walked down the aisle to that song… because of the ten million times Josh and I sung it in my car – Of course!

The Verge Acoustic Cover by Grant Woell, as this was the song we picked for our friends to perform just before I arrived at our wedding ceremony, and I remember waiting outside with my dad and bridesmaids, hearing them sing it? Tick!

Whatever the theme, pick your songs around that.

Step Three: Record Onto Tape

How do you record from an MP3 onto Tape in this modern world? Initially I thought perhaps I’d have to burn the songs to a CD, then record the CD onto the tape.

Mercifully, there is another way.

My Nana’s stereo has both tape and CD AND Audio In. Using an AUX cable, I plugged in my iPhone to the Stereo and managed to record my songs this way.

It wasn’t actually as easy as it sounds as well, for some reason at random the song would play on my iPhone but not actually record on the tape, so I had to go back and redo it again and again a number of times, and seriously wanted to cry.

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It is absolutely crucial to keep a list of the songs as you play them and on which side, as you will need this later.

Step Four: Making it fancy

Decorating the cassette case was always a huge part of making a mixed tape – at least it was for me…

I wanted it to look super cheesy but also really cute, so I selected a number of pictures and printed them all super little, like this

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Then I made my ‘cassette cover’ template from a foldable cardboard (this is to make sure it is stiff enough to sit in the case, but still able to fold along the lines needed for the case.

Then, starting from the top of the cardboard cover (for collaging reasons, this is actually a handy tip!) I pasted the pictures onto the card, like this!

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Afterwards, to really hammer home that cheesy mixtape vibe, I used sticky tape to create a patchy kind of gloss.

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Obviously, I called my mixed tape ‘Our Songs’ with our wedding date (and year for the first anniversary) on it.

On the inside of the cardboard I stuck the track listings. It looks like this:

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FYI, I totally shouldn’t tell you this but you can seriously record anything off of your phone if you play through an AUX Cable.

I used YouTube on two occasions as the songs are not ‘traditionally released’ (sorry!) and at the end of the tape is the mashup I put together (as performed by my friends when we rehearsed it) that they performed while we signed all our marriage documents.

With mixed tape, as long as you manage to record it (and it doesn’t just do a blank recording like mine did again and again) the world is your oyster.

Step Five: Finishing Up

I put a little bit of tape on my cover to hold it securely into place within the plastic cover, as well as hand writing the title along the spine of the tape. Then used the supplied cassette labels to mark the name of the mixed tape as well as which side was which.

This is the end product – I am super proud of it

In regards to the ‘finishing’ of the tape, it is absolutely up to you.

I am going to make a little booklet to go with it with ‘key’ lyrics as well as why I picked those particular songs.

Music is a genuinely brilliant way to capture memories, and I really love that this wedding anniversary gift does that. Captures everything big (like wedding songs) to silly things too (when we change lines of songs so they are ultimately about my cat Manny)

Totally give it a go, it had be a little time consuming but I cannot wait to see what he thinks of it!

x Jessica

 

 

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