Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Make a moving turntable greeting card from a floppy disk

This week's How-To Tuesday project is a movable record player greeting card made from an upcycled floppy disk. 

I volunteer weekly at the SCRAP Reuse Store, which gives me a lot of time to think about how to reuse odd items in art and craft projects -- for instance, a box of 3.5" floppy disks. 

The actual disk part of the floppy disk looks suspiciously like a record, and it only takes a few minutes to turn it into a personalized turntable greeting card. The best part is that the card is assembled with brads so the record spins and the player arm moves, too. 

For this project you'll need:
  • an old floppy disk
  • a screwdriver
  • scissors
  • hole punches
  • blank greeting cards or cardstock to make your own
  • small brads
  • cardstock or corrugated paper for the record player arm
  • embellishment items: stamps, collage paper, glue stick, etc.

Start by busting into the floppy disk. Pull off the protective flap and slide the screwdriver between the plastic sides and twist to pop it open. 

At this point I always remember past teachers' admonishments to never! touch! the disk! 

Ha! I'm touching the disk!

Here are the guts of the floppy. For this project you'll just be using the magnetic disk itself, but if you have ideas for reusing the other parts I'd love to hear them. 

Lay the disk on the card and mark spots in the middle of the disk and where the arm of the record player will be located. 

Punch these with small holes. You can use a narrow punch like this one, a darning needle, or whatever else you have handy. 

Attach the disk to the card with a brad. I like to punch a larger circle of paper to go between them. 

Cut a thin strip of stiff paper to be the arm of the turntable. Punch a small hole in one end and attach it with the second brad. 

Now decorate the card however you like. I tend to favor silly music-themed puns cut from old magazines, but maybe that's just me.

And you're done! Sit back and admire your work.

(By the way, if you like the cards but don't have the time to make them yourself, they're also available in my Etsy shop.)

[Update 4/20/09: This tutorial is now on Instructables, where you can view it step-by-step or download a PDF to print.]


  1. What a GREAT idea wow how innovative and fun thank you so much for sharing!!!! :)

  2. AWESOME!! Thanks... I have tons of them at work, and think this will make a fun craft for the senior craft class I teach!!

  3. I am going to do this TODAY with the kids. How fun!!!

  4. This is so cool! I work in IT and I need to make this for one of my co-workers.

  5. Oh that's just freaking genius. Well done!!!


  6. Absolutely fantastic idea !! Great work... It couldn't be more perfect for me, as I work in I.T. too and my mates' birthay is coming up who is a DJ and uses Vinyl to mix !!

  7. I'm going to use them as business cards for my brother's DJ-ing gigs - such a cool idea!

  8. This is AWESOME, I love it! Thanks so much for sharing the tute, I'll be linking to this.

  9. One of those parts looks a lot like an iPod cover. Just a thought.


  10. Awesome (:
    I just made on , & the extra pieces are easy to fit back together , so I just wrote a letter & closed it in , & drew on the cover (:

    Thanks for sharing (:

  11. Thanks to everyone for the positive feedback!

    Bridget & Mini Meows -- awesome ideas. I'd love to see photos of the results.

  12. This is awesome!
    Are you based in the SF Bay area or are there other SCRAPS shops out there?
    Are you familiar with instructables.com? (we're based in SF)
    This would be an amazing addition to our site, and would be way easy for you to post since it already has awesome pictures and great text.
    Once you've posted, let me know and I'll make sure you get featured on the front page, and drive more traffic to your site!
    Let me know if you have any questions.


  13. I'm just starting to work on a 13th Birthday Party (Rockstar) for my niece and I think these would make awesome invites!! Thank you so much for sharing. :)

  14. This is such a creative idea! I tried making one of these cards and it was so easy because your instructions were so precise. Keep up the great work, I can't wait to see what you come up with next!

  15. Fantastic tutorial!

    I was inspired by this but only recently chucked out my old floppys but...

    my bf had loads of old mini disc's which work equally as well when you take them apart (just slightly smaller) :)

  16. Hi! Thanks for sharing this idea -I love it!

  17. Hey , I've posted a "what you can do with the excess parts" here :


  18. Very clever! Similar to Mini Meows idea, I've seen the floppy disc covers used as covers for small notepads (bonus points if you're diverting paper from the waste stream to go into your notepad, instead of starting with new :^)

  19. XD this is random but, for the unused part, especially the little spring thingie. It is the same as the L2 and R2 trigger buttons on a PS3 controller. keep them safe *___* they are useful when they break apart XD

  20. I tried this and it looks awesome. Thank you! Here's a thought for the protective cloth-looking circles inside...they pull off easily and look an awful lot like the disposable paper wine glass markers that go around the stem of a wine glass. You can write your name right on there and protect your Cabernet!

  21. So cool! I just made my first one into a birthday card. I feel so accomplished. :-) Thanks so much for the idea, the instructions, and the inspiration!!

  22. Cool! I want business cards like that!


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