Cassette card case display, open.Back view of cassette caseHere’s a good reuse for a cassette tape case. I know I’m not the first person to think of it, but I can’t find anywhere else you can download a template for a customized insert to keep the cards in order, with space for your QR code or similar doodad.

Front view of cassette case

The case must be modified slightly by cutting off the tape spindle posts, which protrude into the space you need for business cards. This is easily done with a Dremel or hacksaw. It doesn’t have to be a super tidy job since this part of the case isn’t easily visible when it’s opened as a display; if you don’t like the look, put a sticker on the outside or tape one of your cards there. Before you start cutting, though, check whether there are fins or other protrusions inside the case that would interfere with the cardstock insert.

Back of insert, showing folds.Download the attached ODG file, which can be edited in OpenOffice Draw. An EMF version is also provided, for people who still use software they have to pay for. Customize it with your own design for the different faces. Given the way things end up once you fold it, everything can be right-side up on the page.

You might want to change the shape of the curved outline of the front cutout. The way it is in the template, the bottom front bit comes right up to where the split on the front of the case is, on the most common type of case. You might print your design on regular paper once, to see whether it fits all right in the case you want to use. The sizes are pretty standard, but there’s some variation in where the front is split, and sometimes there are little fins inside which might interfere with the cardstock insert. If you have as many old tapes as I do, it’s probably easier to search for a suitable box than to modify the design to suit the first box you pick up.

Cutout template for insertWhen you have the design the way you like, print it on card stock (I used ‘manila’ color). Cut it on the outside lines, and fold it on the inner lines. All folds are “mountain” folds from the front of the page, as shown on left. Use a straightedge or other sharp-cornered object to make the fold lines precise. Tracing them with a pizza cutter also helps.

Four places need glue; they’re labeled and numbered on the template. The first thing to glue together are the two large blank sides. When you view the finished product from the front, there’s an oblong on the left to occupy some of the space to keep the cards from sliding sideways. A ballpoint pen is a good size to stick in the top of the oblong to apply pressure when you glue it together.

When gluing, use only a very little glue. If you put too much it’ll ooze out or warp the cardstock.

Attachments: cardcase.odg cardcase.emf
(these aren’t identical; the textured background in the original didn’t export well to EMF format).


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