If you’re like me, band merchandise has been slowly but surely taking over your house since your first concert. It seems that no closet, shelf, or attic is safe, and some horrific items are true artifacts of their time: The other day, I unearthed a “Girlfriend”-era Avril Lavigne shirt that hadn’t seen the light of day since 2007. Merch is like snow—it seems harmless until it’s suddenly accumulated up to your neck.
But decluttering is complicated– these shirts, CDs, and guitar picks aren’t just knickknacks you can toss in the spring cleaning “throw away” pile. Merch is symbolic of the music itself; the bands you waited hours in line to see, the lyrics you scrawled on your bed frame, the show where you lost your voice screaming every word, the spontaneous friendships you made in the crowd. Collecting these tokens of the music is an integral part of the fan experience, and sometimes giving the heave-ho to your favorite Paramore hoodie can feel sacrilegious.
Luckily, it’s pretty simple to breathe new life into these concert relics! With the subzero weather providing ample incentive to stay inside, I dusted off some old favorites, determined to make something special. Armed with some simple crafting tools and a fast-and-heavy soundtrack, you can turn some vinyl records, cassette tapes, and a band tee into works of art!
Cassette Tape Garland
You will need:
- 5+ cassette tapes
- Twine or ribbon
- Optional: Mod Podge and glitter!
- Collect your supplies. The number of cassette tapes is really up to you. (If you’re running low, Goodwill consistently stocks tapes for just 50 cents).
- If you want to add a little shimmer and shine to the project, separate out certain tapes to add glitter to! I decided to bedazzle only the white tapes, but hey, everything looks good when it’s sparkling.
- Cut 7 pieces of twine—2 long pieces for the end of the garland, and 5 shorter pieces to go in between each tape. Make sure you leave enough length on each piece to tie a double knot at each end!
- Start attaching the tapes. Thread the twine through each tape reel and tie a tight double knot.
Voila! You have yourself a cute little garland.
Vinyl Record Wall Art
You will need:
- 1 or more vinyl records
- Mod Podge
- A knife
- Optional: You guessed it, glitter!
- Collect your supplies. I’d say go for an album that you rarely listen to but that has killer cover art.
- Remove the disc from its cover. Cut a shape into the cover. It can be anything you want, but make sure it stays smaller than the size of the disc!
- Apply a layer of Mod Podge to the back of the shape, then adhere it to the middle of the disc. You may want to put some heavy items on top of the disc while it dries, to ensure flatness.
- Once the Mod Podge has dried, apply another layer to the front of the shape and the disc. Make sure it’s even!
- Here comes another optional glitter step: While this layer of Mod Podge is still wet, feel free to sprinkle some glitter onto it. I added black glitter to the disc part, and it dried with a subtle shine!
- Once it’s all dry, flip it over and use the knife to carefully make a hole in the cover to match the disc’s hole. This isn’t essential, but it mimics the look of the original record.
All done! I hung mine on my walls with some sticky tac and they’re oh-so-retro.
Neckline Cutout Shirt
You will need:
- A band shirt you don’t mind cutting up
- Pen or chalk (whichever will show up on the fabric)
- Lay the shirt out flat, then draw lines where you want to cut. For this design, I cut strips from the band logo up to the neckline and added some smaller strips to the sleeves.
- Once you’re sure about the cut placement, start cutting it up! When you finish each line, pull the fabric from both ends simultaneously to create a curled, casual look.
- Without moving the shirt, you can create the back cuts by using the front cuts as a template! Cut a line in each gap until the back is finished.