Pin Me

Turn Old Video Tapes Into Memorable Crafts

written by: •edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 7/24/2010

If you have shelves full of old VHS tapes, don't throw them out. Instead, take the time to turn something old into new. You'll be helping the environment and creating a unique gift, for yourself or others, at the same time with these VHS crafts.

  • slide 1 of 5

    Craft VHS Tapes Into a New Kind of Entertainment

    With the advent of the DVD and Blu-Ray formats, old video tapes are useless. Or are they? You can easily recycle these tapes into beautiful, interesting, and useful VHS crafts.

  • slide 2 of 5

    Knit Your Old VHS Tapes Into Something New

    If you’re an avid knitter or crocheter, you can recycle VHS tapes into an unusual sort of plastic yarn or plarn. Best of all, when you recycle video tapes into plarn you don’t have to spend time cutting or knotting like you do with plastic bags.

    Either unscrew the screws holding the video tape’s plastic case together or, if there are no screws, pry the case open with a butter knife or flat-head screwdriver. Snip the tape away from the empty reel (you did rewind first, right?) and extract the other (loaded) reel. Your VHS plarn is all wound up and ready to go.

    For smaller projects, you may be able to use the same method with old cassette tapes.

    Once you’ve turned your VHS tapes into plarn, visit MyRecycledBags.com for some beautiful video-plarn and plarn craft patterns.

  • slide 3 of 5

    Use VHS Tape to Embellish Other Crafts

    Recycled video tape doesn’t exactly feel like satin on the skin, but as long as you keep it on the outside of your crafts it makes a nifty embellishment for non-VHS crafts. Combine this sassy black material with plarn projects or regular yarn crafts. If you’re using it for a border--on clothing, a hat, a knitted book cover or picture frame--or other classy crafts--you don’t even have to knit or crochet with it; just thread it through the stitches (you’ll need a large yarn needle or pair of tweezers) and then secure the ends to each other with a tiny dab of adhesive. You can also, using tiny dabs of hot glue or another adhesive, carefully secure old video tape as an accent along wood or paper crafts like picture frames and boxes.

  • slide 4 of 5

    Finish Off the Perfect Gift With a VHS Ribbon

    The magnetic tape inside your old video cassette looks a lot like ribbon, doesn’t it? It even comes on reels. Put it to exactly that use with a no-skills-needed VHS craft. Just store the spool of tape with your other gift-wrapping materials and put it to use as an accent piece. If you’re not comfortable using such a dark ribbon alone, even with a bright and boisterous wrapping paper, twist or plait it together with a white or brightly colored ribbon.

  • slide 5 of 5

    Keep on Reusing - Explore Other

    Congratulations on mastering these simple VHS crafts. Now put your upcycling skills to use by deconstructing empty plastic grocery bags, putting them to use as plarn, too. If you're not a knitter or crocheter, you can still put old plastic bags to other creative uses.