Make A Record Tote

Posted on: 08 August 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Roll up your sleeves and craft a 45 rpm record tote to store your favourite vinyls in style.

Once the panels are cut, the underlying box goes together fast and easy using gummed kraft paper tape. I don't worry about the tape being non-archival, or that the panels aren't glued; the decorative paper and decoupage medium add an additional strength, an exoskeleton, that make the box sturdy.


  • Heavy cardboard (See Cut List for details)
  • Gummed kraft paper tape
  • Tacky craft glue
  • Vintage magazines (or other source of fun imagery)
  • Check home centres, art, hobby, and fabric stores for small hardware made especially for using on small boxes or handbags. There's a lot more available on the web. Search for "handbag handles", "purse supplies," "cigar box purse supplies," "craft hardware," and "small hinges."

  • Waxed paper
  • Scrap paper
  • Paper towels
  • Decoupage medium
  • 1 sheet of tissue paper
  • 4 index cards
  • 4 handbag feet or rubber feet (optional)
  • Handle
  • 2 small hinges
  • Snap catch or other closure for the front
  • 36" long 1" wide strip of fabric trim (feathery marabou is my favourite; felt, foam or other trims will work too)

Cardboard Cut List

  • 2 pieces 8" x 7" (front and back panels)
  • 2 pieces 5" x 7" (side panels)
  • 1 piece 5" x 8" (bottom panel)
  • 1 piece 10 1/2" x 7 1/2" (lid)
  • 1 piece 26" x 1 1/4" (lid guide)
  • 1 piece 5" x 2" (handle reinforcement strip)


  • Pencil
  • Craft knife
  • Straightedge
  • Scissors
  • Sponge
  • Rag
  • 2 to 3 medium foam brushes
  • 6 small clamps (large binder clips will work)
  • Drill (hand or electric)
  • Screwdriver

Day 1

Make The Box

1) Cut out the panels detailed in the Cut List.

Record Tote - plan2) Arrange the panels as shown. Leave a little, tiny gap between the panels so they'll flex when taped. Tape the seams on one side, then flip everything over and tape the other side.

3) Stand the taped panels up, with the bottom panel in place underneath. Bring together the back and side panel that have not been taped. Tape that seam, inside and out. Tape the three untaped seams on the bottom panel, first inside and then out.

Make The Lid

Record Tote - cutLook at the sketch to visualize what you're going to do next.

4) To make the sides of the lid, cut a 11/4" square out of each corner of the lid panel.

5) Score the cardboard as indicated by the dotted lines in the sketch.

6) Bend the sides of the lid down along the scores and tape the seams, inside and out.

7) Glue the handle reinforcement strip to the inside centre of the lid.

8) Choose a theme, and find imagery. Clip more than you need, then pick and choose what works best together. Consider the visual flow from the lid to the box, and from each panel to the next. Clip imagery for the underside of the box and for the inside of the box and lid.

Decoupage Till Delirium

9) Lay a long strip of waxed paper on your work surface to keep your work from sticking to it. Ready a stack of scrap paper, a damp sponge, a roll of paper towels, and a damp rag to wipe your hands on.

10) Choose an image from the underlayer of the design. Lay it facedown on a sheet of scrap paper, and brush decoupage medium on the back. Press it in place on the box, using the damp sponge to press out any air bubbles or wrinkles. The clippings are fragile when they're soggy so be gentle. Start with the interior, and work your way to the outside, and then the lid. Repeat with the remaining clippings. Allow to dry overnight.

Day 2

Seal The Deal

11) Paint the outside of the lid and box with decoupage medium. Allow to dry according to the directions for the medium you're using.

Lid Guide

12) Measure the inside dimensions of your box. Score the lid guide strip to wrap around the inside edge of the box. Trim tissue paper to cover it. Brush decoupage medium on the guide strip, cover it with tissue, then bend the strip to fit inside the box while the medium is still damp (so that the tissue will stretch and not break).

13) Brush glue on the inside edge of the box, and put the lid guide in place, with the top edge about 3/8" above the rim and the ends toward the back. Clamp in place. Put folded index cards over the rim of the box and under the clamp to protect the image.

Install Hardware

Hardware installation will vary according to what you use. For anything that will be screwed on, hold the hardware in place and mark the same holes with a pencil. Drill holes smaller than the screws with a hand or electric drill.

14) Make slits for the handbag feet, about 3/4" in from the edges on all four corners of the bottom of the box. Push them in place.

15) Put the handle on the lid the hinges on the back of the lid and box (about 1" in from the outside edges), and the front clasp on the centre of the lid and box.

16) Add a trim to the lid guide to cover any hinge hardware exposed on the inside of the box.

17) Fill your box with your very favourite 45s, or give it to someone you really, really like.

By Suzie Millions

The Complete Book of Retro CraftsImage © taken from The Complete Book of Retro Crafts by Suzie Millions, published by Lark, available from

The Complete Book of Retro Crafts costs £8.99 or you can purchase it online at Amazon for £6.99.

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