DIY craft hack: Turn DVD cases into kids’ travel coloring kits

It was time, folks. It was long time. To empty all the kids’ DVDs from their bulky plastic cases and… well, for lack of a better idea, throw them into a drawer under the TV.

But the cases… oh the thousands of cases…

Ok, it was about 25. But still! So much plastic. Which I wasn’t sure they’d recycle here.

So I did a quick search and found Stacy! Who figured out a crafty way to handle such resources!

Thing is, Stacy is pretty awesome and managed to make a really pretty version of what I did below – a DVD case-inspired colored pencils kit. Check out her site for the proper step-by-step if you’d like to do the project elegantly, with grace.

But if you’re a sloppy, messy hack like me, here’s how you do it in 30 minutes or less:

Hack together Create your own DVD case-turned travel coloring kit

1. Pick the right DVD case and slice it up

I can’t be trusted with a box cutter. It’s just how it is. So the huz did the knifing to cut out the disk part of the case.

The point is to create a flat surface for a background.

Pro tip: Choose a DVD case where the edge of the raised disk holder part isn’t touching the clasp for the case. You still want the case to shut properly when you’re done.

2. Create the new background, with pocket

I took a thin piece of cardboard – actually, the bottom of a gift box – and cut it to fit into the now hollow back of the DVD case.

To create a pocket, because I’m lazy and was not going to figure out the whole fabric thing, I cut the sleeve off an old t-shirt and cut it, wrapping it around the front and then gluing it at the back. Then I glued the whole cardboard piece to the back of the DVD case.

Pro tip: The DVD cases come with a plastic cover over the outsides, where the DVD cover art is slipped in. You can easily remove it, flip it over, and decorate the front yourself (see step 3). So when you’re gluing the cardboard to the back, put something between the plastic sheet and the gaping DVD hole so glue doesn’t stain the sheet.

3. Decorate the outside of the case

I stuck puffy letters onto the back of the original DVD cover art (mwahaha Dora!). Granted, I skimped here a bit, but I had already put in a couple hours (it’s 30 minutes if you’re not easily distracted).

Voila! Shreds-of-paper-and-t-shirt-bits-everywhere later, and I created a travel coloring kit for my kids to fight over while we’re at restaurants!

Don’t you love those handy clips on the left for keeping paper inside?

Looking back, it was a cute messy project, but I wouldn’t do it again. I’m wondering if there are other DVD case inspired projects I could try.

Or if I can manage to stuff all these cases in the circular openings of the plastic-recycling cages.

 

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