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The Wall Street Journal claims cassette tapes are making a comeback for hard-to-believe reasons like that terrible hissing sound and the smell, but we have a different theory for why these sub-par listening devices have seen a renaissance is actually not-music related: crafts. The Journal's Lauren Rudsier has a trend piece describing the tapes rise to relevance, "U.S. music-cassette sales are up about 50% to 23,000 albums so far this year," she writes. She cites the nostalgia factor for life before digital music, but she also brings up the real reason sales are up: "Some are taking tapes to even newer places," she writes. "They are using them to make cassette chairs, for example, and to crochet purses." Ding ding ding! We can't believe anybody likes listening to cassettes for music--unless you're feeling wistful for your ex-girlfriend and want to pull out that old mixtape she made for you. 

The best way to artfully repurpose a tape seems to be via its insides. A quick Etsy search reveals a whole tape yarn eco-system of fun.

This spool comes from Etsy user GreenSheepGallery. "Tape is hand spun around a wool deep blue core yarn and then plied to make a very sturdy yarn," the retailer explains. You get 58 yards for just $1.80 and you can make something useful and trendy out of it, like this purse, for example.

GreenSheepGallery isn't the only one to have discovered this trick. We found this crocheted pencil case from fortheloveofearth. (Perhaps this is an eco-driven trend?)

We also found some non tape yarn usages. Like, these "musically inspired" $2.00 hair clips from Rock Chick Design.

The insides aren't the only useful part, the outsides don't go to waste, either. Check out this perfect-for-the-mall purse made of tapes by Angelia Schaeffer.

Or this chic Silly Songs tape wallet by Naturehike. (Again, with the crunchy name ... )

So there you have it: Cassette tapes are awesome, as long as you're not listening to them.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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