Wednesday, June 4, 2014

5 Useful Things You Can Create With Your Old Floppy Disks

5 Useful Things You Can Create With Your Old Floppy Disks
By Rob Nightingale

Before you throw away those obsolete, dust-laden floppy disks, take a look at these five creative ways you can revitalise those aged pieces of history.
Of course, there are tons of other creative uses for floppy disks, from lunch boxes to earrings. A quick search on Pinterest or Google for ‘recycled floppy disk’ will throw up more results than you can shake a stick at, but these five examples (and the links included) provide quick, easy, and simple step-by step guidance to bring some life back to those storage antiquities.

Floppy Disk Planters

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With little more than a glue gun and five old floppy disks, you can make these planters to house all those beloved plants, flowers and herbs currently sitting in boring old plant pots and plastic containers around your house (these can of course double up to store whatever else you like!).
Follow this step by step tutorial to make your own, otherwise, I’m sure you can figure it out! Simply super-glue (or glue gun) five floppy disks together (with one acting as the base). Place a plant pot (with your plant within it!) inside. Depending on the size, you may need to trim the plant pot with scissors so it doesn’t peek out over the top of your new planter. And voila! Your repurposed planter is ready to go!
Difficulty rating: 1/5


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By creating your own floppy disk notepad, you’ll never find yourself without a trusty place to jot down those thoughts, ideas and never-ending to-do lists. Perfectly pocket sized, and dutifully durable, you may just prefer this to your trusty Moleskine!

There seem to be two main ways to rustle up your own floppy disk notebook. The first method is to create a ‘spiral notebook’ (as shown in the above video), which uses spiral bindings (or 16-gauge twisted aluminum wire that’s been wrapped around a pen to create the coil). To make the holes, you can either use a trusty drill (advisable for getting through the plastic), screw punch, or a standard hole punch. Ideally, you’re looking to make 3mm holes or thereabouts, which are spaced roughly 2mm apart.
Once the holes are made, simply twist the coil through the holes from one end to the other. This can be a bit tricky, but that’s part of the fun, right? (Difficulty rating: 2/5)
The second method, as detailed on this instructables tutorial, is the simplest, but less impressive, where you can use an elastic band threaded through the existing holes in the floppy disk (and those in your notepad/PostIt notes) to hold everything together. (Difficulty rating: 1/5)

Shoulder Bag

If you’ve got around 40-50 old floppy disks lying around, this one-minute YouTube tutorial will show you how to put them to good use by converting them into a sturdy shoulder bag to make any geek proud. You could even become a pro fashion-designer by selling your bags on Etsy!
Although this will likely take quite a bit of time to complete, it’s not particularly difficult, but involves plenty of drilling and fiddly manouvers to ‘stitch’ the floppy disks together with metal wire and to attach the shoulder strap to the bag. We can’t guarantee your street cred will sky rocket after this, but it’s a neat project nonetheless!
Difficulty rating: 3/5

USB Drive

If you have a slim USB drive that you don’t mind pulling apart, you can carefully super-glue this into an old floppy disk case so you can keep using both for what they were originally intended for— storage! 
Overall, this involves removing the ‘guts’ from a standard USB Drive and transplanting these into your floppy disk. Do this carefully though, as it’s easier than you think to snap the fragile floppy disk plastic. I’d advise following the video closely here as it’s a lot easier than following text instructions.
Difficulty rating:  3/5


And finally, this video should get those creative juices flowing to inspire you to create some truly great ‘social art from the obsolete’ out of those old floppy disks! You’ll see how British artist Nick Gentry is using the plastic casings as a canvas for his incredible creations.
Of course, it’s your prerogative as an artist to take whatever approach you like when repurposing your old floppy disks. If you’re looking for some more inspiration, search Pinterest for ‘Floppy Disk Art‘, and don’t forget to link to your art in the comments below!
Difficulty rating: As difficult as you like!
If you’re looking for more ways to repurpose your old tech, check out some of our other posts on recycling ideas to be found on Instagram, creative uses for your old cell phone, and even how to make Christmas decorations out of recycled materials.
What other creative uses have you seen for old floppy disks?
Image credit: John Kalab, Floppy notepad, via Flickr Source:

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