Using old floppy disks as CD covers

March 9, 2009 Off By Chris Hinton
Floppy disk

I can’t quite remember where I got the idea for this: I think it was here, but it’s been something that’d been rolling around my mind for a while. We used to have a Commodore 64 with a floppy drive when I was little, and it took these 5-and-a-quarter inch disks that are, handily, about the right size to use as CD covers. These disks evoke memories of childhood in me, and so I wanted to take a shot at making these retro CD cases myself.
First, where to get obsolete disks? I managed to pick up a sealed box of ten from eBay for just a few pounds.
Now we want to open the disk up so that we can get at the insides. You can cut your way in with a craft knife (the disk’s skin is a fairly thin plastic layer), or there will most likely be some folded-over tabs on the back side as there are on the ones I bought. If that’s the case, simply unstick one of the tabs. It’s not particularly important which one you undo, but I did the “top” one… opposite the hole the disk would have been read through.

Internal Padding

Inside is the floppy disk itself – a thin magnetic film. Just take it out and you should be left with the casing and some protective padding stuck to the insides. You’ll want to leave that in there as protection for your CDs.
The next step is somewhat unremarkable… put your CD inside. No, seriously, that’s it… you now have a retro floppy disk CD cover. If you want you can put a piece of card in to protect the parts of the CD visible through the holes in the disk’s casing, but if you’re careful you should be able to get away without bothering.
Now to try and explain to people why my CDs are in strange-looking cases.

The finished retro CD cover