Use 8-Track Tape Ribbon to Decorate Gifts

For a nostalgic feel of yesteryear, use 8-Track tape ribbon to decorate gifts-especially gifts to be given to the middle-aged crowd. Baby Boomers grew up listening to 8-Track tapes and will not only appreciate the walk down memory lane but also the smart and innovative idea on what to do with the broken 8-Tracks they have filling their own garages and basements.

As a rule, we Baby Boomers do not like to part with our stuff. It's hard to part with your youth. But who has a working 8-Track tape player these days? Even if you do-broken 8-Track tapes can only be fixed so many times. Then what do you do with them? Being a pack rat and recycler all rolled into one, when I finally was able to part with my broken 8-Tracks, I looked into ways of using what I could. Even if it meant I would be using them for the last time.

8-track tape can be used as:

  • Ribbon to decorate a gift (especially if it's an album or CD or CD player)

  • Ribbon to decorate a photo frame (especially if the picture is of a musical nature)

  • Ribbon to reinforce handles on brown paper bags

  • A stiffener to add depth to Christmas ornaments created out of musical paper

Gift wrap ribbon
Purchase an old songbook with notes. Xerox and enlarge the pages as needed to ensure that you don't run out, and that you also have different type sizes for variety. For a black-and-white gift wrap, go vintage. Use the song sheets or newspaper to wrap the gift, then tie on oodles of 8-Track tape ribbon. Another cool way to wrap a gift is to use colored Xerox paper. Nothing says "cool" quicker than a sheet of ice-blue musical notes.

Black-and-white trinket boxes, covered with a photo of the recipient in black-and-white or sepia, is also an adorable way to wrap a gift, especially when secured with 8-Track tape ribbon.

Giving an album as a gift? Why not wrap some 8-Track tape ribbon around it about a dozen times? Too cool for words.

Christmas ornaments
Another use for Xeroxed sheet music.

  • Using the cardboard roll from wrapping paper (don't use toilet paper rolls as there is always a chance of unwelcome bacteria contamination), cut the roll into short tubes about 4 inches in length.

  • Wrap the rolls with sheet music (you can get crazy here and wrap them diagonally or the easy way). I like to wrap them as if they were candy, with about 3 inches to spare on each end. Then I twist them and tie 8-Track tape ribbon on to each end with one strip of tape about 2 feet in length. By the time you have tied two bows on each end, there should only be enough of a loop left to hang the ornament on the tree. Simply adjust the tape based on what size bows you make.

  • Add some tinsel to the mix for a more festive look.

Remember your 8-Tracks fondly. Give them a proper sendoff. You'll be glad you did. It might even free up some space in the back of the closet.


  • This is a project for adults. Keep the tape out of reach of children and babies and pets.
  • Take care in working with 8-Track tape ribbon as you can easily give yourself a paper cut.

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