mixed tape


Here it is, babes: my highly requested mixtape how-to !!


  • Blank CD’s + jewel cases
  • iTunes + a disc drive
  • Sharpie or other permanent marker
  • Collage supplies !
    • glue stick, magazine scraps, stickers, glitter, etc.


1. Decide your purpose.

What’s it for? Who’s it for? Will you have a theme? What kinda music/genres fit with that theme? 

2. Compile the tracks into a playlist on iTunes.


Here are sum tipz for compiling your tracklist:

  • I like to vary old + new music, genres, moods, etc.
  • To make it flow, I like to place the songs in an order where each song somehow compliments or contrasts the previous track.
  • Include a good mix of familiar tracks and new finds.
  • Live versions of familiar songs are always a good idea.
  • Consider movie soundtracks ! Those are ALREADY like mixtapes!
  • 15 songs is a good # of tracks to shoot for.

3. Burn the CD !!!

Insert a blank disc into your disc drive.


4. Wait 4 the disc to burn.

Grab a big ol snack while u wait. Make sure you don’t bump your computer while the disc is burning or the driver could fail.


This is obviously my fav part nnggg. My biggest tip is that collaging takes tons of practice to get a feel for. The person you’re making the mix for will love it NO MATTER WHAT, so don’t sweat it.

Here are some of my biggest tips on art directing yer new creation:

  • I start by cutting out a little less than 5″ by 5″ piece of plain card stock to act as a solid background.
  • A good title can MAKE a CD (and lend itself to some solid visuals).
  • Have a small collection of magazines + clippings to go to for inspiration. My favs are 1980′s Nat Geo’s, “Oh Comely” (a British rag). and NYLON.
  • To get my clippings, I look through a few issues and clip ANYTHING that relates to the vibe of my mix in any way. Sometimes I have a color scheme in my head or a specific imagine or mood. That guides my pics, but I’m always ready to deviate if something else grabs my eye.
  • Sometimes simple covers with a big graphic and some dope patterns/color blocking are more appealing than wild ones, so don’t overthink it ~


Here are some covers I’ve made to give y’all some samples:

If you follow this how-to, be sure to tag me in yer pics <3 !

I crave love,
the purest, deepest and rawest form of it.
The movie love, the book love, the Romeo-Juliet love.

Just someone’s careless kisses on my neck and my yearning lips,
Someone to hold hands with and run into the sunset with,
Someone I can write about endlessly, never getting tired of writing about how they are my sole galaxy in this dark universe, my one nice thing,
About How every word that falls off their lips can put poetry to shame,
Or how his eyes have all my favorite colors in one place, right where I can see them.

How his hands are rough and strong,
And how mine are soft and fragile,
How he would kiss my fingers Every time I would remind him why I love him.

How he and I would make each other mix tapes and pretend we’re in the 90’s.

I wonder if he would write about me too,
That’s the dream, two writers in love.
Exchanging letters and small notes,
Proclaiming our love in ways that haven’t been written about yet,
With two different point of views for the same story.

I want to dance with him, even though I don’t know how to and I am sure he’s a brilliant dancer,
And I want him to sing with me,
Even though he is a terrible singer,
I want to kiss him,
Which is nice cause we’re both great kissers.

I want to hear his far fetched theories about alternate universes and how he reckons
we stumbled across each other, fate or sheer coincidence?

I want to fall in love with the whole person, and not just the idea of them I have constructed in my head.

I want to love them for being shitty, for being sad, for being weird, for crying, for being pathetic,
For being one hundred percent themselves, and being okay with letting me see every side they deemed unlovable.

I want to kiss him lazily like we have all the time in the world and also urgently, like there’s no tomorrow.

I want to cuddle with him, trying to burrow myself deeper into his scent and him,
That’s what I think heaven will smell like,
Leather, cinnamon and him.

I think heaven will sound like his voice,
Every goddamn thing he says sounds like honey and chocolate milkshakes.

Where are you?
When are you planning to show up?

I am exhausted even though I am only seventeen,

But I’ll wait till I am seventy if I have to.

The first mixed tape Jonathan makes for Steve stays in the top drawer of his night table for over a month because, even though he knows Steve will like it, Jonathan isn’t sure if he’s ready to let Steve know just how much he cares.

When Steve finally receives the mixed tape, hastily left on the passenger seat as Jonathan, mumbling something at him, bustles out of the car after school, he slips it into the cassette player of his car and avoids driving home until he’s listened to it the whole way through. The tape never leaves his car after that and Steve regularly takes long drives to clear his head, trading arguments with his father for the melodies that drip from his car speakers. Sometimes those drives take him, teary-eyed and exhausted, to the Byers’s, where he knows he’ll find a cup of coffee and comforting silence.

What’s in the Mix with a Mix-Tape? (12x19)

Mix-tapes were a feature of my twenties in the early 1990s. I’ve still got a tonne of them. Although, that tech died for a reason - it degrades big time. 

But, I’ve kept them for sentiment. They have home-made covers, created from cut-up and cut-down postcards, with hand-writing in coloured pen listing the tracks on the inside. And sometimes, hand-drawn hearts and personal dedications. 

They were made for me by people who loved me - some of whom are still in my life, some not. 

Making a mix-tape took hours, especially if you were (as we usually did) making a compilation and mixing and matching artists. You had to think about how each track would follow another; the tone, the tempo, the mood, the lyrics. Wind, rewind, record, relisten… they were extended love-notes very often. 

Dean’s mix-tape for Cas reads “Dean’s top 13 Zepp TRA XX”

  He’s written it as “TRA XX” as if, just maybe, you could read that as a couple of kisses at the end, insteady of a groovy way to spell “tracks”. Ambiguous, diffident, scrawled, unspoken, but there… Oh Dean….

But, Cas tried to give it back. After ignoring Dean’s phone-calls, Cas returned to the bunker to try and return a piece of Dean ‘s heart, to lie to him and steal from him.

Cas came into Dean’s room, his intimate and personal space, and, as Dean says, “played him”. He stole the Colt from under Dean’s pillow, knowing full well what the history of the Colt means to Dean.  

Characterization-wise, how can Cas have regressed like that? Knowing, as he does, that going behind Dean’s back in S6 hurt Dean so much and began such a terrible rift between them?

Sure, Cas says it’s to protect the Winchesters from Dagon. No doubt that’s true. 

But, Castiel is also someone who has recently said “I love you” (in 12x12 Stuck in the Middle with You) and not heard it back…

Have you ever said “I love you” to someone and not heard it back? 

It haunts you, it eats at you, you feel stupid, you feel rejected, you feel… lost.

Dean’s mix-tape was probably his way of trying to say, “I love you” back,  but how would Cas know what a mix-tape means? Or perhaps he did know, thanks to Metatron’s pop-culture upgrade, and returning the tape was our angel’s way of being a bit snippy, a bit passive-aggressive  - Thanks for the cop-out tape gift, Dean, but I would quite like to hear you say it. 

And why is Dean so forgiving, explaining to Sam how Cas needs a win, how he gets it, as he rumages around under the hood of Cas’s truck, fixing her up?

Well, it’s eternal sub-text, of course, but here goes… 

Because Dean knows he is someone to whom, “I love you,” has been said. And, despite his worried phone calls, his appeals to “Team Free Will”, Dean also knows he is someone who has not said it back…

unless of course you count two “XX”’s on a mix-tape.

I think Dean actually made this tape when he was young and has been carrying it around with him for years. It’s super special to him because it has all his favorite Zeppelin songs and it’s the tape that has been played so much it’s nearly worn out. He and Sam have played that tape and sung along with Robert Plant on a thousand cross-country drives. And this tape probably got him through a whole lot of lonely drives after Sam went to Stanford. He knew that those songs were special to John and Mary and it’s become the soundtrack of Sam and Dean’s lives.

Under all of his tough guy bluster, Dean is a sentimental romantic. He wore the Samulet for years. He treats Baby like a living thing because it means family and home. He kept Castiel’s trenchcoat in his trunk for months after he died, even moving it from car to car. And his most treasured possession is a picture of his mother. Dean puts deep meaning into the few items he holds dear. 

So the fact that he wanted to gift this (and wouldn’t take it back) to Cas means so much. It means that Cas is family and that he wants to share with Cas something that is an integral part of who he is. For a man whose entire earthly possessions can fit in a car trunk and a duffel bag, to give something that you made yourself and kept with you for maybe decades to a friend is a truly special gift. 

8tracks Pop-Punk Summer Playlist - a 95 song strong playlist that got way out of hand.

pop-punk summer

1. alive with the glory of love - say anything // 2. beating heart baby - head automatica // 3. the beach - all time low // 4. the beijing cocktail - the blackout // 5. both sides of the story - we are the in crowd // 6. bulls in brooklyn - the academy is… // 7. summer hair = forever young - the academy is… // 8. stay young - save your breath // 9. six feet under the stars - all time low // 10. approach the bench - the audition // 11. ready to go (get me out of my mind) - panic! at the disco // 12. i caught fire (in your eyes) - the used // 13. hurricane - panic! at the disco // 14. red flag - billy talent // 15. stood a chance - taking back sunday // 16. young volcanoes - fall out boy // 17. 1985 - bowling for soup // 18. ain’t it fun - paramore // 19. your song - mayday parade // 20. cute without the e - taking back sunday // 21. tonight tonight - hot chelle rae // 22. save it for the bedroom - you me at six // 23. we are young - fun. ft. janelle monae // 24. lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off - panic! at the disco // 25. move along - the all-american rejects // 26. whoa oh! (me vs everyone) - forever the sickest kids // 27. when i get home, you’re so dead - mayday parade // 28. we love like vampires - sparks the rescue // 29. vacation - simple plan // 30. vegas - all time low // 31. undercover lover - kids in glass houses // 32. tell me i’m a wreck - every avenue // 33. there’s no such thing as accidental infidelity - you me at six ft. aled phillips // 34. this party sucks - the wonder years // 35. tgif - the secret handshake // 36. this is why we can’t have nice things - the blackout ft. josh franceschi // 37. queen of broken hearts - the bigger lights // 38. that’s what you get - paramore // 39. reckless - you me at six // 40. my friend’s over you - new found glory // 41. burn this city - cartel // 42. smile for the paparazzi - cobra starship // 43. runaway - cartel // 44. alone together - fall out boy  // 45. the space between - valencia // 46. dirty little secret - the all-american rejects // 47. pretty handsome awkward - the used // 48. makedamnsure - taking back sunday // 49. not in the mood for kiwi - save your breath // 50. one of those nights - the cab // 51. peace - kids in glass houses // 52. ocean avenue - yellowcard // 53. kids in love - mayday parade // 54. nothing worth having comes easy - save your breath // 55. molly makeout - the friday night boys // 56. no one can touch us - sing it loud // 57. swing swing - the all-american rejects // 58. melrose diner - the wonder years // 59. los angeles - the audition // 60. loverboy - you me at six // 61. i write sins not tragedies - panic! at the disco // 62. the lost boys - save your breath // 63. the middle - jimmy eat world // 64. liar (it takes two) - taking back sunday // 65. but it’s better if you do - panic! at the disco // 66. listen to your heart - the maine // 67. the jetset life is gonna kill you - my chemical romance // 68. la la - the cab // 69. it must really suck to be four year strong right now  - four year strong // 70. jamie all over - mayday parade // 71. if i surrender - the color fred // 72. ignorance - paramore // 73. if i fail - cartel // 74. heartbreak girl - 5 seconds of summer // 75. i just wanna run - the downtown fiction // 76. girls freak me out - the summer set // 77. hey! (walk away) - out of sight // 78. i’m not okay (i promise) - my chemical romance // 79. honestly - cartel // 80. california - phantom planet // 81. check yes juliet - we the kings // 82. fuck u over - the summer set // 83. grand theft autumn - fall out boy // 84. guilty pleasure - cobra starship // 85. the great escape - boys like girls // 86. friends like these - deaf havana // 87. good boys gone rad - kids in glass houses // 88. chelsea - the summer set // 89. chicago is so two years ago - fall out boy // 90. dear maria, count me in - all time low // 91. the deadliest catch - lower than atlantis //92. everything is alright - motion city soundtrack // 93. everything’s magic - angels & airwaves //  94. crushcrushcrush - paramore // 95. my temperature’s rising - the audition //

Please take a listen, it’s a super fun playlist.

The Science of Gift Giving

It had been months since Dean tossed Castiel a mix tape. He’d handed it off to Castiel with averted eyes, a strange flush coloring his skin. “Made this for you,” he had said. Castiel took it from him curiously, promised to listen to it on his upcoming drive in his continued search for Kelly, and that was that.

It had been slightly less time than that since Dean had told him tersely that the tape was a gift, and meant to be retained indefinitely.

And, of course, Castiel had been dead for quite a lot of the elapsed time since then. Still, it bothered him that he had not yet reciprocated the gift giving.

At first it hadn’t occurred to him that reciprocal gift giving was something that ought to happen. It seemed apparent that Dean had some free time and had chosen to spend it creating a musical compilation for Castiel. And Castiel had listened to it. When he needed respite, he’d parked, closed his eyes, and let himself drift along the melodies on the cassette. He’d climbed up to the stars with the crescendos and fallen down into the thick earth when the songs fell low. Castiel kept the cassette in his breast pocket and when he’d fought back to life and retrieved his coat from Dean, the cassette had still been there. Waiting.

* * *

When hunts were slow and the itch for solitude began to feel like an entire ant colony under his skin, Castiel liked to go to the nearby public library. The library was an institution that he at first avoided, understanding it to be a warehouse of human fiction and a location for passionate assignations in the stacks. At least, that was the knowledge passed along to him from Metatron, and the hundreds of library romances Metatron had devoured.

However Metatron, who had claimed to deliver to Castiel all human knowledge, had missed a considerable amount of it. Namely, Metatron had apparently eschewed nearly everything except for fiction and biographies. When Castiel had realized that there were shelves and shelves of books he’d never read – or second-hand read before – he became addicted to the nonfiction section of the public library. Reading about how humans interpreted the world – sometimes inventively, sometimes laughably – had become both a fascinating diversion and a welcome retreat. (The physics textbooks were a delight when he needed a little light reading in the quiet morning hours.)

One comfortable afternoon he sat ensconced in a study carrel near the 300’s with a book cracked open before him: The science of gift giving. Castiel had pulled the book from the shelf, his heart rate speeding up a little. He appreciated a good scientific tome; they tended to be written in a slightly more straightforward manner. He looked forward to at last learning how gift giving worked. Castiel patted the cassette tape through his coat and began to read.

When Castiel finished the book he sat back in the chair, frowning at the white tiled ceiling. If anything, now he felt more confused than ever. Still, he resolved to try to apply some of the outlined lessons from the book to at last return the gesture to Dean.

Tip One: Give something they can use

Castiel arrived back at the bunker to a smoky hallway, the fire detectors in the bunker honking irritably, lights flashing. Castiel squinted among the chaos, then descended the stairs, his target acquired. Dean stood in the center of it, talking to Jack with exasperation painted across his features. He looked up when Castiel approached.

“Hey Cas,” he said with an expansive eyeroll towards the repentant young man leaning against the map table. “Just teaching Jack here how to cook is all.”

“Ah, and how is it going?”

Dean glanced around the smoky room, grimaced, and shot Castiel a thumbs up. “Awesome. What’s in the bag, man?”

Castiel shifted the large grocery bag he held awkwardly in his arms. “Um, I’d noticed you were low on shampoo, so I purchased some for you. I also have,” he peered into the bag as though he could have possibly forgotten which items he’d agonized over in the store, “beer, some magazines, a jar of peanut butter, an apple pie, and five bags of flavored beef jerky.”

Dean glanced at him then, an odd half smile lighting his face. “You planning a wild night there, Cas?”

Castiel shook his head and thrust it at Dean mumbling, “I thought you might need it, is all.”

Dean accepted the bag with a head tilt and a short laugh. “Uh, thanks, man.” He turned his attention back to Jack. “Tip nine,” he said sternly, “always use an oven mitt. You shouldn’t rely on your magic heaven powers to heal you every time.”

Castiel retreated from the smoky din to the quiet of his own bedroom and considered his next move.

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