Mix CD Valentine from Danyelle Mathews

February 4, 2011

Note from Design Mom: While I’m busy with the move to France, I’ve got a crew of talented Guest Moms filling in for me. Today, two Guest Moms have great Valentine’s Day projects for you. First up is this mix CD and cover from Danyelle Matthews.

Valentine’s Day has always been a favorite holiday for my children. We have enjoyed creating valentines together over the years but as they’ve grown older, they have become more opinionated about the over all design. My oldest son, Easton, is in fifth grade. This is most likely his last year for handing out valentines to his classmates and he wanted to go out with a bang. Easton had two specific rules regarding this years design:

1. Nothing too mushy
2. No pink

While brainstorming, Easton and I determined that most kids his age love music which lead me to the idea of creating a mixed CD. I designed a simple CD sleeve that Easton could assemble himself, with space on the back to write a custom playlist.

In deciding which songs to include on his CD’s I consulted my go to music source and dear friend, Passionista. I love all of her suggestions!

Count on Me- Bruno Mars
Three Little Birds- Bob Marley
Don’t Worry, Be Happy- Bobby McFerrin
Rhythm of Love- Plain White T’s
Can I Get Get Get- Junior Senior
Little Bit of Feel Good- Jamie Lidell
Be True To Your School- The Beach Boys
I Want To Hold Your Hand- The Beatles
All You Need Is Love- The Beatles
Sir Duke- Stevie Wonder
Upside Down- Jack Johnson
Crazy Little Thing Called Love- Queen
Be OK- Ingrid Michaelson
Viva La Vida- Coldplay
I Do Adore- Mindy Gledhill

All of these songs can be purchased through iTunes or Amazon MP3.

I made the CD sleeve into a printable PDF to share with you dears too. Go here and print off as many as you need onto card stock. Then, simply cut out along the dashed lines and use a bone folder to get crisp edges. Secure the sleeve with a glue stick and you’re done! Choose your favorite songs, burn some Cd’s and have your child write out the playlist. Valentine’s have never been so hip. Or easy!

Check out more of Danyelle’s projects on her blog, Dandee Designs.

Update from Design Mom:
I’m turning off the comments on this post. Made me laugh when I thought of how things have changed since I was a teenager. Making mix tapes, and later, mix cd’s was the thing to do — copyright discussions were the furthest thing from anyone’s mind. Such a different world now. Very interesting.

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1 Tarin@ The Virginia Library Project February 4, 2011 at 6:34 am

I love this idea! I did a mix CD as part of my bridesmaids gifts, I used songs that were significant to us over years :) I’m sure I will be thinking of songs for my girls ALL Day!

2 Tiff February 4, 2011 at 6:48 am

I love this idea, but doesn’t it break copyright laws? Let’s be fair to the artists.

3 Krista February 4, 2011 at 7:15 am

Super cute! Did you pay for each song multiple times? Or what was your strategy for dealing with copyright and music sharing prohibitions? I’ve never found a straightforward way to do this legally, so please share your method!

4 Marilyn February 4, 2011 at 8:24 am

For a very long time, creative people have been creating mixtapes. On my blog I create a new mix every month, and every month I have artists thank me for putting their music on my mix. It’s called good advertising.

5 Tressa February 4, 2011 at 8:38 am

Umm, if you have bought the rights to the music in the first place by all means create your blog mixes each month and then it is advertising for the artists. If you haven’t bought their music then it’s piracy unless you have the artist’s permission or it was released under a free license.

6 Jan @ Family Bites February 4, 2011 at 8:38 am

I love this. I also have a boy in Grade 5 who’s feeling very self-conscious about Valentine’s this year. This may just be up his alley!

7 Tanya February 4, 2011 at 8:49 am

Cute idea!!! It’s like the upgrade to the mix tape.

$100 APART Style Giveaway http://www.atasteoft.com/2011/02/amazing-apart-style-giveaway.html

8 Tory February 4, 2011 at 9:12 am

I agree, just because it’s cute, doesn’t make it legal or ethical.

9 Steph at Modern Parents Messy Kids February 4, 2011 at 9:31 am

Music rights aside – how great is that cover art?!

10 Petit Elefant February 4, 2011 at 10:41 am

Danyelle is my favorite crafty, adorable, clever girl. So cute.

11 Carolina February 4, 2011 at 10:48 am

I, too, am wondering about copyright laws. This isn’t exactly “fair use,” is it?

12 Celeste February 4, 2011 at 11:11 am

Yeah, definitely a copyright issue. You can’t just distribute music (for profit OR for free) to people.

13 rachel February 4, 2011 at 11:12 am

ok, folks. let’s play nice…i mean, she did say to PURCHASE (not “download illegally”) through itunes or amazon. if you PURCHASE the music then you’re not breaking copyright laws or doing anything unfair to the artist.

besides, isn’t it about the awesome graphics? because i love this design!

14 Nancy February 4, 2011 at 11:13 am

We can appreciate the design here, but buying music once and then giving copies away just isn’t okay. It’s like taking a book you love, copying all the pages, designing a new cover, and handing them out to people. Not very courteous to the artists.

15 Jessica February 4, 2011 at 11:20 am

Danyelle, you have the best ideas. I’m not even going to comment on the haters leaving their rude comments. Wow.

16 Marilyn February 4, 2011 at 11:28 am

Wow! Nancy, it’s actually not at all the same thing! That would be a valid argument if Danyelle were suggesting that you take an artists album and duplicate the entire thing, but a mix is taking one song and adding it to a group of songs, sort of like a sampler.

17 Tiff February 4, 2011 at 11:33 am

By the way, I’m not a hater. I love Danyelle, I subscribe to her blog, and I’m amazed by her ideas and her shop. If someone were using her copyrighted material, I would speak up for her too.
When design/art/music is your bread and butter (it’s how we feed our kids), you want to respect other’s intellectual property and hope they do the same.
And Danyelle, your cover art IS awesome!

18 Beth @ the Modern Home February 4, 2011 at 11:33 am

This is one of the coolest Valentine ideas. No age limit either! I’d Love to get this and I’m in my 20s!

19 Tarin@ The Virginia Library Project February 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Is there a way to buy an unlimited use license for music (for personal use-not for profit, of course)? If not there should be, I for one would pay a premium for the right to use the songs creatively like this.

20 Sarah {Daily Design Inspiration} February 4, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Thanks for the freebie! So Fun!

21 Amy @ Reams Photo February 4, 2011 at 1:02 pm

This is such a fantastic idea, and a great departure from a ton of sugar. And that CD jacket is perfect!

22 Sarah W. February 4, 2011 at 1:39 pm

thanks for featuring such a cool idea (and turning me onto the brilliance of danyelle matthews)! i had to include it on my valentine’s day inspiration post on my blog:


i always enjoy your posts/features. hope france is going fabulous and can’t wait to hear about your adventures!

23 Beth February 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Love this! I don’t think my four and two year old’s friends care that much about the music, but I do believe we will have some rockin’ Valentines this year.

24 SAM February 4, 2011 at 2:16 pm

What a great idea. I didn’t know kids here handed out that sort of stuff to all their class mates though. (Also have my eye on those Swedish fish)

25 kristin February 4, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Great idea! Thanks for the download too!

Thinking it takes more of an effort to create, than it does to be critical. Thanks for taking the time to share.

26 Karen February 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Love this idea! Thanks Danyelle!

27 Tiffani February 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm

I love this idea so!

Danyelle is one of the most talented, kind hearted and creative people I know.

Thanks Danyelle!!

28 Jamie February 4, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Great idea, Danyelle! I love your blog, it is absolutely uplifting and inspiring…and I kinda wish my son was in your son’s class, because I would love to listen to that mix myself. :)

And people, she said “purchase” the music! Let’s not be silly here.

29 lindsay February 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm

hmmm. hope my crush slips a mixtape in my valetine box this year!
love this. and so will my rock n’ roll lovin’ boy.
already schemeing up our playlist. thank you!

30 Susan Petersen February 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm

if it’s good enough for sawyer, it’s good enough for me. mixed tapes rule!


31 deborah@applesinwonderland February 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm

not just for kids. i love a mix tape. i miss the mix tape.

32 Cat February 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm

First, I love this project, and I am considering using the idea for a non-Valentine’s project later this year. However, as an attorney, I feel compelled to clarify the rules relating to copyright. I hate to be a stickler and killjoy, but purchasing a song ordinarily only gives you a personal license to use that song for personal use. In the same way the law prohibits you from purchasing a copy of Microsoft Office and making a copy to give away to friends, the law prohibits buying a song and then giving away free copies. And permission from the artists may not be enough because artists generally hand over or share copyright with a record label. There are ways to purchase different licenses for distributing or commercializing a copyrighted work, but those are not the type of licenses ordinarily available on retail download sites like itunes, and they are very expensive. (I don’t necessarily like these rules, but, unless we lobby for different rules, they are the rules.)

This project would work really well, though, with independent artists that own the copyright to their own songs and who want to promote their music. A lot of independent artists forgo using big record labels and post their music for free on their own websites, etc., for anyone to download and distribute. Depending on the crowd at your child’s schools, a mix CD of less-well-known songs might be really cool. It would certainly help independent artists promote their music.

Thanks for sharing this idea!

33 annie February 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm

this is brilliant, danielle. and i think all the grouchy-pants sound like metallica in the napster days (except cat…that was a kind and constructive comment on the topic). most of my favorite bands came to me through mix cds burned by friends. if it weren’t for a little bent rule here or there, i’d never end up buying other albums and singles and concert tickets for all those artists, and i bet they’d be a lot more ticked about that than a few mix tapes.

if every single person who listened to a song had to pay for it first, no one would ever make a living in music. and we’d have to ban libraries too.

34 Kate Tucker February 4, 2011 at 8:35 pm

What an inspiring idea, Danyelle! Clever and creative as always. I’m sorry your festive fun is being marred by so much negativity. If I didn’t know better, by the course of the comments, I’d have no idea we were talking about an idea for an elementary school child! Good grief. Sharing a song on a mix is a wonderful way to introduce an artist to another. My sisters and I swap mixes monthly and not a grouping has gone by without me then purchasing a handful of albums. If any of the mentioned musicians would actually find enough aggravation to have a problem with their song being included – without a $1.29 fee – on a holiday compilation for a youngster or oldster, I don’t know if I could bring myself to continue calling myself a fan. What has this world come to?

35 karen February 4, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Once again, Danyelle has come up with a brilliant idea! I love the cover design, the fact that she provided the play last that her son will be using, & I really love that it’s a project that my child could do with me! Thank you so much Danyelle for taking the time to give us this great download!

p.s. thanks Gabrielle for featuring Miss Dandee! definitely an inspiring post!

36 Jennifer February 5, 2011 at 7:21 am

What a great idea!
Oh, and since we are throwing in our two cents about legal issues…Somebody tell my library that they are breaking the law by lending out cd’s for free for people to burn because you know they are! Just sayin’ :)

37 Jenn February 5, 2011 at 10:52 am

Super rad Danyelle! Thanks as usual.
I’d say if you have issues with copyright stuff, then forget the cd and hand out just the valentine. Its definitely cool either way. Just stick some of those yummy swedish fish in there. Who wouldn’t want to get those!

38 Stephanie February 5, 2011 at 4:05 pm

I love Danyelle and her cleverness…she is wonderful through and through! Friends, when people put their creativity and helpfulness out there (she did in fact take time to design a free download for you all to use ), try to play nice, ok? It just makes the blogosphere a better, happier place :)

39 Emily February 6, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Jennifer if people copy the music the borrow from the library that is on them. Do you copy every book you check out? It’s illegal it’s dishonest to distribute copyrighted material. Justify it all you want stealing is stealing. People need to have integrity and if you are called out make it right. And really if you are going to steal from musicians don’t broadcast it online.

40 Jennifer February 6, 2011 at 9:31 pm

I never said I was….get over yourself! geez!

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