14 Apr DIY Vinyl Sleeve Production
The writing and recording of the music was obviously our first step. Once we had solid masters recorded we had to find a place to press the album to vinyl. We wanted to press a run of 100 records. Until fairly recently it was impossible to get short runs of less than 500. Lucky for us pressing plants have started manufacturing shorter runs. We had to do some shopping around for the best deal. We eventually landed on a company called Mobineko out of Portland Oregon. We specifically chose them because they included center labels in the price as well as free shipping.
Printing on 12 1/4″ vinyl jackets is expensive. Nearly as much as we paid for the record pressing itself. On top of that, printers don’t do runs of less than 500. Just because you can press 100 records does not mean you can print 100 jackets. Instead of going way over our budget and having 400 extra sleeves, we took matters into our own hands. First we ordered 100 blank sleeves from Bags Unlimited. Luckily for us we have connections to people with high quality professional color printers. We printed off 100 front and 100 back covers on 12″x18″ 80 lbs bond. The next step was to trim off the excess leaving us with 12″x12″ squares.
At this point we had records, blank sleeves, and trimmed prints of the albums front and back covers. Our final step was to put them all together and begin selling them. After some experimentation with Elmer’s Glue we ended up deciding on using spray adhesive. For our purposes Scotch Super 77 Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive worked great.
We had spray the individual sheets and carefully lay them onto the blank sleeves. Then we put them in plastic poly bags and inserted download cards. The whole process took us about two hours and in the end they look great.
When all was said and done we ended up only $18 over our budget. Now we’re left with 100 vinyl records of 5 False Alarms. The records are for sale online via Bandcamp. They are $12 + shipping. You can also purchase a record from us at our live shows or in person.