When vinyl records were still standard format, you could buy empty sleeves if you needed them without much hassle. Unfortunately, that's not the case today. Your best bet is to just make your own cover out of thin cardboard stock. The sleeves will fit right on the shelf with the rest of your collection. And the best part is that you can use your creativity and imagination to come up with something wholly new, original and emblematic of your musical passion.
Measure a 12 1/2-inch by 25-inch rectangle on the poster board. Find the midpoint on the long side of the rectangle, at 12 1/2 inches, and make a straight line in the center, leaving you with two squares.
Extend the top and bottom of one of the squares by 1 inch. These will be the tabs that hold the cover together.
Cut around the outer lines of the rectangle, including the tabs, using a craft knife and metal ruler so the lines are perfectly straight. Do not cut the center line.
Fold the tabs so that they turn inward. Slide a bone folder or the back of a scissors blade over the fold to make it sharp.
Fold the rectangle into a square along the center line so the tabs are on the inside.
Open the cover and apply a small amount of glue to the tabs. Do not get glue anywhere else on the cardboard, or you won't be able to slide a record into the cover. Fold the front so that it meets the tabs and press it down.
Allow the glue to dry completely before putting a record in the cover.
Instead of liquid glue, use adhesive dots to prevent the glue from oozing out and causing the sides to stick together.
For 7-inch records, start with a 7 1/2-inch by 15-inch rectangle.
Cover the card stock with decorative paper and stencil the name of the band and album on the front. Add your own creative flair like photographs, drawings, ticket stubs, and other items that represent your love of the album.
If you can find the original album art online, take it to a printing shop and have them make a full-sized version that you can glue to the cardboard.
Make a semi-circle cut-out along one open edge of the sleeve to help ease the process of removing the record.