Put a new spin on old records.
>> Lee Meredith, also known by the moniker Leethal, is a designer,
photographer, and creator of things, living in Portland, Ore. She
sells the things she makes from recycled materials, and shows you
how to make them yourself in her DIY blog and zine (do stuff!), all
All thrift store shoppers are well aware
of the massive piles of worthless vinyl
records that gather dust on the shelves
at every Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Savers in the
country. Sure, some of us enjoy the hunt for that
rare Beatles or Madonna album for $1 that might
sell for 20 times that at a used record store, but most
modern crafters would rather listen to their iPods.
Poor unwanted vinyl, we can’t let it all go to the
landfill! So, crafty thrifters, next time you see that
dusty stack, dig through it for the wackiest covers,
coolest artwork, and kitschiest designs; there’s plenty A
to be done with both the vinyl and the sleeves!
MELTED VINYL BOWLS
These are definitely the most common craft use for
records, and they are popular for a reason. A great
project for any level of craft experience, record
bowls require nothing but a bowl and an oven, take
very little time, and are ready to use right away. Of
course, if you’re lucky enough to come across any
colored records, grab them and enjoy the beautiful
results of melted colored vinyl (Figure A)!
1. Preheat the oven to 200˚F and find an oven-safe
bowl at least 10" in diameter. Grab some other
bowls for shaping the vinyl — a few different sizes
will add variety. While preheating, you can wash
your old records like plates, and be sure to open a
window for air circulation!
2. Flip the big bowl upside down, place a 12" vinyl LP
record centered on top, and put it in the oven. Leave
it for 3– 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of
the vinyl. You can always throw it back in if it’s not
3. Once out, peel the record off (careful, it’s hot!) and
put it into the same bowl or a cool one (Figure B).
You’ll have to act quickly before it hardens (in about
30 seconds), but you can shape it however you
want. Simply pushing the record into a big bowl will
create the classic wavy record bowl. You can also
try pushing a second bowl into the hot vinyl from
the top to flatten out the curves. Experiment with
different-sized bowls and sandwiching methods to
get new shapes.
You can also melt 45s, aka 7" records, using the
same process but a bit less time in the oven; you’ll
have more limited shaping options.