Vinyl records are some of the most classic items out there. They have a retro, vintage feel to them that a CD or cassette tape can never top. And while vinyl records have made a comeback in recent years, there are still many that are old and unwanted. Just take a trip to any flea market or thrift store; there’s a good chance that you will find stacks of dusty records. You might even already have some in the depths of your basement or garage.
Fortunately, you can give these relics another chance by creating a record bowl. This is an awesome way to re-purpose records that others do not want anymore. It's also a useful and quirky decor piece that can be used in the bedroom, living room, or kitchen. The best part is that you can even personalize it with paint. Of course, never use a record that you love for this project. The point of this DIY is to recycle materials that would otherwise end up in the trash. This is an especially perfect idea for avid music listeners or lovers of all things retro. Here’s how to make your own!
Step 1 - Preheat the Oven and Gather Supplies
Before starting this project, preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, prepare by rounding up the necessary materials. If you don't have any vinyl records on hand, check your local thrift store or flea market. Or, ask friends and family for unwanted records; you might even be able to score a few for free. If you decide to use a 12-inch record, keep in mind that you will need a larger stainless steel bowl.
Take a moment to wipe away any dust and debris from the record before moving forward with the project. As for the acrylic paint? Feel free to choose any set of colors that fit your taste, style, and personality. You can also use a color palette that coordinates with the existing décor in your room. Aside from the supplies in the picture, you will also need a metal baking sheet. Don’t forget to wear an oven mitt to protect your hands while handling hot materials. And, as always, work in a well-ventilated area. If you can, open the windows and keep the air flowing. This is a necessary step when melting any kind of material.
Step 2 – Position the Record
Turn the small stainless steel bowl upside down. Place the vinyl record on top, making sure it's centered on the bowl. Remember, it's imperative that the bowl is stainless steel. A glass bowl also works just as great. Either material will ensure that it's safe to put in the oven.
Step 3 – Heat the Record
Place the bowl and record on a metal baking sheet. Place everything in the oven and wait 5-10 minutes. This time frame may need to be longer depending on your oven. Soon, you will notice the record begin to warp at the edges. This means that the record is beginning to melt. Once the edge starts to collapse downward, remove from the oven.
Step 4 – Mold the Record
Let the record sit for 20-30 seconds. If it's warm enough to touch, begin molding the edge of the record to emphasize a bowl shape. Alternatively, you can use thick gloves from the hardware store. Clean gardening gloves are another option. Just use your best judgement and be careful as you work. If the record is too stiff, simply pop it back in the oven to heat up.
Step 5 – Let Cool and Paint
Once you're happy with the shape of the record, set it aside to cool. Make sure it's placed in a safe spot where it will not be touched. When the record has completely cooled down, use the foam brush to apply acrylic paint along the edges. You can create any kind of pattern or sequence that you like. Another option is to use spray paint to add a full wash of color. As always, make sure to head outside and work in a well-ventilated area when using spray paint. You can even combine both methods and apply acrylic paint to a spray painted record bowl. Use different types of paintbrushes to create a design or pattern. Strips of tape can be used to create a more rigid design, such as stripes or triangles. The possibilities are endless.
Step 6 – Glue Felt
When the paint has completely dried, turn the bowl over. Cut a circle of felt and hot glue it to the outside bottom of the bowl to prevent the contents from falling through. It will also protect the surface that your bowl is on. Don’t have felt? Alternative options include cork or foam scraps. If your record did not have a large center, you may be able to skip this step and get to using your new bowl!