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Record Time

Step 1: Find a friend! I found Kimberley, she’s my go-to crafting buddy. If you have a friend named Kimberley, use her too. Go to your local thrift shop and find cake molds, bowls, or anything circular that is oven safe over 300 Degrees Fahrenheit. Our bowls were only $1.99. This object will be used to mold your record bowl.

Step 2: Continue shopping at your local Goodwill, or thrift shop to find inexpensive records. Ours were $0.99 each, however many places sell classical albums for $0.25 a pop. Be warned! Sometimes the most AWESOME covers actually have the least attractive records inside. Don’t judge a book (or record) by it’s cover. The inside is what counts (in life, and in record shopping), so open the package and the sleeve and see what the record inside has to offer. This is what will be on display in the end product.

Step 3: Preheat your oven to 250-300 Degrees Fahrenheit. Wipe down your record so it does not have extraneous dust – this will melt into the bowl. Make sure the record is dry. Place your record centered on an oven proof bowl. Place in the oven for no more than five minutes (it starts to let off toxic gas if left in too long) at a time. Open a window and ventilate. At five minutes (but sometimes sooner, use oven light to check if corners are dropping, melting, and bending) take out of the oven using oven mitts! Safety first! Remain calm! Don’t fret!

Step 4: As soon as you take the record out of the oven (it will be hot) work quickly (less than 20-30 seconds) to shape the object. You can use the bowl as a mold, and press the record inside. You can also roll the record as you would when making a megaphone out of paper (lower left hand corner). If you are sculpturally inspired, you can even freehand mold the record into different shapes, or stamp the melted vinyl with pattern. If an object is not folding or forming to your liking, place it in the oven to soften it again for another minute or so. The vinyl cools and dries EXTREMELY quickly – usually in under a minute.

Step 5: Place and show off your object. Here I am planning on using the bowl to hold candy near my bar! Kimberley is using her rolled record (in the previous image) as a sconce or a plant holder mounted to the wall. These bowls can be used as planters because of the hole in the middle makes automatic drainage! Since the item is so inexpensive to make, and takes such a short amount of time to form (some would say RECORD TIME, har har), I would recommend making a ton of them and giving them away to people you love as “just because” presents! What a unique and retro way to decorate.

P.S. All photographs by me.

  • Please don’t go to the Salvation Army because they’re homophobic. There are plenty of other thrift outlets. Thanks!

    • Keren

      Hi! Thank you for responding. I understand that the Salvation Army has antiLGBT policies. The thrift shop I went to was actually in Chelsea, NYC – one of the most gay friendly neighborhood in America. I have given to several charities and purchase from several organizations while doing my projects in NYC. I have worked for Habitat for Humanity (homelessness and housing) and donated my clothing to Housing Works (Aids and the Gay Community), However, part of the reason I actively choose to support some of The Salvation Army’s reach is extremely personal. My mom was very poor when she was pregnant with my sister and was not able to afford hospital care when she was living in America. Asking nothing in return, the charity paid for my mom’s hospital bills and got my mom a OB/GYN so that my sister could be born healthfully. Thank you again, and I don’t actively donate to the Salvation Army as my main charity. As a clarification, I support equal rights for all individuals. Life is complicated.

      • Keren, thank you for your very caring and benevolent reply. I actually live just a few streets over from Chelsea, so I am quite familiar with the distinctions you are drawing. Please forgive my broad brush. As a person deeply interested in LGBT and other civil rights issues, I at times tend to bristle without knowing facts. I should have known that anyone as delightfully artistic as yourself would also be a wonderful member of the community.

        Thank you again for replying to my comment. I do so very much enjoy your blog!

  • I’ve got a bright green single that I bought for 99p. Not because I liked the song, but because it’s BRIGHT GREEN! It’s practically begging me to melt it into something that can be on show all the time instead of tucked away in my record box. Thanks for the tutorial!

    • Keren

      A bright green record needs to be used as home decor – what a unique find! I would love to see pictures of the finished product when you decide to try this (practice first on albums you don’t love as much). Thanks for stopping by! – KV

  • Ok you’re officially awesome.

    • Keren

      Thank you! YOU ARE AWESOME TOO. Officially. 😉