DIY · Uncategorized

DIY Vinyl Record Bowls

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Recently, the only book store- Barnes and Noble, left town and everyone was left book-less. Now for an avid reader like myself, this was an utter tragedy resulting in multiple drafts of angry emails to the Barnes and Noble corporation to bring it back. Alas, I was talked out of sending the drafts. *sigh*

But, a positive that came out of this was a secondhand store that came, selling books, music, other geeky items. The best part, though, is that they have free bins out front of the store, containing random books and such that no one cares for.

Immediately, I recognized these bins as gloriously free craft supplies. I gathered hardback books and carved out dips in the middle to make a box for my friend. I used the pages of another to make a fall wreath with flowers from around the house. And of course, I gathered vinyl records and made these wonderful bowls.

I found this idea when I was on a trip in Charleston, South Carolina walking through the market. A man was selling record bowls and I immediately fell in love, thus I decided to try to make my own with the free records.

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To begin with, I used a wet paper towel to wipe off the dust that was caked on the record. After sitting in the bin for so long, they surely needed it. I also chose random records so I could avoid qualms about whether the records may be worth listening to or allowing others to listen to.

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In order to melt the record into a bowl shape, find a bowl that is oven safe and place it on a cookie sheet or flat pan. The bowl must be about the size you want the record bowl to be, but the size and shape is fairly unimportant to the overall look of the record bowl.

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Place the record on the center of the bowl, flat, so that it can melt around the bowl in the oven. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees, and place the apparatus (?) in the oven for about 7 minutes. Don’t open the oven for the first five minutes, as the heat escapes. When putting it in the oven, make sure to place it far enough in that the entirety of the record can melt at a somewhat even level, although the back will heat up more than the front.

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Excuse my dirty oven, but once the seven minutes are up, the record should look about like this. Notice that the record isn’t evenly melted around the bowl or formed in a shape you may desire. This is okay! It’s actually even preferred, as you can then shape it how you want. At this point, the record should be very floppy and malleable to allow for shaping.

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After taking it off the bowl, it flattens a decent amount, as shown in the image above. This is also okay! It shows that the record is melted enough to allow you to bend the record. At this point, bend the record into the shape you want, bending pieces in and folding others out. You must do this process very fast to allow it to shape before cooling. However, if you don’t get it just right before it cools, that poses absolutely no problem. Just place it back in the oven in three minute intervals, removing the bowls and shaping them until you reach the figure you want. Once you finish one bowl, it becomes much easier to make more in the speed required to shape a bowl in one heating.

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Here’s one of my finished products that I used to hold my necklaces in separate little bent compartments 🙂 After, I made a few for my friends and some more for decoration. They’re the perfect size for hair accessories, rings, sea shells, virtually anything.

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I hope your bowls turn out great and I’d love to hear from you about your successes (or failures) and any questions or comments you may have. Thanks for checking out my post!

Stay curious,

Natalie Jane

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