Buuuut. Having said that, I do occasionally become randomly inspired to try out ridiculous things (chocolate covered potato chip, anyone…?). And when I saw awesome funky up–cycled record bowls on various web pages, retailing anywhere up to fifty bucks… I took that as a challenge.
And I love a challenge.
So here you go, jellybeans, it’s craft on the un–crafty blog– an easy, step by step guide to making old records into funky looking bowls.
Step One– Get some vinyl. Not your husband’s limited edition white press copy of Bleach, please (and if you do do that… at least blog about it, eh?). Try your local op–shop’s ’scratched’ record pile– they normally go for about fifty cents each.
Step Two– One very slow oven. You may have to play around a bit with this, depending on your oven and the bran did record you’re using. I found that around the ninety degree Celsius (Celsius, people, Celsius!) mark was perfect in my fan forced electric.
Step Three– Find yourself a template. As such. Ideally, you want one bowl who’s bottom is the same width as the paper label on your record. Say, like this…
And then a larger bowl that will fit snugly, but not too tight, over the top of the first bowl. About this size…
As I said, this all might require a bit of trial and error… that’s why you’re buying fifty cent records, remember…?
Step Four: Ready, Steady, Smelt. Aline your record and your bowl, pop the whole thing on a baking tray for ease of mobility, and oven it. It does feel strange, putting plastic in your oven– you’ll get used to it. Provided your oven is low and you keep an eye on your ‘record bake’ so it doesn’t burn or smoke, the fumes from this are– somewhat disappointingly– minimal. While its probably best to send your kidlets out for the day, switching on the exhaust fan and opening some windows is optional.
Step Five: Whoever said a watched record never melts, lies. Keep an eye on your baking record. Again, depending on your oven and the vinyl, this first stage will take between five and ten minutes. What you’re waiting for is your record to go a bit floppy– like this one I prepared earlier…
Step Six: Cover It Up. What you need to do here is encourage a rounded shape by fitting your second, larger bowl over your half melted record. This may take some practice. If your record is too hot, the paper padding will scorch. Too cold and the record will crack when you apply the pressure of the larger bowl. And if either of your bowls happen to be slightly skewed, then so will the resulting record bowl. (Don’t let any of that turn you off. At ten minutes a piece, just give your cast offs to your kids. They’ll think they’re fabulous.)
Step Seven: Cool It. Invert the larger bowl onto a heat proof surface and leave the whole thing to cool for a good fifteen minutes before you touch it (I know, I know, you don’t have that long. Just watch yourself for blisters, OK? OK.)
Step Eight: Voila!!! Record bowls for the win. Smaller ones make great outdoor ashtrays (outdoor– they have a hole in the middle, remember?). Medium sized and larger ones are just awesome decorative places to put your junk. I now have a record bowl that replaced the ‘Basket of Doom’– you know the one, I’m sure. It’s got key rings and keys and sunglasses and batteries and superglue and matchbox cars and candles and a million other things in it that don’t really belong anywhere else.
I found this particular neon record put at Shed Five, and I’m on the hunt for more. But that’s enough of my waffle– go now, get crafty, RRSAHM–style. But remember– as harmless as they seem, records are made of vinyl, and when melted, that shit burns. Melts into your skin, in fact.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.