Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Retro Bowls

So today while I was roaming the aisles of Value Village looking for inspiration for craft projects (and black pants and t-shirts for Gage to wear to work), I came across some vinyl records.  Eureka!  I had seen a few projects on Pinterest involving old LPs so I thought I'd browse the selection and work on a new craft idea (I'm starting to run out of corks).  Record bowls!  How retro!  So here's how I did it.  It was super easy and fun. 

First I picked out four records, each one kind of reminding me of a certain person.  So in the end, four of my friends are getting record bowl gifts from me.  I'm still not sure if my friends 'like' getting my crafts or if they are just humouring me but giving them away still hasn't lost its novelty on me yet so it's going to keep happening.  One day it's going to be you!  I know you're probably anxiously waiting...don't worry your time will likely come.  And I am pretty sure that once I finish my den, I'll have one of these retro record bowls on display on my coffee table. 

So all in all it took me about 20 minutes to complete all 4 bowls.  Pretty easy and not time consuming at all so it's an ideal craft idea if you have A.D.D.  I suppose you should take precautions and make sure you have your exhaust fan on or a window open when doing this.  However, I didn't notice any fumes at all as they were 'baking'.  Though, since the day was so beautiful, my kitchen window was already open. 

You are going to need a record(s) that you no longer use or listen to.  You will need an oven safe bowl (different sizes and heights are going to yeild you different shaped bowls, so have fun and play with some different sizes).  In my case, I used two different bowls, so I ended up with two versions of the finished project.  You will also need a cookie sheet (just to play it safe, you don't want to be scraping harden vinyl off the bottom of your stove). The cookie sheet sure makes it so much easier to get it out of the oven when it's firey hot too.  That's probably the main reason to use a cookie sheet as the records aren't in the oven long enough to worry about them melting all over your stove, unless of course you walk away and get side-tracked and forget about it (which could happen if you have A.D.D. and took my advice that this would be an ideal craft). 

You want to preheat your oven to 200 degrees.  Not too hot or you could end up with a hot, stinky mess on your hands.  And like I said, I was done all four bowls in probably 20 minutes so even at 200 degrees it still moves along quite nicely.  You want to place the bowl upside down on the cookie sheet and centre the record on top of the bowl.  Place the sculpture into the oven as shown in the photo (probably would have been nice of me to clean my over first but I was too excited to melt records to bother).  Depending on how good your oven works you might need to leave it in there for up to 10 minutes.  Trust me, you'll know when it's done. 

After taking it out of the oven you can leave it on the bowl and let it cool (the vinyl cools so much faster than the bowl or cookie sheet so be careful of those when handling) and use it as is (that's what I did) or you can then flip the bowl over immediately and place the soft record inside the bowl to get a more defined shaped.  You'll only have a window of about a minute before the vinyl really starts to cool off, so be quick if you want to go this route.  If you can't get it done in time you can put it back on the upside down bowl and throw it back in the oven for a few minutes to get it soft again. 

Once it's cooled off, it's ready for immediate use.  And you'll get an immediate sense of pride and usefulness (I did anyway).  You can use them for so many different things...

Fruit bowl. (Hard, dry or fake fruit, not fruit salad silly!)
A flower pot!  (You won't be able to see the label but you could use it as a planter since there is already a drain hole in place.)  
Key bowl.  (A place to put your keys and sunglasses when you get home or if you are a swinger you can use it as the key bowl when picking partners!  I shall not judge.)
Just a decoration or conversation starter.
A homemade gift for Christmas (if you do that sort of thing).
I suppose you could just hang it on your wall as art (but that kind of defeats the purpose of vinyl record BOWL).
Candy dish.  (Wouldn't jelly beans look so awesome in that? You could also use it to store your Halloween candy that you hand out to trick or treaters.)
Anyway, you get the idea.  So versatile and cool all at the same time. 

The records cost me a buck each at V.V. but I'm sure I can score some for cheaper at garage sales this season so I can assure you I'll be making more.  It was quick and fun and the finished project is pretty rad. 


  1. My dad would love the polka one! he's a huge walter fan!

    1. I gave that one to Hooch, he too is a huge Walter fan. He loved it. And he's using it to hold all his guitar picks.