How to Make a Bowl from a Recycled Vinyl Record

I like to visit garage sales, yard sales and secondhand stores. You never know what kind of treasures you’ll find! One thing I noticed on a recent round of visits to these places was the number of vinyl records I saw for sale. The records were old, scratched relics from the past. Most of which hold no real value except for sentimentality. Being that I hate to see anything go to waste, I realized that these disks would make great art projects. Here is how to make a medium-sized bowl from a recycled vinyl record:

Step 1. Obtain a Vinyl LP Record
I have an old collection of vinyl LP records that aren’t worth anything in monetary terms. So, I have a supply of disks to use for crafts and hobbies. If you don’t have any long-playing records, just visit your local Salvation Army, Goodwill, garage and yard sales, or flea markets to find a few to use. Is doesn’t matter how scratched the vinyl record is, just make sure it’s free from cracks and nicks to make the best recycled bowl.

Step 2. Choose a Tall Metal Pan With No Handles
Next, you’ll need to find a tall metal pan that has no handles on it. The pan should be tall enough so it does not touch the hot oven grate when the vinyl record melts down. If you don’t have a metal pan, you can use an oven-proof bowl in a pinch.

Step 3. Preheat Your Oven
Place one of the racks a position or two down from the middle of the inside of your oven. Make sure there’s plenty of room to place your metal pan inside your oven without touching the top. However, you don’t want the record too close to the heat either. Then, preheat your oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not turn the dial up any hotter! A hundred and fifty degrees is just the temperature to slowly melt your vinyl record into a pliable state.

Step 4. Start the Actual Process
Once your oven is preheated, place the metal pan (or heat-proof bowl) upside down on the middle oven rack. Place your (soon to be recycled) vinyl long-playing record on the top. Check to make sure the record is centered on the pan.

The best kind of oven to have in this case is one that has a window in the door. That way, you can watch and see what’s going on inside without opening the door and letting heat escape. Nonetheless, any type of oven works for this craft project.

Step 5. Allow Time for the Record to Become Pliable
Set your oven timer for five minutes. Depending on your oven, it may take a few minutes longer for the vinyl record to soften up.

Step 6. Remove the Record and Shape It
Carefully remove the metal pan and the vinyl record from your oven by using a pair of oven gloves. Turn the bowl over and press it into shape. The sides of your recycled bowl should curl up by themselves. If the bowl cools down before you get it pressed into the shape you desire, just pop it back in the oven for a few minutes to make it soft again. Allow it to cool thoroughly before you use it.

Now your recycled vinyl record bowl is ready to use as a change caddy, a place to put small odds and ends, or a candle holder. No matter what you use it for, it will draw lots of attention from visitors who will beg you for the directions so they can make their own!

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