Thursday, June 7, 2012

On the Record

One thing that my Dad and I share is a love of music. As a cash-strapped college student, I wanted to find a gift for my Dad that was not only economical, but also was unique. A long time ago, my Dad gave me his old record collection. The collection had everything from Pink Floyd to Shaft. Unfortunately, a lot of the albums were unplayable due to damage. So, one day I decided to scour the internet for ways to up-cycle the records that no longer worked and try to give them some new life. I had no idea there are so many ways out there to turn your old records into usable crafts. When melted, you can form vinyl to just about any shape, making albums a great material for bowls, bookends, jewelery, and so much more. If the thought of playing with really hot material right out of the oven gives you the heebie jeebies or you are looking for crafts to do with kids, there are lots of ideas out there that don't require an oven, like painting or making records into clocks.

I decided to make retro record bowls for my first attempt at record crafts. For my pops, I chose the Eagles Greatest hits. Not only does my Dad love the Eagles, but it was one of the first bands he introduced me to as a child. I still can't listen to Hotel California without hearing my Dad's voice sing out, "but you can never leave." So, I thought it would be the perfect choice for Father's Day.

What I absolutely love about this craft is it is super duper easy to do and really doesn't take much time. First, you are going to need a record, cookie sheet, oven safe bowl, and 2 oven mitts or pot holders. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. When the oven is heated up, you will put the bowl upside down on the cookie sheet and the record on top of the bowl and throw it on in. Don't stray too far, though. As soon as the record "flops" or begins the melting process take it out and get to work. Each album has different qualities and can vary in time, you'll be looking at 4-12 minutes oven time. When you take out your album, you will not have much time before the record begins to harden again. Mold your record around the bowl. The method that worked best for me required 2 times in the oven. After the first go around, I folded the record into four sides, which made four grooves. I then put it back in the oven and let it fall the other way and took it out. This time, I put four additional grooves in it and molded the bottom. It turned out so cute, I just couldn't stop. I started using a variety of different sized bowls and playing around with shapes, with varying results. If it doesn't turn out the way you want, just throw it back in the oven and start over.
 Weather you are looking for a gift or just to have around the house, these little retro bowls have so many uses. Put it by your door and throw your keys and change in it. By putting a clear coat on the inside, these make great bowls for parties, just fill 'em with chips or popcorn. These also make a great little basket for gifts.
If you are really artistic, you can make original artwork with your records. As I was searching the hundreds and hundreds of pages of record art, I fell absolutely in love with Etsy shop Valderie Originals. If it wasn't already sold, I would totally buy this...
Check out the other records still available in the shop at Valderie Originals

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