Ultimate Guide to Recycled Vinyl Record Crafts

You can join the up-cycling craze by creating a decorative bowl made from an old vinyl record.
You can join the up-cycling craze by creating a decorative bowl made from an old vinyl record.
iStockphoto.com/Marcelo Wain

Though MP3 players have taken over the market, there are still those people who cling to their vinyl records. Cassette and 8-track tapes have virtually disappeared, however their older counterpart continues to be manufactured and sold. There's just something about the big, bold art of an album cover and the great sound of a rotating record.

But as good as vinyl is, it has its downfalls -- like getting scratched or pitted from dust, dirt or the improper care of a handler. Luckily, there's an afterlife for records that are marred by pops and blips in the middle of your favorite song.

When heated, the sturdy vinyl material is easily molded into high-class art, accessories for the home or hip jewelry. Whether you are interested in a retro bowl, clock, mirror, cuff or ring, the possibilities are almost endless. As the green movement spreads, so-called "up-cycling" has brought the blueprints for record-breaking inventions to mainstream society.

As with any craft project, consider safety before starting. Many craft projects, these included, require adult supervision for children to participate. You should be especially careful when working with vinyl records, as you will have to heat them to temperatures of about 150 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celsius) to become malleable enough to shape, for example, into a bowl [source: Lake]. If you'd rather stay away from a piping hot record, this article will also show you the best way to paint your old 45s.

So when you are looking for new ways to decorate a room or accessorize an outfit, make sure vinyl records top your shopping list. With a handful of records from a local consignment shop (or your parents' basement), you can make snazzy bowls, fun bracelets, drink coasters or an art piece to hang on your wall.

See the next page for instructions on how to make a vinyl record bowl.