Thursday, 22 March 2012

How to make a bowl from a vinyl record


The other day I came home from work to discover a little present from Tom. He’d made me a turquoise bowl out of an old vinyl record! 


I absolutely loved it and begged him to show me how to make one.  I thought they looked great – and would make great fruit bowls or bowls to store crafty bits and bobs in – so I persuaded him to help me put together a tutorial for you lovely readers!


What you will need:

  • An old vinyl record – perhaps one that is scratched or you can pick one up from a charity shop for next to nothing. Coloured vinyl looks really great (don’t however go rooting through anyone’s vinyl collection! Hilariously – the blue record we found was Eiffel 65 and that terrible song “Blue” – you know the one that went “I’m blue dabba de dabba dah, dabba dee dabba dah…” – yep that’s going to be stuck in your head for the rest of the day….sorry.)

  • Two metal bowls that fit inside each other -your finished vinyl bowl will be roughly the same size as the small bowl
IMG_1937 IMG_1938
  • A potato masher – or something to hold the vinyl down with
  • A couple of forks
  • A kettle
  • A friend/family member – not essential but useful with the fiddly bits to have a second pair of hands

Step 1
Boil the kettle. You’ll need the water for melting the vinyl and for making a cuppa afterwards to admire your work.

IMPORTANT: In this tutorial you will be using boiling water so please please please be very careful and don’t scald yourself!

Step 2
Place the large bowl in the sink.


Hold one side of the vinyl and carefully begin to pour the boiling water onto it (AND NOT YOUR HAND). You want the boiling water to hit the vinyl and end up in the bowl.


Step 3
Slowly start turning the vinyl, pouring the boiling water continuously as you go. You’ll see the plastic begin to bend.

Step 4
Grab the potato masher and start to put pressure in the centre of the vinyl. It will eventually become submerged in the water.


Step 5
This is the tricky part – you want to try and create even waves in the sides of your bowl (the outer edge of the vinyl record). It doesn’t need to be really neat – because this is what makes the bowl unique – but if you don’t spend a bit of time on this phase you might not be happy with the results.
Use a fork to twist the sides into waves. During this phase I found it helpful to have Tom hold the potato masher - so rope in a friend or family member to help.


If it doesn’t turn out right, you can always put it back under boiling water and use a fork to pull out the edges you don’t like until it looks right.

Here’s one I did that didn’t turn out so good.


Step 6
You now need to put the smaller bowl inside the vinyl and the larger bowl.


Carefully place the smaller bowl in the centre of the vinyl and use the potato masher to slowly push the bowl down until it is submerged into the water. The water will spill out of the sides – so go slow and you won’t scald yourself.


Step 7
When the bowl is at the bottom of the vinyl and bigger bowl – keep the potato masher in place and run the cold tap into it and down the sides of the larger bowl.

When the bowls are no longer hot you can stop.

Step 8
Now you can take the smaller bowl out and your vinyl bowl is complete!


If you don’t have any use for a bowl – they also make jolly excellent hats.

IMG_1987 IMG_2000 IMG_2001 IMG_2002 IMG_2003

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and if you decide to make one yourself I’d love to see your finished bowls!



Megan Belcher said...

GAH!!! This is brilliant! 

Alicestronaut said...

I love these!! I saw black ones at a craft fair once but your coloured ones are way better!

Love tom's hat :) x

Jesss Smith said...

I love this! What an ace idea


Georgia Coote said...

Love the turquoise one! Really like your new design also, looks great!x

helsbells said...

Love these, used to make them at uni, you can also heat them in a microwave.

Rebecca Paul said...

Amazing! I want to make some! 

Jen Giammarco said...

I love making record bowls! But I've never found a coloured record. I've only used black ones. They're so much fun to give as gifts. Just fill them up with snacks and wrap them in sheer fabric!

xo Jen

Nics Notebook said...

Awesome idea!!!

katherineljames said...

Great tutorial Fran! Also, loving the new look blog! x

Catherine said...

They look really good! I love the different colours stacked up. Pleased I've found your blog and am looking forward to reading more :)

Heather Belle said...

So awesome! Wish I had some colourful records, though! How cool :)
xo Heather

gwen charles said...

im going to try this boiling water method instead of the oven. The smell is terrible when they heat in the oven, although the shaping is easy since i place the record on an over turned bowl and it heats and bends down.

gwen charles said...

Im going to try this with boiling water! I have made a few in the oven. the smell is awful but the shaping is easy as I place the record on the overturned bowl and it bends down.

A-L said...

Thay's just pure genious!

franskulls said...

ooh i haven't tried it in the oven! Although - the smell is slightly off putting. Does it last or fade away quite quickly?

jo ann said...

tht,s ool

Mandy said...

FUN! I am SO doing this. Thanks for the tutorial!

Colette said...

That's awesome! Thanks for sharing.

Erika said...

I've never had a problem with a smell when I made them in the oven. Just set it as low as the oven will go and watch it. 

Sprungatlast said...

This is wicked cool. And to think, I have two crates of vinyl records to refine my technique before I use that red vinyl Buzzcocks LP. Thank you for this!

Gypsy Chele said...

 You can use a heat gun too ! lay  the record on top of the bowl you like and start blowing all around the record ! as it melts you can shape it some with your hand to give it the ruffle shapes you like .. This works the best for me.. I've sold a few now and  love this! Loven' Hippie Style, Michele♥♥♥

L. Magnus said...

I love this! I've always wanted to try but wasn't crazy about using the oven (forgetfulness + clumsiness + melted vinyl=disaster for me!).  I think I'll have to give this a try!

Candice said...

Your project's been Candoodled!  I love it so I've shared it... Check it out:

Anonymous said...

How do u do them in the microwave?