Upcycle Those Old Vinyl LP Records

April 4, 2012 View all articles in Re-Use-It

If you are a child of the 60s and 70s, chances are you've got a lot of old vinyl records sitting in a box somewhere gathering dust. Instead of letting them go to waste, throwing them in the garbage, or even worse: giving them to your nephew, why not turn a few of them into creative art projects? Show off your artistic prowess and turn a few old records into awesome (and useful) objects for your home.


Vinyl Record Wall Clock: Feeling a bit creative? In need of the time? Try turning that old vinyl record to a cool looking wall clock. Purchase a small clock piece set from a craft supply store and mount the time piece through the hole in the middle of the record. Hot glue the clock mechanism on the back of the vinyl record and mount the clock hands on the front. Instant object d'art!

Vinyl Record Bowl: If you've got a large collection of vinyl records and a bit of time on your hands, try turning a few of them into melted bowls. What you will need for this project is a glass bowl, an oven, and a large cookie sheet. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees with the bowl upside down on the cookie sheet. Let the bowl warm up until it is too hot to touch with your hands. Next, center the record on the top of the inverted bowl and let the heat slowly melt the record until it forms into the shape of the bowl beneath it. Pull the cookie sheet, bowl, and record/bowl out of the oven before the vinyl gets too gooey and let it cool for at least 20 minutes before removing it from the mold.

Cup Coasters: Reshape those old records by turning them into handy cup coasters for your next dinner party. You will need a pair of super-heavy scissors (or even a band saw) for this project: cut or snip a circle right around the central record label. Use a fine-grit sandpaper to clean off the edges and then stack each on your coffee table for the next time someone tries to ruin your belongings with a frosty glass of beer.

Vinyl Canvas: This is a great project for a rainy afternoon at home with the kids. Using any old records from the second-hand store, try making them into fun and creative paintings. Have fun splashing acrylic paint or gluing magazine cutouts (or both!) on each record. When they are done, let them dry for a few hours before hanging them up around the house.

Wrist Cuffs: Vinyl records are easily bendable and re-shapeable with a little heat. Try cutting out a few 3x8 inch strips from a record to refashion into a trendy bracelet. Heat your oven to 200 degrees and place each piece of record on a cookie sheet until warm. Quickly pull the pan out of the oven and shape each vinyl strip to fit around a wrist before the vinyl hardens.

Pottery Bats: If you are in to throwing your own pottery, up-cycle some of those old vinyl records into handy pottery bats. Try gluing together two or three records to make your bat fairly stiff. After the glue dries, measure the distance between where the holes on the pottery mount need to be and drill for your mounts. Place your record-cum-bat on your pottery wheel and get creative with your clay!

B-B Gun Targets: Try to avoid shooting your eye out with this one: paint a simple bulls-eye target on a few vinyl records and use them for target practice next time you feel the urge to plink a few pellets in the back yard. For extra heft, glue together a few records to ensure your eagle-eye shooting doesn't crack the vinyl.


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