Twelve Weeks of Christmas: Vinyl Record Bowl ADDENDUM

(This is not to serve as this week’s installment of the Twelve Weeks of Christmas series.  Expect that later this week!)

Due to the surprisingly enthusiastic response to the vinyl record bowl tutorial, I started racking my brain for more ways to re-invent these tired turntable treasures (I hope you appreciated that, alliteration lovers).  I started doing the Google image search thing — of which I have attained expert level — and found a few ideas, some of which I wanted to share with you, especially because I know so many of you told me you planned on making these for Christmas presents!  Well, here are a few more ideas:

Paint them!  When I mentioned this to Josh and showed him a few pictures I found online, we both turned to each other and said “Duh.”  No really, this happened.  (A rather mundane response, but we didn’t say our home life was particularly exciting: one of many less-than-exciting conversations shared with my husband).  “Duh” specifically, because we’ve always liked the idea of vinyl record bowls, but were (secretly) only half-way sold on the look of them.  I mean, yeah, if you’re looking for black accessories: “Ding! Ding! Ding!”  However, because  a lot of our furniture is black, additional black things are not really wanted (I dare you to read that as racist comment).  We’re more in the market for “pops of color,” or at least that’s what Josh says  (For real!  He says “pops of color.”  Makes me so proud. . .).  So, “Duh.”  I recommend spray painting your already made bowl — that has been allowed to cool, of course — and after it has “cured” for 24 hours, i.e., don’t touch it for a day, add a coat or two of a spray varnish/poly/thing to protect the surface so it doesn’t scratch or wear off.  All the cool kids are doing it.

Here is a before and after of my own personal vinyl record bowl with a coat of Tiffany Blue spray paint:



Everyone say “ahhh…….”

Here’s the process slowed down:

Just the bottom

Here's a bird's eye view

And one more time….

BEFORE: Perfectly fine for some...

AFTER: Vinyl Record Bowl 2.0, the Tiffany Blue Edition

I’m a fan of the upgrade.  But wait!  There’s more…

Recycled Spray Painted Record Bowl Dish

I found this one (above) at an Etsy store called Goblin Hut.  I like this particular approach because it reminds me of a glaze you would see on pottery.  My guess is that this look could be achieved with two light coats of spray paint (from quite a distance) off two different colors.  It possibly even looks like there’s splatter paint action going on.  Super creative!

You could also hand-paint them, if you’re feeling fancy times.  Here’s a particularly lovely example:

Oooh.. pretty.  This one — along with many other repurposed record ideas — can be found at Eye Pop Art‘s Etsy store.  That girl’s got skills.

If you take the bowl and attach it to a candlestick or some other base, you can turn the bowl into a Pedestal Dish.  Records already have a hole in the center, so no drilling would be required.

Etsy example from Button Sushi:

RECORD BOWL Pedestal Dish - Judy Collins - Recycled Album

Of course, bowls are not the only things that can be made from a vinyl record.  Here’s a pen holder I saw on Vinyl Everything (an Etsy shop… notice a trend?).

Repurposed Vinyl Record Pen Holder

Hope you enjoyed this addendum!   Anyone else have any other ideas out there?  I am always taking suggestions and submissions, so if you have a DIY gift project, especially one in the penny pinching and/or repurposing/upcycling vein, please feel free to share via comment link or e-mail!

If this is your first time stopping by, you can read all of this ongoing series here.

***Also, check back in the next couple of weeks as I will be posting the second half of my shoebox NYC apartment reveal, bedroom style.  The Living Room Edition can be found here!



Twelve Weeks of Christmas, Week 2: How to Make a Bowl out of an Old Vinyl Record

Part 2 in a series of 12


“Twelve WEEKS of wha…?”   If you’re confused about the daunting title, read my two previous posts in this series, here and here.  Then you can come back to this one :)

Vinyl Record Bowl

Hooray!  The first of many handmade tutorials – I hope you’re excited . . .

These handy dandy bowls are actually made from real records!  (You know, those things from the olden days…  before CD’s, before cassette tapes, before 8 tracks? )   These make great gifts, and best of all, they meet some of the most important GPP criteria:  A) Cheap, at approximately 50 cents a pop, B) Thirft-able at most any second-hand shop, and C) Upcycled – one of my favorite words!

I first saw these in the Historic Charleston City Market while on vacation with my family in 2009. They were being sold for about $10 each — a huge profit for this vendor — and I thought they were so clever, I bought one!  Of course, I had an ulterior motive: I wanted to figure out HOW to make these.

Since then, I have made quite a few in various shapes and styles, so I thought I’d share the step-by-step process (so easy!) so you can make your own.  ENJOY!


How to Make a Bowl out of an Old Vinyl Record

(“Old…Record”:  that’s an oxymoron, right?

1.        Acquire a record.  These can be found in attics, basements, storage closets, and/or thrift stores.  If you do not have any or have sentimentality attached to the records in their current flattened form, you can easily obtain one at a thrift store or on Ebay for pennies.  Literally.  If you’re hard-pressed to find a record that has a label or band you like, keep in mind that once it’s a bowl, you won’t see the bottom if you have anything in it, so it probably doesn’t really matter.  Oh — and if you’re making these as Christmas gifts, it might be fun to use a Christmas album of some sort – thrift store shelves are often overflowing with holiday albums.

2.       Work in a well-ventilated space.  This is a really important one, since records emit toxic fumes.  However, as long as you open your windows or door and don’t stick your head in the oven, you’ll be fiiine.  Scout’s honor.

3.       Remove record from album sleeve and place on a flat pan or cookie sheet.  If you want to make a tray, then this is all the prep work you need to do.  If you want to make a bowl, you may want to put the record on top of an oven safe bowl, turned upside-down (more on this in number five).

4.       Place record and cookie sheet/pan in a 200 degree oven.  This is not a fix-it-and-forget-it kind of thing.  I would definitely advise staying in the room while the vinyl is heating up – it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.  When the record is floppy, with the consistency of a fruit roll-up, you may remove it from the oven and begin to work.

5.       Remove from and mold with hands to desired shape.  Some people will tell you to use tongs; I find this completely unnecessary.  Either place a towel on top or wear oven mitts, using your hands to pull up and crinkle the edges.   If the record cools off before you can finish, simply place it back in the oven to re-soften and try to mold it again.  It may take a few attempts… or you may get it perfectly to your liking the first time.  If you want a very rounded bowl shape, you can place the record on top of an upside down, oven-safe bowl, OR  you can add an additional bowl on top, which will round out the bottom even more as gravity pulls the top bowl down while the vinyl is softening.  As before, use hands to further refine the edges; I recommend molding them into a wavy pattern.

6.       Allow to cool.  This shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, and then you’re done!


 These make great, unique gifts, especially ideal for a bachelor pad dweller or a music enthusiast.  If you’ll indulge me while I channel my inner soccer mom, these would make great teacher gifts, too:  fill them with wrapped candy, baked goods, or other small items, wrap in cellophane, and tie with a bow at the top — a lot more cost-effective than buying a container or coffee mug and doing the same thing (and who hasn’t done this at some point?)

However, because these emit toxic fumes when heated, they are NOT dishwasher safe, and I probably wouldn’t recommend using them for (unwrapped) food.  Ok?  Don’t do it.  If you must clean them, just use cold water, mild soap, and a non-abrasive scrubber or towel.

Anyway, who needs to put food in these bowls, when you can use them for Post-it note storage instead?  Right?!


Don't judge me.