Picture of Record Bowls
A record bowl is a classic project where you can reuse an outdated item: a vinyl record. With CDs even on their way out it's safe to say that many records can be safely molded into something new without the world losing any of its music.

In this Instructable, I will be showing off two versions of this bowl. The classic style and a newer one.

Step 1: The classic record bowl

Picture of The classic record bowl
Reshaping the vinyl requires getting the record a little hot. Not too hot, though.

The easiest way of doing this is to set your over for 220F/100C and tossing the record in there for a few minutes. When it's completely warmed up it will have the texture and floppiness of a fruit roll-up. You can now shape it any way you want.

Other methods include dipping the record in boiling water or heating it up with a heat gun.
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bobert6103 years ago
anyone know if the vinyl can be handled with bare skin after the heating process? or is it too hot, because like some materials IE aluminum foil, it is safe.

When I first made them I did handle and shape them with my hands. It got to be uncomfortable if I handled them too long but if you can shape quickly you will be fine.

tbgtbb2 years ago
It is utterly appalling that people are doing this to these pieces of history. It's like taking old books and making them in into toilet paper. You all should be ashamed.

I use scratched and otherwise unplayable records. There are enough of em out there.

Not all music is a beautiful piece of history. I can think of quite a few bad records. Besides, I think you should appreciate that the records aren't going in the garbage. There is no need to get hostile on instructables. I love the idea of making the cuts supamoto.

Have you tried this process with CDs ?

ecohrs1 year ago
I love this! I would use scratched records.
cdcrock2 years ago
I really like this I have so many out dated records and know clue what to so with them, now I do. Tks
rrkrose2 years ago
I really want to try making but our oven isn't working so I was wondering if I could make this a heat gun. Thanks.
fungus amungus (author)  rrkrose2 years ago
Yes you can. You need to be more careful about it to get it evenly heated and not overheat it, but definitely doable.
Osquar3 years ago
Thanks for the inspiration :D
I made a few of these for a party I was hosting where the theme was "retro"! We used the big LPs as tip jars and the really small ones for nuts and chips (I made sure to wash them properly before and after usage of course by hand). Was too popular though so now I only have like two out of 15 left :/
fungus amungus (author)  Osquar3 years ago
Nice! Never tried this on a single so glad to hear that worked. Would be even better with color vinyl.
WhyHello4 years ago
I'd feel so bad! but there is this guy always trying to sell his old records!

do u have any ideas what to make out of VHS movies?
I've been wondering that myself. VHS are cheaper than thrift store vinyl at some places. People have even given me box loads of them. What to do? I'm always up for making a chair with them like Legos. haha
Can I coat the vinyl with some sort of protective layer? Like a varnish or something like that?
AFTER being fired in the oven, I wouldn't see why not.....just test it first, if it is solvent based, to make sure it doesn't end up melting/dulling the surface of the vinyl.
How do you hold it while its hot? is it too hot to touch once out of the oven?
fungus amungus (author)  emilicious98004 years ago
It's hot at first, but cools down pretty quickly. I would slide it out and hold it by dancing my fingers underneath it so I didn't touch it for long. After a few seconds it would cool enough to hold.

Then again, I have a higher tolerance for pain than most. YMMV
tinker2344 years ago
hey could i add a plastic coting to make it food safe are these microwave safe thatnks tibnker 234
doomsdayltd4 years ago
great i knew i should of picked up some vinyls from the thrift store last time i was there, making nice things from crap that Barry Manillow made
Just finished mine! They turned out great! I got some records at the Salvation Army for 50 cents a piece, its like a 50cent bowl! They're awesome and perfect for jewelry bowls and snack bowls! Great instructable and project!
SACRILEGIOUS!!!!! My old albums are almost my most valued possessions!!!!!!!! But I do like that Dali clock!
Twinmum4 years ago
This made me smile. When I was a kid, I learnt to do this at a holiday club I think. Back then, old 78's were still reasonably easy to get and they soften a lot easier. I think we just had to soak them in hot (boiling?) water.

spue4 years ago
Nobody has mentioned that "Vinyl" also known as Poly Vinyl Chloride releases carcinogenic gasses when heated. It is TOXIC stuff. I make these outdoors on my gas BBQ. NOT INDOORS!
is this dish washer safe? or does it need to be hand washed?
I would suggest hand washing it with medium hot water and soap. As it might deform, causing you to have to redo it. I hope that helps.
I'd worry about the heat from the dishwasher melting it. Best to hand wash IMO. But hey, you can always "hit the reset button" by putting it back in the oven. So try it out and find out.
I forgive you for your assault on the best sounding music medium on earth (as I put the needle on one of my 150 records). hahahahahaha HOWEVER, since I tend to buy records from thrift stores with the occasional crap record misplaced in the record jacket of something HOT, I would love to use those to make awesome bowls for my home. :) Thanks!!!
A perfect use for my old Hall and Oates, and Huey Lewis and The News records. Thanks so much!!
That great, thanks
adsandy5 years ago
This is a great instructable- thanks! 
cooldog045 years ago
By "a few minutes" they mean 5-10 :) just to clarify
fireman1155 years ago
That"s the pic from the hanging record clock
a021386 years ago
sweet tutorial. thanks!
jahreed6 years ago
I have made wavy bowls that turn out with varying degrees of success...what I would really LOVE to learn is how to make bowls like these

anyone have a clue?

fungus amungus (author)  jahreed6 years ago
You'd need two forms to shape it. One for above and one below. Heat it up and press it between them.
umm .. i thought that it would like .. crinkle around the edges cause it doesn't have the right shape ?
I did this project using actual oven safe bowl on baking sheet.Record comes right off after cools and hardens. .I'm sure you could find a glass or ceramic bowl with the outside shape of what you need. Bake ; record will start to take shape can manually use hands to help it along, and reheat as needed.
alessiof766 years ago
Great idea!
Please tell me that vinyl was ruined or I start crying!
I prefer analogic music..
I'll try whit CD bowl but i must find very little fruit for it !)
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