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A record bowl is a classic project where you can reuse an outdated item: a vinyl record.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.
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 !)
cassette tape is about as analog as you can get now a days
I had a nice sound system I sold to get married and buy the house turntable, preamp and amplifier vacuum tubes (selfmade) horn loudspeaker selfmade (80Kg for each I won an award for these in 1998) but I think the turntable sounds better than CD unless you pay over 5000 euros I have hundreds of records but do not throw away no one maybe I am mad but is just my opinion
records to me are: Over sized Contain Small Amounts of data, In this case, Music The music sounds bad it just sucks
If a player your turnabe costs less than $ 1200. I agree with you: is the better CDplayer. but if you want to listen to REAL music you need to spend a lot (or rather listen to live music) if you not distinguish the mp3 from the CD is better to close the speech
Yeah, Even worse. They Produced low quality sound And they are complicated, Thus expensive for one that will sound better than average players
are this things food safe? cause once im rich im opening up a 1960s stlye resturant and imagine eating spaghetti of a real record!
thepelton6 years ago
I recall making something like that about thirty five years ago. Made a great flowerpot, since you didn't need to add a hole in the center of the bottom for drainage.
bustedit6 years ago
cool. im going to try making a hat, by heating it up and letting it drape over my head as it cools. here's an idea - how about using a record to make a coaster? just use the label section, about the right size for a coaster, then laminate or seal the label so it is waterproof, or something. some labels look really cool.
My only question ...What can be used to seal hole and possibly waterproof label so it could be used for something like cereal?..
You could plug it with a drop of hot glue and then seal it with epoxy, but even so the vinyl isn't something you want holding any wet food.
Why does vinyl have toxic effects?...
The vinyl in records isn't meant for food use and as such there's no way to tell exactly what may have been added to it. With millions of records from several different manufacturing plants out there I'd recommend just using a regular bowl instead.
JakeTobak8 years ago
What show did you get this off of? I remember seeing it while my mom was watching something, could have been Rachel Ray or something.
fungus amungus (author)  JakeTobak8 years ago
The vinyl bowl idea's been around for ages. I've been it in magazines and several websites. And I've never heard of this Rachel Ray person.
Watch out for Rachel Ray - she's slightly addictive and very annoying. She is on the food network practically 24/7.

fungus amungus (author)  noahw8 years ago
I rarely watch any broadcast TV. All I have to connect to the televised world is a set of bunny ears that keep falling off. I haven't had cable in 10 years. Not that TV is evil. I'd just spend all day watching it if I had it.
Ditto, man. Ditto.
Crash21088 years ago
You put a note inside of a note.
fungus amungus (author)  Crash21088 years ago
I did. I thought that people could figure out what the other note said so I left it.
somehow I managed to mouse over the inner note and had it display it's text. It must have still been dowloading because I can't figure out how to repeat displaying it.
fungus amungus (author)  spinach_dip8 years ago
Don't spoil the surprise for everyone else.
OK, I'll just be in the inner circle of people who know for sure what that comment says.
fungus amungus (author)  spinach_dip8 years ago
Ah, I see you have a black belt in subtlety. Very nice.
I read it too.
fungus amungus (author)  fungus amungus8 years ago
I was able to replicate it. It can be seen.
Wait, If it's on a record, and it's secret, doesn't it have to be a secret backwards message? Like maybe "elcric renni"
fungus amungus (author)  spinach_dip8 years ago
Or is it "elcric renni ton yllatot"?
elcric renni eht nioj ot duorp ma I
!!!!! ti was tsrif I nehw nitaL saw ti thguoht I
oot em
C'mon guys, can you please tell us what it says!!
I really want to know!
You end up going round and round trying to get it to display. Took me a while to work out how to display it but once you work it out it is so simple you'll kick yourself.
if you didnt view any notes use the arrow keys to hover over the note then move the mouse and then you see the inner note
jahreed6 years ago
interesting...thanks for the tip! I wonder if those bowls are extruded somehow mechanically... they are so clean and precise. I don't think i could duplicate with any precision using a couple of bowls but i'd like to try. i have so much junk vinyl (trance etc...) I'm always looking for cool ways to recycle.
Shut Up Now6 years ago
could i use a hairdryer to melt the bowl? i dont want to get nasty chemicals in my oven
andrew136 years ago
this is cool. my grandma has hundereds of those so i might try this.
rmccue7 years ago
I used this instructable to make several bowls. I had a great time and it is super cheap.
rmccue rmccue7 years ago
I have added a slide show of my bowls. Again, sweet project.
vatosupreme8 years ago
1. go to another page, remember where the inner circle is. 2. Hit the back button and put the cursor where you want it before the page reloads.
or view source {"imageID":"F9KJGPWZCMEV2Z9179","noteID":"TDV91QIOIZEV2Z91HL","top":0.21447721179624665,"left":0.35535714285714287,"width":0.36964285714285716,"height":0.5656836461126006,"text":"inner circle","author":"fungus amungus"}]} );
theRIAA8 years ago
looks really nice, you could sell them