Introduction: Vinyl Record Phone Charger
This idea stemmed (get it?) from an earlier project in which I made a flower boquet lamp using vinyl records. I'm not quite sure what type of flowers these are supposed to be, but I figured it looked close enough.
Step 1: Gather Supplies
- Hobby/Utility Knife
- Glue Gun
- Heat gun (dual temp is best)
- Glue Stick (one is more than enough)
- USB or wall charger of chosen device
- Vinyl records (I used 2)
- Paper tape
- Pencil (I used a mechanical one)
- Ruler (at least as long as the record)
- Glass cup or jar (no wider than the paper label on the record, at least 5" tall)
- Gloves - Plastic dipped gloves are perfect (try to avoid any cloth finish as the fibers will stick to the records)
- Precision blades
- Spray Paint (I used two types of green and a white)
Step 2: Forming the Flower
This portion has mostly been covered in the flower lamp instructable metioned in the intro, and for this one I will add the steps for getting the shape of the petals into a more rounded shape.
- Draw lines from top to bottom of the record in accordance with desired amount of petals (2 for 4 petals, 4 for 8 petals).
- Use the heat gun to melt the vinyl from the label to the edge of the record and use the cutter to cut through the lines. Make sure your knife goes all the way through end to end or the base will be lopsided. The vinyl will begin to warp as it heats, and it is ready to cut when it is flat against the surface of your station. If you heat the vinyl for too long, the blade will drag the vinyl instead of cut though it, and it will shrink the edges and begin to bubble. No bueno.
- After allowing the record to cool down, use the heat gun to melt the edges of the petals and use the scissors to round out the edges. Low heat will work best.
- Flip the record upside down on top of your cup or jar. Start to overlap them.
- Heat the area immediately below the label where the cuts start one petal at a time. Make sure they are all facing the same way.
- Allow the record to cool down before removing it from the cup. NOTE: If you don't like the final product, you can aim the gun at the center of the flower and it will fall back to its original shape (ish). If you do this too many times, however, the vinyl will become more rigid and will break very easily.
- OPTIONAL: If you would like to close the gaps in between the base of the flower, heat the vinyl only at the area where the gap meets, then pull the petals away from the base but towards each other while the vinyl cools.
- OPTIONAL: After it has cooled down, remove the record from the jar and place it on a flat surface, then lightly push down on it while applying heat to the tips of the petals to get them to get the "blooming" look.
- Paint the flower if desired. Don't use the heat gun on the flower after you paint it or the paint will begin to run.
Step 3: Forming the Lilypad
You can use the entire record if you want a bigger pad, but I wanted it and the flower to be about the same size and to be a bit less round, so I cut off the edge of the record.
- Size the record to desired diameter and shape.
- Use the heat gun to warm the entire record. You can get a "wavy" effect in two ways:
- Heat the record from the top and continually flip it over as you heat. Once it is fexible, crumple the vinyl and flip it over and let it cool as it flattens. You should probably use gloves.
- Heat the record from the top. Once it is flexible, aim the gun at the table and allow the air from the gun to force the record to flap around. If it starts sticking to the table, rotate or flip the record and keep heating until you get the effect you want.
Step 4: Forming the Leaf
Considering that the charge port on most phones is on the bottom, I wanted to make something that would allow the phone to remain in a vertical position without damaging the cable, so I made a leaf to give the cable head room to hang out. In retrospect, I could have thought of a better way to give the leaf a more precise look (I wonder if there's some sort of machine I can use to get this done...hmmm).
- Using a portion of discarded vinyl (or another record), draw a leaf and use the heat gun to warm the edges.
- Cut off any excess from the edges of the leaf.
- Using...anything you can find, warm the leaf and place your anything under it to get a flat surface with the tips flat against your workstation. Make sure it is high enough to fit the head of the charger.
- Allow the leaf to cool (so the edges stay in place) then heat only the center of the leaf.
- Cut a small square in the center of the leaf for the charger head.
- Cut small rectangular strips of tape and place them on the leaf in the length of it's veins.
- Paint as desired and allow to dry.
- Remove the tape strips.
Step 5: Assembly & Final Product
At this point I realized I forgot to make an entry point for the cable on the flower. Since I didn't want to ruin the already questionable paint job, I used the heat gun on a blade and used it to cut a hole between two of the petals. I probably should have touched it up a bit after I cut it; However I, like Ricky Bobby, just wanna go fast...so I reluctantly accepted the final product in pursuit of my next project.
- Glue the flower onto the center of the pad.
- Glue the leaf along the inside edge of the center of the flower.
- Run the charge cable through the hole in the flower and under the hole in the leaf.
- Take a bunch of pictures.