Introduction: Record Bowls

About: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at You'll like it.

A record bowl is a classic project where you can reuse an outdated item: a vinyl record.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

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.

Step 2: Shaping the Bowl

To shape the bowl you can do a few different things. You can:

- drape the record on top of a bowl. Once the record cools it will have a similar interior shape as to the bowl.
- drop the record into a bowl. The outside of the record bowl will then have the same shape as the bowl.
- drape the record on top of a cylinder such as a can of soup.

Once the record cools, it will harden into place and stay that way. If you're not happy with it, just toss it back in the oven for a bit and start over.

Step 3: Record Bowl With Cuts

This variation starts with some cuts in the record to help guide the shape. The cuts here were made with a rotary tool like a Dremel.

The cuts here are lines that begin at one circle and end at another. Each cut ends 30 degrees off from where it began. So if one cut were to begin at 12 o'clock on the inner circle, it ends at 1 o'clock on the outer circle.

Step 4: Heat and Shape

Set the oven to 200 degrees and drop the cut up record in for a few minutes. If you set it up on a beer can (photo from lamp shade instructable) you can see the vinyl begin to sag when it gets warm enough.

Working with the vinyl is a funny thing. When it gets hot the vinyl is floppy and feels almost like fruit leather. After a few seconds you can shape the vinyl and it will begin to hold its shape. At this point, start working the material as fast as you can. Even with just 12 bends to make on the record I didn't have enough time to get everything right.

The good news is that you can hit the reset button by putting the record back in the oven. If you want to completely start over, heat it until it gets back to the floppy stage.

To just finesse a couple parts of the piece you will have to be much more attentive. Turn the light on in the oven if you can and watch carefully. Once the record starts to sag just slightly, open it up and take it out. This should give you enough time to fix a couple of bends. Repeat as necessary.

If you have a heat gun you can heat up a localized area to make specific fixes.

Step 5: Fill With Fruit

If you're going to put some food in the bowl you should wash it with some warm soapy water first.