I should have saved the "stemmed" pun from my previous tutorial for this one.
Anyhow, THIS project is a little closer to what I had originally intended with my flower lamp instructable. At the time, I had attempted to shape the petals into a more pointed shape, but it was difficult not to drag the vinyl once it was hot so I chose to leave them as is. Once I started my phone charger project, I realized I could use scissors to get a more precise shape (I still want the printer, San Fran) and decided to add a bluetooth instead of a light or charger to widen the type of things that can be done with the records.
I'd like to point out that I was already on my last step for this and went to bed expecting to post it the next morning. However, even though I constantly saved my work, when I came back to it there was nothing there but the introduction. Because of this, I may not be as detailed as I would have liked, but I will add steps or tips as I remember them.
Step 1: Gather Supplies
- Hobby/Utility Knife
- Glue Gun
- Heat gun (dual temp is best)
- Soldering iron
- Glue sticks (I used about 6)
- Bluetooth speaker or media compatible headset + external speaker
- Vinyl records (I used 3)
- Paper tape
- Clear tape or laminating plastic
- 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)
- Plastic tubing ( about 2 inches longer than intended height)
- Wires or internal desktop cables
- 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 red, two greens, and a white)
- Shrink tubing
Step 2: Forming the Bud
You can form the petals any way you'd like, but I chose to make it as simple as possible to avoid heating the record too many times, but I also wanted it to look more intricate than it's predecessors so I overlapped two records. With the added weight of the speaker, I thought it would be a good idea to use a large amount of glue to add sturdiness.
- Draw 4 lines from top to bottom of the record in accordance with desired amount of 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.
- 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.
- Heat the area immediately below the label where the cuts start on every other petal.and allow them to fall. Heat the remaining petals and allow them to fall above the first set of petals.
- 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.
- Draw 4 lines from top to bottom of the record in accordance with desired amount of petals. Make sure that there is a gap between the base of the petals.
- If the label area of the records are not flush, warm it (watch the petals) using low heat and press it flat against your workstation.
- Glue the buds together. Make sure there is no glue in the center hole.
- Paint as desired.
Step 3: Forming the Stem
I wanted the LED light to be visible through the center of the stem, so I added small gaps in the shape of thorns to allow it to be seen. WARNING: Once the "thorns" have cooled down, they can be very sharp. Work your way downward to avoid injury. CAUTION: I do not recommend doing this if you have small children or pets that can reach the speaker wherever it is you plan to display it. Consider using tape or pieces of the silicone from the bluetooth.
- Draw a line about 2 inches from the top of the tube and melt it using low heat.
- Cut desired amount of cuts at equal spacing from the top of the tube down to the line.
- Flip the stem upside down and gently press down. Heat as necessary depending on your speed, otherwise you will be very very sad somewhere towards the end of this step. Ensure the frills are flat against your station.
- After it has cooled, flip it back over and use your blade to cut upside down V shapes at random areas of the stem. Don't heat too long or the blade will not penetrate through the plastic.
- Paint as desired.
Step 4: Prepping & Mounting the Speaker
I was initially interested in running both the speaker and mic cables through, but I didn't think I would be using the mic at all, so even though I ran both cables down, I didn't make the connections for the mic.
- Test the speaker.
- Take off the silicone cover and part the speaker. Unclip the speakers and either desolder or cut through the mic cables.
- Cut off the clip (not too close) and add the cables, then run them through the hole on the bottom part of the speaker enclosure. Your cables should be at least as long as the stem.
- Connect your clip cable to the speaker. Add mic wiring if desired.
- Test the speaker.
- Screw the bottom enclosure back onto the speaker and run the cables through the center of the rosebud.
- Glue the the speaker onto the middle of the rosebud.
- Flip the bud over and glue the top of the stem down starting from the middle. The glue should be hot enough to alow you to lightly bend the frills and apply glue. Make sure not to glue them down all the way.
- Apply light heat to the underside of the frills and gently curl upward.
- Apply a liberal amount of glue to the area where the frills meet.
- Cover the red areas with tape and paint the glue the same color as your stem.
Step 5: Prepping the Base
For this portion, I followed the same basic steps as the flower shaping, but I wanted there to be less friction and bulk, so I made some slight modifications. I cut the silicone around the button cover and tried to glue it onto the flower but it wouldn't stick, so I applied clear tape and used the heat gun to hold it in place, then I added paper tape around the edges to hold it and glue on top to prevent peeling and get a better look out of the flower.
- Draw 4 lines top to bottom of the record. On 2 opposing pretals, Draw two additional lines about 1/8" just inside the lines.
- Cut the area between the lines at the opposing petals. You should have removed 4 thin rectangular strips.
- Draw an x on the label over the middle of the record about 2 times the thickness of your stem.
- Heat the label and cut through the x. You can use either use your fingers to pull the tabs out, or you can push the stem in through the bottom.
- Flip the record over your cup/jar, and melt the area above the label of the opposing petals that were thinned out.
- Once they are flat, heat up the corners and apply pressure so that they can be formed loosely around your cup or jar.
- Repeat for the outer petals.
- Once the record has cooled down, remove from the cup and place it face down on your workstation. Using low heat, melt the plastic only from the bottom one petal at a time and lightly apply pressure until the record is not listing or tilting.
- Measure the port and switch portion of the bluetooth motherboard and draw a rectangle wherever you plan to mount it.
- Repeat for button board.
- Use the gun to get your utility blade hot, then use it to cut out your ports. Try to cut a little smaller than your lines to get the tightest fit possible. Make sure the boards fit before continuing.
- Paint the base.
Step 6: Mounting the Bluetooth & Assembly
I wanted to make this a little more detailed but I didn't take the quality of the speaker in mind and I had a bit of a hard time. As I was working I had to keep resoldering the battery and LED leads, so by the time I got to the assembly step, I was too frustrated to try and work the mic in. In addition, the wiring was extremely thin and kept breaking off. In retrospect, I probably should have soldered new wiring altogether, but I was too anxious to finish and move on so I just opted not to use the mic.
- Apply low heat to the frills at the center of the record for about 7 seconds.
- Slide in the stem and push the frills into the stem to get a tighter fit. You may want to use gloves or a vinyl clipping. Ensure the flower is standing straight.
- After the record has cooled, apply glue between the gaps. Allow to cool for a few seconds and add glue all between and over the frills. It is best to do this in layers allowing the glue to dry slightly to avoid too much running.
- After the glue has cooled, flip the flower over on the speaker and apply a liberal amount of glue to the area where the stem meets the base.
- After the glue has cooled, ount your motherboard and apply a light amount of glue around any gaps between it and the base. Be careful not to allow any glue to fall in the port or the area where the switch will be in on/off positions. Begin applying layers of glue until you get the look you want. NOTE: If you would like a smoother look, you can lightly melt the glue to allow it to run together more evenly ( I didn't do this because it really didn't occur to me until after I was finished and I didn't want the paint to look weird). Be careful that the glue doesn't run over your button board, port, or switch. You can let the glue on top dry and then lay the flower on it's side if you'd like to cover the sides and bottom of the port and switch.
- Cover the button covers, charge port, and switch with paper tape.
- Paint over the glue.
- Flip the flower over and cut a small rectangle into the stem wide enough to slide the LED board into.
- Slide the board in and glue it down. Make sure that the LEDs are facing up.
- Flip the flower over and test your speaker.
- Enter some contests!