Update: I was reminded, vinyl has a nasty habit of leaking out chemicals which aren’t good for people to eat. So don’t follow my example of putting fruit, or other unwrapped foods, in your record bowl.
What you’ll need:
As far as materials go, this one is very easy. All you need are…
- an old record (one that is too scratched to play anymore)
- a bowl or dish you can put in the oven (I recommend glass or stoneware)
- a damp washcloth or rag
You might also want a cookie sheet to put under your dish; just in case your record starts to melt too much.
What to do:
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Draping the record will result in a slightly larger finished product. Slumping the record into the mold will give you a little more control. You can do whichever you would like best. Also, try to center the bowl over the mold to ensure even reshaping.
Once the oven is hot, put your record/mold/cookie sheet combo onto the top rack.
Now, you wait, but keep a very close eye on the record. First, you will see the edges start to curl somewhat, then it will begin to droop. This is when you know the vinyl record is softening. Use your best judgement for the timing. I left my record in for about 5 minutes, but also re-heated it several times.
When you are satisfied with how soft the record has become, take everything out of the oven. With the potholders, press the softened record over/into the mold. If needed, re-heat the record until it can be put into the desired shape.
After you’ve finished shaping, keep the record on the mold for a little while longer. Wipe the record down with the cool,damp cloth. This will help cool the vinyl and make it keep its shape.
DO NOT submerge either the record or the mold in cold water while they are still hot. This could cause either one to crack or break.
I thought this project was incredibly easy, and it turned out very attractive as well!
There were two worries I had about this project.
First, I did start to notice a distinct smell as the vinyl got warm. It was that gross scent of almost-burning plastic. Which, since that’s basically what this project does, was expected. However, the smell stuck around in the oven and THAT wasn’t pleasant.
Second, I was careful to use a scratched-up, unplayable record with no sentimental or retail value. PLEASE be sure to do the same. I’d hate for someone’s special collection to be accidentally melted down and ruined.