A while ago I saw some salad bowls and book ends in a shop made out of vinyl records. I thought it’d be a good idea to have a go at making them myself, and after a quick Google search I found hundreds of websites telling you how to do it. After having a look at some, I could see that there are two main methods: melting in the oven or submerging in boiling water. I wonder if you could do it in the microwave (I try to use it for EVERYTHING), but I think I’ll stick to the tried and tested options until I’ve done some more research.
First I had a go at the oven method. It said to set the oven at around 100 degrees and leave the record in for about 8-10 minutes, but mine started melting after only 2 or 3 minutes. This is probably the easiest way to do it because although the oven container you put it on will be really hot (remember to wear gloves!), the actual record isn’t scalding hot, so you can give it shape a few seconds after taking it out. Having said that, I think my Raynaud’s has probably killed my sensitivity, so you’re probably safer wearing gloves when you shape the record. It goes hard in only a few seconds, so you might have to repeat the process a few times until you achieve the desired shape. Bear in mind that every time you stick it back in the oven it’ll soften again and lose whatever shape you gave it, so you’ll have to start again.
After this, I tried the boiling water option in an attempt to make a book-end. The results weren’t so great for a number of reasons. First, I was constantly panicking I’d accidentally tip the bowl and burn my legs. It’s also difficult to give it shape as it’s in the water and when you take it out it seems to cool down even quicker. Second, as the vinyl curls up when heated, it’s pretty much impossible to give it the clean, straight shape that a book-end would need. Having said this, a few websites seemed to achieve it (either that or the pictures were fake!). Obviously, if you had some sort of hot press that you could keep it in until it cools down, that might work but, for now, I’ll stick to the bowls until I can work out an easy way of getting rid of those waves.
I did manage to make some sort of letter holder/little shelf though, and you could hang one of these on the wall to put your keys, change, wallet, etc. It doesn’t look too great, but you get the idea.