I’m not a collector, but I can’t part with my record collection, even though they live in my garage. I don’t actually listen to them anymore, and taking them out once in awhile just to admire them feels a little weird. Buying more to add to an unusable collection seems a little like collecting bottle caps.
In Seattle last month we poked into each used record store we passed. At a spot in Pike Place Market I found a dusty box filled with old 45s, reasonably priced at 15 cents apiece.
I should have brought home the entire box, just to get crafty with. I love the look of old records… I want a reason to have them out, to look at them. To touch them. They bring out the Pinterest in me.
I grabbed about a dollar’s worth, tucking them into my luggage, thinking I’d for sure make bowls out of them this time but knowing I most likely wouldn’t. And then one day, when the oven was on, I did.
It’s about as easy as it gets – invert an ovenproof bowl (I did this on a silicone mat on a baking sheet to prevent slipping) and set a record on top. It helps if the base of the bowl is about the same diameter as the record label. If there is a particular side to the label – a song, perhaps – that you want to be on the bottom of the inside of the bowl, make sure it’s facing down.
Turn the oven on to about 250F and put the sheet inside for 8-10 minutes. If there’s a window to peek through, peek through it; you’ll see the record start to sag and ruffle.
Sometimes you pull it out to find it has shaped itself perfectly into a uniformly wobbly bowl. Other times it needs a little help – carefully shape it while it’s pliable (wear oven mitts if you need to), and rewarm it if it cools too much.
And that’s it – once cooled, which takes just a few minutes, you have an awesome record bowl. These were small – you can stick a 45 RPM adapter in the middle if you like, to fill that giant hole, or brush the bottom with a coat of Mod Podge to seal it and make it waterproof.
And there you go – a handy DIY tip that will turn classic tunes into hip serving dishes just in time for garage sale season. You may never have to pick up a bottle of wine to bring to a dinner party again.