Sun Made Record Bowl DIY

My plan was to have a pretty cool DIY for you today, but instead I have an idea, the do’s and don’t’s and proof that this project does work even if I don’t have the cut and dry exact rules just yet.

A couple of months ago my mom was got some large spools for tables and chairs. These spools had some big holes in the middle and my mom didn’t want spiders or bugs to be able to crawl up through the hole, so she decided to cover the holes up. She got some records, covered up the holes of the record with broken pieces of other records and then glued them down on top of the spools. Needless to say they melted.

Here is what our spools look like.

And that is how I came up with this idea of making record bowls in the sun.

What you need:

Records- I got mine from super scratched up and unusable at the thrift store for 10 cents. I knew this would be a learning process, so I got a bunch.

Dishes- especially if you’re going to use the oven. The taller the items, the deeper your bowls will be. You need some taller for the bottom and something wider than the bottom dish for the top.

Lots of Sun

Lots and Lots of patience

I’ll give instructions for the oven verison first.

Step 1- Turn on the oven to 200, which is the lowest most ovens go. If your won’t go down that far then 250 will work. Stack like so. I used a funnel type colander for the bottom and a wider colander for the top. Put it in the oven. The great thing about this is that the bowl pretty much makes itself. I made these a while ago, but I believe that after 10 or 20 minutes the records get soft enough that you can start to mold them how you want.

If you want to make the plates, then just turn the plate upside down and place the record on top.

Finished Products

I believe the blue one was the one I made with the colander. The orange I made with a a bundt pan. It was more shallow.

Here is how the plates turned out. We ended up making a three tiered appetizer type stand with ours. The deepest bowl which ended up being the narrowest bowl on top and the plates went on the bottom.Turned out pretty cute.

For the sun method, things are a bit different. There is no dish stacked on top and most of the molding you’ll do yourself. You can either let the record melt into the bowl, like shown, or you can let the record melt over the sides of the bowl like it was shown before, but without the bowl on top.

The sun seems to be a bit tempermental. This doesn’t work just because it’s ridiculously hot; It works because the sun is beaming directly down on it. If you put these in your back yard and the sun is still beaming on your roof then it won’t work. As the sun moves, your records have to move.

I tried to make these at my aunt’s house. I had to put them on concrete because she didn’t have any tables that were in the sun and it didn’t work. By the time I got my records out and found a decent place to put them, it was a little later in the afternoon, so maybe that’s why.

At home the best place for me is from 1-4 and I’ve only had luck on these white tables. Why it worked I don’t know, maybe I waited too late at my aunt’s house or any other time I worked on a different surface, but it’s something to consider if this doesn’t work for you.

Some other things you should know: I broke a lot of mine because I was impatient. Some of the records are extremely flimsy, so they seemed to be soft and bendible, but they weren’t ready. I ruined a lot of mine that way. Check them every 20 minutes or so. You want to get those extremely flimsy ones because they melt faster and they’re easy to mold. You’ll know what I mean once you buy them. Once you start your bowl, try to finish because the sharper curves make it hard for the sun to reach that part of the bowl.

This may sound hard, but it really isn’t. You just have to have patience and be willing to try different methods. What worked for me may not work for you because it’s all about the sun. You may be tempted to just throw them in the oven, but making them in the sun is better. It’s free, you won’t create extra heat in your already hot house and it gives you a little extra time outside. It takes about 20 minutes or so for it start to make it workable and it cools pretty quickly, so shape fast.

You can use these bowls for any number of things. I think I’ll make mine into a planter for a shallow rooted plant. Or maybe even into something like this.

And most importantly  have fun with it.

Want more ideas? Check out my DIY page

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