Thursday, 6 June 2013

Upcycling Vintage Part 3: Vinyl Records

Vinyl is a hugely popular item to upcycle and there are literally thousands of ideas of what you can do with them: we have long since been fascinated with all the fascinating things you can do, and so we have brought you this post . We have also created a Pinterest board to go alongside this blog post to give budding vinyl record crafters out there inspiration!

The Fascinator or Hat
The designs for this are endless, the base does not have to be the complete record, but a part of it, or a cut out of it.  And adornments could be anything from traditional millinery accoutrements to something to accentuate the novelty element of the base. 
My own attempt last year- blog posts here
The Bowl
Perhaps one of the most frequently created vinyl items is the bowl.  They are relatively simple to make, but can come in different styles and designs, and every single one is different and unique.  There are the smoother vacuum formed bowls which can also be used to create ipod amplifiers, or those with undulating edges- which look different every time. The uses are as may as the styles- gift packing, storing keys, make up bowls- it's basically a bowl so use it for whatever you would use a normal bowl for really....except cooking food obviously!
Formed vinyl bowl available from Revolver Retro (Colchester shop and online seller)
Lesley's Girls sell the fluted variety in store, and orders can be made for these via our Facebook page as well, although we do not list them on our Etsy store currently.

The Accessories
Vinyl records can make amazing accessories- you can create hand crafted broaches, necklaces pendants or even bracelets. I adore the bags that can be created from these.  One of the most creative uses of a vinyl record I have seen recently is this amazing pair of glasses from OpticBox on Etsy.
The Home
In the home records can be used to create a myriad of items- clocks, book-ends, mail racks, custom art work, key hooks or even lamps. One of the things we have been experimenting with recently is decorations, if we manage to create anything worth sharing on that front you'll be the first to know!
Crafted vinyl record clock by GeoArtCrafts on Etsy
The Race
I have saved the best until last. The Vinyl Rally. This is an sound and video art installation (or classic video game depending on your interpretation).  The track is made from hundreds of vinyl records, whilst a remote control car with a styli attached underneath is controlled from a video game booth resulting in some unique sounds coming from the vinyl track!  It came to Colchester last year and sadly we missed it, but what a fantastic idea!

Unique Personality
There are so many uses of vinyl records but why does the seem such an obsession with creating things from this part of our musical heritage?  Music is so intrinsically part of our characters, even someone (like me) who is not tuneful or talented when it comes to making music, can love music and relate to a particular artist or song which they feel reflects a moment in their life or even their personality- so it is natural that people are drawn to these items.

There is also something undeniable attractive about vinyl.  The feel of the surface, the look of the lines, the simplicity of the design.  It all feeds towards artists and crafters wanting to use the material to create something, and consumers wanting to own it.

Finally, perhaps it is the simple but clever way of turning a no longer used item in to a new product which excites people.  It is so exciting to look at something and then flip it round in your brain when you realise it is no longer a record but a hat or a clock.


We want to finish the post off by stressing, as always, that although Lesley's Girls do make vinyl bowls (and are a bit addicted to crafting up vinyl in to different things) we will only ever use records that are damaged beyond repair or use. There has be a resurgence of interest in vinyl for its own sake which is to be applauded, so I hereby promise to never knowingly hurt a healthy LP!  The same applies with many vintage items we collect or sell, such as clothing, as we hope that one day they will find an owner who loves them as they are rather than needing to change them.  They stand as testaments of the period, a small piece of social history.  However, if they are damaged we love a challenge and Susannah particularly, loves to create something new and interesting with unusable items.

Feel free to comment below with your own vinyl upcycling ideas and projects.  We'll share the best ones on our Facebook page and add them to our Pinterest board.

1 comment:

  1. I made a cake stand from an LP, 78 and 45. No vinyl was harmed during this process!!!!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger


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