Our whole family collects records, so when we see crates and boxes full of them at rummage sales we’ll often make an offer for a deal on the whole lot. Of course, when you do this, you often end up with records that can’t be enjoyed.
If the records are scratched, or have schmutz on them and cannot be played, we like to do the old melt the old vinyl records into bowls dealio. (Note: This is to be done with vinyl records, not varnished or shellacked records; avoid 78 RPMs. Also, the “more flimsy” the vinyl, the less time required to melt it, so keep an eye on them in the oven.) It’s a great project to do with children; as long as they are supervised and using hot pads, it’s safe.
But after you’ve made some bowls to put odds and ends in, and some planters, you might feel like you’ve exhausted the possibilities — but you’ve still got stacks of damaged records to deal with. What else can you do?
For one, you can simply change the shape.
Instead of only using round glass bowls to melt and mold the vinyl record, try using square and rectangle objects, such as bread pans and small baking dishes. (If you don’t have them, you can use smaller glass bowls and then, using hot pads or oven mitts, shape the heated vinyl into a square with your hands.)
These shapes lend themselves to other uses, such as desk top organizers. (I have several on my desk holding my pens and pencils, vintage postcards and other ephemera I haven’t organized yet, etc.) But one of the more fun things to do is to use these newly-minted from melted-records trays as holders for plastic party ware.
These recycled pieces are a fun way to hold plastic utensils, straws, napkins, etc. at parties. And, because they are vinyl, they are really resistant to breakage from clumsy party attendees, yet light-weight enough to be easily carried where needed.
Plus, you’ve got to do something with the damaged records, right?