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Vinyl Records Art

Updated on September 7, 2016
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Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.

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One popular method for using old records is to recycle or re-purpose them into art or functional objects. Some projects leave records in recognizable forms while others completely transform them. If you don't have old records on hand, they are readily available in bulk online. You may also be able to find good deals at garage sales or second hand stores.

I know that there is a lot of controversy out there about destroying perfectly good records for the sake of art. If you are not okay with destroying working records for projects, look for damaged records.

I have divided the ideas and tutorials here three sections:

  • Home. Bowls, butterflies, cake plates, clocks, coasters, mail holders, menus, planters, side tables, tray pedestals, wall art, wreaths.
  • Stationery. Books, book covers, notebooks, scrapbook albums.
  • Jewelry. Bracelet cuffs, flower earrings, fortune cookie key chains and necklaces, hats, purses.

Pick up old records in a local record shop or on eBay.

A
Rushmor Records:
2635 S Kinnickinnic Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207, USA

get directions

B
Reckless Records:
1532 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622, USA

get directions

C
Electric Fetus:
2000 4th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404, USA

get directions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Vinyl Solution: painted vinyl records, stenciled and placed in a public space for people to find and keep.Miles Davis, stenciled on a vinyl record then glued to the side of a building.Menu made out of a record.
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Vinyl Solution: painted vinyl records, stenciled and placed in a public space for people to find and keep.
Vinyl Solution: painted vinyl records, stenciled and placed in a public space for people to find and keep. | Source
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Miles Davis, stenciled on a vinyl record then glued to the side of a building.
Miles Davis, stenciled on a vinyl record then glued to the side of a building. | Source
Menu made out of a record.
Menu made out of a record. | Source
Source
  • Bowls. This is by far the most popular and one of the easiest ways to recycle old records. You can use these bowls for so many decorative or functional purposes. Check out this fun variation of wrapping your finished bowl with rope.
  • Butterflies. These vinyl record butterflies are all over Pinterest. I'm so happy that I was able to trace back to the original tutorial. You can hang your butterflies on the wall or let them adorn any flat surface.
  • Cake plate. Turn a couple records into a cake plate with some Plexiglass acrylic and hardware. Check out a simpler version of this idea right here.
  • Clocks. One of the most popular vinyl record art searches is for clocks. Now you can make one yourself. That first link is for a video. Here's a step by step photo tutorial for a clock record.
  • Coasters. There are a couple different kinds of coasters that people make with records. Some people choose to make coasters out of the records themselves. You can check out a video about that concept right here. Alternatively, some people choose to make coasters out of the vinyl album art. You can use a variety of materials to back the album art, such as tile and cork board.
  • Mail holder. Are you started to get the idea how many different shapes you can make from records? This is a great option for a desk or for a table by the front or back door where you need a place to sort the mail.
  • Menu. Check out the picture on the right of the restaurant menu made out of a record. How creative is that? This would be perfect for a wedding reception or dinner party.
  • Planter. This idea takes the record bowl to another level by turning that bowl into a planter. The best part about this is that the record already has a perfect drainage hole.
  • Side table. This project is one of the first vinyl record projects I found, and it inspired me to keep looking for more. All you need to make this is a planter stand, a glue gun, and a record. This is such a simple, versatile piece.
  • Tray pedestals. Take the bowl idea to another level with spray paint and sturdy plastic or glass pieces to serve as elevation. Inexpensive candle sticks would be a great option. These are perfect for parties and receptions.
  • Wall art. This blog author chose to decorate her records with puff paint before hanging them on the wall. There are a few examples of wall art and hanging art on the right. For yet another example, click here.
  • Wreaths. This tutorial uses a vinyl record for a wreath base. There are so many fun possibilities out there for decorating wreaths. You can customize this concept any way that you like.

How to make a record bowl.

How to Make a Book from a Vinyl Record

  • Book. Turn a small record into a book with the video on the right. A record also makes a great book cover.
  • Notebook. This tutorial includes a video. Check out the original inspiration for the tutorial here. Both of these notebooks have duct tape, but I'm sure that you could rig up something more sophisticated if you like.
  • Scrapbook album. Use two small records as the covers for a scrapbook album.

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  • Bracelet cuff. Have you seen bracelet cuffs for sale that are made out of old records? They are very easy to make. The one in the tutorial is created from a red record and is otherwise very plain. Of could you can embellish your cuff if you like. Check out another great cuff tutorial right here.
  • Flower earrings. This tutorial requires a couple tools. I don't recommend purchasing them for exclusively for this tutorial, but if you already have them on hand, this is a great project. If you've been reading through any of the other tutorials in this article, you may already have other ideas for earrings that don't require as many specialty tools.
  • Fortune cookie key chains and necklaces. How much fun is that? I put this idea under jewelry and accessories simply because that's how the author used her cookies. They work beautifully on their own as décor and also make great party favors.
  • Hat. This is a variation on the record bowl idea. The blog author chose to make a retro inspired hat with red trim, lace, and a fabric flower. You can decorate your hat to coordinate with a variety of outfits and fashion styles.
  • Purse. There are step by step photos for this tutorial, but you will need some basic sewing and hardware skills to complete this without consulting any other references. Check out another great record purse over here.

Vinyl Record Bracelets

High Fidelity - autobiographical record collection scene

Using Vinyl Records to Produce Art

© 2012 Rose Clearfield

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    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      It's a personal opinion...

    • trusouldj profile image

      LaZeric Freeman 

      5 years ago from Hammond

      Amazing, but the thought of doing that to music ... I wouldn't be able to go there; especially with turntables making a comeback. Though I was at TGIFriday's a few weeks ago and loved the album cover mural that someone made.

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks so much, Terrye!

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      6 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      I just love all the unusual and unique creations you bring us. Thank you so much for seeing items from a different point of view. :)

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      cyoung, nice! This will be a great rainy day project with the kiddos.

    • cyoung35 profile image

      Chad Young 

      6 years ago from Corona, CA

      I have a whole box of these records and I have to go through them before I use them for crafts. Great idea and once again another project for the kids and I on a stormy day.

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks, Vicki! This will be perfect for your brother. You're right that there are a lot of inexpensive records that can make great retro clocks.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Wow, these ideas are incredible! I've already sent the link to my brother who has been looking for a cool vintage clock for his place. Using an old record would make a very cool retro clock! We see them at flea markets for 25 cents or 50 sometimes! Thanks!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks so much, Green Art! I'm glad that you enjoyed some of the ideas and videos here.

    • Green Art profile image

      Green Art 

      6 years ago

      Such a fun hub! The bracelet video was very good at explaining exactly how to make them. The bowls out of records was interesting too. Voted UP awesome and interesting! Good Job!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Me, too, Deb. That's awesome about the coasters, rec room decorations, and paintings. There are so many great possibilities.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      I love repurposing stuff. I've seen coaster made with old records, but some of these ideas are even better. My sister-in-law has her rec room decorated with old album covers (that's where many of mine ended up), and a friend is creating paintings on old vinyl records. She does some really cool stuff.

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks, prairieprincess! They are really neat, aren't they?

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Such cool ideas! I think those bowls are simply amazing. Great hub!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks, Julie!

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 

      6 years ago from Clinton CT

      Onto Pinterest this goes! So cool!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks, kygirl89! That's awesome.

    • kygirl89 profile image

      kygirl89 

      6 years ago from West Virginia

      I collect a lot of vinyl and I think these are some really cool ideas. I saw the other day a record made into a clock!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Bill, thanks! I could never destroy a Beatles record either.

      Glimmer, super sad! I know that they were well loved in their day.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      6 years ago

      Very cool. Sadly all of my albums got destroyed in a flood years ago and I tossed them. I still regret that, but after years of abuse I couldn't listen to them anymore anyway. Ah well. This is an awesome idea. Thanks.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      This is so clever, Rose! What a great idea! Seriously, I'm all for it, and I wish you the best, but please, no Beatles records. I could never forgive you for that. :)

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