If you’re Gen X or older, you probably remember being yelled at when you scratched your parents’ vinyls. Yes, vinyl means something different among millennials and zoomers, but back then, a vinyl was a grooved record that needed delicate handling and storage sleeves.
In fact, lovers of vinyl records still cringe at the concept of vinyl records craft projects. It feels like sacrilege and vandalism! But if you’re at peace destroying those old musical archives, you can find abandoned ones at estate sales and auction sites, so here are a few ideas to try.
1. Haunting Moonscape
The simplest vinyl records craft idea involves paint. You’ll want to get vinyl-friendly paint that can comfortably stick to the plastic. For this vinyl picture, the whole record is painted (or wrapped) with a midnight blue backdrop before weeding the tree trunk silhouette. It’s a simple image so you can probably find a free stencil online to make things that much easier.
2. Pretty Bowls of Vinyl
Before you deface your grandpa’s vinyls, make sure he doesn’t want them anymore. You may be safer checking for used records at vintage stores, or thrown out records at garbage dumps – these are sometimes too scratched to play so the owners won’t mind you ruining them. It’s easy – just melt the record in a ceramic bowl for 5 minutes. Use the oven, not the microwave.
3. Psychedelic Record Bowls
Often, the black of the plastic and the color of the record’s label are decorative enough on their own. But if you want a lot more flair in your vinyl records craft projects, you can paint the inside (and outside) of your vinyl bowls. And if you plan to fill the bowl with something liquid (or with fine powdery products), seal the center hole and make your bowl leak-proof.
4. Chunky Neckwear
If you have a strong pair of scissors or crafting shears, you can carve that old vinyl record into creatively quirky ‘beads’. For this bulky necklace, the vinyl records are cut into large triangular shapes. The triangles and looped through a chain-link necklace made of bronze, brass, or copper, though any hypoallergenic metal will do. You can use a fishing line as well.
5. Vinyl Fruit Bowl
When you’re looking for vinyl records craft ideas, bowls are the lowest hanging fruit, pun intended. To melt the bowl, all you have to do is put the record on a heatproof bowl and slip it in the oven for a few minutes then take out the (ceramic). Control the formation and shape of your vinyl by tugging the sides. This cross-bowl is contoured into distinctly ‘curvy corners’.
6. Musical Wine Rack
No, it’s not a shelf that sings, though that would be pretty cool. Instead, this vinyl records craft idea is quiet but curly. Melt the bottom third of several records, being careful to align the coiled edges. The coil should be wide enough to hold a wine bottle. Join the curled records with a wall bracket. You can hang this on the wall or make a pedestal for them.
7. Colorful Collars
Most vinyl records are black, but certain brands and labels produced them in color. So if you want a cheeky necklace, look for colored vinyl. Shear off bits of the records in irregular shapes. Melt one edge of the vinyl to form a sort of loop of hook. This hook will slip over the ‘string’ section of your necklace. That string could be a fishing line, an elastic band, or a chain.
8. Paint it Pretty
Maybe you don’t have a turntable to play vinyl records. Or maybe the grooves are too worn and scratched to play. In that case, you can craft your vinyl record into display art. You could take cues from the name of the artiste or the genre of music. This Yoko Ono album has been converted into a cute, floral wall hanging by painting bright ‘embroidered flowers’ on it.
9. Baby Bounty
Wind-chimes and mobiles are fun. Their jingling clink is soothing to adults, and they calm fussy infants when they move. So consider this vinyl records craft project for your nursery. It’s easy to make – just drill a hole through the edge of the record and hook it onto the mobile. This one has CDs and 7-inch vinyls draped off a wheel rim with bicycle spokes.
10. Musical Plant Pot
Some gardeners like to sing to their plants. Or play classical music in their greenhouses. But here’s one other way music can work for plants – old vinyl records make good planters. They’re sturdy and that hole in the bottom is perfect (yes, terracotta planters often have a hole or two for ventilation and drainage). Melt the record in a bowl and fold it into a square.
11. Bookish Bounty
This version looks a little messy, but it’s a good vinyl records craft idea for your literary friend. The one that always has a notebook on their person for jotting down ideas. Extra points if they’re the artistic or creative type. Break the record clean down the middle and use each half as a cover. Soften the edges with tape or sand them smooth. Try this neater version.
12. Cookie Display Case
Looking for a cute way to display your candy and cupcakes? Try this vinyl records craft idea. Thread a metal pipe through the center holes to make several tiers – 7-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch. You could add a CD tier too if you like. Washers or cocktail glasses keep the tiers from slipping. You can also partially melt and curl the edges to make a tray-like fold if you prefer.
13. Zebra Print Vinyl Purse
Here’s another reason to split your old vinyl record. The two halves are linked with zebra-stripe fabric with visible decorative stitching on the outside. The inside of the bag is lined and the top has a zipper. Remember to smoothen your edges because they can easily slice your fingers. You could try this plainer option or this one with unbroken vinyl records.
14. Picky Earrings
If you cut an old vinyl record into smaller pieces and sand the edges smooth, they make sweet guitar picks. Superstitious musicians can even make picks from their favorite record once it’s too worn out to play. That way, they can channel the ‘spirit’ of the song when they play. Those record bits also make pretty earrings. Sand them, paint them, and add a hook.
15. Slices of Time
Vinyl records craft projects are easy to do because you can cut, carve, or melt the plastic into your chosen shape. These records offer intricate detail with minimal fuss, especially obvious projects like mirrors or wall clocks. No need to be boring though. This article offers options from bike stenciled edges to recognizable celebrities. Try your family members’ silhouettes.
16. Suitable Side Table
You’ve probably had that random moment when you wanted simpler furniture. Maybe you had guests over and as you watched them gingerly handling their hot plates on their lap, you wished you had more side stools. Or maybe you’re longing for something to put your phone on as it charges in bed. Here’s an idea – old vinyl records and plant stands. You’re welcome!
17. More Bookish Bounty
Whether you lack space for a full shelf or would prefer to highlight certain titles, bookends are a blessing. And turning old vinyl records into bookends is surprisingly simple. All you do is melt and fold one edge into the right angle, pun intended. You can even use two records as a pair, enclosing your stack of books between them. Go raid that dollar bin for sample vinyls!
18. Clutter Fixer
Need a cool way to organize your books or magazines? If you already have a shelf, you can insert vinyl records between the racks to serve as alphabetical markers. You can also label the dividers by writing the category or genre of books, author, or year of publication. Other alternatives include stacking them at an angle to hold magazines or making a junk drawer.
19. Hanging Jewellery Box
It’s not quite a box, but this might be the simplest vinyl records craft idea yet. Grab a pretty old record and punch small holes in it. Every hole can either hold a dangling earring hook or the pin section of a stud. You could loop a ribbon through the top holes and use them to suspend your earring rack. Another idea is to flatten the bottom or try this tiered version.
20. Busy Bees and Beading
If you’re good with beads and sewing, incredibly patient, and averse to defacing vinyl records, this is the perfect project for you. Cover it in an intricately handcrafted mass of embroidery stitches, buttons, decorative washers, and beads. Inside the record remains intact but if you’re worried about beads scratching it, wrap it in felt before adding layers.
21. Stack of Wine
We’ve looked at a simple wine rack made of old vinyl records. Here’s a more involved version of the same concept. You’ll need to align and position several records and punch wine-sized holes through them. Each record will have three holes, and you need five records to support each bottle. Position the records carefully so your wine bottles can nestle between the holes.
22. Cutesy Coasters
The labeled section of vinyl records is the perfect size for a coaster. And because the circle is already perfectly positioned, it’s easier to neatly cut it out. The writing on the label can be an effective ice breaker when conversation stalls. Also, if you drilled holes through the records in the previous vinyl records craft project, you can decorate and upcycle them into coasters.
23. Just Gimme the Light!
While vinyl records craft ideas can be decorative, those old vinyl records can be worked into hundreds of practical projects. Like lamps. But you need wiring knowledge to make the bulbs light up. So you could try the conical tripod lamp when you want a spotlight. Or chandelier styling if your ceilings are sufficiently high. You could even opt for complex tiered lights.
24. Tutu Tururu
Ballerinas need to be light on their feet. It’s probably why they wear tulle – it’s pretty when they dance but it also lessens their heft. So this vinyl record craft idea is unlikely to be worn by a professional dancer. It’s way too heavy so it’ll weigh her down and probably be too bulky for grace. But this skirt was designed as an art project, and it’d be amazing for Halloween …
25. For the Birds
You might live in a woodsy area and you like to feed the local wildlife. This super simple bird feeder is sure to attract their attention. You can use back records or try colorful ones that mimic flower tones and invite more of your feathered friends to visit. This is an open feeder though, so depending on where you hang it, it may summon squirrels and raccoons too.
26. Vinyl Side Comb
So far on this list, we’ve cut up bits of records to make beads for necklaces, earrings, handbags, and guitar picks. Now let’s look into hair. The inner circle of your vinyl records can make a pretty accent for side combs because it’s the only visible part. The rest clips onto your hair and sinks beneath the strands. Glue it carefully and sand it smooth so it won’t snag.
27. Hand-on Vinyl
Bracelets and bangles are excellent for quickie vinyl records crafts. They range from super simple to quite complex. The bangle above needs you to curl several bits, decorate them with dots of color, connect them with clasps, and coil them to fit your wrist. Other versions are curled and embellished with buckles. You can also make vinyl charms for a chain bracelet.
28. Pour-over Marbled Acrylic
What arts and crafts did you learn at school? There’s a common concept these days called pour-over acrylic where swirls of paint are spilled in canvas to form mesmerizing abstracts. You may have done something similar in school, where you made spirals of oil paint on a water trough and passed a plain paper over it. Or maybe you did it on nails. Well, here it is on vinyl.
29. Butterfly Bounty
You know how in old movies someone walks into the attic or library and bats or moths fly out? It usually means there’s a cursed book hidden up there. But for those of us with sunny dispositions, butterflies beat bats every time. And you can decorate your room with a series of butterflies made from old vinyl records. They’re arranged to mimic swift swarming flight.
30. Pencil Holder
Here’s a fun way to stack your pencils and pens. And you can slip a phone in there as well. The base of your pen holder is a flat, unmolested record – though it should probably be one that’s too scratched up to play. Take two other records and met them into a fold of the right size. Glue them securely to the base and lean then at an angle so the phone stands firm.
31. Laptop Support
Old-school computers occupied entire rooms while today’s gadgets are small enough to fit your pocket. But if you’re lugging your laptop around as a portable office, you probably don’t have space in your bag for a fan. You do have a sleeve that can hold this vinyl records craft project. The center-hole lets your laptop ‘breathe’ while the folds slow laptop overheating.
32. CD Cases
Yes, we see the irony. CDs pretty much tossed vinyl records off the shelves, so it’s poetic to use an old record as a CD case. There are two styling options here. You can melt and fold the sies high enough for your CD cases to stand diagonally. Or you can make slits in the vinyl that are thin enough to hold CD cover sleeves … or sleeveless recycled CDs you no longer use.
33. Skulls and Vinyl
Did you think vinyl records craft projects were just for girly girls and color chasers? Well, here’s one for the goths – surprise! Extra points if you can find a heavy metal record. Or one with a sufficient ambiguous label. Making this vinyl skull is simple. Melt it down like you would if you were making a bowl, then mold the softening edges into the right skull shape.
What’s your favorite vinyl records craft idea? Show us a photo in the comments section!