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Vinyl Records Art

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

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.

  • 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.

In case you think you've seen it all...

  • Repurposed Vinyl Record Roofing Shingles | greenUPGRADER
    What do you do with those stacks of of old, damaged or just plain bad vinyl records you came across at a garage sale or in your aunt's attic this summer? If you're Nashville musician Matt Glassmeyer, you use them as shingles.

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.
  • 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

Great resources for purchasing recycled record art.

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More repurposed craft articles from the author.

© 2012 Rose Clearfield


Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 28, 2013:

It's a personal opinion...

LaZeric Freeman from Hammond on February 28, 2013:

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.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 28, 2012:

Thanks so much, Terrye!

Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on August 28, 2012:

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. :)

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 28, 2012:

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

Chad Young from Corona, CA on July 28, 2012:

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.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 24, 2012:

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 from Arkansas, USA on July 24, 2012:

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!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 24, 2012:

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

Laura Ross on July 24, 2012:

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!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 24, 2012:

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

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on July 24, 2012:

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.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 24, 2012:

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

Sharilee Swaity from Canada on July 23, 2012:

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

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 23, 2012:

Thanks, Julie!

Blurter of Indiscretions from Clinton CT on July 23, 2012:

Onto Pinterest this goes! So cool!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 23, 2012:

Thanks, kygirl89! That's awesome.

kygirl89 from West Virginia on July 23, 2012:

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!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 23, 2012:

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

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

Claudia Porter on July 23, 2012:

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.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 22, 2012:

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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