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Getting Crafty: Vintage Record Bowls

By Lindsay Hutton

Vintage Record Bowls
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The holidays can be a blast, if for any other reason than there are lots of gifts to give and receive. These days, few of us are rolling in cash, and the prospect of buying gifts for the long list of your nearest and dearest can be a bit stressful. Though everyone would love to head to the mall and unleash a no-limit credit card on big-ticket items for their holiday shopping, most of us have to get a little creative with our gift giving.

Nowadays, we're witnessing a revitalization of crafting. With sites like Etsy and Craftster, a new generation of crafty types is funking up their foremothers/fathers traditional knitting and crafting bees and creating a new blaze of imaginative knick-knacks. But let's face it -- knitting, macramé and pottery may not be your thing. However, that doesn't mean you can't put together a cool (and cheap) little project to gift your friends and families.

The best crafts mix a bit of fun with everyday objects repurposed in an unconventional way. These record bowls, using old LP records, fit the bill perfectly. Filled with a few dollar store items, some candy or cookies and mixed CD, you've got a gift that's easily adapted to just about anyone. The bowl itself works great as a planter, candy dish, or a perfect catchall for anything from paperclips and sticky notes to hair barrettes and spare change.

These days, we're used to seeing records in a dusty box in a basement or on a deejay's turntable. Though most mainstream music stores don't carry records anymore, they're easy to find in your local Amity Goodwill, Value Village, or a bazaar or garage sale for often less than a dollar each. Whatever you do, don't go grabbing your parents' stash – they might be valuable and have sentimental value.

Equipment:

  • 1 vintage record
  • 2 metal mixing bowls (preferably one large, one small)
  • 1 cookie sheet
  1. Preheat your oven to 200° Fahrenheit. Make sure the rack in the oven is set close to the bottom to ensure the record isn't baking too close to the top element.
  2. Set the large metal bowl upside down atop the cookie sheet, and centre the record atop the bottom of the metal bowl. Carefully, place the whole works in the oven.
  3. After about five minutes, check the record's floppiness. Depending on your oven, the record should be soft enough to work within 6-10 minutes.
  4. After you take out the tray (with oven mitts, of course), place the record in the smaller metal bowl and immediately start shaping it to your liking. The record shouldn't be too hot, but be careful. If the record doesn't form in a way you like, pop it back in the oven for a couple of minutes and try again.
  5. The record should take about five minutes to cool. Fill it with candy, cookies, and odds and ends to personalize the dish. Attach a bow, wrap it up in cellophane, and gift away!