How to make jewelry from a vinyl record

Written by pam raymer-lea
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How to make jewelry from a vinyl record
You can turn vinyl records into beautiful jewellery. (record montage image by Nicemonkey from Fotolia.com)

Talking about "How to make jewellery from vinyl records" is like discussing "How to make jewellery from silver." The possibilities are endless, and that is what makes this such an exciting new medium. Many jewellery artists, who are usually young people, have been primarily making cuff bracelets and earrings cut from vinyl records, which is a cheap or free material. Like any other material, however, you can make this form of vinyl into whatever your imagination can devise

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Vinyl record(s)
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Oven or toaster oven
  • Baking tray
  • Heat resistant gloves
  • Guillotine paper cutter
  • Coins and other patterned objects
  • Nail file
  • Sandpaper
  • Embellishments
  • Electric drill and drill bits
  • Paint
  • Jewellery findings
  • Carving tools
  • Cookie cutters
  • Oven-proof objects

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Source vinyl records from thrift stores, dustbins or your own collection. Notice that there are several types of releases which range from seventy-eights to forty-fives. Most are black, but some were made of coloured vinyl. Look for recordings pressed in the 1970s and 80s, since the vinyl used was thinner and may be easier to work with. Check to be sure that this is not a valuable recording by visiting one of the many free websites designed to estimate the worth of your music collection. (See Reference 3)

    How to make jewelry from a vinyl record
    A pile of cardboard headed for the landfill might be album covers yielding vinyl records. (Close up of old Vinyl Records - focus on the record image by Andrew Brown from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Use a pencil to trace your chosen album on a piece of paper. Imagine the jewellery you would like to make and what shapes will be needed. Draw these shapes lightly on your paper record, revising them as needed. Make a duplicate drawing if your concepts are complicated, and cut the pieces out to be sure they will be the right size and shape.

    How to make jewelry from a vinyl record
    Plan your cuts on a paper tracing of your record. (cible blanche image by Unclesam from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Bake your disc on a baking tray at 93.3 degrees Celsius in an oven or a toaster oven. Watch to see the vinyl begin to warp. Use gloves to remove the warped record from the oven and cut into the shapes you planned using scissors or a guillotine cutter. You will have thirty seconds to complete your work before the vinyl is no longer workable. Return your pieces to the oven to soften them again for further manipulation. (See Reference 1)

    How to make jewelry from a vinyl record
    Use a guillotine cutter to cut straight lines. (paper guillotine image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    Wrap your pieces around bottles, cans or jars to make bracelets. Bend them around a pencil to make a spiral. Press coins or other patterned objects into the soft plastic to make imprints. Smooth the edges of your creations with a nail file or sandpaper for a more finished look and safety for the wearer.

    How to make jewelry from a vinyl record
    Wrap vinyl around a pencil to make a spiral shape. (spiral image by Ekaterina Shvigert from Fotolia.com)
  5. 5

    Make jewellery, such as bracelets, from the vinyl alone or embellish your work with any items you can devise. Drill holes in your jewellery as a decorative touch or as a way to attach decorations or jewellery findings. Try painting your vinyl, whittling a design with carving tools, or cutting out shapes with cookie cutters. Melt your vinyl to drape over various objects that are ovenproof to make interesting three-dimensional shapes.

    How to make jewelry from a vinyl record
    You can embellish your jewellery with any kind of trinket. (jewlery beads and charms image by Ralph Petty from Fotolia.com)

Tips and warnings

  • Some vinyl records are worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. Even a record that is worth five dollars may not be as good a choice for melting as a record that is totally worthless and would otherwise end up in a landfill.
  • Some people feel that the melted records are not hot enough to warrant using gloves and prefer the dexterity of working with bare hands. Each person must decide this for themselves.
  • Use a dedicated crafting oven or toaster oven whenever possible to avoid food contamination.

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