How to Make a Paper Phonograph Record Player

Written by james stuart
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How to Make a Paper Phonograph Record Player
A paper record player operates off of the same principles as old phonograph machines. (Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Phonographs work by collecting sound in a horn. Records have indentations on them. When a needle moves along these indentations, they cause the air in the horn to vibrate creating sound. This process can be replicated simply with materials you probably have around the house. Making your own paper record player is a fun project that the whole family can enjoy. It's a relatively simple and quick project, although it's not likely to replace your turntable.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Needle
  • Construction Paper
  • Tape
  • Spindle

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Fold a piece of construction paper of any size into a cone. Ensure that the cone forms a tight point at one end.

  2. 2

    Tape the cone at the pointy end and farther up along the seam to keep the cone secure.

  3. 3

    Place a metal needle at the very tip of the paper cone. Tape the needle in place.

  4. 4

    Place a record on a spindle that allows you to rotate the record. The spindle should be on a flat surface, but slightly raised so the record does not drag on the surface. You may wish to repurpose the spindle of an old record player, but anything that fits the whole of the record snuggly, and is able to rotate, will suffice.

  5. 5

    Rotate the record by hand and hold the paper cone over the record. Don't press the needle too hard or you will scratch the record. You can change the speed of the music by moving the record at different speeds.

Tips and warnings

  • This process may damage your record, so use an LP that you would be comfortable damaging.

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