Friday, April 19, 2013

A Little Bit Off Topic. . .

This entry has nothing to do with gardening, but I wanted to show you how I made these awesome bowls using old vinyl records.  Now, you can buy small party bowls that are made to look like 45s, but I wanted bigger--and cheaper--bowls.  And this was such a fun little project, I just had to share it.

Those who were at the surprise 40th birthday party I threw for my husband last summer will probably remember these.  They were a big hit sitting on the table with the party favors and napkins in them.  Yes, it was a disco party, and so we gave out disco ball keychains to all the guests.  (Bubbles were for the kids.)

So I started with some old 33s my dad gave me.
I heated the oven to the lowest temperature possible--175 for mine.  Then I grabbed my old pizza sheet and a metal bowl.  I was lucky enough to have a metal bowl--thank you Grandmom & Grandpop Behrmann--but an oven-safe glass bowl should work just as well.  (I'm thinking of a Pampered Chef batter bowl to be specific.  I know they are oven-safe, and the classic size should be about the right.)

I turned the bowl upside-down, and placed it on the pizza (or cookie) sheet.
In order to make sure my records came out symmetrical, I marked the center of the bowl with a pencil.  (Pencil is always easy to remove.)  
If you closely, you can see an "L" shape marking the center.
I lined up this mark with the hole in the record, then carefully slid the odd assortment into the oven.

Each record is different, so I can't give you a time for the process.  Thinner ones take less time than the thicker ones.  But they all do the same thing:  the vinyl will soften and droop down over the bowl, creating "wings."

This was the first result of the first attempt.
You'll notice the "wings" really more like valleys here.  (When it's still on the metal bowl, and upside-down, they are big waves.)  This look was too open for my tastes and purposes, as the valleys would allow any contents to fall out much too easily.  So, I put the record back on the bowl and reheated it.  Once it was soft again, I used pot holders and pinched the "wings" together.  This made the vinyl slid up off of the bowl a bit, but it closed the finished product much better.
Pinched "wings."

Here I have to point out that this was the only record out of five that formed three "wings" instead of four.  If there is a way to ensure the number of "wings," I didn't find it.  All of my record bowls formed naturally.  This one, with only three, created some issues with the roundness of the finished bowl, and I found I had to help shape it whereas the bowls with four "wings" stayed smooth and round upon pinching the "wings" closed.
You can see the ripples where this bowl lost it's roundness.

This was great fun to do, and I hope you have as much fun as I did if you decide to give it a go for your next party.

Thanks for sticking around though my divergent post.  Until next time!

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