I love records. I love listening to them, I love collecting them, and I like making things with them.* And the easiest thing to make with a record is a cool bowl.
*Only make things with records that are too scratched to play, unless you want to make a vinyl nerd cry
You’ll need a scratched up record, an oven, a bowl, and a wooden spoon or another long thing to poke with (just not plastic or something that can melt.) The bowl you choose will dictate the final shape of your record bowl, so think about that.
I think that the best bowl for this is a large bundt cake pan. It’s broad enough for the record to melt easily, and the shape of the pan encourages the record to curl in nice ways.
Warm your oven to Just high enough to get the vinyl flexible. Then you wait, checking every five minutes or so. Once it starts to melt, you can see the shape it wants to fall into. If you want to fiddle with or tweak that shape, grab that spoon and gently coax the record into doing what you want. You may have to re-shape it every few minutes as it continues to melt. Once you like how it looks, turn off the stove and let it all cool. And that’s it!
Your new record bowl is obviously not food-safe but can be used as a centerpiece, to hold stuff like keys and change, or hung on the wall. It’s an easy, cheap gift that’s nonetheless homemade. And it’s a way to keep a beloved old record around when it’s too scratched or warped to play anymore.