Upcycling Tutorial: Record Bookends
By Chief Hipcycler, Andrew Sell
When I was asked to be on the Live Well Network’s TV show Deals in March, I was terrified. No, not because I was going to be in front of a camera, but rather because they wanted me to demonstrate a few upcycling projects. I have massive respect for our Product Partners at Hipcycle, because they have amazing talents that I just don’t have. Heck, even within Hipcycle HQ, our Upcycle Scholar Leanna has me beat with her amazing ideas and projects. It was actually with Leanna’s help that I found a few things to make on TV, and it ended up turning out pretty well!
One of the things I made was a set of bookends made from old vinyl records. We have a sweet collection of vinyl record products on Hipcycle.com, but here is way to put a scratched up old record to use on your own. Shoot, if I can do it, then certainly you can too!
Step 1: Grab a couple of old records and lay them on the edge of your work surface. You will be bending the record on the exact line on the record where you have it hanging over the edge. I’ve found that it is best to go for just below the label. For this project, Pat Benatar melts. Sorry Pat, but you were scratched beyond play anyway.
Step 2: Use a heat gun to melt the record along your line. You can get a heat gun, which is like a hair dryer on steroids, from Home Depot. They are commonly used to take paint off furniture and walls. You may need to use your other hand to get the bend smooth and the angle right. 90 degrees or slightly more than perpendicular is what you want. Keep in mind that the record softens pretty quickly, and if you make a mistake and it hardens before you have what you want, just melt that sucker again. Once you have one the way you like it, make a matching one.
(Note, some folks, including Leanna, recommend softening records in boiling water. I tried that for this project but found that I could not get as smooth an angle as I wanted for the bookends.)
Step 3: Create a bottom for your bookends. You can use felt, or do like I did and use cork drawer liner (also available at Home Depot). I like the cork because it does a better job of keeping the bookends in place on the shelf than felt, and also because it already comes with a built-in sticky back so you can easily adhere to the bottom to the record.
Trace the bottom of each bookend on the drawer liner and cut it out with scissors
Step 4: peel off the backing and stick it on the bottom…that’s it!
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Andrew Sell is Founder and Chief Hipcycler at Hipcycle, an e-commerce site for great upcycled products. He likes what he does...it beats working:)