Tutorial: Make a Bracelet from an old Record

Today we have another lovely guest poster here on Dabbled,  Kelly from Tresijas!  I discovered Kelly through some of the really cool creations she had posted in the Dabbled Flickr group–especially her vinyl record creations–, and I asked her if she’d honor us with a tutorial.  And she agreed, so here it is…  Enjoy!

How to: Make A Bracelet from Vinyl Record


List of materials:

Toaster oven with tray
An old pair of scissors
stretchy gloves (to protect from heat)
record album
low grit sand paper
bracelet mandrel or other cylindrical object (a soda can or skinny glass bottle will work too)

Most of these items can be found at a second hand store. I usually work with 45’s because they are often times the most abused/non-playing. I try not to harm a record that cans till be enjoyed for its original purpose.


[Note, see photos following instructions for a visual perspective]

1. Heat toaster oven to about 150-200 degrees.
2. Since all ovens are different, take some time to get to know yours. Place the record in the oven for a minute or two, if the record doesn’t “relax” (see photo) turn the heat up slightly every few minutes until it does. If the record starts to melt or have a strong odor, the temp is too high.
3. Once the record relaxes, put your gloves on, have your scissors ready, then remove it from the oven. Quickly cut about a 5 1/2 inch strip from the record. The album will cool fairly quickly, but never fear because the beauty of vinyl is that it can be reheated. If you want to trim a little from your strip simply place it back in the oven and repeat steps 1-3.
4. Once you have cut the strip to your satisfaction, use the sand paper to take off any sharp edges. It helps to wet the sandpaper first.
5. Place the strip back in the toaster and wait for it to relax. Have your mandrel ready.
6. Once the strip is ready, with gloves on, remove it and quickly wrap it around your mandrel. Hold it there until it cools (about 15 seconds)

Voila! You have a new bracelet! Remember, if it doesn’t fit the way that you like, just reheat and form it again. Have fun and experiment, the possibilities are virtually limitless with this material.


[Click any photo to view larger/as a slide show]

About Kelly:

I’m a 35 year old, stay at home mom of 3 girls. My husband is from Argentina so we spend a lot of time in South America. The handmade culture is booming there and has had a tremendous influence on my own work. I started beading about 10 years ago, but quickly realized that although I enjoyed working with beads, I was beginning to look for another hobby that was less time consuming and that my young children would be less likely to throw all over the floor.

One day I was watching Reading Rainbow with one of my girls and saw a segment about a man that made unique record bowls on a vacuum form. I thought that it was a very creative idea. A few weeks later I found some red and yellow record albums at the thrift store and felt compelled to buy them to experiment with. My first creations were rough to say the least, but slowly but surely I became very comfortable working with vinyl. The rest, as they say, is history.
Even though I love my record creations I never stop looking for new materials to work with. Last year I started using wood salvaged from burn piles and this year I began experimenting with paper mache. Any project using recycled and readily available materials makes me smile! My kids also have their own Etsy shop where they sell their artwork. It’s very important for me to include them in the creative process and they inspire me every day.