More fun with vinyl!

Record Album GuestbookMore Fun With Vinyl: Record Album Guestbook
It all started with another of Amy‘s suggestions; namely, that we should have a Guestbook at our reception. The ones in the shop all seemed so boring and traditional though. Then I had a flash of inspiration: I’d cut up an Elvis record and use it as the covers! The result you see before you. It took the Snook and I about an hour or so, and it was a convenient excuse to finally buy a power drill. There was also the side benefit of making some bitchin’ vinyl cuffs out of the excess. Read on for our tutorial…
InsideHere’s a view of the inside. The book itself is a basic “scrapbook” that I found at Dymock’s Stationery Store. It had thick, squarish cardboard covers. I wasn’t crazy about the color of the paper, but it met the main requirement: It had a nice big spiral binding that didn’t join completely, meaning it was really easy to pop the existing covers out. It was also just big enough to encompass a record label, which I figured would look cool.

ScoringStep 1: Scoring
Here you can see the basic tools we used: a metal ruler, a Stanley knife, and a piece of cardboard to protect the table. We’ve removed the original covers from the scrapbook and the Snook is positioning one of them on the album. The record was “Elvis in the 70’s” and came from Glebe Markets. (We paid $6 for it and it looked pretty crap, so I hope the vinyl purists won’t be up in arms.)

ScoringThe Snook is using the Stanley knife to lightly score the outline of the cover onto the album. In addition to taking the photo, I squealed and squirmed the whole time as I imagined him slicing his fingers off.

ScoringFinally we get to the hard-core scoring. We first tested a bit of the record (well within the excess) to figure out how many times and how deep we needed to go. A dozen passes with the Stanley knife seemed to do the trick nicely. Here’s the Snook using the metal straightedge to stay on the lines.

SnappingStep 2: Snapping
Finally it’s time to break the record. The Snook lines it up with the edge of the table and uses the straightedge to hold it stiff. (I also held down on the rest of the record to keep it from moving.) Then with his right hand…

Snap!Snap! It comes right off. As he finished each cover, I ran the cut edges over a piece of sandpaper to smooth them. (They’re a bit sharp from all the scoring.)

DrillingStep 3: Drilling
Once we had the new covers, we again lined them up with the originals and used the Stanley knife to poke guideholes for drilling. Then the Snook experimented with some scrap vinyl to find the drill bit that best approximated the original holes. Here he is drilling the holes in the actual cover. (Note our professional use of the Yellow Pages to keep from destroying our table. We need a crafting shed.)

DrillingHere’s a close-up of the drilling. We’d been worried that the record might crack or shatter, but in reality we didn’t have a single problem with it. It only took about two seconds to get through each time, and the only annoyance was cleaning the melted vinyl off the drill bit between each hole.

And that’s it! We just popped the new covers on the book and decorated the cover page with a photograph. The whole process was much easier and quicker than I anticipated.

Record CuffsSupplemental Craft: Record Cuffs
Since it seemed a shame to waste the leftover bits of vinyl, I tossed them in the oven on very low heat (like, as low as it would go) and draped them over a bowl to melt. Here’s the view inside the oven after a few minutes.

MoldingAnd here I am molding the flexible piece of vinyl around my wrist. I wore the dish gloves thinking that the vinyl would be really hot, but they were awkward and I took them off pretty soon in favor of just using my hands. They weren’t that hot.

Finished CuffHere’s the finished cuff! Very punk rawk, don’t you think? A few of them needed to go back into the oven for further shaping, and you may need to run the sandpaper over the edges if they’re sharp. I feel like I should send one to Ryan on The O.C.

That’s it! The Guestbook was a huge hit at the party and I can’t wait to have an occasion to do another one.


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  1. I love the cover. It looks great Kris. I love scrapbooking. Tell Rodd I’d like him to remodel my basement…he looks so handy with power tools.

  2. I was wondering who got the fourth record cuff and now I know it was the test peice! I love my web-goddess record cuff! Thankyou! I love it and I feel a little Xena-esque when I wear it as well as special for having something handmade by you!
    Also: Is that the same yellow pages(still in the plastic!) we brought in while you guys were away? It seemed very adult and exciting to bring in the new phone books and I totally didn’t think that most people jsut use the online phone books these days.

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