Our Favorite Ways to Upcycle Old, Scratched Vinyl Records
Everything from candle jars to scrap fabrics can have another life if you repurpose them into something entirely new for your home. Don't overlook your vintage (and possibly damaged) prized possessions, either. Certain beloved items, including your old, scratched vinyl records, can be transformed. Ultimately, if your best efforts to bring them back to mint condition aren't successful, vinyls don't have to be cast aside—upcycle them, instead. This way, you can use your favorite pressings to upgrade your home's design and function.
"More than ever before, shoppers are looking to make more sustainable choices when it comes to their home décor, all while expressing their personal style," says Dayna Isom Johnson, the trend expert at Etsy. "Decorating with upcycled and repurposed vinyl records is just one way many shoppers are breathing new life into existing items that can no longer be used in their original forms."
We share the best ways to upcycle vinyl records to get even more use out of your personal music collection. By preserving these pieces, "an easy DIY can instantly transform unusable records into beautiful home accents that shoppers can proudly say they made themselves," says Johnson.
Make a cake stand.
If you want to bring a vintage touch to a party's dessert table, consider upcycling your vinyl records into a display prop. "For an easy birthday upgrade for the music lover, glue together two old records and attach them to the bottom of a bowl to create a one-of-a-kind cake stand," Johnson says.
Use them as bookends.
Certain vinyl DIYs require little work at all. If this is more your speed (and better suits your crafting skill level), consider adding these pressings to your bookcase. Simply place the record at the end of a row of books—and voila, you have a bookend. Simply add a heavier piece—like a prized rock or visually intriguing object—to keep the record (and your row of books) upright and preventing any sliding. Those passing by your in-home library will see your defunct, but beloved vinyls on chic display.
Shop small business owners' custom pieces.
A great way to make use of old records is by enlisting the help of and supporting DIY experts. In fact, Johnson says that certain small business owners can take your old records and transform them into custom home décor pieces for you. On Etsy, shoppers will find over 26,000 search results for "vinyl record art," she says, and can shop anything from the Vinylight Vinyl Record Light ($51.37, etsy.com) to the Break The Record Repurposed Upcycled Vinyl Record Mail Holders ($47, etsy.com). Most artisans can accommodate custom requests if you want to repurpose a part of your own music collection.
Add vinyls to a gallery wall.
There's nothing quite like a gallery wall of photos to relive life's highlights—so why not add a few records into the mix? After all, pressings evoke memories (a bucket list concert, a wedding song, a favorite teenage band) just like photos do. You can honor those moments by mounting vinyl records onto your existing photo wall. The team at Fluance, a company that specializes in home audio and record player production, notes that going the extra mile and framing them ensures a more elevated result; opt for a mix of sizes and frame materials to give your interiors a unique touch.
Turn them into works of art.
Decorate your records with meaningful motifs to transform them into stunning works of art—and then display them in your home. "Break out the paint pens to add a personal touch and splash of color to vinyls, whether by adding your favorite lyrics from a song or even painting a scene that reminds you of one of the songs—all it takes is your creativity," Johnson says.