If you follow me on instagram, you may remember my excitement when I hit upon this idea many months ago:
I had a broken record, so I made it into a bowl, but with a hole chipped out of it, and then I realized… I could thread yarn through the hole and use it as a yarn bowl!
So then I played around with the concept, made a bunch to bring to an event where I was selling things, but in the end decided it’s not something I’m going to make to sell as a regular thing. Shipping would be annoying, and I wouldn’t be able to sell them for much since they do break pretty easily if you drop them, so they’re not like a long-lasting high-quality item (I sold them for $6 at the event, just a fun cheap impulse buy kind of thing). They totally function as yarn bowls, but not to the same extent as nice ceramic bowls, since they are very lightweight and bounce around if the yarn ball pulls.
What they are is a fun thing to make in 5 minutes for yourself and for knitting friends! They are SO quick to make, and cheap if you have access to vinyl records no one wants to listen to (thrift stores, record store 50 cent or $1 bins, or sometimes records stores have free boxes in the front to give away crap nobody wants) – I imagine this being an easy project you can make a bunch of one afternoon, and bring them to your knit night to pass out for everyone as a fun holiday gift, or just for the heck of it!
So, here’s what you need:
- A vinyl record (one that’s too scratched up to listen to, or that no one would want – don’t melt anything good, it would make me cry!)
- Scissors (big ones that are okay to use for this kind of thing, not nice ones obviously)
- An oven
- An oven-safe bowl
- Gloves (things will only heat up to around 225 degrees, so knit wool gloves should be enough to protect your hands, while letting you use them) or oven mitts
- Optionally, another bowl or two for shaping your yarn bowls into different shapes and sizes
Before I make a bowl, I usually wash the record, with dish soap like a dish – it’s much easier to wash a flat record than to clean the bowl after it’s been made!
Heat up the oven to around 225 degrees (anywhere from 200-250 should be fine). Turn your oven-safe bowl upside down, and place the record on top, then put that in the oven:
While it’s in there, put on your gloves and get your scissors ready…
Leave it in for about 2 minutes, or until you see it melt down over the bowl. Don’t leave it in extra long, as it may get too melty and fume-y. If you take it out as soon as it’s soft, the fumes shouldn’t be bad, but of course keeping the room ventilated is a good idea!
So, take it out, and immediately make your cut, to form your hole for the yarn to go through.
There are lots of different ways you can do this – the simplest is as you see below, just a straight line diagonally into the edge:
Once the cut has been made, it will already be starting to harden back up again (by the time I took that above photo, it was already hardened), so put it back on the upside-down bowl and back into the oven for another couple minutes.
When it’s re-softened, take it out and put it inside a right-side-up bowl (either the same one you’ve been using in the oven, or a different one), and form your bowl shape, and your yarn hole.
For the bowl shape, remember your yarn needs to fit in there, so it can’t be crazy wavy in and out (which is how the record will naturally want to bend). For the yarn hole, if you made a cut like the one pictured, then spiral the strip into a tube.
For other kinds of yarn holes, just remember you’ll want to be able to get the yarn in and out, so make a hole with a slit or opening of some kind. After the tutorial are lots of photos of different bowls I made while experimenting, so you can get ideas for different kinds of holes.
Once things are formed, just hold it all in place how you want it for about a minute, and then it should be hardened up and finished! If you mess it up somehow when forming the shape, just stick it back in the oven for a minute to re-soften.
Here’s that finished bowl in action!
You can also form bowl shapes around the outside of an existing bowl, if you want a different kind of yarn hole – I think this one was made that way, so it’s wider / more open:
So that’s it, so easy and quick! Now here are a bunch that I’ve made!