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Record Bracelets

Vinyl records are seeing a resurgence in popularity as our Blues and Jazz host points out here, and I've been seeing more vinyl at all the places I get music at. Anytime you are getting ready to craft with a vinyl record, it might be a good idea to check online auction sites and see if there is a demand for your record. The records I used were all from thrift stores, and I got them for 50 each, and when I checked, none of them were worth more then a couple dollars.

For this project, you will need
a vinyl record- colored is nice, but if you don't have colored, I like how plain black looks
Template for drilling holes
Hole punch (for making the template)
A paint pen or something that will mark on the record.
3 or 4 mm crystals or round glass beads
rose montees
24 gauge wire
pliers
wire snips
a drill and a fairly small bit, I used my Friskars Craft Drill
sand paper 220 or finer grit
heavy duty scissors or kitchen shears, a pair of scissors that can take some abuse
an oven
a can or glass to form the bracelet around. I used a small tomato paste can.

This is the template for the black and red beaded bracelet above. Click here and right click to save image as, then hit your browsers back button to come back here.
Print out the template, and cut it out and use a hole punch to punch out the drilling holes. Line your template up with the edge of the record, and mark the top line, and each of the holes, flip the template over to repeat on the other side of the record. There are templates at the end of the article for drilling patterns for the next 1.5 inches of the record to make the crystal/red bangle above, but I'm not illustrating the wire patterns. It should be fairly simple to figure out. I used a gold paint pen to mark my holes and edge, and you can see where it bled some, but all that is on the inside of the bracelet where it doesn't show. Drill the holes on the vinyl. DON'T cut it yet. It's very brittle and will break if you try to cut it. I'm not sure how higher speed drills will work, but my hand drill did fine with no cracking of the vinyl.

Heat your oven to 200F or about 95C, and put your record in the oven on a pan big enough for it. I used a pizza pan, let it soften. This only takes a couple minutes, check by pulling it out, if it slumps and is very limp when you pick up one edge, it's soft. Cut the lines with your kitchen shears, and snip the sharp ends of the curve. I learned the hard way and scratched my wrist trying it on.
Put the bracelet strips back in the oven. After they get soft again, pull them out, and working quickly bend it around your form. I used a small can, and bent one side, then the other, and held them together with my finger tips until the bracelet was cool, which only takes a couple minutes.
After it's cool, use the sand paper to lightly sand the top cut edge, and the ends where you snipped off that sharp little corner.
Cut about a yard of the wire, and starting from the middle, thread the top 2 holes so an equal length is coming out both sides. In this diagram, the purple line is in the back of the bracelet, and the red and blue lines show the threading patterns for the top of the bracelet.

Rose Montees have an X on the back setting where you can cross wires or thread, each wire goes through one hole, and exits the diagonal opposite, so they make a small X.
So with the left hand side, which is marked in red on the diagram, thread 3 3mm crystals, the rose montee, and 3 more crystals, then with the left side (marked in blue) thread 3 crystals, then pass the wire through the crossed set of holes on the rose montee, then 3 more crystals. Pull tight, then put each end through the holes diagonal opposite from where they started.
Cross the wire in the back to the opposite middle hole, and coming out of that, add one 3 mm and one rose montee, then go in the next hole, exit out next, and repeat. This is the threading pattern on the back of the bracelet.

When you reach the end, pass the wire through the hole wrapping around the edge of the bracelet twice, then wrap the doubled wire with the wire end. Crimp down tightly with the pliers, and snip off the excess.

Repeat on the other side.
You can do all sorts of other things with this basic technique. You can cut narrower widths and hang charms from them, use it as a base for seed beads, or drill a bunch more holes, and let your daughter rock it out with your extra beads. (I'm doing that later today)
Here are the other drilling templates as promised.
Drilling template 1
Drilling template 2
Drilling blank
Drilling blank 2
Blank record at 50% to figure out new cutting ideas.

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