Monday, September 13, 2010

How to make a hat from a vinyl record

Instructions to make a 1940s style tilt topper hat or fascinator from an old 45 RPM vinyl record.
You will need:
  • A record
  • Black felt
  • About 1/2 a metre of elastic lace
  • A side plate
  • An oven
Preparing the Record

First, select a record to use. Old records are easy to find in charity shops or at car boot sales and (presumably) estate sales. You may wish to pick one with a pretty label, but my version covers up the label anyway. You may also want to do some research to make sure you're not destroying a rare or valuable record. I didn't.

Preheat the oven to 100-150°C (200-300°F).

Place a side plate upside down on the oven shelf, and put the record on top.

After a few minutes you'll notice the edges start to warp and curl. My oven doesn't heat evenly, so as soon as one side started to bend I turned the record. It's not too hot to touch, but if you're on the sensitive side you may want to don a pair of cotton gloves.

Remove the record from the oven and shape as necessary (with bare or gloved hands) - you'll have to work quickly; the vinyl will only remain pliable for a matter of 10 to 20 seconds as it loses its heat. Of course, you can always stick it back in the oven to soften it up again if you need to make more adjustments.

As an alternative to the oven, simply placing the record in a shallow dish and pouring boiling water will also cause it to warp and twist. I got the best results from the oven though. If you've got a few records to play with you can always experiment with both methods.

I found that different records melt in different ways - generally it seems the older ones end up with a more pronounced frilled edge, and the 80s ones warp slightly less.

Making the Headband

Cut a circle of the black felt - I found that drawing round a roll of sellotape gave me just the right size of circle to cover the label.

Cut about 40-45cm of the elastic lace and sew to either side of the felt circle, then glue the felt to the inside of the hat, sandwiching the ends of the lace in between.

This makes a great fascinator as it is, or you can add trims, veiling and millinery for a 1940s tilt topper style. I'll post instructions for the ribbon rose in a later tutorial.


  1. This is so neat! When I was a little girl, my mom used to make jewelry and home decor from vinyl records. She used a curling iron or crimping iron to mould it into different shapes. She made some killer potato chip bowls! :) This hat takes me way back! xoxo

  2. very very neat. I have made trays and coasters before but this takes the cake.

  3. I've seen records turned into bowls but this is such a great idea!

  4. This is the best idea for reusing records that I have seen so far! It's such a cute hat.

    bonita of Depict This!

    Posted about ~ Nail Art, Plum Blossoms & bonita answers

  5. So cool, I didn't even notice in the first photo that it was a record!

  6. Here is my attempt... sorry the photo is a bit average.

  7. Wow totally cool I am going to try this tutorial out :-) Please visit my blog page to see my miniature hats :-)

  8. I have been selling these for years, and been asked to post instuctions. Will copy this link in!
    Thank you!


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