updated December 2020
Music has always been a huge part of my life and I’ve been a bit of a hoarder when it comes to my music memorabilia. One day I got to thinking, what sense is there in keeping it hidden away in a box or a cupboard? So I decided to get creative with some of my old band t-shirts, gig flyers, picture discs and vinyl records.
Below you will find a few ways of how to make art and upcycle your music memorabilia. You could also adapt some of these ideas to make music inspired gifts for your loved ones. With the current climate and gigs not likely to happen for some time yet, why not surround yourself with your memories of gigs past!
HOW TO MAKE A PICTURE DISC CLOCK
I had an old picture disc just sitting on a shelf. I loved the artwork on it so decided to make it into a clock by simply adding the mechanism from an old clock. You can buy the parts on eBay for just a couple of quid and you just join the parts together through the hole in the middle of the record.
HOW TO FLYER YOUR WALLS AND DECOUPAGE FURNITURE
I have saved many concert tickets and flyers over the years and at one stage I was keeping them all in a photo album that would come out every now and then. I decided to make a feature wall in my downstairs toilet and then in my office so that I could enjoy them every day. This is easy enough to do and all you will need is a large number of flyers, tickets and posters. (Make sure they are the thin paper kind rather than card.) This can, of course, be done with sheet music, book pages, atlases, etc. You can apply the same method to decoupaging furniture too.
* Mix up some wallpaper paste or PVA glue mixed 50/50 with water.
* Put a covering directly onto the wall with a 2” paintbrush
* Start to add flyers, overlapping the edges and positioning in ad hoc directions.
* Save your favourite flyers and tickets until the end as you will find you need quite a lot of background material to cover up all the wall.
* You will have a certain amount of pliability so you can move the position if need be.
* Keep painting under the corners and over the top as you go until finished. It will dry clear.
And if you’ve got any flyers left, stickers or band photos, pop them in some photo coasters.
HOW TO MAKE A MEMORY BLANKET FROM T-SHIRTS
Every music fan has their favourite band t-shirts that they will wear to the bitter end because they can’t bear to throw them away. I kept all the designs from old t-shirts and hoodies until I had enough to make a patchwork blanket.
* Cut out the designs on your old t-shirts, trying to make them the same square size if possible.
* Lay all your cut out designs on the floor, matching up the edges
* Pin the edges together vertically one line at a time
* Sew the entire blanket in one direction vertically
* Pin and sew horizontally
* Once sewn together, back with a very thin fleecy fabric.
This is really warm and comfy too and I love it because it reminds me of some of the festivals I’ve been too, a real nostalgia trip. If you were really good on the sewing machine you could quilt it but I decided to quit whilst I was ahead.
HOW TO MAKE A GOLD DISC
As well as making art for my own home, I love to give and make gifts that are really personal. This is probably the most favourite thing that I’ve ever made which I gave to a musician friend for his birthday.
* Spray a frame and an old vinyl record gold, building up the layers slowly.
* Print an “awarded to ……” plaque onto card.
* Print off a photo of the person and some of their own or favourite album covers.
* Cut the backing card to size to fit inside the frame and position record and pictures.
* Stick the record with a heavy-duty liquid glue to stop it slipping once hung up.
* Stick the pictures on with Pritt Stick as it won’t leave glue marks.
* Allow to dry totally before assembling into and securing the frame.
HOW TO MAKE VINYL BOWLS
I sold most of my record collection when I switched over the CDs many years ago, but there were a few I just couldn’t bear to part with. Again, they just sat on a shelf not serving any purpose apart from the sentimentality so I decided to make them into serving bowls. It’s so quick and easy
* Preheat an oven to around 100 degrees.
* Put an upturned small round pyrex dish onto a flat baking tray and place your vinyl record on top.
* Place in the oven for approx. 5 mins until you can see it melting over the glass dish.
* Carefully remove the tray and push the record further down over the bowl with your hands (wearing oven gloves of course) to create your shaped bowl.
* Allow to cool and harden still on the upturned bowl.
* Remove and check you like the shape, if you don’t pop it back in the oven on the pyrex bowl again for a few minutes to melt and try again. Use different shaped pyrex bowls to create different shapes.
There are lots of YouTube tutorials for this using other methods but this is the one I found to be the easiest and less fiddly. I’ve also seen people make them into bags, bookends and cake stands. I’m sure the possibilities are endless.
I should imagine a similar process was used to make these poppies that I saw at The Sculpture Park in Churt recently. Red coloured vinyl records were fixed to steel rods to make a poppy garden for Remembrance Day.
FRAME YOUR PIC DISCS, COLOURED VINYL AND ALBUM COVERS
And finally, the simplest of all, frame your picture discs and album covers to hang on the wall and change as often as you like, or just display your CDs on the shelves facing outwards. Appreciate the artwork!
UPCYCLING OLD DRUM KITS TO MAKE CLOCKS AND LIGHTS
Ginger and Amanda Meadham got very creative for their cancer support charity Psychobilly Kicks Back and turned old drum kits into lights and clocks. These would make great gifts and additions to your own home. Read more about their charity HERE.
UPCYCLE OLD INSTRUMENTS & TOYS TO MAKE ART
Suzanne also makes art from old instruments just about anything else she finds. You can see more in a post HERE which might inspire you to create your own art or gifts for a music lover.
Have you upcycled any of your music memorabilia? If so I’d love to see what you’ve made.
I hope these ideas have inspired you to make your own music inspired art or gifts for music lovers.