As a child of the 80s, my formative years were spent watching John Hughes movies, crimping my hair and hanging out at the record store. I had an unquenchable thirst for new music and, even with my tiny allowance, I managed to collect a couple hundred albums. Although I’m still hanging-on to a few favourites, I have since replaced most of my collection with compact discs and MP3s. And, judging by the overflowing bins of vintage records at the thrift-store, I’m not the only one. At the risk of sounding like a broken record (pun intended), when I think of the thousands and thousands of records languishing in such bargain bins, I can’t help but wonder how many thousands more went straight into the garbage.
Sharing my concern are Lorie and Tom of Rock and Roll Coasters. In their four years selling albums online, they’ve literally had to throw away hundreds of scratched and unplayable copies. Frustrated by all of the waste, they came up with a clever reuse for otherwise unusable 45s.
Each Rock and Roll Coaster is not just a nostalgic spot to rest your drink; it is a little piece of music history. Tom and Lorie take the actual record (not a copy) and, using their own perfected technique, embed it in 1/4″ of High Gloss Acrylic. They’ve even included the little yellow spindle adaptor for even more retro-cuteness. Love it!
One of the records that I have carefully tucked-away in the back of my storage room is The Go Go’s 1982 release, Vacation. I must have logged about a thousand hours in front of my dresser mirror, hairbrush in hand, singing along to “Our Lips are Sealed”. It’s no surprise, then, that I was instantly drawn to this purse by Brinda K Design. Making use of the album cover, inner sleeve and the record itself, these upcycled handbags are as durable as they are eye-catching. Hardboard backings, vinyl fabric and tubing, rivets, varnish and coordinating ribbons are all part of the construction of each unique piece, and evidence of Brinda’s impeccable attention to detail.
Another spin on album upcycling is this awesome tray, also by Brinda K Design. Made from an unplayable album and its cover, with leather-like riveted tabs at the corners, this catch all will make itself useful in the bedroom, hall or office. At just over 7” square, it is the perfect size to hold keys, personal electronics, stationary, jewelry, change, mail and more.
Karen, of Retired Records creates her way-cool earring stands (above) from unwanted records and makes sure to include plenty of spots to attach your treasures. Each one-of-a-kind table-top display will hold up to 52 pairs of earrings or can be used to show off photos, artwork and more. Turn it around and you’ll see the support that Karen has smartly fashioned out of the album’s sleeve. Conveniently hinged, it holds the record upright when in use and allows it to fold flat for storage or travel. (Just in case you decide to get the band back together and head back out on tour.)