It’s a sad day at Craft Rocks HQ… one of my favourite records is no longer playable having become a victim of the heatwave. The 1980s classic “Down Under” by Men at Work always makes me smile, so when I saw it in my local Oxfam for 99p I had to have it. I have always fancied making something out of an old record but couldn’t bring myself to damage one. But now I had my opportunity, my record was already damaged.
I promised you some funky festival jewellery in this column and what better to wear to a festival than music itself. I’m going to make a full jewellery set out of the number one smash hit – a necklace, some earrings and a bracelet.
I placed the single as flatly as I could on a cutting board. I then lined one edge up against a line on the board and used the line markings on the board to cut the edge of the record so it was 1cm wide at the widest part. To cut it I used a craft knife and a metal ruler.
Records are not easy to cut through. I had to score it about 20 times before it broke. Once I had cut that piece I cut another identical piece from the opposite side of the record (as you can see in the photo above) to make a pair of earrings. I loved the shape so I just squared off the top edge so it wouldn’t catch in my hair. I then drilled a hole at the top of each earring, added a jump ring and an earring hook to each one to complete them. I also filed the sharper edges down on all of the jewellery I’m making.
Next I turned to the bracelet. What is it with life… when you don’t want your record to bend it melts in the heat, when you do want your record to bend a bit it won’t. To make the bracelet I placed the bracelet piece in an oven dish, boiled the kettle and poured some boiling water over it. I left it in the water for about 30 seconds, took it out with some tongs, and pressed it around an espresso mug to form it into a bracelet shape.
This took quite a few attempts to perfect. Every time I put the bracelet piece back in the water it went flat again. But after a few attempts it finally worked. It helped to dip the ends into the water and shape them individually once the main curve of the bracelet was in shape.
I’ve wanted a long statement necklace for quite some time now. I squared off my necklace piece on both sides so it wouldn’t catch on my clothes when I wore it. I then used the drill to make a hole at each side to hang it from. Lovely as it was plain, I decided I wanted to stitch something on it with red embroidery thread to brighten it up.
I came up with a design on paper and plotted the points where I’d need to drill sewing holes. I then transferred the hole marks onto the record using a pencil and drilled the holes. The pattern I decided to use was a very appropriate soundwave to keep the music theme going.
To stitch it I used an embroidery needle. I left a long piece of thread at the start and taped it carefully on the back on the record to keep it tight.
When I had finished my stitching I removed the tape and tied the end of my thread to the start bit in a tight knot to secure the design. I then trimmed the ends. To finish I added a jump ring at each end and attached a chain long enough to go over my head.
I’m really pleased with the finished products. Music means a lot to me so to carry a record everywhere is something I find pretty cool. Last week I wore the necklace to the launch of the Moira Calling music festival which I mentioned in my last column. It was admired by many which was lovely. In fact it caused quite a stir in airport security when I was told to take it off for an x-ray. A few of the security guards got chatting about it and loved the fact it was made from a record. It was quite funny.
The Moira Calling festival is coming up quickly now, it’s on 7th/8th September. If you’re going along to it keep an eye out for the Craft Rocks logo hidden around the site. I’ll be leaving some handmade goodies around for people to find and take home as a treat.
Jump rings: 50p
Earring hooks: 16p
Best song for this craft: Has to be Down Under by Men At Work (if you still have a working copy, sniff…)
Best cake for this craft: Chocolate
I’d love to hear from you. What’s your favourite record? Or have you been to any music festivals this year and made your own jewellery to wear at them? Also, is it wrong that I hope more of my records break now so I can make more jewellery…
Originally from Northern Ireland, Jo Burgess is a craft crazy rock music loving gal based in England. With a career including time spent as a motorsport journalist in England, in the film industry in Northern Ireland, and working on ghost tours in Scotland, her background is as mixed up as her love of craft. Jo will try her hand at anything and loves learning a new skill with tea and cake, crafty friends and great music blasting out of her speakers. Cross stitch, electronics, sewing, beadwork, glass fusing - she loves it all, and through this column Jo hopes to pass her love of different crafts, music and (of course) cake on to you. Craft rocks!