New Uses for Thrift Store Records

Bin with used records

As sad as I am to acknowledge the obsolescence of records (they’re still something treasured  in our house), there are tons of things one can do with record albums besides play them. Goodwill®, a leading social service enterprise and one of the nation’s most valuable and recognized nonprofit brands, has a huge selection of vinyl for you to choose from.

I would always recommend listening to each album you buy before you decide to repurpose it because you never really know what hidden gems you might stumble across. In fact, one of my favorite records came in a random batch my fiance, Ryan, and I were given and, although the cover looks pretty bland, it plays some of the most fantastic 1930s tunes we’ve ever stumbled across. If we were judging solely by the cover, we probably would have gotten rid of this one long ago, but thankfully we give each album a chance before we even think of repurposing. There are a lot of really cheesy ballads out there, though, so in some cases the following projects might feel like a bit of an upgrade.

Table made with a record

Ryan is a musician and his instrument collection has now grown so large that pretty soon it will need its own room. I’ve thought about his future music studio, and can’t wait to help him settle into it. A side table like this would fit so nicely with a musical theme, and would be a fun way to incorporate the music of a previous generation which is a huge inspiration to both of us.

Records as Wall Decor

This is by far the easiest way I can think of to display records, and it adds movement and texture to an otherwise ordinary wall. To try it, lay out your records on the floor in the arrangement you like (the more, the merrier!), measure this arrangement and your wall space to make sure it will fit where you’d like it to, then take a photo in case you forget in the transition how you’d like them arranged. Finally, hang each one up on the wall!

Records as Bookends

When we bought our first record player it came with a bunch of albums that we didn’t really care for, and one of them was actually cracked. So, making a bookend from it seemed like a pretty swell idea. And it wasn’t very difficult at all! If this sounds like something you want to try, here’s one way:

Record Tutorial

If your record isn’t already broken, you can also fill your sink with boiling water, dip the record into it, then just press down hard until it has bent properly. Pull it out and let it cool on a flat surface before using! Have fun getting creative, and don’t forget to check out our DIY Pinboard for more record repurposing ideas!

xx, Julia