Outside The Thing

Even if you don’t like secondhand shops, if you’ve lived in Greenpoint long enough, you probably know about The Thing. The Thing is Greenpoint’s premier purveyor of castoff clothing, dated dishware and random tchotchkes. Oh yeah, and a million records, give or take.

The records are housed primarily in the store’s dank basement, where they live crammed into shelves and milk crates in no certain order. Universally priced at $2 a pop, dedicated diggers may find a gem or two worth much more than that.

Inside The Thing. Downstairs, in fact.

I don’t collect records, but I do collect craft projects, so I headed to the Thing this weekend in search of one. Seeing all those records collecting dust inspired me to try my hand at the DIY record bowls I’d seen on Pinterest for ages now.

After the jump, read how to make your own bowl in five easy steps.

Step 1: Procure your record.

I selected Melody’s Heartbreaker. You can listen to it on auto-repeat all afternoon like I did here.

Clearly, I picked it for its cover.

Step 2: Skip home and turn on your oven.

I didn’t skip for real, but my heart did beat faster after polishing off an iced coffee from Upright on Manhattan Ave. I turned my oven on to 220 degrees Fahrenheit when I got home and brought a fan into the kitchen cause boy if it ain’t getting hot out.

Step 3: Find a vessel to double as a mold.

My vessel was an upside-down sauce pan. You can use a glass bowl, metal colander or any other oven safe thing you’d like. Place your vessel on a cookie sheet and then lay your record over the vessel, ensuring that the side you want to appear on the bowl bottom is face down.

Yes, that’s a record on a sauce pan.

 Step 4: Melt and form your bowl.

Place the whole shebang (cookie sheet, vessel and record) in the oven. Leave it there for about three minutes or until you start to smell something reminiscent of a melting Barbie Doll (whichever comes first). Remove everything from the oven using an oven mitt. Quickly press the sides of the record downward into the shape you want, using the mitt to help as the plastic will be hot.

Wilting like you on a summer L train.

 Step 5: Find a home for your bowl.

Once your bowl cools (in about 5 minutes), set it right-side up and find it a home. Record bowls clash with my general aesthetic, so this one is going to live at my husband’s recording studio.

And voila!

The Thing is located at 1001 Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint.

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