Thursday, February 25, 2021

Turning CD's into Works of Art

This past week I dug out all my old music CD's and spent several hours making sure I had all the music on my computer. I've done this before, but kept the CD's "just in case". I'm not sure how many years ago that was, but the thick layer of dust on top of the boxes indicates to me it's time to get rid of them. And since I hate throwing things in the garbage, I thought I'd look into different craft ideas. As it turns out, there are a lot of them! Some use CD's, some use DVD's, and some use either (they are created differently and therefore react differently). Whether you are a painter, a fiber artist, make mosaics, or something else, chances are good you can find something to make. Here are a few of the ideas I found:

Make coasters. They can be painted using acrylic paint. Stencils add a nice touch:

Alternatively, cover them with fabric:

Make mandalas. 3D paint can be a good choice for this. If you don't like the look of the open centers, they can be hidden with craft gems or old jewelry.

If you crochet, CD's can be used as a base for mandalas, mobiles, or dream catchers:

Make some scratch art. Paint over the CD with acrylic paint, then use a sharp object to scratch through the paint to reveal the colors underneath.

Cut or break the CD into pieces for mosaics. Some discs will break easier than others, depending on how they were made. You may wish to do this over a garbage can in case it shatters. You can also separate the layers of a CD to make it easier to cut; click here for a tutorial from

You can melt CD's into bowl shapes (vinyl records too, apparently!). They are a good size for tealight or votive candle holders:

If you don't want to use the whole thickness of the CD in your project, you can remove the reflective coating and just use that instead. You may need to scratch through the coating in one spot in order to make a starting point.

Peeling off the coating leaves you with a clear disc which can also be used for many of the above projects. Or you can paint it with inks, suncatcher paint, or stained glass paint to create a suncatcher:

Discs that have been stripped of their coatings can also be used to make these beautiful art "glass" tiles. Click the link below the photo for a video tutorial.

This is far from an exhaustive list but will give you a great starting point if you choose to upcycle an old music collection. Please share photos if you create something. We would love to see what you come up with!