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Upcycling: CDs

Updated on February 18, 2017
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Broken CD Pieces

The reflective side of a CD can be used to mimic a broken mirror shard for a cheap, alternative decorative design for picture frames.

You can also fit and glue the pieces together to create mosaics, or little decorative animal statues or other decorative wall pieces.

Drill holes through the pieces to make beads for jewelry, hair pieces and other bead-related crafts.

Candle holders

From tea lights to pillars, CDs have enough surface area to hold a simple painted design, pictures or even glued-on decorations to specialize your home decor or bedroom.

You can stack CDs together and carve out the middle of the discs for a tea light. The light of the candle would disperse through the reflective layers, creating a modern glow. Drill a few rods through the stack or glue them together to keep them steady.

Alternatively, use tacky or super glue on gemstones, corks or other trinkets to create decorative layers between the shiny discs.

For larger candles, like pillars, you can decorate the flat surface with a design, or by attaching decoration pieces of your choice. You will want to know the size of the candle before you attach anything to it, to be sure the candle will fit on the holder without breaking anything.

Be sure to keep an eye on any running wax for larger candles, if you've glued or attached anything to the holder, the hot melted wax may ruin the decorations or melt the glue and make the holder fall apart.


They'll be tiny, unless you connect a few of them together, but if you're one of those people who loves unique clocks, or sells clocks and want to add some upcycled glory to your shop, this may be a good option for you!

Just pick up a clock mechanism kit from your local craft store! (Check around with the woodworking tools) and install it once you're finished decorating your CDs with the design you want.

Connect multiple CDs together for a plain, shiny clock!

Cut out family photos and paste them to one side of the CD for a family portrait clock!

Decorate just one CD for a tiny clock (adorable for kids!)


Whether you want to paint them solid colors to just go with your room decor, paint designs, or attach pictures or fabric to them, CDs make a perfect sized canvas for a coaster!

If you decide to paint the surface, be sure you seal your work with a waterproof spray to keep it from rubbing off and being damaged by condensation of glasses. You also may want to seal the hole in the center of the CD somehow to prevent condensation from leaking onto the surface of tables.

If you prefer solid colors, I recommend using spray paint for the color, while still sealing with waterproof spray.

For photographed coasters, put something clear over the photo: a piece of hard plastic, glass, and seal it to the CD on the sides with a layer of glue, or a decorative ribbon trim, or some other type of sealing material.

Hang them Up!

Steps may vary depend on how you want to design your curtain or wall decorator. The following steps are nothing more than my own suggestion.

Make a Room Divider or Curtain!

Step 1: Decorate all of the CDs first. Whether you want to give them all unique designs or spray paint them in bulk with shiny colors, the choice is yours!

Step 2: Attach them to the fishing line, or whatever you're using to hold the discs. This is a good opportunity for you to recycle some mardi gras beads or extra ribbon! Be sure to leave enough room at the top of the strand to attach it to the beam or pipe.

Step 3: Drill the holes through the pipe, or implement whatever attachment device you have planned for attaching the strands to the beam or pipe.

Step 4: Attach the strands of CDs to the beam!

Make a Sun Catcher!

Using fishing line, or colorful thread or ribbon, tie the discs together to create a pretty addition to the decor on your patio, porch or favorite tree!

Earring/Jewelry Holder

Make a cute holder for your earrings! You can put holes in the middle of the CD for studs to keep danglies and O-rings to fit around the edges! Or hang the danglies upside-down.

Step 1: Glue a CD to the bottom of the black holder. This isn't really required, but the black containers have raised lines that divide the bottom into sections, and I wanted the bottom to be all flat, so the CD helped flatten it out. I used tacky glue to hold it together.

Step 2: Drill/poke holes around the edges of the second disc. This is where your earrings will go through! I heated up a thick needle and pressed it through. Be sure your earrings will fit! You may choose to poke more through the disc for studs, keep the edge holes for hanging earrings and hoops.

Step 3: Attach the CD to the holder. You'll want it about in the middle of the black stick, and you may need to attach it because the hole in the disc is slightly wider than the stick's thickness. You may choose to wrap some decorative ribbon around it (maybe a couple times, depending on thickness) or just using a really thick layer of glue. Be sure to slide the disc where you want it before gluing, though, and using something to hold it in place so that you don't have to.

Step 4: Paint and decorate your new holder! You may choose to put boxes for rings and such on the bottom, or holding molds and velvet. You can loop necklaces around the stick and rest them on the bottom layer to prevent them from tangling. Or even hang them from the floating disc.


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