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Recycle Your Old CDs - DVDs

Updated on June 22, 2015

Artist's Pallet Shaped Business Cards

I hate it when it's that time to have a clear out and you find items that you know you are never going to use again, but struggle to let go. Either because they took some time to collect or at the time was expensive.

I read somewhere if you haven’t used something for sixteen months then you don’t need it and you should throw it away or at least give it to someone who could find a us for it. Determined to find a use for all those Dvds and Cds I had burned or bought and being an artist - I came up with this idea.

How to make an artist's paint pallet shaped business card from old CD (Compact Disk) and DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) and printing on them using a transfer technique.

There's no need to shop for expensive supplies, everyone must have a few unwanted CDs around the house, you will also need some acrylic paint, Pva glue, sand paper or small sander and tin snips or pruning shears.

These can be made in volume or one or two for display purposes only, they also make great gifts.

First of all, mark out the pallet shape on an old CD, positioning the existing hole as though this is the thumb hole on an artists paint pallet and mark out your shape with a marker pen.

Cuttung the CD
Cuttung the CD

Safety goggles should be worn.

Cut out the shape using tin snips, cutting across the line as straight as possible, this stage may need a bit of practice but it's achievable.

You can also clamp a stack of discs together and cut out the shape using a grinder or band saw.

Finished Sanding
Finished Sanding


Sheets of sandpaper can be used, but I recommend using a palm sander to smooth and eradicate the sharp rough edge and to further shape it also use the sander to remove the CDs coating - a dust mask is required, and you should be in a vented area the silver fragments get everywhere.

Some CDs have a protruding lip around the hole, this is easily removed with a craft knife and sanding.


Paint the CD with a PVA glue and brush a generous coat of paint on so it fills in the grooves around the hole. You may need a few coats -- sanding in-between.

Hang up to dry.

You can now hand paint your details on the surface or buy some transfer letters or use the technique I did which I have gone into detail below...

Card examples
Card examples

Transfer technique.

Print out your logo, name, numbers or whatever you have designed, making sure that any text is printed in reverse.

There are two options: Paint the top coat on the pallet letting it dry then apply the transfers using a thin layer of PVA glue -- PVA because this dries transparent or you can apply straight to the acrylic paint when it is wet.

Cut the paper as close to the content as possible, reducing the amount be be removed later.

Position your transfers face down, rubbing out any air bubbles, flattening. At this stage you need to be careful not to smudge the paint if you have allotted to go straight onto the acrylic.

If you are using an ink-jet printer, you will only have to wait about an hour or two for the PVA to dry and for the transfer to complete, otherwise let it set for a few hours, preferably over night.

Alternatively, you can use a heat gun or a hair dryer to speed up the drying time.

Next, spray the area with water using a spray bottle or dab a cloth into water really soak the surface well allowing the paper to absorb the water.

Now with the cloth or your finger, rub the wet paper off to reveal your transferred image -- do this gently until all the pulp is removed.

This stage should be done with caution, and failure is usually due to not waiting for the paint or paper to fully dry and adhere.

Both sides can be done.

Varnished to finish.

Comments Welcome

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    • Mark Shearman profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Shearman 

      6 years ago from Alicante Spain

      @MarcoG: Cheers!

    • MarcoG profile image


      6 years ago from Edinburgh

      Nifty idea!

    • Mark Shearman profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Shearman 

      6 years ago from Alicante Spain

      @anonymous: Thank you gonzalezdenise.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks this is soooo good.

    • Mark Shearman profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Shearman 

      6 years ago from Alicante Spain

      @Kathleen Hiler: Thank you for reading.

    • profile image

      Kathleen Hiler 

      6 years ago

      This is a really great idea..thanks for sharing!


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