What to Do With Old CDs

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Here are seven creative ideas for repurposing old CDs.

Do you have a collection of old CDs lying around your house? Do you know what you’re going to do with them? Some people believe that the only use for an old CD is to put it in your car’s CD player. But did you know there’s a lot more you can do with them? Let’s take a look at some of the different ways you can repurpose and recycle CDs.

CDs can be repurposed and recycled in various creative ways to get them out of the way. Here are some ideas for getting rid of these pesky discs:

Use scratched up CDs as coasters 

Coasters are an excellent way to safeguard your furniture against water damage and other stains. If you have a collection of scratched-up CDs, why not try making coasters out of them? On the back of the CD, you can use adhesive felt or cork. This will make it easier for you to transform these old discs into functional coasters perfect for protecting your furniture.

You’ll need the following materials to make a recycled CD coaster:

  • An old CD
  • Adhesive felt or cork
  • Scissors 

To make a recycled CD coaster, follow these steps:

Make four squares out of the adhesive felt. Four pieces of felt should be able to cover one side of your CD, plus some extra for error. Press down on two pieces on each side of the disc to secure them.

Create a bird feeder out of old CDs 

This is also one way to repurpose and recycle your CD collection. If you have no use for the discs anymore, why not try turning them into birdfeeders? You can hang these up outside so that birds can come by and eat from them. The best part is you don’t have to do anything more than attach the CD with adhesive to a piece of wood or whatever you prefer to use. 

You can then fill it with birdseed, either directly on the CD itself, which will work well if your feeder is hanging from something else, or pour some seed into an old plastic container and put that in front of the feeder so that birds have easy access to food. This way, birds will be attracted by your feeder.

You’ll need the following materials to make a recycled CD bird feeder:

  • Old CDs 
  • Piece of wood or some other material to attach the CD on (sturdy enough to hold the weight of birdseed) 
  • Screws, adhesive, eye hooks, and string for hanging feeder (if desired)

Make Christmas tree ornaments 

If you’re running short of Christmas ornaments and don’t want to buy new ones, why not put those old CDs you have lying around on your Christmas tree? Slip a ribbon through them, tie it in a bow and hang. You can even paint the CDs first if you’d like. Paint them silver or gold with some nice designs on them for extra pizzazz.

Label the CDs with dates or names of family members, and you’ll have a cute, personalized ornament that will make your Christmas tree stand out from all the rest.

You could also turn those old CDs into sun catchers for inside your house. Cut them in half horizontally, so they’re thin discs rather than full circles, and hang them in a window with some string. The sunlight will shine through and create interesting patterns on the walls or floor below.

You’ll need the following supplies to make recycled CD Christmas tree ornaments:

  • Old CDs
  • Ribbon or twine
  • A hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • A sharp knife or box cutter
  • Holiday decorations like ribbons, bells, etc., to decorate the tree with.
  • Nail polish or paint to decorate the CD with (optional) 

Recycled CD Crafts

Make a CD mobile

CD mobiles are easy to make and are great for hanging in your child’s room. Glue a circle of paper on the CD, then decorate with markers or paint. Punch holes at opposite ends near the center hole (about an inch apart). Thread string through both holes, knotting it securely, so the CD doesn’t fall off.

You’ll need the following materials to make a recycled CD mobile:

  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun & glue sticks or craft/super adhesive of your choice
  • Yarn
  • Paper or poster board 
  • 14 gauge craft wire
  • Paintbrush & acrylic paint in desired colors
  • Scissors  
  • A CD 

Steps: 

  • Cut a circle out of the poster board. 
  • Stick the CD in the center, and cut slits from each point to the outer edge. 
  • Thread yarn through all of your cuts around the outside. You can make it as long or short as you want! Put some paper clips on either side for hanging it up inside or
  • Decorate a CD with paint, markers, or whatever you can find. 

Make a CD bowl

Place your CDs in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees. They will become more pliable and easy to work with as a result. When soft, remove them from the oven and shape them into a bowl with a mold. Allow the bowls to cool before removing them from the mold and decorating as desired.

You’ll need the following materials to make a recycled CD bowl:

  • CDs
  • a hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • an oven with enough space to put in your CD bowl molds
  • silicone baking pans for this project. 
  • paint or spray paint 

Steps: 

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Place CDs in the oven for about five minutes or until they become soft and pliable. 
  • Carefully remove from the oven using tongs, wearing a glove if desired, and mold into a bowl shape with your hands. Be careful not to burn yourself. 
  • Let bowls cool for about five to ten minutes. 
  • Remove from the mold and decorate as desired.
  • Place on a lampshade or doorknob. If you want something more permanent, take some resin glue (found at Michaels) and apply it to the bowl before sprinkling on glitter or other decorations. Let dry for 24 hours and then follow with a high gloss sealer spray.

Make an eye-catching picture frame out of empty cases

Picture frames are something that every home needs. They can be used for anything from photos of loved ones to works of art, and if you want to spice things up a little, they also make great canvases for paint projects. If you’re going to repurpose your old CDs, consider creating unique picture frames out of their cases. You can use either the front or back cover or both.

This is a fantastic way to repurpose old CDs. You’ll need the following materials to make one:

  • Paint
  • A brush for applying paint with ease 
  • Clear spray varnish 
  • An empty CD case (front cover) or two if desired 
  • Ruler and pencil for drawing straight lines when cutting 
  • Screwdriver, hammer, and nails to replace the back of your picture frame when you are done with it.

The first thing you’ll need to do is figure out what size case will work best for the artwork or photo that you’ll be putting into this new frame. You can use a single CD case if necessary, but using two is recommended because the cavity in the back is usually much deeper, allowing for more stability when you’re finished with your project.

Take out all of the pieces from inside the case, including any metal fittings used to hold the CD in place, after you’ve decided on this important detail (which can affect both how it looks and if it will hold together). You should probably keep these pieces because they can be used for other projects later on if you don’t need them right now, but that is entirely up to you.

When the old case is empty and ready for repurposing, take out your ruler and draw three horizontal lines that are equally spaced apart on each side, followed by about six vertical lines that are equally spaced apart. However, don’t draw the lines too close together because you’ll need some space to cut around them later.

Once you’ve laid out your basic grid for cutting, decide how deep you want your frame to be and begin by marking it with a pencil. It’s better to err on the side of caution and make it a little too short than too long because you can always cut more off later if necessary.

After you’ve marked out your desired depth with a pencil, take some strong scissors or a razor blade and carefully begin cutting along each line until they’re all separated from one another. Remember that you may need to use some force when doing this, but you don’t want to cut yourself or go too deep with the blade, cutting into your CD pieces below.

With everything set up and ready to go, all that remains is for you to paint it however you want! If you’re going to use spray varnish, make sure to apply at least two coats to the front and back of your case to give it a nice finish.

Allow everything to dry for a few minutes after you’ve finished painting before putting in any photos or artwork. Because these cases should be fairly durable, you can use either adhesive or pushpins to attach anything to them.

Create a CD wall hanging 

Turning old CDs into decorative wall hangings is another way to repurpose and recycle them. This will be useful in your home or office, providing you with something to look at while working or relaxing. This idea is also great for decoration if you like music because it involves making the design out of the CD’s song list.

You will need the following materials to complete this design:

  • A pencil and ruler for drawing straight lines
  • Paint (bright colors work best) 
  • Clear spray varnish (optional) 
  • An empty CD case (front cover or back only is fine; use two if desired), paintbrush, and a screwdriver

With Aspiration Zero, you can spend your time and money on things that are important to you

Don’t just throw away old CDs! Make something new and valuable out of them. Aspiration makes every effort to reduce its environmental impact. They can reduce pollution, increase recycling efforts, or develop products/services that help people in need live better lives.

We’re excited about the launch of Aspiration Zero, which rewards you with points for using it and going carbon neutral on your own. Aspiration Zero is a credit card that rewards you for achieving carbon neutrality! Interested? Apply here today!

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