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How to Reuse Old CD’s

pile of old cds
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Remember when 8-tracks were all the rage? No? Us neither. But wondering where all those 8-tracks went has kept us up a night or two. At least we know where the records went. And someday, CD’s will be a thing of the past as well (can’t we just all agree to stop with the musical substitutions? Having to constantly recreate our collection is becoming quite the annoyance).

In preparation for that day, The Budget Ecoist wants to help you with some ideas on how you can recycle the CD’s you no longer use.

Why recycle CDs?

CDs and DVDs are made from lacquers, aluminum and sometimes gold. Most of their weight, though, is polycarbonate plastic – yet another plastic made from crude oil. Throwing them in a landfill guarantees they’ll be around far longer than any of us. They don’t break down, and over time can release Bisphenol A (BPA). Burning CD and DVD media releases toxic fumes.

If you’re not interested in repurposing those CD’s, there are recycling services that are free; you need only to pay the postage. It doesn’t matter what condition the CD or DVD is in; even broken ones will be accepted.

Organizations Offering Free DVD and CD Recycling:

Other Ways to Recycle CDs and DVDs

Trade them in.

If the CDs are in good condition you can bring them to a recycled record store for cash or credit. Note that even if the store does not want your CD, they will often accept them for recycling.

Make them drink coasters.

Cut a round piece of felt to fit over the CD and glue it onto the label side of the CD so that the shiny side will face up when you use the coaster.

Make a mobile.

There are plenty of designs you can search on the web. We’re partial to this recycled bottle fish mobile hanging from a CD.

Replace your scarecrow.

Hang them from trees to prevent birds from being a nuisance in your garden. The deflected light scares the birds

Make a CD wreath.

Just in time for Christmas, make a CD wreath.

Make a CD photo frame.

This simple art project can be used to entertain kids on a gloomy day, or provide them with an opportunity to create an original gift.

Use them as candle holders.

Place CDs under candles to catch the drips of wax.

Make your bike safer.

Use them as reflectors on your bike wheels.

Mark your garden rows.

Write the name of the vegetable on the CD, with a permanent marker. Glue the CD to a Popsicle stick and put it in the ground to mark your garden rows.

Make a clock.

Turn a disc into a funky clock. Inexpensive kits can be purchased online. Paint and design one side of the CD and let it dry. Write or use stickers to create the numbers around its edge. Assemble the clockwork onto the CD.

Make a windchime.

  • Glue two CDs together and let dry.
  • Drill one tiny hole in top and five or six holes along bottom. Use permanent magic markers to decorate both sides of CDs.
  • Draw a simple design with a black marker and fill in with the colored markers.
  • Hang beads or metal rods from bottom holes using floss or fishing line.
  • Tie a piece of same in top hole and make a loop for hanging.
  • You can also decorate these CDs with sequins or beads instead of the magic markers.

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Sunday 13th of February 2011

Thank you for sharing. Wind chime idea is interesting and similar my DIY old CD to art work or decoration

linda kilpatrick

Tuesday 20th of July 2010

Hi.  I live in Texas and have a blog where I design and think up ideas to make crafts.  My daughter was throwing out some old CD’s so I came up with a way to recycle them into a wonderful gift idea.  The recipient won’t know it has a CD inside unless you tell them it’s there.  Here’s the link. This one is a draw string gift bag. This one uses 2 CD's up and they are small cakes that look like the real thing. They can be used as table decorations or as gifts. This one uses one CD and is a gift basket.

Hope you enjoy. Linda

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