DIY guide to upcycling old CDs, DVDs and games

DIY guide to upcycling old CDs, DVDs and games

Throwing away CDs, DVDs and even video games is not only wasteful but also bad for the environment – it can take centuries for one disc to break down in a landfill. How can you upcycle all those old discs?

You can make money if you sell games online or you can make people talk with some one-of-a-kind wearable CD art. Here are five ideas that you’ve probably never thought of for upcycling your old CDs.

1. Garden protection. If you enjoy tending to your own plot of organic vegetables, you know by now that one of the challenges of gardening is to keep birds and other small animals away from your home-grown produce. Tie some string around some CDs, and hang them on posts around the edge of your garden to keep critters out.

2. Jewellery. If you enjoy wearing costume jewellery and statement pieces, CDs are the perfect material to use to make some jewellery of your own because they are durable, colourful on one side, and shiny on the other. To make a necklace out of an old disc, simply cut it into a unique shape, drill a tiny hole along one edge, and hang it from a dainty silver chain. First, boil the CD in water until it’s quite easy to cut with scissors. Then cut out the shapes you want, place them on a baking tray in an oven at 400 degrees F, and after about 5 minutes the CD parts will start to bubble. Let them cool and then you’re ready to make them into a necklace…

3. Drink coasters. CDs are the perfect shape and size to entertain your guests with…not because of their music, but for their uncanny ability to ward off water rings on that brand new coffee table in your living room, for example. Using old CDs as drink coasters is not only fabulously aesthetic, but it also provides a way for each guest to remember where he or she left a drink without all the guesswork.

4. A collage. You’ll need more than the CDs for this one. But if you happen to have some strong-bonding glue, scissors, and an active imagination, you could make a one-of-a-kind collage from all of your previous musical tastes. The best thing about this kind of artwork is that it makes a concrete statement about who you are by expressing every different kind of genre of music that you listen to. Piece CD cut-outs together, frame them, and hang them on a wall for a vibrant conversation piece.

5. Recycling revenue. If you have made it to the end of this list, and you still have old discs that you don’t know what to do with, try making a little extra cash from them. MusicMagpie is a site that will buy your old CDs, DVDs, and video games in bulk, pay for the shipping, and send you a check. The process is fast and convenient, so you can get rid of all the leftover discs in one day without ever having to leave all the quirky artwork you just made. And if you feel like spreading a little goodwill, MusicMagpie also has a charity campaign that allows you to donate your proceeds to one of several non-profit organisations in the UK.

CD upcycling tip from Rhykan: You can make nifty drink coasters out of any CD by putting them in a microwave for 3 seconds. It’s rather cool to watch, too, though it smells awful!

This rather lush upcycled CD necklace is by Mary White.