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CDs and jewel cases may be things of the past, but with these tips they can be repurposed and transformed into practical items for the home.


CDs have the potential to carry loads of information, photos or music, but they also have limited lifespans (and even those can be cut short if the CD gets scratched). According to the CD Recycling Center of America, CDs shouldn’t be placed in curbside recycling bins because they are made of #7 plastic. If you choose to recycle your discs, look for a designated recycling center. An even better alternative is to repurpose your old CDs and CD cases and give them new lives in your home.

Repurpose Old CDs

Making mosaic designs allows you to transform your CD into something unrecognizable. Any project where you would use a broken mirror, like you would use to make this heart mosaic, you can use broken CDs instead. Alternatively, you could look for mosaic projects, like this bird bath, specifically designed for use with broken discs. “To break CDs, boil a pot of water and then place in a mixing bowl,” writes Brit + Co stylist Misty Spinney. “Place the CD in for about five minutes so that it softens. Then you can use scissors to cut any shape you like or simply break it up with your hands.”

When you repurpose old CDs, you’re not limited to mosaics. You can make your own mini photo album, a wall clock, a set of coasters, or even DIY clothes rack dividers. Of course, you can always use the crafting supplies tucked away in your self-storage unit to try something unique. There’s no limit on ideas for repurposing old CDs.

Repurpose Old Jewel Cases

Repurposing CD jewel cases is a great way to add some personality to your space and keep that plastic out of the landfill. Clear jewel cases make great photo frames; add Velcro to the back to stick them to the wall. You could step it up a notch and use those same jewel cases to create a wall mural.

To bring old jewel cases back to life, upcycle them into a flower pot. “This planter is adorable, and I love that you can see through it,” writes Carley Knobloch on the DIY Network blog. “It will have some holes in it though, so make sure you’ve got it in a large enough saucer to catch dirt and water, or use it outside.”

Creatively Repurpose Old CDs and CD Cases

Repurpose Old CD Spindles

If you bought CD-Rs, you likely have some CD spindles lying around. Just like CDs and jewel cases, you can repurpose CD spindles and the lids. Brit + Co offers instructions on how to repurpose a lid into an earring holder and a spindle into a bracelet caddy.

CD spindles can be repurposed for storage, too. According to Sayward Rebhal, “The spindle is perfect for organizing your cords and cables—it comes with a built-in wand to wind them around, and the top snaps on to keep them from unraveling.” What’s great about these spindles for cord storage is that they’re stackable. You can use small or large spindles, depending on the sizes of the cords, and then stack them for an efficient storage solution.

When it comes to upcycling, there are numerous ways you can repurpose old CDs and CD cases. It’s time to get those abandoned CDs out of storage and put them to work. Whether it’s assembling fun crafts or creating storage solutions, you’ll find there’s still a lot of life left in those old CDs.

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