There are two ways that I recently made Recycled CD Art: utilizing the holographic foil pieces and removing the foil to use the clear CDs to make tiles. The big key to success in my projects was heating the CDs before cutting them with sharp craft scissors. When I did not soak them in boiled water, the CDs (and gorgeous foil) splintered, cracked, and shattered. Soaking the CDs in hot water allowed me to cut them into geometric pieces with crisp lines.
DVDs are different than CDs, only in that they are made of two discs and to access the metallic foil, you will need to snip a small cut into the DVD and then separate the two pieces. Cut up the CDs to decorate in holographic, puzzle-like designs or simply remove the foil with packaging tape and affix that to your project surface.
CDs also differ quite a bit. Old music CDs will give you a lot more trouble when removing their foil while the foil from the blank CDs in my desk practically fell of in comparison. Blank CDs were exactly what I needed to create CD tiles with acrylic paint & glitter and the music CDs only function was to be cut up for art work. The blank CDs I used held their foil while I cut them but I read about other DIYers having trouble with the foil staying on their CDs as they were cut.
I really like the projects I created. They turned out better than I expected. It all depends on what kind of project you want to create. You can glue down your cut pieces onto a flat photo frame, a square box, or a square candle holder and simply seal your project with clear spray paint. I chose to embellish my projects with Mod Podge Gloss, Craft & Glass Glitter, and previously created crafts (faux opals & abalone.) I sealed my projects with Rust-O-Leum Clear Spray Paint and I am loving them!
If you are looking for a more sheer color wash for clear CD projects, I highly recommend the Deco Art Media Fluid Acrylics Interference Paints. They are more sheer in opacity, iridescent, and have gorgeous color!
Recycled CD Art
– Dollar Tree Photo Frames, Square Candle Holder, and Magnetic Closure Boxes
– Fiskars Scissors
– Packaging Tape
– Verbatim Blank CDs & Pre-Recorded CDs
– Stampendous Royal Purple Crushed Glass Glitter
– Art Ingredients Sterling Glass Glitter
– Craft Glitter
– Acrylic Paint
– Tulip Puffy Dimensional Fabric Paint
– E600 Glue
– Aleene’s Tacky Glue (It is white and can show through on projects)
– Celebrate It Metallic Crinkle (cut into smaller pieces)
– Ranger Tim Holtz Alcohol Ink
– Resin Faux Opals, Resin Glitter Pieces, and Glass Gem Faux Abalone
– Rust-O-Leum Clear Glitter Sealer Spray Paint
– Rust-O-Leum Glitter Spray Paint in Glitter Bright Pink
– Aluminum Foil
– Large Toaster Oven (used outside)
- Soak CDs in boiling water for 10 minutes
- Cut the CDs immediately with sharp craft scissors before they cool (this can be hard on the hands)
- Prepare your project surface with paint, marker, etc. before placing the CD pieces
- Glue down the CD pieces. Aleene’s Tacky Glue & E6000 were used in my projects. The big difference is that Aleene’s glue is white and E6000 is clear.
- (Optional) Fill in the spaces between the pieces with Mod Podge Gloss and Silver Glass Glitter
- Seal the project with clear spray paint
How to Create CD Tiles
- Remove the foil from your CDs by scoring a small line at the edge of the disc & then applying packaging tape on top and pulling to remove the foil (keep your foil covered tape for other projects)
- Cut your CDs into matching sets of pieces by either using a ruler and carefully measuring the CDs into equally sized pieces or free hand cut & trim to size
- With gloved hands, paint a medium layer of acrylic paint on each set (you just need to paint the top of one piece and sandwich the paint in between the two pieces.) The tiles will have more depth, color, and dramatic result if you use multiple colors. You can also add alcohol ink, glass & craft glitter.
- Place the sets of painted tiles on a baking tray that is covered with aluminum foil. ***I baked my tiles OUTSIDE in a large toaster oven that we don’t use. I did not feel comfortable baking plastic inside the house.***
- Pre-heat your toaster oven to the “broil” setting and place the tray of tiles inside to bake for 10 minutes. Watch your tiles because the smaller the tiles, the more they begin to bubble as they cook.
- Remove the tray from the oven and remove the foil from the tray (the aluminum foil did not get hot.) Pick the tiles off of the foil so that they do not stick.
I used my tiles to decorate a Dollar Tree magnetic closure box. I glued them down with E6000 glue and filled in the spaces between the tiles with Tulip Puffy Dimensional Fabric Paint.
These projects are perfect for my office, as a lover of all things holographic! I really like how everything turned out–it is all so pretty. These projects were spread out over a couple of days to get everything right. I took a couple of evenings to cut the CDs into pieces and remove a lot of foil. I am happy I did it this way because that tape that I saved (that was covered in foil) is so pretty on its own. The foil-covered packaging tape was cut it into large pieces. Those pieces were glued onto the matting of a picture frame & it gives the same beautiful holographic effect as actually cutting up the CDs!
I was able to have successful projects with the help of instructional YouTube videos and blog posts. A big thanks to the creators who shared their CD/DVD projects!
- Make It Easy Recipes “How to make colors mosaic out of CDs” Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxEVzlubVU8
- Happy Hooligans “How to Make Gorgeous Mosaic Tiles from a DVD” Post: http://happyhooligans.ca/make-mosaic-tiles-from-a-dvd/
- Chronic Crafter “CD Mosaic Holo Stash Box”: https://youtu.be/VlBq2j7q5ms