10 New Uses for Old CDs

Even if you’ve moved your entire music collection to your smartphone, those old compact discs can still come in handy. Here are 10 brilliant ways to put CDs to work all around the house.

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10 clever new uses for old CDs
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How to salvage old CDs

Before throwing away or recycling a scratched-up CD, try to repair it. First, clean it thoroughly with a lint-free cloth or mild soap and a little bit of water. Hold the CD by the edge to keep from getting fingerprints on it. Polish it from the middle to the edge, not in a circular motion. If your CD still skips, try fixing it with toothpaste. Dab some non-gel toothpaste on the end of your finger and rub it lightly onto the entire CD. Use a damp paper towel to remove the toothpaste and dry it with a fresh paper towel. The fine abrasive in the toothpaste might smooth out the scratch.

Still no luck? No problem! We’ve rounded up 10 ways to put your old, scratched-up CDs to work all around the house…

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Use old CDs to draw perfect circles
Brett Walther

1. Use an old CD as the template for a perfect circle

Need to draw a perfect circle? Forget tracing around cups or using cumbersome compasses. Every CD provides two circle sizes—trace around the inner hole or the outer circumference.

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Use old CDs as coasters
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2. Cover old CDs with felt and use them as coasters

CDs can help to prevent those unsightly stains from cups left on the table. Simply 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.

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Use old CDs to catch candle drips
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3. Use old CDs to catch candle drips

You should always use a candle holder specifically designed to catch melting wax. However, if one is not available, a CD is great in a pinch. Make sure it’s a short candle that can stand on its own with a flat bottom. It should also be slightly larger than the CD hole. Place the candleholder on a stable, heat-resistant surface and keep a watchful eye on it.

Check out these 5 New Uses for Old Candles!

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Turn an old CD into a decorative bowl
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4. Make artistic bowls from old CDs

Looking for a funky, decorative bowl? Place a CD in the oven on low heat over a metal bowl until the CD is soft. Wearing protective gloves, gently bend the CD into the shape desired. Seal the hole by gluing the bottom edge to another surface such as a flat dish using epoxy or PVC glue. Don’t use the bowl for food.

Check out these 7 Budget Friendly Decorating Tips from Sarah Richardson!

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Use old CDs as driveway reflectors
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5. Use old CDs as sidewalk or driveway reflectors

Forget those ugly orange reflectors. Instead, drill small holes in a CD and screw it onto your mailbox post or onto a wood stake and push it into the ground. Install several of them to light a nighttime path to your front door.

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Use old CDs for kids crafts
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6. Use an old CD as the basis for a kids’ craft

Need a craft to occupy busy little hands? Have them use an old CD to make a picture frame for a loved one. You need a CD, a picture that is larger than the CD hole, a large bead, ribbon, and glue. Glue the picture in the middle of the CD on the shiny side. If they wish, they can decorate the CD with markers or stickers. Have an adult use hot-melt glue to attach the bead at the top of the CD, let dry, and thread ribbon through the bead.

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Decorate a Christmas tree with old CDs
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7. Use old CDs as holiday ornaments

Decorate your Christmas tree in style! Hang CDs shiny side out to create a flickering array of lights—or paint and decorate the label side to create inexpensive personalized ornaments. For variety, cut the CDs into stars and other shapes with sharp scissors. Drill a 1/4-inch (6-millimetre) hole through the CD and thread ribbon through to hang.

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Use old CDs to make sun catchers
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8. Make a decorative sun catcher

Do-it-yourself sun catchers are attractive to watch, and all you need to make one is a couple of CDs. Glue two CDs together, shiny side out, wrap yarn or coloured string through the hole and hang them in a window. The prism will make a beautiful light show.

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Turn an old CD into a clock
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9. Make a CD clock

Old CDs can be functional! Turn a compact disc into a funky clock face for clockwork sold by arts-and-crafts stores. 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.

In the meantime, here are 5 Tricks for Telling the Time Without a Clock!

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Repurpose an old CD as a spinning top toy
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10. Create a spinning top

Turn an old CD into a fun toy for the kids (and adults too!). With a knife, make two slits across from each other in the CD hole. Force a penny halfway through the hole, and then spin the CD on its edge.

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