Upcycling is all about transforming obsolete stuff into useful and beautiful things, thus saving dosh as well as doing your bit to cut waste.
I still buy CDs because I enjoy the sense of ownership. Electronic files aren’t good enough… I want to touch my music! But I’ve bought a load of dreadful CDs over the years and have just weeded out the worst offenders, leaving me with twenty five that I can’t live without.
What to do with the rest? I’ve been dreaming up ways to use my old CDs creatively instead of throwing them away or stashing them in a box in the attic, just gathering dust ’til I drop off my perch. Here goes:
- glue them together in a stack (UHU glue works perfectly) to create a stunning garden sculpture. They’re gorgeous from the side, shimmery green and semi-transparent. Make three towers of different heights for a spectacular effect, simply burying them a couple of inches in the ground to keep them steady. This is what I’m going to do with mine, and I’m really excited about it, but I need more CDs. I’ll be putting an ad on Freegle at the weekend…
- you can also thread chunks of CDs on a string or wire and hang them out in the garden, or from hooks in the ceiling. Imagine a beautiful six foot string of CDs gently swaying, with that wonderful other-worldly under-sea glow they have when stacked together
- use them as funky coasters to protect your furniture and kitchen surfaces
- cut them up and use them to make jewellery. Or go crazy and make a pendant out of a whole one, glueing on jewels and sequins and drawing patterns with 3D Tulip Craft Paints. Great fun for little kids too, if you want to keep them occupied for an hour or so on a rainy weekend. When I was at Art College in the early ’80s there was a girl called Della who wore twelve inch vinyl records in her hair, mysteriously attached to her amazing post-punk Beehive. Respect!
- stick them in the soil to reflect sunlight onto plants in shady areas of the garden. Apparently it works a treat
- cut them up to make DIY guitar picks – my fella swears by them
- cut four holes in each CD at equal intervals around the edge and use wire to join them together to create a piece of CD art, curtain or room divider. Or as dressing-up chain mail armour for the kids
- let the kids use them as signalling mirrors – great fun for making up their own code and signalling across the park, tent-to-tent or whatever on a sunny day
- string them up in your veg patch – they make excellent bird scarers
- make CDs into mini wall clocks using clock kits from Ebay, which come with a battery-driven mechanism and lovely little minute / hour hands