18 alternate uses for CDs

CDsIf you like music, or had an address in the late '90's, you probably have a collection of old CD's sitting unappreciated and unused in a corner of the closet. Whether it's Aerosmith's Greatest Hits or a few of the estimated 1 billion AOL CDs that were mailed out, we want to make sure that they don't go to waste.

We've rounded up the best alternative uses for old CDs that range from practical and handy to artistic and crafty. Whatever your taste, we have a way to use up all those old CDs.

The "perfect" set of coasters for any location. The coffee table, on a desk or at your workbench. If you want to get fancy, you can add felt to one side so that you don't scratch the surface.

Full length mirror
Sure you can pick up a mirror pretty cheap at Walmart, but will it start as many conversations in your dorm room as a mirror made of glued-together CDs? Use professional fingernail adhesive for maximum sticking power.

Christmas ornaments
Old CDs make excellent Christmas ornaments and you're only limited by your imagination. Some paint and a picture make a perfect child Christmas craft, glue felt or other items to a CD to create shapes and scenes, stick on your outdoor Christmas lights (the old fashioned large ones) for a weatherproof reflector and lastly, glue or sting a bunch together to create a wreath.

Annoying rear view mirror hanger
It seems that on any given sunny day you'll find someone who has used some fishing line, or dental floss, to hang a CD from their favorite band on the rear view mirror. Undoubtedly this will reflect back into the eyes of anyone following them. A good way to cause road rage, but possibly also a good way to deter tailgating.

Makeshift snow-scraper
Caught in an unexpected snow storm? Take an old CD out of the glove box and use it to scrape now and ice off the windshield. If there's a lot of ice, heat the CD a bit for extra scraping power.

Modern art
If you have enough CDs you can make a work of art. George Radebaugh is an artist who makes sculptures out of old CDs and found items. Ranging from palm trees and flamingos to guitars and a large fish, Radebaugh turns old CDs into unique pieces of art.

Make curtains or blinds
If your budget for window coverings is next to nothing, you can string together old CDs for a set of blinds that are cool looking and affordable. All you need is a lot of zip ties and a lot of time!

Use as sunlight reflectors for plants
If part of your garden is in the shade too much, tack up some old CDs to a nearby fence at an angle that reflects the sun onto the shady plants.

Make a disco ball
Cut up a bunch of old CDs into small 1-inch to 1/2-inch squares and glue them to a spherical object like a toy ball or a piece of Styrofoam and hang from the ceiling. Light it up with whatever you have handy. Enjoy your CD disco ball!

Make a lamp
With a small base, a cheap cold cathode lamp and a stack of old CDs you can create an incredible looking lamp that looks like it was dropped off from the set of Star Wars.

Keep animals at bay
Make use of the shiny surface by attaching some CDs to a fencepost to keep deer out of your garden. You can also hang them in fruit trees or in a picnic area to keep birds at bay.

Make guitar picks
Trace a guitar pick on an old CD, heat the disc up a little with a hair dryer and then cut it out with a pair of sturdy scissors.

Make mobiles
Grab a coat hanger, some string and your Old CDs to create a mobile in a few minutes that will keep kids and cats enthralled for hours.

Make a light switch cover
Take your favorite band's CD, trace your light switch plate onto it, cut it out and drill the appropriate holes and you have an artistic and cool light switch cover for your kids' rooms.

Use as a candle holder
In addition to making a great coaster for drinks, you can set a candle on an old CD and burn it without worrying about wax all over your entertainment stand. If you want to make sure no wax leaks, you can create a bowl shape by melting a CD in the oven to form a CD bowl, and then setting your candle in it.

Make into a bowl
Find a metal bowl and heat up your oven. Set the CD in the bowl and let it melt enough to take on the bowl shape. When it has melted enough, carefully remove and let cool. Don't use this for food!

Use as a knife
If you sharpen the outer edge of a CD you can use it in place of scissors or a razor blade to precisely cut out items from magazines or newspapers as well as working on arts and crafts.

See also:
Alternative uses for dryer sheets, plastic bags, dental floss, nail polish and Coca-Cola.
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