Old CDs

Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)November 10, 2003

How durable to weather are the old CDs?

I have this idea in my head, and I've saved a big stack of CDs to use with it.

I saw old 78 records glued to a wall as if they were fish scales. They were of course BLACK and didn't have the fascinating colors of the used CDs we get in the mail or from our failures with recording on our computers. You can only use so many coasters!!!

These would overlap nicely and look similar to the Painted Lady Victorian homes of San Francisco's Telegraph Hill. How neat if they could survive for a couple of years all nice and shiny, then take on new life with a paint job!!!

I also thought about hanging them in an outdoor tree for Christmas ornaments, a small hole drilled in the edge to put an ornament hanger through, or to put on a bare limb using the large center hole.

Architecturally speaking, I'd like to see them used on a wall of an outdoor shower like fish scale shingles. Or on a doghouse to make it tres chic. LOL

Any one else have any ideas, or done any research on durability of these things? They are definitely here to stay!!

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I have no idea where I saw it, but I saw a pic on the internet once of a house that had CDs glued all over it instead of siding. It was weird! I bet it was blinding when the sun hit it just right too!


    Bookmark   November 10, 2003 at 10:21PM
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copperfish(Zone 9, Texas)

I tried cutting one of mine to see how manageable it would be. Each piece cracked and crackled and didn't look so hot. I did try placing one in the bottom of a bowl mold and applied hypertufa around it and up the sides. I don't know if I like it very much .. I think I'll try the fish scales approach with whole ones inside a tufa mold and see what happens. The silver and gold ones seem too pretty to toss.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2003 at 11:33AM
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Thanks for the input. Be sure to let me hear how your project turns out. I rather like the green and blue ones too. They would work with the gold and silvers to add a real almost iridescent dolphin fish look to a fish scale application.

What did you use to cut them? Perhaps a high speed Dremel sharp cutting wheel would give a clean cut without breaking or shattering.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2003 at 11:43AM
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mary_d_ia(z4/5 IA)

Wow! Reading lizardsally's post gave me the idea to maybe use them on the north wall of our leanto greenhouse to help reflect the light. Thanx :)

    Bookmark   November 11, 2003 at 2:10PM
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I think I read somewhere on this forum that they were fairly easy to cut if you warmed the by dipping in hot water for a few minutes. Jo

    Bookmark   November 11, 2003 at 11:35PM
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wannadanc(z8 WA)

I wish I could do more than just show this photo - but it was something I "viewed" through a fence and in a yard that didn't invite visitors ....... so here is what it is .....about 4 ft high .........looks like a palm tree made of CDs ......... saw it it Port Townsend, WA - maritime, zone 8.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2003 at 10:04AM
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Sport5NE(z4 NE)

I made a mobile out of CD's years ago. After about the 3rd year, the iridescence was gone.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2003 at 10:51PM
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lizzylu(z10 N. CA coast)

I think the CD fish was made using the colored advertising side of the cd's. Then they hung the last one on a nail(?). Since it was 3-D I wonder what material was used. If this were outside the cd's would move with the wind and have a little sparkle. I want one.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2003 at 4:20PM
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CD's are made from molded Poly Carbonate with Aluminum fused onto them to make them reflective, it is a very thin coat of aluminum, and sometimes you can actually see thru them if you hold them up to a light source, you can see the printing on the other side. I am not sure about cutting them in half with, say, scissors, but I am sure careful sawing with a hack saw would work. Heating the CD may soften it some, but I think you may need more than hot water, not sure, as I never really tried it, but I do know where I work that we have "left over" Polycarbonate that just gets OOZED out and we use them for ashtrays in the smoking areas, and they hold up quite well.

Any way, moral of the story...CD's are ALOT stronger than you might think, have fun and play with them, but be careful, because they can shatter and are sharp also.


    Bookmark   January 1, 2004 at 3:44PM
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LindaQB(z6 Kansas)

On Carol Duvalls show they used CD's for projects and they cut them with scissors after heating them with either a heat gun or hair drier. Maybe able to pull up the HGTV site and find directions on cutting the CD's there

    Bookmark   February 22, 2004 at 10:46PM
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I had my son save his old cd's for me last fall. I papier mached over them to create perfectly round "clock faces", stamped numbers on the dial, added hands, distressed and aged them, and used them for invitations to our New Year's party. They were a big hit.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2004 at 12:44AM
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laa_laa(Sunset /8 or 9)

I hung some old CDs on a string at the bottom of my wind-chimes. I was hoping they would catch wind and make the chimes give off more music.They had a secondary effect. When they catch the sun in the afternoon, they send these flashing light reflections all over the yard and the cats have a great time trying to catch them. I'm hoping I can shine the reflections on to the almond trees this summer and just possibly confuse the squirrels.Lina

    Bookmark   February 26, 2004 at 1:29AM
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gardenlady58102(z3 ND)

As to the cutting of cd's, the directions I have say to use an exacto knife and score several times on each side and then use pliers to grab and break at that point..i will try to find the site that had neat stars made from them. They were then hung up in trees, etc. for a little sparkle :-)


    Bookmark   February 26, 2004 at 2:06PM
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randomnia(17 SanFrancisc)

this is pretty interesting:

    Bookmark   February 29, 2004 at 11:07AM
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fabridam(Z5 NY)

I used a scroll saw with a cutting blade that had the most teeth per inch I could find to cut pieces out of CDs. Then I glued them to a piece of plywood to make a picture of R2D2. It's kept indoors,of course, the sun's UV rays are death to CD plastic.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2004 at 9:54AM
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orata(Bay Area, CA)

There's a gorgeous art car in my area that's completely covered in CD's so it looks like a fish.

Here's a link to the site about the car... maybe you can email those people for more information about how to use your CDs for outside projects!

Here is a link that might be useful: Devolution Car

    Bookmark   March 8, 2004 at 4:20PM
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I,m saving them for shingles on a bird house also I made one with all the plastic credit cards you get in the mail makes a pretty roof rick coons

    Bookmark   March 8, 2004 at 7:02PM
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Crafty Gardener(ON 5b)

I've made windchimes from old cds and keys ... they lasted really well in the garden. I also made some danglers with them ... using copper wire and marbles.

Here is a link that might be useful: windchimes from old cds

    Bookmark   March 8, 2004 at 7:04PM
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I'm planning on using a bunch of old cd's in the garden this year to (hopefully) scare off birds. I'm just trying to figure out how I want to hang them up.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2004 at 10:25PM
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I cut my CD "collection" into mosaic size pieces to do a garden gazing ball. Using a bowling ball as the base. I cut them up with...garden pruners. Honest. It worked great. I had a bit of the cracking of them til I got the hang of it.
I have a pair of hand held pruners I use just for CD cutting. You can view my pic of the CD bowling ball by following the link below. Click on GARDEN ART. It's on the second page. Should be a hit come spring in the garden. I don't know yet how it will hold up. I just cut the CD's cold.

Here is a link that might be useful: garden art

    Bookmark   March 16, 2004 at 11:42PM
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Radd-cool bb. Were you able to prevent the grout from dulling the cd's? If so, could you share?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2004 at 10:14AM
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ginamarina(z4/5 WI)

I made a mobile for my baby niece a couple years ago. It shone in fascinating prisms as the air flowed through the room. My sister hung it above her bed :)

I'm sure I could've been more creative, but I was in a hurry. I just drilled small holes in them, used fish line, and put plastic beads on the line.

I can't wait to try the bowling ball thing, I've got a stack of cds here just waiting for a project. =) I was gonna just hang them around the garden to try to keep the critters out. Now I've got my eye on a gazing ball. Do you just buy the pedestal from Hobby Lobby or someplace?

Here is a link that might be useful: My CD Mobile

    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 11:37AM
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Joeray(Z9 LA)

Patti, I tried hanging the old CD's in my garden to scare the birds and varmits away. I work well for a while but the sun and weather wears the aluminum coating off in a couple of months and then you just have a clear plastic disk.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 10:34PM
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laa_laa(Sunset /8 or 9)

How did the old CDs work as a 'bird scarer'? I was using mine to scare away the squirrels.
It didn't faze them; but then we discovered that my son's cat absolutely hates them (squirrels) and will chase them up to the tree top if they dare to stay.
She is really ferocious and they have been rather scarce this summer.
Of course, they got all of the almonds from our 2 trees first!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2004 at 3:53AM
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butterbeanbaby(z5 MO)

I seem to remember reading something about nuking CDs in the microwave to bring out the colors, but I'll be darned if I can remember where I read it. Anyone else hear of this? It changed the color and softened them for cutting.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2004 at 9:42AM
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If you drill a hole in the cd air and or water will get to the aluminum coating and oxidize to a non reflective frosty look. A light coating of glue or clear fingernail polish can seal a small opening.

Have to be very carefl cutting them or the foil will rip off. On some cd's the foil isnt fused to the plastic except around the perimeter.

A good sun catcher can be made by tying a string through the hole and around the cd. Give yourself 3 or 4 inches of slack then tie on another cd. Keep on going to make as long a string as you like. Put a weight on the end of the cd chain and hang it from a high limb where the morning and afternoon sun can hit it. Pretty interesting light show.

Cats and dogs are often freaked by the display, but birds just kept right on like nothing was new.

If you would like a little neater chain, use silicon glue to put the cds together with a 10 of 15 pound test clear fishing line running through the middle. Just looks like cds hanging magically in the air. Real flashy.

Hanging the things way up in a tree. Bow and arrow beats rock on a string.

Have fun!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2004 at 5:17PM
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I glue the advertising sides together with silicone and then drill a hole to attach a fishing swivel (after the glue dries). Drill holes in the top and bottom if you want to hang them from each other. I hang multiples from beaded string in my trees and around my gardens.

This year they kept the squirrels from eating my crocuses, but did nothing to keep the rabbits away. They did keep the gold finches from eating my iris bulbs, so I'm very happy.

I've had them outside since early March and they are still shiney and lovely. I'll leave one string out as a test during the winter . . .

    Bookmark   September 6, 2004 at 9:42PM
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I read where you put them in a microwave for 5seconds no more it will give a light show in your microwave but they ay it won't harm it then put cds in oven for a few minutes and hold with a potholder to cut they say they cut very easy that way and they made some drop dead beautiful jewlery.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2004 at 8:06AM
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i use my old cds at xmas.i sit candles on them at the dinner table.everyone said their pretty.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 7:23PM
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Lillie1441(b3 TX)

DON'T NUKE THEM!!! I tried it and the silver cracked and it smelled awful!!!
I glue two together with E6000 glue,spreading the glue uniformly all over the CD so water won't get in between.Then I drill small holes in the top with a dremmel,and from 1-5 holes in the bottom edge.I string beads on 7 strand jewelry wire through the holes and put beads and crystals on the wire.(make a loop in the top wire for hanging).You can also use fishing line or beading cord if you don't have the crimp beads and other jewelry making stuff on hand.These are very pretty hanging in windows or outside in trees or under porches and decks.I have several in cordinated colors hanging across the top of my dining room window instead of a valance.They are really pretty when the sun catches them and the room is filled with rainbows......Lillie

    Bookmark   November 1, 2005 at 5:03PM
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Lillie1441(b3 TX)

I forgot to mention that I glue the small round mirrors (The kind used for decorating T-shirts and such)or flat marbles in the center.Old earrings and broaches can also be used to cover the holes.........Lillie

    Bookmark   November 1, 2005 at 5:11PM
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fabridam(Z5 NY)

I found something that looks like a CD but is made of metal and lasts a very long time. If you look inside a broken computer hard drive, you will find one or more platters that are mirror-like on both sides. There's a URL below that has photos on how to take the drives apart amd make wind chimes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hard drives make great wind chimes!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 9:07AM
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