Compact discs, or CDs, first hit the consumer markets in the early 1980s. They were a far superior digital type of media that would eventually eclipse analog options like cassette tapes and vinyl records. CDs are inexpensive to manufacture, easy to store and very durable. The technology is not as vulnerable to dust and dirt allowing for excellent playback even after being slightly damaged. An added bonus is that a CD can hold any type of digital data. This allowed them to replace old floppy discs and other impractical computer storage options. They are used today in varying forms for everything from music and video to games and archival storage.
The reality is that CDs of all types do sometimes develop problems over the years. Too many scratches or other types of damage can make it impossible to use the CD effectively. You might experience skipping, data loss or a disc that simply will no longer register in a media player. Some CDs also just get outdated. You might not want to watch a movie or listen to an album anymore. This is why so many people today have large piles of CDs with no real use around the home. One inventive person found a way to transform your unwanted or damaged CDs into something unique and attractive.
This project requires just a few supplies that you can get from any craft store. The first item you will need is a container or tube of black acrylic paint. Try to get one that is artist quality and not something designed for children. You want to use acrylic paint only. The project will not work as well if you try to use enamel or latex paints. You are going to need a basic paintbrush to apply the acrylic. Choose one with a broad and flat head to make applying the paint simpler. You are going to need a screwdriver with a pointed tip. You could also use a craft knife or a sculpting awl. The final item is just a standard pencil that has been sharpened.
The first step is to take your old CD and paint it black. You want to paint the bottom side of the CD where there is not any printing. Get a good and even coat of acrylic paint on the CD. Allow it to dry completely. This can take around an hour or two depending on the temperature and humidity. You might need to apply a second coat of paint if you did not get a solid, matte finish on the CD.
Take your pencil and start drawing out a design on the paint. You will be able to see the pencil lines faintly or in raking light. You could choose to do an abstract pattern, floral designs or even words in a flowing font. Try to play with the shape and space inside of the CD for the best results. If you are doing multiple CDs at once, then plot out all your pencil lines at the same time to make things easier.
You now need to use the screwdriver, craft knife or awl. Start scraping through the black acrylic paint along your pencil lines. This is going to reveal the reflective surface of the CD underneath. It will contrast starkly with the matte black finish. Try to make the areas you carve out very clean and smooth. You now have a small work of art that can be hung on a wall using a little tape or stick tack. Alternately, you could paint both sides of the CD and hang a few together on strings to make a mobile. This is a fun way to recycle your old CDs.