Introduction: CD Art

Picture of CD Art

I had a stack of old CDs lying around. For a long time I was planning to reuse them for a different purpose but I had no clue. Then one day while I was surfing on the internet I found an interesting idea to convert these in to great art work that can be put up on the walls. I liked this idea because I thought it was very easy to do, just few simple steps. The final product turns out to be pretty good.

Step 1: Things Needed

Picture of Things Needed

1. Any old CD
2. Acrylic color (preferably dark color)
3. Paint brush
4. Pencil
5. Anything with sharp point to scratch the color (I used the arm of the screwdriver)

Step 2: Apply Paint

Picture of Apply Paint

• Shiny side of the CD shows rainbow colors when light falls on it. We r going to use this side

• Apply the acrylic color on shiny side. Here I have used black color. Make sure you have a thick layer of this color so that it becomes easy to scratch the color later

• Leave it to dry

Step 3: Draw a Design

Picture of Draw a Design

Draw your favorite design on the colored side

Step 4: Scratch the Design

Picture of Scratch the Design

• With the help of screwdriver arm scratch the color along the outline of the design Try not to scratch very hard otherwise you’ll damage the shiny coating

• You may also want to scratch the inside of the design to make it more interesting

Step 5: Stick It on the Wall

Picture of Stick It on the Wall

Put the finished CD art on the wall using blue tac


pelleray (author)2017-01-12

très bonne idée,la peinture en séchant se décolle,je l'aie fait avec de la peinture acrylique.! faut'il netoyer les cd avant?

EulogyMemes (author)2016-10-31

This is really pretty. I just re-did my room so I needed new wall decor and this was perfect. Thanks! :)

CodyM50 made it! (author)2016-05-28

I remember seeing something similar to this forever ago, so when I found a stack of old CDs a week ago I decided to try it!

andrew.mackintosh.12 (author)2016-04-10

I've chucked all my old CDs out so I can't do this! :(

HeatherW74 made it! (author)2016-03-07

Here's my 1st attempt with this. They're not finished, but in time.. I used stencils on these ones but plan to free hand the next ones. Definitely helping me to pass time when my babies nap :D

RitaM40 (author)2016-03-02

Where do you get patterns?

long_pencil made it! (author)2015-10-01

I had an idea of making peacock on cd to use the shiny thing for the feathers :

Desadora made it! (author)2015-08-18

I did the fiery sunburst thingy, and my daughter did the flower/landscape :) Very fun and therapeutic...

JohnRG (author)2015-04-12

I did this project years ago; your posting inspired me to give it another go. Thanks!

Here's the results:

sarahana (author)2015-03-20


i'll try this out for sure

kay.easterday (author)2015-02-25

I think a dremal tool would really be ea to use with a flex shaft. just use a slow speed and don't push hard. Many sizes to choose from.

kay.easterday (author)2015-02-25

I think a Dremal tool with the flex shaft would really be easy to use. Just like a pencil. Many different size points and more more control. Just go with a slow speed and don't push hard.

nicsnana (author)2015-02-25

Thanks for the ideas.

tyedyinmomma (author)2015-02-25

These look really easy and fun to make

glauciapersederosa (author)2015-02-24

cool!! thank you

Kathmandu365 (author)2015-01-27

L>O>V>E this idea!

CCC000CCC (author)2015-01-19

I love this project. I can't wait to share it on my blog!

MarianaA2 (author)2014-10-24

What about tempera pain, is it supposed to work? That's what I had here at home, so used it, but it's washable, so it's not sticking to the CDs too well... I'll see if it will after a couple of coats.

Pink&BlueDesigns (author)2014-09-18

this looks like a great project for my students to try.

the crafting guy (author)2014-01-27

great idea defiantly must try

berleymc (author)2013-12-26

This will be happening at my house! Love this idea.

Pearlin84 (author)2013-05-03

fantastic idea I m going to try one

tektoms (author)2012-12-16

Well... Ignore my moment of panic earlier. It appears that I was a little haste in saying I'd spent a day waiting.. As it turns out, a few hours later (so around 18hrs after applying acrylic) it was hard as solid and thus easy to carve.

So yeah.. to avoid peeling off a thick layer of acrylic when carving, does mean leaving it dry for a long time (or at least my batch certainly did!!)

tektoms (author)2012-12-16

Loving your stuff. Decided to try it out yesterday with partner, and to our surprise, it's NOT WORKING as we thought it would.....
When we're scratching out the acrylic, it seems to PEEL off, thus not leaving the accurate cuts we want it to.
We thought "leave it a day to dry properly" but one day later, it's still not really working.

Any suggestions? We applied two thin coats of acrylic paint...
We were really hoping to make stuff for family christmas gifts...

Any help welcome!!!!!!

arounds (author)2012-12-06

This is so FUN!!! What a creative project with so many possibilities - Thanks!

crazybot_99 (author)2012-04-08

Awesome! My sister's birthday is on March 27... and i was breaking my head on what to buy for her... this is it! I made one for my friend too.... she loved it! Thank you so much!

P.S. I used different dark colors on the CD. It came out pretty well! Try it!

sokamiwohali (author)2011-11-26

This is a great idea for Lightscribe Disks...just make the design on an old disk, than take a picture of it, upload it to your computer, and then run the Lightscribe tamplate maker and use the blank template. then all you do is size the picture right and print the label!! i will make one and then post it on here.

sourabh882008 (author)2011-07-17

really loved your idea, but i am wondering if i can find some other method with which i can replace the drawing and scratching part. cuz im not so good at drawing (eventually scratching would be tougher).
but anyways i am really impressed with the use of useless CDs and it is really beautiful :)

jlk1 (author)2011-04-28

i was wondering if you have to use acrylic paint can you use oil paint ?

midorimentality (author)jlk12011-07-07

I think it has to be acrylic paint because acrylic on plastic is easily scratched off (and it dries faster) I don't think oils work the same way (and can take up to 3 days to dry). plus acrylic paints are cheaper, since you can pick the up at a dollar store.

Izelver (author)2010-11-21

I love your idea! It looks great and it's easy to make. I wish I had thought up something that clever! lol

Here's a little twist for the project: I added a dollar store clock mechanism to the cd, bringing it through the hole in the middle, and then stuck the mechanism of the clock to the back of the cd using hot glue.

Sorry for the awful quality of the picture.

jayeshshinai (author)Izelver2011-06-05

i like d hands of d clock..

billhorvath (author)Izelver2010-12-09

Brilliant! I love it -- Nice work!

tcup (author)Izelver2010-12-09

That is absolutely gorgeous!

cjmills (author)Izelver2010-12-09

Thank is Awesome! I love it!

marah jaber (author)2011-05-24

loved your idea :)

electrichaos (author)2010-12-09

My wife makes cards like this but she just draws on the cds. These would make awesome cards:
Cut a small circle of thick card (just thicker than the cd but small enough so that it can pass through the hole in the cd) stick it to the greeting card, place the cd over the small circle. then glue a slightly larger piece of card over the first so the cd can spin freely.

craftyv (author)electrichaos2011-05-11

I love this art work. I didn't quite get how it becomes a card but I'm going to give it a go. Thanks.

your wife is awesome

craftyv (author)2011-05-11

These are excellent and have really got my creative juices flowing again. I especially like the slight irredesence that shines through. A small spotlight would really light that effect very well.

I draw freehand myself, so these would be great for me. See [craftv] I have four Instructables three of which would be great for this . Love it.

jlk1 (author)2011-04-28

hey i was wondering if oil paint works well cuz i don't have any acrylic

rnjenny (author)2010-11-07

Very cool idea. I wonder what alcohol inks would look like under the acrylic paint? Might be cool.

BunnyFromMars (author)rnjenny2011-01-27

That is a cool Idea! I should try it, maybe blend it around with some acetone :)

Neon Panda (author)2010-12-05

Hi- Ive just finished doing this for my mum as a christmas present- Love it! But should i but some sort of glaze or seal on? The bits that i have etched around seem to be a bit thin / delicate and i dont want them to slide of or somthing. lol. i sound like an idoit. :P x
Please reply. x

BunnyFromMars (author)Neon Panda2011-01-27

Yeah, after acrylic dries it forms a type of plastic (acrylic itself IS plastic =.=) So unless you're not going to touch it evereverever again, you can use varnish. A bottle of spray-on varnish costs about $6 from walmart, and it lasts FOREVER (I'm still using the one I bought 2 years ago, and i spray a lot of drawings).

I don't know how it's going to affect the reflective surface of the CD, but probably will make it slightly duller. Though a layer of varnish is usually hardly visible. Warning: cover nose and mouth and spray it outside.

Mattrox (author)2011-01-14

Wow those are so cool!

Suzanne in Orting (author)2011-01-06

I KNEW I was saving those old cds for something! This is great!

Suzanne in Orting, WA

savy_softball (author)2010-12-22

this is really neat. i made one and it looks really cool. thanks for all the ideas.

bryandhispup (author)2010-11-09

pop that cd in the microwave for about 1-2 seconds before the acrylic paint goes on and you get a cool lightning bolt design on the surface of the cd to start with... PS let it cool for a few seconds too the electrical reaction can heat up the plastic fairly quickly...

fred_dot_u (author)bryandhispup2010-12-12

A good idea when using a CD in a microwave oven is to also place a cup of water to help absorb the energy. The CD will not "use" any of the energy that the microwave oven transmits and it's not a good idea to run a microwave oven without a load, or in ordinary terms, something to be heated. The cup of water provides that load, protecting the oven.

This is also a good way to destroy data without smashing the disk.

Of course, nothing can be done to eliminate the smell of toasted plastic from the CD.

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