This instructable goes into detail about how we (my partner Renier and I) created a mosaic backsplash using CDs and the tips and tricks we learned along the way.
The backsplash is truly impressive. When light shines on it, it creates beautiful colorful light shows that change depending on where you are standing in relation to it. Its reflective qualities bring more light to the space, actually minimizing the need to use artificial light when working in the kitchen during the day. One of its most rewarding qualities however is that it was basically made from trash - CDs that no longer had any use. As you may see in Step #6 "Why use CDs - Environmental benefits," even some of the more "advanced" cities do not accept CDs for recycling. Do you have other ideas or tips & tricks for how to reuse CDs? Feel free to post them or any links in the comments.
It's hard to say how long a project like this would take. There were many times when Renier asked me "when do you think we'll finish this backsplash" and I'd say "today if we really want to." I think it totally depends of the determination of the persons working on it. We started this project while having a lot of other things going on, so it was something we continued bit by bit every day when we found some time. It took us about 2 months to finish, but it could have taken us just a fraction of that time if it were our primary focus.
The most important part when cutting the CDs is to be careful not to damage the holographic film which is the most fragile part and also the one that we want to preserve because the effect they give off is really the star of this show. Check out the next step to see what trick we came up with to give more strength to the film so that it doesn't chip away.
The first thing we tried was using scissors. Only one pair, apparently the toughest of all our scissors, cut well enough that we could stand to keep working with it and it didn't ruin the holographic film. Personally, the scissors were hurting my hands too much, so I had to leave that to Renier.. who was okay with them.
The second tool that came our way was a pair of gardening scissors. This one was less painful for me so I continued with that one while Renier still preferred the scissors.
One night a friend came over while we were working on our CD backsplash and happened to have Plastic cutting scissors with him..of all things!! We had no idea these existed and they were so small that we were a little skeptical before we tried it. They actually cut better than any other tool we tried, worked effortlessly and even cut curves!! They had a curved tip, but I understand these are available with a straight tip too.