Step 1: Recording
The first step is to find some recording software. There are many many good audio recording programs on the market, some free, some paid. If you are using a Mac (like all good artists) I would suggest Garage Band or Logic. If you are a beginner at recording I would stick with Garage Band Because it is very simple and user friendly with all the features that you need to record your own songs and is already installed on most Macs. If you have prior experience with recording and have some money to spend I would use Logic, It is the top of the line recording software that the pros use. It is a lot more complicated but with it you have more editing and recording power. If you are a windows user there are countless programs at you'r dispense. If you are looking for free software I would suggest Audacity, which is a free open source basic audio recording program. If you are looking to spend some money I would go with Pro Tools, which is a high end audio recording and editing program.
If you want good quality music you need a good quality mic. you can always use you'r computer's built in mic if it has one but that will drop your sound quality right away. I would suggest picking up a Blue snowball or Yeti microphone.
This will take the most amount of time in the whole process. You want to get all the different audio tracks in your song trimmed and sounding just how you want them to. It will take quite a bit of time, any wheres from a couple hours to days. With each program it is going to be a little bit different on how you edit the song but they all work in a similar manner. Once you have all the tracks lined up its time to master the audio. Mastering the audio changes the song from a flat recording to a dynamic master piece. Again a whole Instructable can be made on mastering a song. Basically you want the tracks EQ to be perfect, getting the treble mids and bass of the song in the right levels, I find the easiest way is to just mess around changing it only little bits at a time and listening to it until you are happy with the way it sounds.The next step is to split up the tracks on left and right side, This is called panning and it help the song to sound less flat.
Once you are happy with your recording its time to export it. When doing so you want to export it at its highest quality because you don't want to waste any of your hard work. mp3 is the most popular format but AAC is a higher quality format so you have the option I would go with that one.
If you have gotten this far it is finally time to make you'r CD!
Step 2: Burning
Step 3: Artwork
Step 4: Parts of the Case
Step 5: CD Label
Pick up some stick on CD labels at your local craft or office supplies store out them in your printer and print away. this is the easiest way of making labels because you just need any old printer and the labels.
These CDs often cost a little bit more but not a whole lot and you do get a more professional look in the end result. This method will only work with printers that have a tray for CDs, Epson and Canon both make this kind of printer. If your printer has this capability it will also come with the correct software to print the labels on the CDs.
Lightscribe CDs are made by Memorex and you need to have a Lightscribe enabled CD/DVD drive. The CDs have a film on the top that gets etched away creating your label. The same laser that puts data on the disk also engraves whatever images you want onto the disk. I think this is the coolest unfortunately I do no have a Lightscribe drive.
Whatever method you choose will work, some just give better quality results. If you have gotten this far, Congratulations you just made your own CD!