Holographic Gemstones From CDs

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Introduction: Holographic Gemstones From CDs

About: I love upcycling trash into treasures, especially creating small things like jewelry and gems.

Hey guys!

I've made different kinds of plastic bottle gemstones by now, but these are my new favorites :)

We're using CDs to make them holographic and opal-like.

You can use them for costumes, jewelry, decoration and more. So let's begin!

Supplies

  • CD or DVD
  • plastic bottle
  • strong scissors
  • tape
  • paper towel
  • glue
  • yarn
  • (acrylic) paint
  • paint brush
  • clear nail polish (optional)

Step 1: DVDs

Did you know that it makes a difference whether you use DVDs or CDs for crafting? Basically, a DVD has two layers and a CD only has one.

I prefer DVDs, because when you split them they're easier to cut than CDs.

My DVD came apart really easily, but you can make a cut first if yours is harder to split.

Once split, the DVD should be easy to cut with decent scissors, but if the DVD breaks while cutting, use the tip in the next step!

Step 2: CDs

CDs have just one thick layer, so they are harder to cut and are more likely to break in the process. It gets easier if you heat them up, so I'm using a hair dryer to do that. That should help, but you still need to use strong scissors.

If you don't have a hair dryer:

  • You can heat the CD up using a candle - just be careful not to burn yourself - or the CD.
  • You can use hot water as well, but when I tried it, it didn't keep the CD hot for long.

Another difference is that the foil of CDs can sometimes peel off, which is another reason why I prefer DVDs.

Step 3: Plastic Dome

Next, you will need to look out for a plastic bottle with a nice flower shaped bottom. Yes, you will look a little crazy looking at bottle bottoms in the supermarket - but it's worth it! :D

Cut off a foot from your bottle and shape it into a fairly symmetrical dome for our gemstone.

You can also use other parts of a bottle for bigger and flatter gemstones.

Step 4: Optional: Creating Texture

Next, cut your DVD or CD so it fits under the plastic dome.

You can leave the CD part smooth, or give it some texture for more rainbowy-ness (yes that's totally a word).

Either use clear nail polish and dab it on - or use school glue instead (clear or white). In that case use a paintbrush to dab it on. School glue needs longer to dry, might need two coats and can have a few bubbles - but it has a similar result.

Step 5: Connecting

To connect the CD and the dome, cut some tape into thin strips and tape them together.

Step 6: Paper Towel

To create the setting for our gemstone, I'm first covering the sides with a paper towel. Maybe this step can be skipped, but I believe it makes the next step easier.

Cut a hole that's smaller than the gem and attach it with glue. Cut slits on the sides to glue the excess paper towel to the back.

In this Instructable you can see what the gems could look like with the paper towel and paint only:

https://www.instructables.com/Plastic-Bottle-Soda-...

But in the next step I'll show you another technique to create an easy setting.

Step 7: Creating the "Setting"

The hardest part about this gemstone is to cover up the taped sides. I tried using clay, but it proved to be much harder than I thought.

Then I found out that yarn works really well. The easiest method is to apply some glue to the gem, take some yarn and wind it around in a circle. Cut off the excess and done!

You can try glueing on the yarn in different ways if you're feeling experimental :)

Step 8: Paint

With acrylic paint I gave the yarn some color and I scratched off the dried paint that got onto the plastic. For a blue tint I used a marker and wiped off the excess ink.

And that's how you make CD gemstones! Now you can admire them in different angles and light settings. From some angles you will only see one solid color, and from other angles you will see all colors of the rainbow.

Especially when taking pictures, I noticed that some gemstones looked best in daylight, and some in artificial light. Very mysterious ;)

Step 9: Bonus: Droggo the Space Dragon Egg

To show what the gemstones look like in use, I created a dragon egg that turned out looking like it comes from space. I call him Droggo! I wonder what he will look like when he hatches? ;)

In case you want to make dragon eggs yourself, I used this technique:
https://www.instructables.com/Dragon-Egg-Christmas...

Hope you have a creative day!

Colors of the Rainbow Contest

Judges Prize in the
Colors of the Rainbow Contest

2 People Made This Project!

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33 Comments

0
jaxboy
jaxboy

6 months ago

I must be missing something, because I don't see how you are splitting the cd/dvd. I've tried a heat gun on both sides, on both a cd and a dvd, and the outer layer refuses to come off. What am I missing here? I've heated them to the point that they warp, and nothing happens. I can scrape the silvered side off, but it's also very easy to scrape the rainbow film off at the same time. Are you trying to capture the rainbow film? What exactly are you extracting from the cd/dvd?

0
Randomona
Randomona

Reply 6 months ago

Hopefully this helps: If you're working with a CD, you don't need to split anything off, you can just heat it up enough to be able to cut through it neatly with scissors.
If it's a DVD, it should split apart without any heat. Sometimes it helps to make a cut in the DVD and to bend it to make it split. Then you have a thinner layer to cut through with scissors.
Good luck!

0
jaxboy
jaxboy

Reply 6 months ago

Your answer went to my spam bucket, which is why this reply is so late. Okay. I had tried heat, with no luck. However, when I flexed the DVD back and forth, I heard a little pop. Flexing it even more, it broke across from center to edge, and the clear disc began splitting off the coated one. Thanks for the advice!

0
Randomona
Randomona

Reply 6 months ago

I'm glad it worked! Must have been a tough DVD :)

0
Vapowrite
Vapowrite

11 months ago

♥️♥️♥️♥️

0
Randomona
Randomona

Reply 11 months ago

❤️❤️❤️❤️

0
Randomona
Randomona

11 months ago

Thanks guys for your support and to everyone who voted for me! Totally didn't expect to win anything :)

0
anjoschu
anjoschu

12 months ago

This instructable blew my mind. When I saw the original pictures, I assumed that, apart from the CDs it was using specific craft materials, but every single material proved my assumptions wrong: No holographic-effect film, but CDs, no glass half-beads but plastic bottles, no glitter and epoxy but clear nail polish, no sugru/modeling clay, but glue and yarn (!). It takes a very creative mind to take these accessible, cheap materials and create something totally unexpected. We'll definitely try to recreate this! Thank you!

0
Randomona
Randomona

Reply 12 months ago

Thanks a lot! It's nice to hear that the materials surprised you :)

0
ILiveInAzkaban
ILiveInAzkaban

1 year ago

Most of the materials you used really surprised me. It really looks amazing, and when I saw tape, bottles, dvd, yarn, and paint, I was mindblown :D

0
Randomona
Randomona

Reply 1 year ago

Oh thank you, that's nice to hear! :D

0
Sewphia_Makes
Sewphia_Makes

Tip 1 year ago

This also works with those cheap craft gems with the flat back. You can sand/scratch off the silvery stuff and it gives a similar effect to the plastic shell.

0
Randomona
Randomona

Reply 1 year ago

Good idea!

0
yham29
yham29

1 year ago on Step 9

Wow thats soooo cool

0
Randomona
Randomona

Reply 1 year ago

Thank you! :D

0
Randomona
Randomona

Reply 1 year ago

Thank you! :)

0
JohnC430
JohnC430

1 year ago

COOL!!!!!!!!! Clever idea!

0
Randomona
Randomona

Reply 1 year ago

Thank you! :D

0
duncanis
duncanis

1 year ago on Step 9

Awesome!! I love that you clearly tried both DVDs and CDs. Ironically, it's much harder to find CDs these days. :-)

Thanks for sharing this project... the kids are excited to try it.