Introduction: Holographic Gemstones From CDs

About: Hi! I'm an Austrian small Youtuber living in the UK. I love upcycling trash into treasures, especially creating small things like jewelry and gems. Fandom related crafts are a lot of fun for me as well.

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!


  • 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:

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:

Hope you have a creative day!

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