Introduction: Upcycle Your Old CD Covers

About: Make all the things.

Upcycling is an upgrade for recycling. Every time you upcycle something, you're saving it from the landfill and/or from recycling. Recycling is great! But but can still take a toll on the environment as well as use a lot of energy. This upcycling project uses only your bio-energy and keeps you from having to recycle!

This instructable is for turning an old CD cover into a journal. This project is just one of many upcycling ideas for those old CD covers you have just laying around and once you get the hang of the process, you may even be able to turn this upcycling project into a profit!

Step 1: Materials.

You need:

-CD Cover
-Recycled Paper
-Mod Podge or Glue
-Paper Cutter or Scissors or Exacto-knife
-Needle and Thread

Step 2: Take the CD Cover Apart.

This CD cover is one that bi-folds out from the center and the CDs are held on the two inside covers. Luckily, the two parts that hold the CDs are paper so they were easy to remove. But with any older CD cover the glue can be stiff and unforgiving.

Use your fingernails to gently remove the glue. To save time, a straight-razor can be used to separate the glue from the paper.

Once the insides are out, cut off the remaining pieces so that the CD cover folds closed like a book.

Keep the leftover pieces because you may be able to use them later on or for another project. As for this project, they will be used to make the covers stronger and to cover the marks left from removing the glue.

Step 3: Measure, Cut, and Fold.

Measure a sheet of the recycled paper to fit the CD cover.

I find the best way to do this is to set the paper directly onto the front cover of the CD cover. This is because the covers are not always an exact measure so you might spend a good amount of time measuring for nothing.

Make sure to measure the entire length of the cover. Here is a pic of just the front cover being measured but its better to measure the entire length. Excess paper to trim is better than not enough paper-length.

Once you've got a few sheets cut, begin folding them in half. Then fold 3 or 4 of the sheets over one another so that you create a "paper book". This is called a signature. You want to create as your CD cover's binding is wide. This will help your binding keep its shape once you start using your new journal.

Step 4: Cover Glue Marks.

This is where your extra parts come in handy.

Take your Mod Podge or glue and spread it evenly over the inside of the front cover. Don't overdo it as it will take much longer to dry and may make the paper/cardboard soggy. Once you've covered the entire area, place the leftover piece ontop and press down with your palms.

Set the CD cover to the side to dry.

Step 5: Sew the Signatures to the Binding.

Choose a thread that complements your CD cover. And use a needle that is of medium size so it doesn't create large holes in the binding.

Gather your signatures and use your stylus or exacto-knife to "drill" holes in the centerfold. Do all 3 sheets at once so the holes are aligned. This will keep your pages as straight as possible.

Then use the exacto-knife to "drill" holes in the binding part of the CD cover, one row of holes for every signature.

Use your needle and thread to sew the signatures, individually, to the binding. I have 3 holed signatures so the pattern I followed was to sew 1 to 2 from the outside in, then 2 to 3 from the inside out, then 3 to 2 from the outside in. You may have to overlap threading, which is fine and will help keep the binding sturdy.

Step 6: Trim.

You're signatures were probably not all one length, which is fine. I find uneven pages can give the journal more of an authentic look. But if they are sticking pretty far out from behind your covers, trim them down with an exacto-knife or scissors.

Viola! You have upcycled an item that won't have to go thru the recycling process (which is not always as green as we'd like it to be) but won't have to be, as well as created yourself a new journal or lyrics notebook practically for free!

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