About: A retired electronics engineer -motorola. delveing into new craft ideas and contest entries.

MAKE YOUR GARDEN OR BACK YARD INTO A LIVING RAINBOW.You can do it in 1 hour using low cost CD discs that cost less than 20 cents each.Enjoy light  shows day and night.For best reflective colors use low cost CD-R types of CDs  altho one can use any old CD lying around. You can get a lot of 50 for under $10.00  at  many commercial stores. This amount can supply you with at least 10 arrays.


Refer to the picture of materials.
CDs-- 6 per array
Glue- Goop [r]. or any glue that is quick drying.
String-can be Nylon cord  .I use 1.5mm stretch cord .for strength and ease of adhesion to glue.

Scissors -strong shears to cut plastic.
Heat source- floor space heater or any hair drier.


Cut  5 discs in half as shown in the pictures.
    If a disc cannot be cut at room temperature it may need some coaxing by warming it up a little.
We use our space heater. Balance a disc at end of scissors and hold it in front of the heater for 15 to 30 seconds.It is now warm to the touch and can be handled easily and scissors cut easily.Lay the 2 halves aside and continue  on the others. We used 5  discs but you can use as many as 10 on an array. We find 5 is  easy to handle.
Array assemble on a table-First cut about 3 feet of cord and lay it down and tape both ends on a table.
Slip a half disc at one end centered close as possible and use a slip of tape at center and tape this down to keep the array straight.  continue for remaining halves.Separate discs on string about 2 inches.
Glue the discs- Apply a generous glob at top and bottom and two side edges. Place second mating half over it on to the wet glue. Continue for all halves. Let dry one hour.
Cap- Top disc can be a non-cut disc if you wish. use as two back-to -back discs.


How  to use-
Day time
Hang up the array in an open area where there is wind to move the spinning discs. This will generate a  brilliant beatiful flashing burst of rainbow colors in the sun.
Night  time- At night the discs will pick up any distant light as a garage or patio lightbulb and generate a beautiful burst of moving colors that will mesmerize you for hours as you sit  in your favorite patio chair and look out into the darkness.Thousands of colorful fire-flies  will light up the dark as the discs rotate in the breeze.

Location-Placing the array in the right place is important for daylight use.I hang the array West of my position to get the best sun ray reflections  from day-break to about 3 pm. sun location. For PM some of the arrays are also placed more north of my patio position. For night time use  a location  that will catch any light  relative to where  you are sitting.Experimenting  here will help.In no case should arrays be hung higher then 6 feet above the grass.

NOTES- CD discs have the astounding ability of a prism crystal in that their surfaces will break up white light into its rainbow of colors and further more the colors will change as the disc surface is rotated .
See also my CD insstructable "Valentines for loved ones 2-6-10 "  cutting  the discs info.

This  Instructable is an entry into the Garden Contest -vote often.



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    5 Discussions


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    iI have used nail polish and sealed around the edges with it. Also clear silicone rubber adhesive works good in all weather. The newer discs that are under 20 cents each are notorious for their peeling and need to be sprayed on the silver side with krylon spray... OLder pre-recorded dvd etc, are already protected and wont peel.


    8 years ago on Step 3


    Years ago, I made something similar. I found however, that the silvery stuff on the CDs started flaking after a while from being outside when it rained.

    Do you have a remedy for that?
    Do they make CDs today that are waterproof? What about hairspray or some kind of clear varnish?

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Hi Anne- I also noticed that the type of CD  is important when you are using them out doors.First , The  cheap[ variety which is also the most brilliant, will begin to deteriorate after about 5 months  outdoors. I have found that a fast spray with Krylon ' clear' will give them life for at least a couple of years. Also when cutting them they tend to flake a little at the cut so use some goop[r] or clear varnish or  lacquer on these edges to stop the peeling of the silver layer. Now -for CDs that are higher quality they are pretty good out doors and I have used them for years- winter and summer, as is no coating. These you find from DATA burn types as from Walmart or AOL adverisements sign-on to  computer down loading. Movies, etc. are fairly stable surfaces too. A good rule - if it dont flake when cut it is stable for at least 2 years. Cutting warm plastic will reduce edge flaking.So heat it in front of a hot air gun for 15  seconds to 30 seconds.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    It is really pretty the way the light hits it!  There is no image appearing on the thumbnail, in the intro step the movie file is first if you put the image first instead it should appear on the thumbnail.

    1 reply