Over the course of the last few years, I've picked up a dozen or so of those 'free AOL' CDs; it seems that you can't buy a computer, check your mail, or even buy a tech-magazine without one of them falling into your lap.
Being the packrat I am, I just couldn't bring myself to recycle them. After leaving a coffee stain on my computer desk, I got the bright idea to make some coasters.
Step 1: Adhesive Felt
I picked up some adhesive felt in the 'scrapbooking' section of Wal-Mart. It set me back a whole 88 cents. One sheet of 9"x12" felt will make 4 coasters.
Step 2: Placing the CDs
After removing the wax paper backing, place the CDs one at a time onto the felt. Placing the CDs can be tricky; try holding it just above the felt, then gently setting one edge down. From there, let it 'fall' onto the felt. Press down on the CD slightly to make an initial bond.
After all CDs have been placed, flip the sheet over and slide the back of your fingernails across the felt to make a stronger bond.
Cut the CDs apart, one at a time.
Using a small knife, poke a hole into the center of the ring from below. After you've made the initial hole, use short 'sawing' motions to remove the rest of the felt from the inner ring of the CD.
Congratulations! For 88 cents and about 20 minutes of your time, you've kept useless plastic out of the landfill, and kept unwanted coffee stains off of your desk!