Tips and Ideas for Crafting With Recycled DVDs

Updated on August 31, 2017
Heidi Smulders profile image

Heidi is a homemaker with two young boys. She currently compiles educational material and edits academic reports.

Last year I was searching for craft ideas online, and came across an incredibly beautiful birdbath which had been restored and mosaicked with old DVDs. This inspired me to try and do something similar. I read some basic guidelines (which I also found online), gathered all my old DVDs, and started experimenting.

Some things I learned very quickly include the following:

1. CDs cannot be split or cut, and do not have the same shine as DVDs.

2. DVDs consist of two layers. These can sometimes be separated using the tip of a sharp knife, but most have to be cut first. I find it is easy to separate the sides if you first make a tiny straight cut into the disc (about 5mm) and separate them from that spot.

3. Not all DVDs are created equal. I've tried working with many different makes, and find that some are perfect for craftwork while some can't be used at all.

DVDs can "peel off" differently when you separate the two sides. Sometimes the silver film sticks to the clear plastic, but I have found that most times it sticks to the side with the harder backing.

When it sticks to the clear plastic, one side of the film is protected from scratches, making it easy to use. However, I have found that over time this film can peel off the back, even if the DVD has been glued down. I now spray the film with a clear anti-tarnish spray or varnish before I cut the disc into smaller pieces to prevent this from happening.

When the silver film sticks to the harder plastic it is unprotected from scratches, so I spray an anti-tarnish on it immediately before handling further. A problem which can arise here is that DVDs with a brittle plastic backing are almost impossible to cut, as they split or shatter, and I find I can't use them at all.

4. Many of the DVD items I've made have tarnished or begun to tarnish over time. I've tried to prevent this by spraying on different types of clear varnish and/or anti-tarnish for metal, but nothing seems to work for all DVDs. I think that some makes tarnish more than others, and some sprays work better than others - the only way to find out is by experimenting with the products available to you.

5. I decided to try and "bake" a DVD to see what the effect would be....I still have no idea what made me decide to try this. I let the oven heat up very high, then popped a separated DVD side onto an oven tray, closed the door and watched through the glass to see what happened. Within seconds, the DVD started melting and forming little air-bubbles. I didn't want to leave it in too long, so I took it out after about 30 seconds, pressed it flat with an egg-lifter (it puffed out slightly) and let it cool.

Source
Source

This is the effect - which I love. The bubbling makes them slightly more difficult to work with, but it's still possible to cut straight lines, as long as you cut slowly. I use scissors with thin blades. In the image at the beginning of this article you can see how I have used some baked pieces in a table-top mosaic.

I've also learned to paint the item before I start (unless, for example, I'm covering a glass item). I use a glue gun, as it's the fastest and easiest way, but I've also tried other types of craft glue which work well also. A glue gun is committing - you have to work quickly, and it's not easy to shift a piece once you've placed it as the glue dries so fast. It can also be difficult to remove thin strands of hot-glue from the DVD surface, and it's difficult to avoid doing this.

The pictures which follow show some of the different things I've done with DVDs over the past year.

This is the first thing I tried - I glued small square pieces onto a glass like the one on the left. It’s a bit rough, but we use it as a vase and it looks beautiful in the light.

Next I decorated this small bottle, and I kept it on a windowsill in the sun. As a result, the pieces tarnished completely and are now a beautiful golden-coppery colour. They still reflect colours in the light, and cast the most beautiful rainbows.

I also made some hanging decorations using wire strands twisted together in the middle and then separated out. I glued pieces of DVD along each piece, back-to-back. When hanging, the slightest breeze makes it move and the colours shift and change and cast rainbows all around.

I've decorated picture frames, and bordered pieces of mirror backed onto wood.

And I've decorated the tops of five small side tables.

This is the only one I decorated with small square pieces. I used DVDs which peeled off on the clear side of the plastic, which created a more blueish colour for some reason. In retrospect, I should have painted the table also.

I used a pasty craft glue on this table. Some of the pieces fell off after a while and had to be re-glued. I had a piece of glass cut to fit over the mosaic (I've done this for all my tables), so they are now more protected.

Here you can see what the table looked like before and after. I actually love the wooden table as it is - it's a beautiful dark hardwood from Malawi. I found four of these for sale at a second-hand shop and bought them all.

This is the most recent table I decorated. I didn't try and form any pictures or patterns on this one, so it's fairly simple.

My favourite, however, is the one below, which I'll show from different angles so you can see how the colours change depending on the light and angle.

As you can see, I've use a combination of plain and baked DVD pieces for effect. Once I've completed a table-top, I coat it with a clear anti-tarnish spray in an attempt to protect the discs and delay tarnishing. I usually give it a couple of thin layers. Be careful not to overspray, as this leaves the discs looking cloudy.

I'd love to hear from you if you have other ideas, tips or experiences of working with DVDs. If you feel inspired to try something yourself, good luck - it's easy, fun, and rather satisfying. Practicing on a small coaster is a good way to start. Have fun!

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • profile image

        johan smulders 8 months ago

        Amazing ideas and great hub-well done

      • Heidi Smulders profile image
        Author

        Heidi Smulders 9 months ago from South Africa

        Thank you Ellen. I've tried to just use old ones, but I have on occasion bought new ones when I've run out of old! I've also been given quite a lot by friends who know I use them.

      • LiteraryMind profile image

        Ellen Gregory 9 months ago from Connecticut, USA

        This are all beautiful. Do you just recycle old ones or do you buy whole boxes of new ones. You have so many.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, feltmagnet.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://feltmagnet.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)