Now that CDs and DVDs are steadily being replaced by downloadable files and apps, you might find yourself with piles of old cases laying around that you just don’t need anymore. Sure, you could recycle the plastic and simply clear them out of your house, but where’s the fun in that? As a DIY enthusiast, we’re convinced that you could probably turn them into something neat!
Check out these 15 inspiration photos for upcycling old CD cases (or “jewel cases) in interesting ways!
1. CD case chandelier
Ecofriend features this gorgeously innovative chandelier that establishes an atmosphere of technological chic within your room. We love the way the light bounces off the jewel cases, shining outwards into the space to make things brighter!
2. CD case pen holder
Craftchi shows you how to attach a few CD cases together in order to create an organizational box that’s the perfect size for writing utensils of any kind! Do your writing utensils not need any organization? Makeup brushes or small bathroom supplies like cotton swabs will fit comfortably into these containers as well!
3. CD case sapling protector
Cooked Brains shows you how to connect several case sides together in a similar way to the previous project, but this time you’ll leave the bottom open so you can place the sides protectively around a tree sapling. The plastic will protect the sapling from being damaged while it sprouts, all the way until it’s big enough to stand above the sides of the case! This upcycling project helps the environment in more ways than one.
4. CD case lamp
BHG walks you through the steps for creating a truly trash-to-chic looking side table lamp that guests will almost certainly ask you about as soon as they see it. You’ll love how the textured sides of the plastic case dissipates the light across the room like a glow.
5. CD case picture frames
Craft Stew‘s idea for CD case picture frames makes perfect sense! The cases are already sized straight and evenly to display pictures in a perfect square, they’re clear so images can be seen through them well, and they even have prongs to hold papers or pamphlets into place in the face of the lid. Slide a photo or small art print into the spot where the musical artist’s CD booklet usually goes, close the case, and mount them in even rows on the wall to create a display.
6. CD storage planters
square jewel cases aren’t the only type of CD case that are slowly becoming obsolete! Do you remember the bulk CD towers we used to buy en masse for burning our favourite mp3 playlists onto? Orchid Geeks recommends upcycling those cases too! Check out how they created a small plant pot out of the deep lid.
7. CD case calendar
Ellen Hutson‘s miniature calendar idea is the perfect way to simultaneously upcycle a jewel case and also secure yourself a desk-sized calendar that you can quickly refer to while you’re working, but without taking a lot of desk space or having to open apps on your phone to check the date.
8. CD case birdhouse
Especially if you have leftover CD cases with different coloured backings, creating a jewel case birdhouse like Geekware did makes for a pretty fun project. Birds will be attracted to the colours and you’ll be able to see them flitting around inside through the slightly translucent jewel case walls of the house.
9. CD holder lunchbox
Do you still have some of the shorter CD tower boxes left? Weirdly enough they make the perfect lunch boxes for bagel lovers! make your bagel, pop it onto the base of the case but putting the pole that originally went in the centre of your CDs up through the centre of your bagel instead, and pop the lid on! Inhabitat shows you how it’s done so you never have to deal with squished bagels ruing your work lunch hour again.
10. Nerf gun belt drum
Mod Works isn’t afraid to encourage that we all embrace our inner child. In fact, that walk you through the process of cutting out on side of a tall CD tower case so that the foam rounds of your favourite Nerf fun from back in the day can sit rounded inside until you’re ready to fire!
11. CD box earring stand
Instructables shows you how to not only upcycle the inner stand of a tall stacking CD case, but also an old CD that’e become scratched or that you don’t need anymore. Punch small holes all around the edge of the CD and then affix it near the top of the CD case tower stand. Hook a pair of dangly earrings in each hole in the CD to keep them from tangling around each other.
12. Aquarium cave
If you have a large fish tank or aquarium, this Instructables tutorial on how to turn an old stacked CD case into a mini-marine cave will be a lot of fun for your to create. Leaving the centre hollow will let fish actually swim in and out!
13. Hamster exercise wheel
Is your hamster’s wheel broken and you haven’t had time to get him a new one? Instructables recommends grabbing the clear lid from a stacking CD case, turning it on its size, and affixing the top to the turning mechanism where the broken wheel used to be. Your little furry friend will hardly notice the different as long as he gets to run!
14. CD box silhouette light
The clear but misty sides of the taller stacked CD cases make a great silhouette screen if you place a black and white image inside and attach a small like inside in the middle. 4 Us 2 Be shows you how it’s done.
15. CD case wall mural
This Instructables tutorial walks you through the process of printing a large scene from a famous movie and printing if piece by piece in the shape and size of a CD jewel case. slide each piece of the image into a case and arrange then on the wall so the scene from your favourite move turns into chic wall art!
Can you think of other innovative ways to upcycle jewel or CD tower cases? Tell us about them in the comments section below!