Old CDs and DVDs that no longer function are such a waste to throw out, especially if you consider that they can still be used for something else or turned into something new. One of the best ways you can make use of old CDs and DVDs is by using them to make mosaic projects. You can use mosaic from CDs and DVDs to decorate your table, or guitar, or birdbath or as a backsplash in your kitchen. Truly, there is an endless way you can reap the benefits of knowing how to create mosaic out of old discs. Although there is no one way to do it and it mostly depends on what you’re decorating with mosaic, the main concept is basically the same. Here’s how to make mosaic projects out of old CDs and DVDs.
Step 1 – Choosing your disc
Any old CD or DVD will work but if you’re making the mosaic project for something special, you might want to consider which disc you use. The back of DVDs, the part that will be used, are more colourful than CDs so you might want to use DVDs alone.
You might also want to use discs that are less scratched, but those details will not be that obvious in the end product unless you look for them.
Step 2. Cutting the disc
Cutting the disc can be quite a challenge, especially for thick discs like DVDs. Some CDs are thin enough that you can cut them using a sharp pair of scissors. However, for thick discs, you have to separate the colourful layer first from the other layers before you can cut it. Otherwise, the disc would just end up cracking, or the colourful layer will stick on one of the other layers and will become unusable. Here’s how you can cut thick discs:
- Heat the disc with a hairdryer set on the hottest setting. The disc will get really hot so to avoid burning your fingers, hold it by its edge or set it on a pot-holder. If you don’t have a blowdryer, you can heat it under the sun, gently on top of a flame, or on the oven.
- Separate the disc into two layers. You can use a butter knife to make it easier.
- Use your scissors to cut the colourful layer into small pieces. You can discard the other layer as it will no longer be used.
You don’t have to worry about the shape or size of the pieces you cut. Separate the smaller pieces from the larger ones so you can use it to fill the gaps later on.
Step 3. Protect the pieces
The shiny, colourful stuff from the discs will wash off if you don’t protect it with something first. Place the pieces on top of a cardboard, colourful-side up, and spray them with a clear finish to keep it shiny and colourful for longer.
Step 4. Glue on the pieces
Make sure you’re working on a fairly flat surface. You can use a sandpaper to smoothen out wooden surfaces or you can use epoxy putty to fill in gaps on cemented, hard surfaces. Finish off the latter with a sander.
Glue the mosaic pieces on the surface using an all-purpose sealant that won’t come off even when wet. This is the most tedious part of the process and may take weeks, depending on how big the surface you’re working on is. Start gluing on one side then work towards the other end.
Step 5. Grouting
Fill the gaps in between the mosaic disc tiles with any brand of grout you want. Spread the grout all over the tiles until the spaces in between have been filled up to a height similar to that of the tiles. This way, the edges of the mosaic tiles won’t get caught on anything. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions in grouting.
Step 6. Finish
After applying the grout, carefully wipe the excess off with a damp rag. You should be left with the shiny, mosaic tile that reflects with different colours as the light bounces off of it.