Deco-style Decorative Shelf Art

4 Materials
3 Hours

I'm not sure how to describe it but this tiny shelving unit is made by bending old CD’s. It also works as wall decor.

Why does everybody still have a stash of old CDs somewhere? One would’ve thought that people would have gotten rid of their 90s technology by now but judging from the collection that my husband keeps at the office (because I refuse to have them at the house - that should tell you how often he uses them) this is not the case. I know TikTokers are painting them and using them as coasters but here is a more sophisticated way to repurpose them.

Most ideas to repurpose CDs require you to strip them of their painted layers. Fortunately this may not be necessary in this case, particularly if you plan to use chalk paint. But you may need to cut some in half. This is easily done with a box cutter and steel ruler on a cutting mat. Score the CD a couple of times and then bend along the score. Do not be impatient as they will shatter. If in doubt score some more.

Keep some of the CDs whole and draw a line through the middle with a whiteboard marker. This will serve as a guide when you heat and bend them.

The halved ones can be used to make smaller shelves by bending them into quarters.

I used my Dremel Versatip with the heat gun nozzle to heat along the line. Once again be very patient, too little heat and the plastic will shatter or crack whilst being bent and too much heat and it bubbles. Pay attention to the plastic close to the hole as this seems to be a thicker, as well as the rim.

I worked on a heat resistant kitchen surface so that I could use the surface to bend the CD against.

Once it is pliable enough, bend your CD's against the surface to a 90° angle, free hand as I did mine or perhaps using something like a steel ruler or piece of angle iron. It’s important to be as accurate as possible and doing it freehand is a bit of a hit and miss affair. Do not over- or under-bend and get it right the first time, I didn’t have much success reheating the CDs and bending them further. Remember to bend some halves into quarters. And don’t burn yourself.

Stick some of the quarter ones onto the halved ones as shown above, so that you reinforce the halved one. I used contact adhesive.

This pink painted one is a good example of what a combination of a whole bent and a half bent CD would look like.

The next step would be to paint them. The jury is still out on the best way to do this. I’ve had mixed results when using spray paint. Some of them turned out beautifully and some had strange bubbles, even though they were cleaned thoroughly beforehand. Preparation is key. Either sand them down or use plastic primer. This time I used chalk paint which also gives a lovely matte finish and some texture.

The above picture is an example of a half CD that was bent to a quarter and painted in brown. To make the glue stick better, I left one surface unpainted. This I would be use to stick to the background.

Use a frame, box or piece of wood that you can stick everything on. You could paint over an old blocked artwork or use a new craft block frame as I did here.

I painted the block with pink chalk paint and drew out some curve designs on it and then painted everything.

Next, stick the finished shelves onto the background and seal if necessary.

The end result is an artwork that comes into its own or alternately you can use the protruding bits as a little shelves. Some of the shelf designs are weaker than others, so don’t put hugely heavy things on them, though.

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  • Debra Liburd Debra Liburd on Jun 19, 2022

    A beautiful piece of Art!! Its not something I would, too much bending, cutting, etc. As, an Elementary school teacher, I will stick with simple, Art projects using CD'S!

    Thanks for sharing a cool re-purposing of CD'S!👍🏽

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  • Flipturn Flipturn on Jun 25, 2022

    'Reminds me somewhat of the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) logo, circa 1974.

    • Thea Thea on Jun 26, 2022

      Dead right, its very much a design from that era!😍. I didn’t post it here but I also used cd’s on my craft cupboard doors and it gives the same retro, vibe.

  • I’m running out of adjectives to compliment your talents! Going to have to pull out my thesaurus!! 🤣. But seriously, another unique design! Also the use of the old CD discs on the craft cabinet pictured above is very innovative! 🙌🙌🙌