5 alternative uses for your CDs

It’s 30 years since the first CD player was announced, and though the format’s largely fallen from grace, those discs still have their uses

It was 30 years ago today we first set eyes on a CD player. It was Sony’s CDP-101, announced in Japan on October 1st, 1982. What Hi-Fi has an excellent retrospective on a format that’s dominated home audio for much of its lifetime over here.

For most of us, though, the anniversary marks not a triumphant milestone, rather a respectful wave goodbye. The popularity of CDs as a music format has waned in the face of digital music players and audio streaming. But don’t throw them out just yet. Here are five ways your CD can stop gathering dust and become useful again.

Make some art

You may not particularly want to create a massive silver fish for your living room wall (as found on CD Sculpture), but with a bit of inspiration, some fingernail glue and a Blue Peter badge you can get to work on your own shiny masterpiece.

Shaving mirror

CDs are reflective, face-sized and waterproof, making them ideal handheld shaving mirrors. You can even stick a load of discs to the tiles in your shower cubicle with a bit of bathroom sealant if you want.


We don’t know what birds have got against CDs (perhaps they’ve heard about Luther Vandross), but they don’t like them one bit, which makes your redundant discs useful things to string around your allotment. Apparently rabbits hate them too, though slugs (Latin name slugus audiophilius) are undeterred.

Christmas tree baubles

Traditional decorations are fine if you’re expecting to unwrap wooden toys on Chrismas morning, but assuming you’re hoping for a Wii U and an iPad Mini, you’ll want to hang something modern and shiny from the tree. We'll leave you to connect the dots.


Yes, we’ve all done it – intentionally or otherwise. But CDs actually make terrible drinks coasters. To make them effective, glue a stack of discs together, saving those with the best artwork for the top deck. Reward yourself for the extra effort by having a drink.

Have you got interesting ideas for things to do with CDs? Or are you clinging on to them in the desperate hope that hi-def audio streaming just won’t happen? Let us know…

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