just don't learn, do they? AOL, Earthlink, whoever — they keep sending
you sign-up demo CDs. You hate throwing them out, because they're, you
know, neat-looking, but you just
don't know what to do with them. The answer: crafts galore!
sit around begging to be recycled into something fun. They're uniform
shape and size, have a center hole (also uniform); they catch the light
and throw rainbows, especially when lit from above; they make a calm
little "plink" when they hit each other. And they're cheap as
hell. Following are 10+ starter ideas for incredibly basic, quick and
cheap ways to put CDs to good use.
enough free CDs lying around for crafts? Demo and ISP start-up CDs can
often be found (free!) at stores like Target or Wal-Mart, somewhere up
front near the restrooms and cash registers. They don't mind if you take
one or two...more and you're coming close to stealing. If you're going
to take a pile, try to be polite and discreet. For larger projects, or
if you hate the tacky labels, you can buy blank CD-Rs in packs for 50
Coasters: The obvious answer. Glue a piece of felt to the label
side to protect your table top and give it a little more oompf.
Ashtray: CDs are plastic and melt very quickly. Fortunately, they
only melt under sustained heat, not the heat of a ciggie being put out.
Using a lighter (not a candle, it'll get all sooty), heat the CD
on the shiny side (heating the label side makes it burn) and
about an inch from the outer edge of the CD until it starts to become
soft. Bend with a spoon, or let gravity do the work. Be careful of
over-heating the plastic to the melting point, where it becomes a thick,
dangerously hot liquid which can: a) burn your dainty skin, b) land on
something else, cool, and become a permanent fixture, c) both. Friends
have informed me that CDs can be softened in a toaster oven...I haven't
tested this, so use caution. Microwaving, on the other hand, causes the
silver in the CD to burn (impressive to watch, but potentially dangerous
and smells bad.) Once you’ve molded your CD into shape, be sure to
glue something nonflammable (a poker chip is good) to cover the center