DIY Coasters – Published in The Londoner

Forgotten CDs Play on As Drink Coasters Dec 19/16

CDs, once the brave, new technology for recorded music, were left in the dust by digital technology. And in the dust is where they sit, in piles or on racks. Even though we might not listen to them much anymore, they’re difficult to part with. But a quick walk through any second-hand store will show you how little value they have today.  Now that almost everything is downloadable, merchants can’t seem to get rid of CDs at any price.

So, why not turn a few of them into something truly useful, like a set of coasters for a rec-room, man cave, or to give as a gift? They’re the perfect size to protect your furniture from beer bottles to cappuccino mugs. And they’re sturdy enough to stand up to a little punishment.

Choose as many 5 x 7 photos as you have CDs to decorate. Mac-Tac is also an option. Although it’s thinner than photo stock, it’s definitely easier to apply, because it’s already sticky.

Although this project is simple, rushing it could lead to ruin. Move slowly and carefully through the steps.  There are two ways to attach the photo and make it fit perfectly. Option number one is to place the photo face down. With a pencil, trace the outline of the CD on the back of the photo, cut it to size and then glue it to the CD’s surface with white glue.  The second method involves gluing the entire uncut photo back to the CD with white glue, and once it’s dry, cutting around the edge with a sharp craft knife.  In either case, double-check that the photo is positioned correctly before making a cut. Also, be careful not to cut the paper smaller than the CD. It’s better to have to trim it than to start all over because the disc’s silver edges are peeking out.

coasters featuring Lee Roy the dog sit on a coffee table

Next, seal the surface of the photo against condensation from beverages. Apply several layers of Mod Podge with a paintbrush, allowing each layer to dry completely before starting the next one.  Thin layers are best because although Mod Podge will dry clear, any ridges will be visible. Next, cut circles of felt for the coaster bottom, and use a hot glue gun to affix it.  Avoid gluing the centre of the felt, or the glue will permeate the paper through the CD’s centre hole.  Hot glue dries fairly quickly, making it possible to give these photo coasters as a truly last-minute gift.

Photo CDs can be used in other ways besides coasters. Skip the felt step and create a CD photo album. After the photo has been applied and sealed, perhaps on both sides of the CD, drill a hole in the top of the CD. Join a bunch of these photo CDs with a screw-type keyring or chain. For a wall display, use curtain clips to hang photo CDs from a small dowel or curtain rod, make a mosaic of them, hang them from a wide ribbon or arrange them in a shadow box. Dangling CDs featuring photos of family members, numbers or animals would make a lovely mobile for a baby’s crib.



2 thoughts on “DIY Coasters – Published in The Londoner”

  1. Good idea – and much better than my own folly back in the day. When CDs came out in the 80s I had so many (radio station) that I used them as coasters – didn’t treat them, didn’t do any of the clever things YOU did. Bad idea…the condensation from a hot drink made a steamy wet mess under the hole in the centre…and ruined the finish of a coffee table. BUT I’M CLEARLY OVER IT! LOL

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