Reader Question – What Can I Do With All My Empty CD Cases?

Emily Wilson

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*Update – For those of you living in the Los Angeles area, a friend emailed me to say that the City of Burbank recycling center takes CD jewel boxes. Not many do, so if you live around there take them in!

I received a question from a reader the other day asking what she could do with those plastic CD cases that seem to clutter up our houses. A while back I put all our music in those big CD books with sleeves (to conserve space), leaving me with piles of empty cases and nothing to do with them. Turns out that there are people who need them for various purposes, as evidenced by the fact that as soon as I listed them on, I had a lot of responses and they were gone within an hour or so. This kept them out of the landfill or the recycling center and gave them a new lease on life. But what can you do with the empty cases if you don’t have a Freecycle or Craiglist group near you? I went searching for an answer and came up with some very creative uses for them!

  • Storage for pressed leaves and flowers
  • Make a lamp
  • Make a mini dry-erase board
  • CD jewel case calendars | 404 using your own images
  • Group a few of them by glue or rubber band and make book-ends
  • Give them to your kids to use them as shovels in the sandbox
  • Donate them to the library to replace broken ones
  • Make a craft organizer
  • Make your own mini greenhouse
  • Recycled paper notecard holder

What kinds of things could you do with old CD jewel cases? Have you used them for anything around the house? If you have tips or ideas to share, please let us know in the comments!

5 thoughts on “Reader Question – What Can I Do With All My Empty CD Cases?”

  1. Although this might fall into the recycling category, GreenDisk collects them along with dvd jewel cases and other electronic waste. There is a small charge for this as well as shipping. In my area, recycling does not take them. I have been using them for years at my kids’ school to collect unwanted CDs, videotapes, etc.

    You might want to consider keeping them if you want to swap some of your cds or dvds in the future since alot of swap places require the orginal cases for DVDs such as Swaptree, an online mulitmedia swapping place. Others may require this for CDs as well.

    I bet you can use them to scrap ice off of your windshield as well! Anna

  2. Hi.  I live in Texas and have a blog where I design and think up ideas to make crafts.  My daughter was throwing out some old CD”™s so I came up with a way to recycle them into a wonderful gift idea.  The recipient won”™t know it has a CD inside unless you tell them it”™s there.  Here”™s the link. This one is a draw string gift bag.
    This one uses 2 CD’s up and they are small cakes that look like the real thing. They can be used as table decorations or as gifts.
    This one uses one CD and is a gift basket.

    Hope you enjoy. Linda

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