Upcycled CD Scratch Art
by Meredith Brustlin, CMNH Educator
This is a super cool activity that can be done with materials you have at home that you may have thrown away otherwise!
I like this activity because it also introduces an easy way to talk to your little ones about recycling and upcycling. You could start this activity with a short discussion. What does it mean to recycle? What do we recycle in our house?
What do you think it means to UPcycle? This word will probably be new to them! When we recycle, we take items like plastic bottles and send them to the recycling center. From there, they are melted down to become the same item again or something new and different! Did you know plastic bottles can be recycled to become fleece jackets, carpets, and sleeping bags?!
UPcycling is taking something just as it is (in our case here, a CD) and turning it into something fun and new using just our hands and our creative minds! Upcycling projects tend to become beautiful works of art. Ask your little ones if they have upcycled anything before? Or maybe projects you’ve done together as a family? Projects they may be familiar with would be things like tire swings or milk carton birdhouses.
Enjoy exploring upcycled CD scratch art together!
- Old CDs or DVDs (it’s fine if they’re all scratched up!)
- Check out your desk for old computer software--the CD I used was an ancient program from the digital camera I had in college!
- ACRYLIC paint!
- I know it’s not washable which is tough with little ones--but it does need to be acrylic for this project so it sticks to the CD.
- Items to scratch the CD with
- Chopsticks, forks, keys, paperclips, etc.
- Some kind of string or ribbon if you would like to hang up your scratch art CD!
- Invite little ones to paint their CDs!
- Be sure to paint on the shiny side of the CD, not the side with writing/text.
- It’s best to paint the CDs one color, or blocks of color. Since the idea is to create scratch art on the CDs, if you paint pictures of flowers or dogs or houses---they will look odd after you have also added scratch art to them.
- This is the hard part--wait for the paint on the CDs to totally dry.
- If you have enough CDs, you can experiment with scratching them while they are still wet and then compare with the CDs you scratch when they are dry.
- Once the CDs are dry, use the scratch tools to create designs on them!
- Add a string or ribbon and hang your CD in a window to create a beautiful suncatcher!