Homemade Picture Frames

We play a lot of music here. Not only are we avid listeners, my son is an accomplished musician who is always honing his craft by listening to other musicians. Before the invention of iTunes, the only option for purchasing new music was to buy CDís in plastic cases. While some of the CD casings are now made with recyclable cardboard, the majority of CDís are still packaged in plastic cases.

Hereís why CDís and their casings get a thumbs down for sustainability: The Arizona Republic says, ďAccording to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CDs and DVDs are typically manufactured by combining various mined metals (aluminum, gold, silver and nickel) with petroleum-derived plastics, lacquers and dyes.” So they are nearly impossible to recycle, can pollute groundwater, and contribute to a whole host of human health problems. As for jewel cases, “most are made out of polyvinyl chloride, an inexpensive petrochemical-based plastic that is notoriously difficult to recycle and has been linked to elevated cancer rates among workers and people who live near manufacturing plants.”

Whatís a music lover who cares about our planet to do? For a small processing fee, CDs and DVDs can be sent to companies like, GreenDisk or the CD Recycling Center. The disks and cases will get recycled into high-quality plastics used to make auto parts, office equipment, alarm panels, street lights, electrical cable insulation, jewel cases and other specialized items.

DIYers can also turn up the music and upcycle the plastic cases. This grid of frames made from discarded CD cases has been making the DIY blog rounds. But, since Iíve got a mess of those cases hanging around, I thought I would share my take on this upcycle project.

DIY Frames From CD Cases-adapted from Photojojo.

What you need:
Photographs or drawings, cards, wallpaper samples or use the pictures from the liner notes included in the CD case.
CD jewel cases Ė Standard, not slim cases work best
Scissors or paper cutter
A ruler
Double-sided tape
Velcro tape
Optional: computer and printer

What to do:
1. Remove the plastic and paper innards of the jewel case. Use the inserts as a template from which to cut the cardboard.
2. Cut out cardboard pieces. (To use as backing to prevent the pictures from buckling.)
3. Trim pictures (I used photos from a family trip to Spain) to size or size the photos on your computer. The images should be exactly 5 3/8◊4 5/8 to fit snugly into the back of the jewel cases.
4. Attach cardboard pieces to the cropped pictures using double-sided tape.
5. Place picture into the jewel case, facing out. Close the jewelcase.
6. Affix a piece of one side of the Velcro tape to the backs of your finished case, and the other side of the tape to the spots on the wall where frames will hang or glue on a magnet.


Lilyth Darkheart
.6 years ago

Very cool. Will definitely look into crafting some of them and seeing what I can come up with. Thanks

Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado7 years ago

Great ideas.

Jennifer Martin
Jennifer M7 years ago


Judith Emerson
Judith Emerson7 years ago


Donna B.
Donna B8 years ago

Great idea, thanks.

Jane L8 years ago


Danielle M.
Danielle M.8 years ago

great idea! will help get rid of those old cases i have hanging around.

Bethany H.
Bethany H.8 years ago

Cool idea, think I've heard of it before, on TV or something!

Erin R.
Erin R8 years ago

cool :-)

Ioanna P.
Ioanna P8 years ago

thanx for the article