Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's Craft Time! - CD Case Cube Frame

This is a fun way to display artwork, photos, 3D art or whatever strikes your fancy using only 4 clear CD cases. You can display items 4.5" tall x 5.25" wide by .25" deep. Think scrapbook pages with all the little do-dads! 

What you need: 4 CD cases (make sure they have no cracks and minimal scratches), 4 pictures and possibly a little tape. I also used some window cleaner as my cases were kind of grungy and smudgy looking. For me the project was free, since I have a bunch of CD's yet to be transferred to my computer. If you don't have any cases, you can always try Freecycle or purchase jewel cases at an office supply store. 

This project is a little fiddly. Just go slowly and gently. You don't want to snap the little hinges off the cases. But if you do, just grab another case. I made a couple of these and found one case that was to "loose" and wouldn't hold together with another case. I just swapped it out. I tried to take pictures for those visual learners among us. It is difficult to take a picture of a clear item, so some pictures have the CD art in them to help distinguish front from back.

Open the CD case, remove the CD, paper cover and back and the plastic piece that holds the CD. It will come out if you gently pry it up. I found starting in the middle, getting my nubby fingernails under it and working my way to the corners helpful. It will just pop out. Put your CD away, keep the case and discard the rest. Clean the inside of the case.

Open the case flat and notice the little inside ledges on each piece. There is also a distinctive front and back piece, see how they are different? The little ledges face each other when the case is closed. Open and close the case and see how the pieces fit together. This will help you when you put it back together.

OK, here is a tricky part. Take the front and back pieces apart by gently lifting in the connecting corner and sliding them apart. There are little plastic hinges. Flip one side over. If they are laying flat the little ledges are facing in opposite directions. Put them back together that way (ledges opposite). Form a 90 degree angle.

Do the last step to all 4 cases.

Place the item you want to display in a piece with the bigger ledge, facing out toward you. Since my picture was thin I used a small piece of tape on the back to hold it in place. You might have to play with the placement so it looks OK when the pieces are put together. (I had to move mine over so it wasn't stuck in the hing part of the case).

From two 90 degree pieces, connect a front and back CD piece to each other to hold the art in. OK this can be confusing. Look at two 90 degree pieces and think about how a CD case normally closes. You have a front and a back piece and both little ledge pieces face each other. Put your pieces together the same way, just as if you are closing a CD case over your art. You will have a 3 sided box.

Continue with the other  90 degree pieces, mounting your art, putting a front and back piece together and "closing" the CD case to hold the art in. Remember you are making a cube, so you may have to adjust the angle of pieces to fit.

The last piece is done the same way. However it may look different. The one little ledge piece is facing inside the cube. You have to gently place the 4th piece so the front and back are both inside and outside the finished cube. Just look at it and line up the little front and back case ledges so they face each other and close the case.

You are done! Take a deep breath and congratulate yourself! Use a little window cleaner and wipe your fingerprints off. A word of advice: don't try this at 10:00 pm when you are tired. By the way, the pictures I used are Romero Britto's work.

Did you try this project? If so, send me a picture so I can show it off!


  1. Why has noone commented yet - this is an absolutely great idea. I have tons of photo art to display - and tons of CDs to get rid of. Absolutely love this idea!!!

    Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog, Kat!

  2. This will work great on Hubby's desk at work...he will LOVE it, as do I! These crafts are my fave because they use what we already have, and just inspire us to think outside the box...pun intended, lol!

  3. Great way to use up old cases! I love a good recycling project!!!

  4. What an interesting idea! I have tons of these cases I was going to recycle, this is a much better option. Thanks for sharing!

  5. That is a COOL idea! I have got to try it!

  6. Kat, Cool and clever! Thanks for linking up to Thrifty Thursday this week!
    Tales from Bloggeritaville

  7. I just found this it is AWESOME to cute! Gotta try it today,

  8. What a great idea to reause old cd cases. In the ipod time I have thrown so many cd cases out. Should have known better.

  9. Great idea. I have so many of those. I better get to work.

  10. love it! thanks for a great idea, and how to's!

  11. How cool is that?! What a great use for old CD cases!

    Kat :)

  12. Kat, that is so clever! I'll bet most people have a stack of those lying around. Love the artwork you picked too!

    Thanks for linking up to Make it Yours day!

  13. How vwry clever is this? I love it. I have a ton of CD's...

    Thanks for joining Get your Craft on Thurs. at Life As Lori.

    Please join me next week for another great party!

  14. That's clever! We emptied out all of our CD's into a big binder and I chucked all of the cases because I couldn't imagine what I'd ever use them for. Great idea! Thanks for linking up to Creative Cats! It's a pleasure to have you!

  15. what a novel idea. Thanks for showing the pics.

  16. I'm seriously going to have to try this project! We've got so many cool CD covers. I think it would be really cool to do one on top of another to create a tall piece. Would be a unique container for dried branches. Love it! Thanks again for linking up to "Shop the House Sunday"!

  17. What a clever idea!

    Thank you so much for linking up with the Talented Tuesday link party at My Frugal Family, which is hosted every Tuesday. Please feel free to stop back in every week and post your newest projects!

  18. This is an awesome project! I love a good reuse. I am actually kind of bummed, cause I got rid of all my jewel cases years ago to save room. Now that I see the potential, I am kicking myself!

    I am so glad you stopped by to join our little the party, I hope to see you there again! We have them every Friday. (And we are now doing a recipe link up on Wednesday!)

    Cassity @ Remodelaholic

  19. Love this idea! I will do this today for sure! my husband has many of these cases in a bag to throw out...They are staying now:) I will put my kids art work and pictures of them! Thank you!

  20. Okay i did it in seconds. I just began my blog Saturday so I still have to learn how to upload pictures. I will def upload this one. I actually will add it as a baby shower decoration on a a table. Maybe with ultrasound and parents to be pictures and use it as a vase also! Thank you


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