“Give Your Old CDs a Second Life By Turning Them Into Windchimes”

“Give Your Old CDs a Second Life By Turning Them Into Windchimes”

Give Your Old CDs a Second Life By Turning Them Into Windchimes


As someone who grew up in the 90s and early 2000s, I have amassed quite a CD collection over the years. However, in today’s era of digital music streaming, my CDs have become basically obsolete. Rather than tossing them all out, I wanted to find a creative way to repurpose my old CDs and give them new life. After some research, I discovered that turning CDs into windchimes is a fun DIY project that produces beautiful results! In this article, I will walk through all the steps I took and insights I learned in my journey of crafting CD windchimes. From sourcing materials to designing the windchimes, I’ll cover everything you need to know to turn your own outdated CD collection into a set of musical garden windchimes. Let’s get started!

Gathering Supplies

The first step in any DIY project is making sure you have all the right supplies. For my CD windchimes, I needed:

  • Old CDs – I chose a selection of around 15 old CDs to use. I picked ones with cool artwork or album covers that I thought would look nice.

  • Fishing line/thread – This is used to hang the CDs. I chose a clear 20lb test fishing line so it would be nearly invisible.

  • Small screws – To screw through the center of the CDs for hanging. I used 1-inch #4 wood screws.

  • Washers – These go between the screw head and the CD to act as spacers.

  • PVC pipe – A 3-4 foot length of 1/2″ PVC pipe to use as the horizontal hanger bar.

  • PVC connectors – A cap for one end and a connector for joining to the hanging string.

  • S-hooks – For attaching CDs to the PVC pipe. Get large ones made for windchimes.

  • Mallet – A rubber mallet to gently tap screws into the CDs without cracking them.

  • Drill – To pre-drill holes in the CD center for screws. Start with small pilot holes.

Designing Your Windchime Layout

Once you have the supplies, it’s time for the fun part – designing how your CD windchime will look! I recommend laying out the CDs on the floor in different patterns and arrangements before you start hanging. Some tips:

  • Alternate album cover designs for visual interest

  • Vary CD sizes/shapes for asymmetry

  • Balance heavier/larger CDs near top and lighter ones near bottom

  • Space CDs 2-4 inches apart along the PVC pipe for best sound

  • Aim for 7-15 CDs for ideal windchime length

Don’t worry about getting the design perfect on your first try. The great thing about windchimes is you can easily rearrange and tweak them over time for the optimal look and sound.

Drilling Holes and Hanging CDs

Now comes the tricky part – carefully drilling holes in the CD center without cracking them, and hanging each one from the PVC pipe. Here are some tips to make this go smoothly:

  • Pre-drill small pilot holes in each CD first with a 1/8″ drill bit before using larger screws

  • Place CD label-side down on scrap wood before drilling

  • Go slow when drilling, apply gentle pressure, and back the drill out repeatedly to clear shavings

  • Secure CDs with washers and screws, using a mallet to gently tap screws into the pre-drilled holes

  • Attach S-hooks to the screws on back of each CD

  • Hang CDs from pipe in your pre-planned order using the S-hooks

Don’t get discouraged if you crack a CD or two! I went very slowly and carefully and was able to get 90% of mine drilled and hung without any cracks forming.

Hanging Your Windchime

The final step is determining how you want to hang your new windchime so you can enjoy its looks and sounds. Popular options include:

  • Hanging from a tree branch with a rope or chain

  • Mounting on an exterior wall, eave, or porch with brackets

  • Placing on a freestanding shepherd’s hook pole in a garden

  • Attaching to the underside edge of a raised deck or gazebo

The location will impact how much wind your chimes get to move and create sound. Evaluate your outdoor space and install your windchime where you’ll be able to see and hear it best!

Enjoying Your Musical Creation

Now it’s time to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of your new windchime made from upcycled CDs. Here are some things I enjoyed most about my finished project:

  • Hearing familiar songs chime in the breeze was a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

  • Watching the CDs spin and glint in the sunlight was mesmerizing.

  • Choosing album cover art I loved made the windchime visually striking.

  • Seeing the uniqueness of each repurposed CD was super satisfying.

  • The chime sounds were peaceful and soothing to hear while spending time outdoors.

  • Customizing and personalizing the windchime to my taste made it extra special.

Breathing new life into my old CDs gave me a meaningful way to preserve musical memories. I hope you’re inspired to tap into your creativity and turn your outdated CDs into a beautiful windchime you can treasure for years to come!