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What to Do With Your Old DVD Collection

The rise in popularity of movie streaming has made DVDs redundant. If you're wondering what to do with all of those old discs, here are some helpful ideas.

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MoviesRadu Bercan/Shutterstock

Donate

Just because you no longer want your disc-bound movies, that doesn’t mean someone else won’t. Thrift stores often accept DVDs in good condition and profits often go to a good cause.

You can also give away your discs on websites like Craigslist or Freecycle. Perhaps someone else will enjoy your movies!

Organizations like Operation Showtime and DVDs to The Troops pass on unwanted discs for troops to watch. And sick kids will love family-friendy movies donated to your local hospital.

Got more stuff to donate? These organizations will collect items you don’t want.

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appBigTunaOnline/Shutterstock

Sell


Of course, you might want to make a little money from your old movies and music. Sites like eBay and Amazon allow you to sell directly to customers, setting your own price, or you can sell your discs directly to Amazon to save time. And websites such as SecondSpin and Decluttr are more focused on buying and selling unwanted CDs and DVDs.

Another option is to sell the discs at a garage or yard sale. Here are 14 tips for garage sale success.

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heartairdynamic/Shutterstock

Make Mosaics


The stunning iridescence of DVDs and CDs makes them an excellent choice for making something totally new and creative. If you warm up the discs, with a hair dryer or even by letting them sit in the sun, you can use a sharp, sturdy scissors to cut the disc into small pieces. Video tutorials, such as this one about making a bowl from an old CD, show you exactly how to create something new. You can make countless items, including bowls, picture frames, drinks coasters and even wall art. Making your own wall art from an old canvas is easy too. 

Next learn how to clean vinyl records yourself.

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Jewelry via MetamorPhoenix/Etsy

Handmade Jewelry


The sparkling shimmer of CDs and DVDs also makes them ideal for crafting jewelry. It could be as simple as cutting a few shapes and hanging them on a chain, like this example from MetamorPhoenix, or include other metalwork techniques like this pendant from BluKat Designs.

It’s often a good idea to split the disc in two for making jewelry as it makes the finished product more delicate, but this is simple to do and you can make some truly magnificent items like these butterfly wing earrings in just a short time.

If making jewelry is your passion, here are some great ideas using copper wire.

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discoRioAbajoRio/Shutterstock

Homemade Disco Ball


Who doesn’t love the swirling, retro-glittery effect of a disco ball? You can create your own disco ball out of old discs! Simply cut the old DVDs into squares and glue them to a large styrofoam or paper maché ball. Hang it up and crank up the Bee Gees! Disco balls were requisite decor in the ’70s. Here are 15 more vintage trends making a comeback.

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Framevia heyits shobu/YouTube

Photo Frame


Use old discs to make a mirrored frame. Simply cut up your discs into small pieces and glue them to an inexpensive wooden or plastic photo frame for a unique look—this video tutorial shows you exactly how to do it. You could also salvage a damaged frame by giving it new life, covered with shiny pieces of DVD! If you love making your own frames, check out these unique DIY picture frame ideas.

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Clockvia LuvRock Design/Etsy

DVD Clock


Turning an old DVD into a clock is a wonderful way to make a personalized timepiece for yourself or a loved one. You can match the theme of the disc to the person by choosing their favorite movie or TV show. Just choose your disc, then add a clock movement designed to be used with discs, or this kit, and you’ll have a unique clock.

Check out these 80 items that are perfect for repurposing.

Buy a clock movement set now on Amazon.

Buy a clock kit now on Amazon.

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disc via Dazzling DoOvers/Etsy

Sun Catcher


Nothing catches the sun like a slowly revolving disc, so consider making your own sun catchers out of old CDs and DVDs. All you need are some old discs, some paints or nail polish, some beads and monofilament fishing line. A few basic tools (such as a drill) are needed, too. This video tutorial by Calli Black takes you through each stage to create a mandala design.

Little touches can make your home look more upscale. See how to use accessories in your home to make it look more luxe.

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OwlsNinette Bahne/Shutterstock

Shiny Scarecrow


Merely hanging a few old discs on a string near your precious plants is enough to keep the birds away. But if you fancy something a bit more creative, why not make these wise owls from your CDs or DVDs and get a garden ornament out of it? Buy or make some googly eyes out of bottle tops and buttons, and create a beak and feathers from recycled plastic, such as a milk container, and you’ll have a friendly owl to keep other feathered friends from your plants. Scarecrows also do a great job of protecting vulnerable seedlings. Here are 13 of the best.

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fish 13Smile/Shutterstock

Homemade Toy Fish


Another fun idea for an ornament using an old disc is this colorful fish, and it’s easy enough for the kids to join in on. Use a permanent marker to draw some scales, use cut paper or sticky googly eyes, and add fins made from folded paper or cardboard.

If you own a real aquarium, moving it can be difficult. Here’s our guide to packing and moving tricky items when you relocate.

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treeHans Wrang/Shutterstock

Christmas Tree


Of course, you don’t have to cut or decorate old CDS or DVDs to have fun. Why not use them whole and hang them onto ordinary objects to give a new twist to an old theme, such as this CD-fashioned Christmas tree? Even the dullest item will look new again with a few gleaming discs to liven them up. If you prefer more traditional homemade ornaments, these five are very easy to make.

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Family Handyman

Use a compact disc to peer into tight places

Like a surgeon using one of those old-style silver forehead discs, you can use a CD or DVD to look into tight places. You just peer through the little hole in the middle of the disc while you light the object by reflecting the light off the silvery surface. It works great for peering into corners and crevices (like inside appliances) where there’s not enough room for either your head or the flashlight.

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Family Handyman

Store Them Beautifully


And for those who just can’t get rid of or repurpose their discs, plastic stacking towers are still popular for storing old CDs and DVDs (and moving them is a cinch with this clever hack), but making a purpose-built storage cabinet or shelf does looks better. A beautiful wooden wall cabinet can be made in just a morning and will make your discs an attractive focal point rather than eyesores to be hidden away.

Here are 50 super-clever storage and organizing solutions for you to choose from.

Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Elizabeth Manneh
Elizabeth is an experienced freelance writer, specializing mainly in digital health & transformation, health & wellness, and education & learning. She's been published on ReadersDigest.com, Paysa.com, The Family Handyman, Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and The Good Men Project. She was also a regular contributor to Love Live Health and Daily Home Remedy. Elizabeth is a retired primary school principal and education consultant, with a continuing passion for education and learning.