How to Make an Altered CD Book


Making an altered CD book is easy, fast and fun.

Picture 1. This is the front of a closed book called "A Boy's Life." The brown and yellow triangle is the front hinge.

Picture 2: This is the book when it is opened. I have used eight CDs.

Picture 3: This is the first spread in the book.


  • Eight CDs. Okay, you can use as many CD's as you like. I have seen these books made with as many as 20 disks. For the purpose of this example, we will talk about eight.

  • Four sheets of 12" by 12" scrapbook paper. I like to use four different patterns while maintaining a monotone color scheme.

  • Glue or adhesive to attach the paper to the CDs. I prefer Golden Soft Gel Medium, but other adhesives work as well. Try to avoid a glue that is too "wet", however. Wet glues will warp the paper. Golden Gel Medium is available online at

  • One sheet of card stock in a matching color. You will make the hinges out of this.

  • A sandpaper foam block, available for $2 - $3 where house paints are sold. OR, a sheet of medium coarse sandpaper. However, the blocks are easier and faster for this task.

  • Double sided sticky tape to affix the hinges to your CD book.

  • Miscellaneous embellishments as desired.

Preparing Your Papers

  1. Cut sixteen 5" squares from your scrapbook paper. Set aside. You will use these to cover the CDs later.

  2. Cut eight 2" squares from the strips of leftover scrapbook paper. You will decorate your hinges with these squares.

    You can leave the squares intact, or you can cut them in half diagonally, forming 16 triangles. I prefer to cut the squares into triangles. I have had problems with the squares ripping after the CD book has been assembled. However, experiment and decide which you prefer.

  3. Cut nine 2 1/2" squares from the card stock. Cut ONE in half diagonally, forming two triangles. Score the remaining eight from corner to corner -- but do not cut. You now have two triangles, and eight diagonally scored squares. These are your hinges.

Adhering the Paper

  1. Arrange your 5" squares of scrapbook paper in whatever order you want to use them when you assemble your CD book. Decide if you want the same patterns on left and right sides of the spread, for example.

  2. Glue the 5" squares of scrapbook paper to each side of each CD. Be sure the paper is glued down securely along the edges of the CDs. The overlapping papers are not glued together.

  3. This is the tricky part, until you get the hang of it. Take a CD in one hand, and your sandpaper block in the other. Now, with a firm, downward stroke, sand away the excess paper that overflows the edges of the CDs. Once you get the idea, this is a fast, efficient way to get your paper to fit the CDs precisely. Don't worry if you accidentally make a cut or two along the edges. You can cover this area with embellishments later.

  4. When all eight CDs are covered with paper on both sides, you are ready to assemble.

Attaching the Hinges to your CD Book

  1. Take a card stock triangle (not a square) and adhere it to the CD that is going to be the cover. Refer to Picture 1 above. Note that the long diagonal line extends along the rim, and the triangle points inward. I suggest using double sided tape for this task. I find it holds better than glues.

  2. Turn your CD over, so the cover is down and page 1 is facing you. Align a second CD by its side. Refer to Picture 3 above.

  3. Take one diagonally scored card stock square. Align it so the diagonal score runs down the middle, and the two triangles extend over the two CDs. Align the left CD's hinge to coincide with the hinge on the cover. Maneuver until the hinges are placed in such a way that you can open and close the two CDs without the hinge separating from the CDs.

  4. Using double sided tape, attach the back sides of the two triangle parts to the two CDs. Do not tape the ends of the hinges to one another. Refer to Picture 3.

  5. The first page of your CD book is now joined to the cover. Turn the first page over, place a second CD beside it, and repeat Steps 3 and 4.

  6. Continue, until all eight CDs are joined. Attach the final triangle to the back cover. Your CD book is now assembled.

  7. Glue the 16 scrapbook paper triangles to the hinges. Refer to Picture 1 and 3 for placement.


All that remains is to embellish your CD book as desired. Use your imagination. Think pictures, transfers, photographs, eyelets, stamped images, envelopes with messages, poems, ribbons, buttons, lace, etc.

Altered Art: Techniques for Creating Altered Books, Boxes, Cards & More by Terry Taylor.

Altered Books Workshop: 18 Creative Techniques for Self-Expression. Bev Brazelton

Altered Books 103: Little Books, Decos, CDs & More! (#5215)

Return to Altered Book Home Page when finished reading about CD books.