Using Altered CDs in your Altered Book


Altered CDs make a great embellishment for your altered book.

CD embellishment

This layout contains a broken piece of CD that I embossed with Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE).

CD face

It's not a good image, but I painted this CD with Lumiere, affixed a picture, cold laminated, then stamped over the laminate. Lastly, I mounted the CD on card stock.

Miscellaneous Tips

  • Use the CD whole or cut or break it into pieces.

  • Color your altered CD with stamping ink or paint. JACQUARD Lumiere paint works extremely well. No pre-sanding is needed. Some stamping inks will not dry properly on CDs. TSUKINEKO's Brilliance and Staz-on both work well. Both inks, as well as Lumiere fabric paint, are available at

  • Cover your altered CDs with paper. I have adhered the paper with Golden Soft Gel Medium and Pioneer Glue Stick with good results. No doubt other glues will work equally well. Golden Gel Medium is available at stores like Michaels, Opus, or online at

  • When using a whole CD in an altered book, glue several pages together directly under the CD page. This gives added strength and prevents damage.

  • To use a whole CD, consider attaching it in the middle and using it as a spinner. Undoubtedly there are several ways of doing this, but here is mine: Cover the center hole with card stock on both front and back. Put a long eyelet through the card stock. Leave it loose enough that the CD can spin. Attach the back of card stock to your altered book.

    Protect the pages underneath the eyelet by inserting a protective layer of shelf liner, cardboard or similar material between the pages before gluing them together.

  • To cut or break a CD into pieces, heat it first by hitting it with a heat gun or by heating it in hot water. When its warm, break it or cut with strong scissors.

  • Try running your altered CDs through a Xyron. Attach paper to the sticky side, or affix directly in your altered book.

  • Try covering the printed side of the CD by painting with gesso. Artist's acrylic gesso is available online at

  • Heat emboss the shiny side of your altered CDs. Stamp or rub the disk with TSUKINEKO VersaMark (available at, sprinkle with embossing powder, shake off the excess, then hit with a heat gun.

  • Heat emboss your altered CDs with Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE). UTEE is available online at

  • In the CD pictured above, I first painted the CD's shiny side with a couple of colors of Lumiere. After the paint dried, I glued an image in the middle of the CD. Next, I laminated the CD with clear, sticky-sided shelf liner. To do this, cut a square of liner a bit bigger than the CD. Carefully place the sticky side over the CD. Work from the middle outward, avoiding wrinkles or air bubbles in the laminate. To remove excess laminate, trim around the edges of the CD with curved cuticle scissors. Paint a little Luminiere on the surface of the shelf liner so as to blur the picture's edges. Stamp a design around the edges of the CD, if desired. Mount on card stock, embellish, and add to your altered book.

  • Looking for CDs? You can buy them, of course. Many of us prefer to use the freebies that AOL and other businesses distribute.

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 altered CDs.