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The light shines through a lamp made from old CDs and DVDs. Photo: Gina Provenzano

Gone digital? Transform your outdated CDs and DVDs into a chic table lamp.

In the age of MP3s and DVRs, plenty of us have a hefty stack of CDs and DVDs taking up valuable desk space in our homes. But with a little ingenuity and creativity, you can keep those unwanted discs out of the landfill by repurposing them into a base for a fabulous table lamp. You'll need about 7 1/4 inches worth of discs for the project I'm about to walk you through.

You'll also need a lamp-making kit, which is readily available in stores like The Home Depot and Lowe's. Some online merchants, like Klock It, sell lamp wiring kits as well.

Once you've gathered all the pieces, it doesn't take to long to put it all together. Here's how:

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Make a Lamp from Old CDs and DVDs

Wood base, approximately 7" x 7" square
Ruler
Pencil
Drill and 25/64ths drill bit
Sandpaper, fine grit
Black acrylic craft paint
Paint brush
2 Sheets black fun foam, 1/4" thick
Utility or X-acto knife
Old CDs and DVDs, about 8" to 9" when stacked
Marker
Glue
Westinghouse Make-A-Lamp Kit #70268
Westinghouse All-Thread Lamp Pipe Kit #70272
Hex nut, 3/8" for spacer
Hacksaw
Screwdriver

Make a Lamp from Old CDs and DVDs

Find the center of the wood base by measuring the width and length and dividing in half in both directions. Mark the center with pencil point. Use a power drill to make a hole at the center through base. Be sure to drill straight down.

Then, sand the base -- especially around the drilled hole -- and wipe clean with a soft cloth. Paint the entire base black. Allow to dry thoroughly.

Make a Lamp from Old CDs and DVDs

First, you'll make cut out circles to act as spacers between your discs. Trace around a CD or DVD onto black fun foam. On a well-protected surface, cut out 8 circles. Use CD/DVD to mark the center of the foam pieces. Then use knife or hole puncher to cut out a small hole of each piece.

From scrap foam, measure and mark for four 1" squares to act as feet for your lamp base. Cut out the squares and glue them onto base -- one square at each of the four corners.

Allow to dry.

Make a Lamp from Old CDs and DVDs

Insert lamp pipe into drilled hole in base. Screw it through the wood until it extends about 1/8" from bottom. Secure pipe under base by screwing a locknut onto lamp pipe extension.

Before assembling the base, play with the order of the CD/DVDs until you like the combination. Insert black foam discs between the stacks of CD/DVDs at various intervals. Different CD/DVDs have different colors and they shows through on the edges. Once you are happy with the order, thread CD/DVDs and foam pieces onto lamp pipe and base.

Make a Lamp from Old CDs and DVDs

Thread a knurled lock nut onto the neck and tighten around the top of the CD/DVD stack. Place the hex nut as a spacer. Thread the neck onto the pipe and tighten.

Make a Lamp from Old CDs and DVDs

Insert the harp bottom onto the pipe, thread another two knurled lock nuts, and then screw on the socket cap. Tighten the screw to secure the socket cap in place.

Make a Lamp from Old CDs and DVDs

Insert the wire through the pipe from the underside of the base.

Make a Lamp from Old CDs and DVDs

Push the wire until it extends about 5 inches through the socket cap.

Make a Lamp from Old CDs and DVDs

Separate the two sides of the lamp cord by pulling them apart. Make an underwriter's knot with the two ends of the lamp cord.

Make a Lamp from Old CDs and DVDs

Connect the neutral--white or ribbed wire--to the silver screw on the socket interior. Connect the other to the brass screw on the socket interior. Tighten both screws to secure.

IMPORTANT: The neutral side of the lamp wire is identified by ribbing or a white line on the insulation.

Make a Lamp from Old CDs and DVDs




  • m-a

    Very simple! Everyone can made one. I appreciate your kind of step by step.

    Reply
  • Shirley

    In Ft Collins, CO at a child care center there is a peacock shaped from wire - chicken wire maybe? Anyway, they change this form off and on during the year. At one time they had it covered with cd s for the body and of course the glorious tail. When the sun shone on the cd s it was beautiful. Another use for cd s and dvd s

    Reply
  • hi all

    well aint that the smartest thing you ever saw on here. i cant wait for the next piece one of you geniuses comes up with

    Reply
  • hi all

    wow what are you geniuses comming up with next i can hardly wait

    Reply
  • AP

    Dumb idea all the way around. A clock would be simpler...it would only take a single disc. as opposed to at loeast 300 for the lamp base this article suggest. If you're taking care of your CDs and DVDs this poorly that the only use left for them is to make something like this, then you don't deserve to have that many of them to begin with. CDs and DVDs cost enough to begin with. Use them carefully and take care of them and you'll never need to do this with them!

    Reply
  • augustbabe

    I get a lot junk cd's in the mail and I have a lot of old programs that came with cd's that no longer work with updated versions of windows, so It's really not a bad idea. I've made a wind chime from cd's and I think hanging a few in my garden would keep the birds from eating all my berries


  • William

    No matter what technology is being used at the moment for entertainment purposes, it is still a waste to use cd's and dvd's in this fashion as they could always be given to somebody who would appreciate them immensely.
    It would have been a lot better if this article came out between five and ten years ago when AOL was on a diabolicly evil mission to destroy planet earth by mailing those "junk cd's" for AOL service to everbody and their mother about every two weeks. If a person were to haved saved them back then, he would easily have eighty to a hundred of them today!

    Reply
  • William

    No matter what technology is being used at the moment for entertainment purposes, it is still a waste to use cd's and dvd's in this fashion as they could always be given to somebody who would appreciate them immensely.
    It would have been a lot better if this article came out between five and ten years ago when AOL was on a diabolicly evil mission to destroy planet earth by mailing those "junk cd's" for AOL service to everbody and their mother about every two weeks. If a person were to haved saved them back then, he would easily have eighty to a hundred of them today!

    Reply
  • kathy

    Now that is a nice looking lamp, how clever....Thank You...looks very easy to make.

    Reply
  • 9 Comments / 1 Pages
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