Disco ball planter with monstera plant next to a record player with the Elton John Greatest Hits Vinyl

Disco ball planter DIY: how to upcycle old CDs

A disco ball AND a planter?!

I am so excited to share this DIY disco ball planter tutorial with you! Nothing brightens a room quite like a disco ball, and few things get me as jazzed as a functional disco ball. The apartment I’m currently living in is very sleek and minimalistic (my best friend says it has Corporate America vibes), so it’s important to me to add as many personal details as I can to make it a comfy cozy place to come home to.

Not only is this disco ball planter a stellar addition to a room, but it is also a great opportunity to upcycle old CDs and DVDs.  The Metromix disks I burned my many “mixtapes” on as a middle schooler turned out to be some of the best for creating the tiles. Old computer CD-Roms and software installation disks are perfect candidates for this project too. If you’re feeling a little sentimental about snipping up your collection of disks, that’s understandable. But as a voice of reason, I ask you: When and how will you ever use your Jump Start Math computer game again? No shade, just asking.

Monstera plant in a DIY disco ball planter next to a record plater with Elton John's greatest hits

My parents instilled the habit of asking “could I use this for something later?” before throwing it out. This resulted in a plentiful collection of disks for tile making purposes, so I actually had enough for both my friend and me to use. We had a fun little craft night, clipping CDs and drinking wine. 10/10 would recommend. It takes a bit of patience, but with a friend and/or some good tunes the time flies by.

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What you need to make a disco ball planter

How to make your disco ball planter

  1. Cut CDs into small squares.
    • Anywhere between ½ inch or 1 inch will work; I did ¾ inch squares. (Some variation is totally fine.) Start by cutting your disk into strips of your desired width. For the edge pieces, just cut off the rounded part as close as you can to create a straight edge.  Once you have long strips, cut them into squares. If you want to create some guidelines for yourself, you can use a ruler and a sharpie to draw squares on the side that you will glue down.
  2. With the planter upside down, start gluing each tile one by one.
    • It’s sort of like corn on the cob, you can either do columns all the way down or rows all the way around. I did a little bit of both because I like to keep it funky fresh. It will take a good amount of glue sticks, so keep some extras on hand. Once you’ve got your rhythm going, you won’t want to have to search for more.
  3. If you are going to hang your planter, and you will be able to see it from below, you’ll want to tile the bottom. If it will be sitting on a table or plant stand, feel free to skip that part.
Collage of six photos cutting up CDs into tiles for a mirrorball
Two CDs with a fracture
Halfway tiled white planter to look like a disco ball
Two hands applying tiles made of recycled CDs onto a plant pot to make a disco ball
One hand applying upcycled CD tiles onto a planter to look like a disco ball

Helpful tips and ideas

  1. CDs work better than DVDs because they are thinner
  2. I tried soaking the CDs in warm water first (I saw this tip on a few websites) but it didn’t seem to help. I found that the type of disk and the angle at which I cut it had much more impact on whether they fractured or cut smoothly Experiment with your disks and try not to get frustrated if they crack; just because one side is cracked doesn’t mean you can’t use the rest of it. But, if you are cutting it at a certain angle, try cutting at a perpendicular or slightly angled line from where you were cutting since that may be part of the problem.
  3. If you want to maximize your CDs, you can use the curved edge pieces (they will look sort of like triangles) right next to one another so that they align like puzzle pieces to create a rectangle.
  4. If you don’t have a bunch of CDs laying around, ask around with family and friends or do an ISO on Craigslist, Offerup, Facebook Marketplace, or eBay classifieds. People are always trying to get rid of stuff and you can save those shiny disks from living in a landfill!

I love how this disco ball planter catches the light and brings a little bit of the 70s into my apartment! As always, if you have any questions or comments, please write them below. If you try this DIY I would love to see it! Tag me on Instagram @disco.therapy.

For some bangin’ playlists to listen to while creating your disco ball planter: click below

Stay groovy out there!

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