The Family Home Blog

Upcycled Craft: DVD Mosaic DIY Paper Clip Holder

Aug 22, 2016
Scarlet Paolicchi

Recycled mosaic paper clip holder 

I came up with this fun little upcycled craft because my daughter loves shiny things and I thought it would make a cute addition to her desk. I don’t know about you, but my family has so many old CDs and DVDs laying around – many of which are scratched or outdated. Rather than throwing them away, I decided to use their lovely incandescence for a decorative and functional desk item that my daughter loves. She really enjoys the way it changes colors as the light shifts, and the fact that we made it together makes it all the more special. The best part, besides it being a great way to reuse old things, is that you only need four simple items for this quick and easy DIY project that can store any small office supplies—from paper clips to rubber bands to erasers. This is perfect for a lazy summer day.  


  • Small box (such as an empty vitamin or medicine box)
  • 1-2 old DVDs or CDs
  • Scissors
  • Glue


I used an empty cardboard medicine box for the base of my paper clip holder. I didn't want to be able to see the print, so first I unfolded the box, and then I refolded it with the white-side out and glued it back together. If you want to skip this step, you could also paint the medicine box with white acrylic paint if preferred. Then, I cut off the flaps on the top lip of the box to make the opening for the paperclips or rubber bands.

Now that the base for the paper clip holder is complete, you can begin to cut up your old DVDs or CDs. I cut a few of them into small pieces, cutting off the rounded parts (from the outer and inner edges of the circles) so that all of my pieces have straight edges. Note that the edges of these pieces can be sharp – so be sure to do this step yourself. As you carefully cut up the orbs, you’ll find that each piece separates into two parts – a clear plastic piece and a purplish, shiny piece. I collected all of the clear plastic pieces, put them into a Ziploc® Brand Sandwich Bag and stashed it in my craft box for later use – for instance, maybe we’ll use them to craft a princess crown one day!

broken CD

I arranged the shiny pieces on a piece of paper so I can see what I’m working with. Then, I applied a thin layer of regular school glue onto the four sides of my box using a dense foam paint brush.  

Next, I started to lay my pieces so that the straight edges of a few pieces matched up with the straight edges of the edge of the box. From there, I worked to fill in the empty spaces in the middle with the different pieces, sometimes trimming them down to fit a particular gap. I did not use any grout or filler because the DVD/CD pieces are pretty thin, and leaving space between the pieces gives it a great mosaic look.

children craft painting milk carton

That’s it! You now have an easy mosaic DIY paper clip holder. It is actually great for holding small desk items or even little beauty items in the bathroom such as hairpins. It is a fun reuse project that will keep you organized and save you from purchasing something new for your desk.   

What are some of your favorite upcycled crafts?

Photo courtesy of Scarlet Paolicchi.

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