CD Case Photo Magnets

cdcase This simple craft is an ideal way to recycle plastic CD cases and makes a perfect gift or keepsake!


  • To teach children how to recycle used household items to turn "trash" into "treasure"
  • Practice fine motor skills and creativity in creating a unique keepsake
  • Practice exploring and respecting each other’s differences

Before You Start: Have the children bring clean, empty plastic CD cases and photos of their loved ones, pets and/or themselves from home. (The teacher may want to bring some cases as well.) Set out Colorations® heavy construction paper in assorted colors as well as Colorations® Permanent Markers, glitter glue, paint pens, beads, foam shapes, scissors and other decorative materials. Cut strips of adhesive magnetic tape (about 3-4 inches each) to stick on each CD case.

Let's Get Started! Step 1. Have the children trace their CD cases on pieces of colored construction paper.

Step 2. Help them cut out the square shapes, one for each CD case. (Having the perfectly square shapes is not important as self-expression.)

Step 3. Help them trim their photos to fit the size of the paper. Encourage them to be creative and cut photos into shapes around the images or any way they like, being careful not to destroy the picture itself.

Step 4. Have the children glue the photos on to the construction paper and insert into their CD cases.

Step 5. Let the children decorate the outside of the cases around the photos any way they like, using all the decorative materials the teacher has set out. Have them experiment with different materials and colors.

Step 6. Once the children have finished decorating their frames and the frames are dry, demonstrate how to stick the magnetic tape in the middle back of the cases.

Step 7. Now all the children have their own original magnetic photo frames to display in the classroom, give as gifts or keep for cherished memories. Have the children talk about who is in their pictures and why they chose them.

Furthermore: This activity also provides a great opportunity to talk to students about the different pictures they've used in their frames. Have each child take turns sharing about their photos. It’s also easy to turn the CD cases into hanging frames. Create loops from pipe cleaners or craft wire, and the teacher can attach with a hot glue gun to the backs of cases for hanging. The pictures can also be changed to accommodate different themes in curriculum. Children can cut out different pictures (or draw pictures) that correspond with lessons.

Products You May Need: