Happy 30th Birthday, CDs!


This week the compact disc–once a technological game-changer, now an oft-ignored digital format–celebrates its 30th anniversary. (You can read more about the history of CDs here). CDs revolutionized the music industry and for over two decades, enjoyed enormous commercial success. Who hasn’t used a CD to back up their computer, store photos, or burn a mix CD? Let’s not forget all those free AOL CDs sent by mail to every U.S. household during the start of the Internet boom.

As technology progresses at ever-increasing speeds, CDs have been replaced by music downloads and streaming and more durable, high-memory capacity USB devices. I believe this change is for the better, but what to do with all those old CDs, jewel cases, and paper CD envelopes? Time for a little reworking!


  • Attach CDs (shiny side facing up) to the front and back (or in the spokes) of your bike for instant reflectors.
  • Create wall art or a dangling light catcher by overlapping CDs of different colors or attaching them with fishing wire to a hanger.
  • Don’t put CDs in a microwave! But do watch this YouTube video of other people doing it.

Jewel Cases:

  • Use to store or sort photos. Each case may only hold a few pictures, but it is a good way to protect photos sent by mail.

CD Envelopes:

  • Tuck a large cookie into a CD envelope with a clear window for a delicious, single-serve treat. This is a great idea for passing out to friends or coworkers at holidays and it is easy to customize the envelope for birthdays or showers, too. Add ribbon, stickers, or print custom labels to seal the envelopes. FYI: I like to include a square of parchment or wax paper under the cookie to keep any grease from seeping into the paper.
  • Origami. The squares are the perfect size for practicing making paper cranes, frogs, and fortune tellers.


What was the first music CD you owned? Share your response in the comments field.

P.S. Mine was Weezer’s “The Blue Album.” It’s a little scratched, but still as good as I remember it.


8 responses »

  1. Yikes, CD’s are 30 years old?! Does anyone remember or know of the first album to be released on CD? Love the cookie idea with the CD envelops! What a great way to display the product.

  2. Ashamed to admit that at least twice during the first years of the CD, I caught myself thinking I should turn it over to play the other side.

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