Turn Old CD Cases into Wondrous Spinning Photo Carousels

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

Why would you settle for photos that just sit there when you can get photos that *spin*?

With a few CD jewel cases, you can make a free and E-Z photo frame carousel, a rad DIY photo project from Tiffany Threadgould’s DIY book, ReMake It.

It’s a frame-holder that fits 10 photos and delightfully spins around a base just like your favorite childhood ride of yore.

Best of all, when one photo starts feeling played out (kinda like your old Eminem CD), you can simply give it a spin for a whole new photo to decorate your desk.

Start digging through your CD bin and give your garbage and/or Garbage another go.

Make a Sweet Spinny Photo Carousel

p.s. Obsessed with the latest and greatest photo gadgets? Be our buyer! Inquire within.



  • 5 CD jewel cases
  • 10 5″x7″ photo prints
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Tape (electrical tape works best)
  • 10 old CDs
  • CD spindle
  • Stickers, ribbon, scrap paper, etc. (optional)

1. Take the Insides Out

beforeCarefully remove the black or clear center tray of each CD case.

This is the part of the case where your Spice Girls CD would normally snap onto.

Just lift up one edge with your finger until the whole thing moves freely and remove it.

You can throw it out since you won’t need it anymore.

2. Prep Your Pics

beforeHere’s where you can choose to keep things simple or get crafty.

To fill the entire CD frame, trim your photos to 5⅜ inches x 4⅝ inches.

If you’re going the crafty route, you can glue smaller photos onto 4¾ inches x 4¾ inches pieces of decorative paper. Then decorate photos with stickers, ribbon, scrap paper, whatevs you want.

Insert two photos back to back inside a CD jewel case. The photos will display where the CD liner notes used to be. Close the CD jewel case.

Now repeat for the other 4 jewel cases ’til you have 10 photos displayed, 1 on each side of each case.

3. Tape the Cases Together

before Stack two jewel cases on top of each other.

Cut a 5 inch piece of tape and tape the cases together along their spines.

Make sure you don’t tape the side of the case that opens. You’ll need to be able to open the cases for switching out photos.

Add another case to the top of the stack and tape it to the one beneath it. Repeat this step until you have a stack of five jewel cases taped together on their spines.

4. Fan the Cases

beforePlace the CD stack upright so it’s standing on your work surface with the front facing you.

Fan the jewel cases out so they sit carousel style. They should be connected at the center where the tape is.

Insert one more piece of tape at the hinge between the two cases that used to be on the top and the bottom of the stack. This’ll close the loop!

You’ll want to reinforce all the other hinges with tape along the opposite side that you already taped them on.

5. Place Them on the Spindle

before Now grab your 10 CDs. Place them shiny side up, in the bottom of the CD spindle.

The CDs will be a slippery surface for the jewel-case photo spinner to spin on. This is a good time to pretend you’re a DJ scratching on your records. (Make sure no one’s around because gawd, that’d be embarrassing.)

Now for the crowning moment: slip your jewel case spinner onto the spindle. It’s best if the spindle is taller than the CD jewel cases, so adjust your stack of CDs accordingly.before

If the jewel cases don’t spin easily, try gently tugging on them in opposite directions so the tape stretches slightly.

Now, place the CD jewel-case photo spinner on your desk and admire your work.

This jewel of a project is a super original way to frame your photos. Plus it makes you feel good because you get to recycle, which pretty much saves the planet.

Taking It Further

  • If spinning makes you dizzy, put your CD frames on the wall. Check out our tutorial!
  • Turn your spinner into a decision-maker! Put photos of your favorite activities or foods, and spin it like a wheel of fortune.
  • Make a wall mural by splicing up one image into multiple frames, like the peeps at Country Living did.
  • Fill the frames with collages or art prints instead of photos.

Tiffany Threadgould is a DIY-er who also contributed to the Photojojo Book! You can find this project and more in her new book, ReMake It! — recycling projects from the stuff you usually scrap.

Also, thanks to Mareen Fischinger for the above wall photo!