Have you got any old CD’s lying around? Maybe they came free with a newspaper or are too scratched to play? Kids can have loads of fun with them making beautiful CD Scratch Art. It’s a fabulous recycled and process art opportunity for kids of all ages.
This CD Scratch Art project is easy to set up, small scale and simple – so no one is having to grapple with tricky techniques or expensive art supplies. Unlike pricey black scratch board you can buy, this recycled art project allows kids to make their own scratch art in any colour or combination of colours they like.
I wanted to approach this project as a process art piece. The joy of process art is that it’s about exploring materials and techniques with the focus very much on the doing and taking part and not on the finished product. For this piece I didn’t give my kids any worked examples that might sway their ideas, or tell them how to do it. Instead we just chatted about the basic idea, which was painting your shiny CD and then scraping off some of the paint to create a design.
CD Scratch Art Allows Kids To Experiment:
- They can decide how to apply the paint maybe brushes, hands, sponges etc
- They can explore the thickness of paint and layering.
- They can experiment with colour mixing and blending.
- They can choose whether to scratch a design on wet, tacky or dry paint.
- They can experiment with different tools to remove the paint and reveal the shiny silver cd surface beneath.
- Their designs can be as simple or as detailed as they like.
Each finished piece is guaranteed to be unique and interesting. I’m sure the kids will have loads of cd art ideas of their own that they’ll want to try out.
I love seeing CD scratch art pieces hanging together as a colourful mobile. We’ve also got plans to try varnishing some to make cup coaster gifts and mounting some in a frame as a one off piece of wall art.
Supplies For CD Scratch Art
- Old Silver CDs
- Acrylic Paint US / UK
- Brushes, Sponges etc
- Scratch Art Tool Kit US / UK or Selection of metal items to use for scratching eg. key, fork etc
How To Set Up A Colourful Process Art Project- CD Scratch Art
The first step to create colourful CD art is to paint the shiny silver side of the old CD with acrylic paint. Kids can use one colour, two or numerous combinations! My kids painted one base colour first and then dotted on additional colours and swirled them in with paint brushes. The boys were very much taken with the roundness of the CDs and followed that shape with their painting strokes too.
I really enjoyed listening to my kids’ questions at this time, such as…
- “How much paint should I put on?”
- “What will happen if I put on 2, 3 or a hundred layers of paint?”
- “What will happen if I use different paint colours at the same time?”
I made sure that I didn’t tell them the answers to any of their questions but instead encouraged them to experiment, explore and do what feels right to them. Must importantly to have fun with the process!
Once their CD’s were covered in paint the kids explored scraping patterns into the wet paint. They decided that it didn’t allow them enough detail because the paint was too runny and ran into the scratches so they left them to dry for a few hours and them tried scratching again.
The kids enjoyed getting creative with a scratch off pattern. I encouraged them to make any kind of design they liked and we gathered a selection of metal objects from around the house to use for scratching. You can buy special scratch art tool kits pretty cheaply too. These give a good selection of nib shapes and sizes for scratching different patterns and are safer for younger children.
As they scratched away the paint from the surface of the CD the shiny silver showed through and looked fantastic against the colourful paint. My kids got really into repeating patterns around the circles like mandala art. I LOVE the effect, what a great way to recycle old CDs!
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