All electronics eventually die, become obsolete. or get a replacement. What do you do with the old ones you no longer need? Recycling is a great idea, but figuring out where to get things for recycling can be tricky. Why not turn them into something cool to decorate your home with? These eight projects will take electronics from hard drives to CRT monitors and help you turn them into something you’ll be proud to display.

DVD Mosaic

DVD mosaic

If you have copied all your DVDs, but they are still lying around and not sure what to do with them, this project is a great way to use them. DVDs are significantly shinier than CDs and therefore create fantastic mosaic artwork! The instructions use a birdbath as an example and recommend over 20 DVDs, so you’ll need to scale your project accordingly.

After warming up the DVD, you will be able to split it into two parts. The rainbow film in the middle stays with a clear plastic side that will protect it once you include it in your project. This requires the use of a hair dryer or other heat source, so be careful! Once they separate, just cut the pieces and glue them on.

CRT planter

crt planter

Old cathode ray tube Monitors (CRTs) take up a lot of space in your closet or garage and are difficult to recycle due to their sheer size. Why not decorate your home with them? Instructables user Denizpa shows you how to take the monitor apart and turn it into a planter that can be used to place plants in your home or office.

With a few basic tools and a can of spray paint, you can complete this project in just a few hours at minimal cost. Be careful when disassembling the monitor, as any capacitors that are still holding a charge can be dangerous. Also, don’t contribute to e-waste that : Don’t forget to recycle any components you can.

Analog clock with hard drive


The use of a hard drive as the basis for analog clocks is quite controversial, and it is this clock that is one of the most attractive. This requires a drill, a machinist’s vise, a few Torx screwdrivers, and a clockwork, but the actual disassembly of the hard drive and assembly of the clock is pretty straightforward.

User aloew notes that placing a magnet on a hard drive next to anything electronic. can be disastrous, so make sure you work away from your phone, tablet, and laptop, and dispose of the magnet properly (or hold it and turn it into something fun, just don’t let it destroy any of your electronics).

Hard drive Digital clock

This project is more complex than an analog clock, but the end result is worth the time and effort you put into it. Creating a Permanence of Vision (POV) effect, the LEDs mounted on the hard drive show a digital time reading or analog display of the hour hands.

In addition to fabricating the PCB, you will need to solder components onto it. solder cut the acrylic for the case and make a lot of wires to make sure everything will work properly. It will take a lot of patience, but the finished product is amazing! FuneLab is working on releasing kits that will include the components needed to do this, which will make it all much easier, but I haven’t seen any sign of it being available yet.

Keyboard Fridge Magnets

keyboard fridge magnets

Fridge magnets are a fun way to leave reminders, create poetry, or just have fun with words in your kitchen. You can buy a set, but why waste money when you still have a bunch of letters on an old keyboard?

With the help of magnetic material, hot glue and keys from an old keyboard, you can make your own fridge magnets in just a few minutes. User Instructables DIY Hacks and How Tos will show you the easiest way to do it. Although you will have to use at least a couple of keyboards to be able to write any words that have two of the same letter.

hard drive bells

Not sure what to do with a few old hard drives. compelling ? This wind chime project puts plates to good use, and some versions of this project also use dish spacers. I even saw a read/write head included in some of them!

The video above shows fairly simple ways to create a chime, but you can certainly make it a little more complex and require drilling, soldering, and other basic job skills. You are really only limited by your imagination with this.

circuit board lights

printed circuit board headlight

This project idea from IKEA Hackers (one of the best sites for furnishing your Remodel home) is a great way to add some interest to the lighting in your home on the cheap. Jules Yap used blank circuit boards bought online, but you could use circuit boards you salvaged from an old computer instead — just be careful removing components from them (or leave some of them on if you prefer).

Combine the included circuit boards with the IKEA Hemma cable set and some light bulbs and you have some cool indicator lights! As always, be careful when trying to take apart any parts of the computer, especially if you need to use heat.

Keyboard circuit lamp

Sheets lamp

Some old keyboards have some really cool circuit boards hiding inside, and Instructables user ChrysN came up with an awesome way to turn them into lampshades that can be combined with an LED puck to make a nice table lamp that doesn’t create a lot of harsh glare.

The process for this lamp is simply to cut off the top and bottom of the metal tin, insert the puck lamp, and wind the circuit board around everything so that light comes through from all sides. It’s really easy — all you have to do is make sure you have a keyboard with pretty layouts! (U ChryN There are a number of other interesting lighting projects out there, so be sure to check them out.)

Your Favorite Electronic Home Decorations

These eight projects are a great place to start decorating your home with old electronics, but there are plenty of other cool ideas out there. If you have old electronic equipment, you can be sure that someone turned it into something beautiful and published it on the Internet.

What are your favorite electronic home decorations? Have you made any of them? Or have you come up with your own decorating ideas that include pieces of old computers? Share your favorites in the comments below!

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