21 Creative Uses for CD Spindle Cake Boxes

By · Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

21 Creative Uses for CD Cake BoxesBelieve it or not, the CD spindle (or “cake box”) is one of the most versatile plastic containers available today. To most people, a cake box is nothing more than a way of storing CD and DVD discs. To others, it is the foundation for a whole world of creative DIY projects. The following list shows 21 different ways you can hack, mod, customize, and reuse a CD spindle box for something other than storing discs. Check it out:

1. Cake Box Cable Organizer
Here is an ingenious solution for cleaning up the mess of cables behind your computer! Watch the video of the Cake Box Cable Organizer at MetaCafe.

2. Buzz Bee Belt Blaster Mod
In this project, an ordinary CD cake box is transformed into a 30-round magazine for a foam dart gun. I wouldn’t want to be caught in the sights of this modded Buzz Bee Belt Blaster!

3. CD Spindle Lunchbox
This viral picture of a bagel in a cake box [mirror] is a classic example of creative re-use at its finest.

4. Cake Box Tissue Holder and Cable Dispenser
How many different things can you make with a CD spindle? This person makes a tissue dispenser and wire/cable dispenser from extra cake boxes. Check out the video at MetaCafe!

5. Battlestar Galactica Cylon Mask
This flickr user made his own Battlestar Galactica Cylon Mask with a CD cake box and a permanent marker. This one gets a thumbs up for creativity!

6. Electrified Zoetrope Machine
Mark de Vinck of Make: Magazine shows us how to make an Electrified Zoetrope machine using only scavenged parts in this modern version of an ancient Chinese invention.

7. Crystal Radio Kit
Radio enthusiast H.P. Friedrichs has built a crystal radio using a 100-disc CD spindle. The radio is tuned with a homemade tuning capacitor that is sandwiched between two “clear top” discs. This is very impressive!

8. Music Box
This music box carousel is built around the base and spindle assembly of a 50-disc CD cake box. The level of detail in this project really makes it one-of-a-kind!

9. Tesla CD Turbine
Inventor Rick Crammond has built a truly amazing CD turbine based on a design by Nikola Tesla. Watch the evolution of his project at his website and check out his page on Instructables for complete step-by-step build instructions, videos, and more! Simply amazing.

10. DIY Cake Box Ring Flash
One of the readers at DIY Photography sent in this clever idea: a ring flash made with a 50-disc CD cake box top! This allows for softer shadows and more even lighting for close up photos. Great idea!

11. DIY Night Light
Michelle Ames has posted this elegant CD spindle night light over at CutOutAndKeep.net. This is a truly “bright” idea!

12. CD Cake Box Flower Pot
This Instructables user is using his old CD cake boxes to grow plants! Check out the photos and information on how to make your own at Instructables.com.

13. Hydroponic Growing Container
If soil isn’t your thing, you can always adapt a cake box for semi-hydroponic gardening like “gore42″ of the OrchidGeeks.com forum did. Detailed pictures are available at the aforementioned site.

14. CD Spindle Earring Stand
Instructables user “sabbott” has created this very unique earring stand out of a CD and a spindle/base assembly. It’s a high-tech design for those high-style accessories!

15. Cake Box Pencil Holder
One of the simplest and easiest uses for a cake box is to place it on your desk and use it as a cup for pencils, pens, and markers. See the picture at the top of the article for an example.

16. CD Spindle Coin Bank
A 100-disc cake box makes an excellent DIY coin jar with just a few minutes’ work. Flip it upside down and cut a small slot in the base with a hobby knife or razor blade. Simply deposit your pocket change periodically and watch your savings grow!

17. Aquarium Cave
This is one of the most creative uses for a cake box I have ever seen. Instructables user “wpsexton” turned a cake box top into a decorative cave for his aquarium! Why pay more for those fancy store-bought decorations when you can make them yourself?

18. CD Spindle Aquarium
Although this is best suited for small fish, the CD Aquarium is a really neat idea. Visit their website for complete instructions on how to make your own CD spindle aquarium!

19. Wasp Nest Enclosure
This has to be one of the strangest uses ever for a cake box! “Cheshire” of the arachnoboards forum has modified a cake box to be used for keeping and relocating live wasps (yes, the stinging kind). This is one I will not be trying at home for obvious reasons…

20. Hamster Exercise Wheel
Are your pet rodents getting overweight? You could always do like “EmcySquare” of Instructables and build yourself a low-cost exercise wheel for your pet mouse or hamster. The silent design rivals expensive store-bought wheels at a fraction of the price.

21. Cake Box Sand Castle
Next time you go to the beach, bring a couple of cake boxes and make a sand castle. Try to bring different sized boxes if possible.

As you can see, there are plenty of good reasons to not throw your extra CD spindles and cake boxes away. Turn them into a creative project by finding a new use for them. What other uses can you think of for empty cake boxes? Add your input by clicking the “Post Your Comments” button below. Thanks for reading!


By Robert Lausher on December 31st, 2009 at 10:45 pm

This was pretty interesting, I guess I’ll have to start saving my cd boxes now. :)

Hey bro! I’m always at the beach surf’n the sweet waves with my pal Brody. I’ll be sure to take my cake boxes next time and build a sand castle. Killer Idea! I’m stoked! The chicks are gunna dig it.

By Self Storage Todmord on August 16th, 2010 at 1:20 am

Excellent ideas here, have emailed my mum so expect a big reply!!

Glad you liked them! Can’t wait to hear from mum 😉

I use a CD cake box top to hold spare rolls of toilet paper. It sits on the back of my toilet and perfectly fits two rolls as if it were specifically designed for it. Even my wife loves it. It keeps the spare rolls clean and neatly stacked.

They’re one of the greatest inventions ever for knitting or crochet! You put your ball of yarn on the spindle (it works best if you put a bad CD underneath.) Use the outer tail to work from, not the center pull tail. The yarn unwinds without twisting, and you don’t have to frequently dangle the work or the ball to let your yarn untwist!

And the cover (placed on loosely, not locked in) protects your yarn from getting dirty when not in use. If you take an Exacto knife or a strong pair of scissors and cut a little piece (about 1/4 inch square) out of the plastic cover along the bottom edge to let the yarn come out, you can even lock on the cover for transporting or storing the project. I wouldn’t knit with the cover on, though, since the yarn would get some wear and tear scraping against the edge of the cut-out “window”; and the ball of yarn wouldn’t be able to spin as freely.