How to Burn Your Own CDs!

Create a Memorable Party Favor  –  Burn Your Own CD’s!

Our family has celebrated many special events in the past few years and acknowledged these occasions with thematic CDs!  My parents’ 40th anniversary, a dear friend’s baby shower, a cousin’s college graduation, an Oscar party and more have given us reasons to create a fun CD!  We’ve drafted play lists, used photos or clip art to design a cover, burned the CDs, wrapped the CDs in cellophane bags tied with pretty ribbon, and given them to our guests as party favors!  This is not as hard as it sounds!  Here’s some advice on how to go about putting your CDs together:

Buy Your CDs

Empty CD cases and recordable CD’s are readily available at stores like Staples, Target and WalMart to name a few.  I don’t recommend buying the recordable CD’s that are sold inside of the cases.  Buy the two components separately, and look for the Memorex brand CD, if possible! 

Select Your Songs

For the songs, you can use those on CD’s that you already own or buy them from iTunes, a program that allows you to download music for $1.00 per song. The most exciting feature of iTunes is its ability to list songs by theme! 

  • For the baby shower, we chose only songs that had “baby” in the title such as Baby Come Back, I Got You, Babe, and Beach Baby
  • For the graduation party, my cousin received her degree in education, so we included songs like My Old School, ABC, School’s Out and more by searching topics like school and teachers!

Another great feature of iTunes is their iTunes Essentials category, which lists the best songs from specific decades or years, artists and other occasions! 

  • My parents’ anniversary edition included their wedding song and other favorites throughout the years.
  • The Oscar Party CD showcased Academy Awarding winning songs from different decades.   

Take a look to see if your theme is covered!  Plan to choose about twenty songs!

Burn Your CDs

For the technical aspect- if you have a teenager in your family- employ them right away!  Otherwise:

  • Check your computer to determine if you have a CD burner. 
  • You should also check to see if you have a pre-installed program to burn CDs.  If not, go to and install the iTunes program, which is free. 
  • Compile a song list on the program you have chosen and then insert a blank disc into the disc drive.
  • Follow the directions supplied by the program, or look for a “burn disc” icon.  CDs can only be burned one at a time, which takes some patience, but plan to watch a great TV show while you burn!

Create a Cute and Clever Cover

To create a cute and clever cover, consider your theme and choose coordinating art work and a title.  For example, I titled my parents’ anniversary CD Forty Years of Favorites, and put a martini on the cover.  Microsoft Word’s Clip Art is a terrific source for all sorts of images.  If you are unsuccessful with Clip Art, consider using a picture of the guest of honor!

Print Your Cover and Song List

When your cover is ready to go, print it out along with a copy of your song list.  Here’s what I’ve found works best for me:

  • Instead of using the printer on my own computer, which takes a long time and uses a lot of ink, I take my cover and play list to the local copy shop. 
  • If you bring an empty CD case with you, the copy shop employees should be able to reduce the art work and play list to the proper size for the case. 
  • Make sure that when the copy is made, the cover and list of songs are next to each other- this way your insert will be just one piece of paper, folded in half and then slid into the CD case.

Even if you are technology challenged, give this idea a try!  I promise that your guests will be thrilled to receive such a thoughtful and enjoyable favor!

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