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Holiday cards aren't usually this transparent. If you send a picture with your dog, will your parents think/know you're desperately single? If you take a cutesy picture with a boyfriend or girlfriend, will your middle school bully wish he had given you harder wedgies? Now with these cards printed on transparencies, they'll probably all just think you don't have enough to do in your 9-5. :)

Time to blow some minds with color this holiday season. With your holiday card pigment puzzles, you can make cards that come off the fridge to ratchet up the science in your winter celebration.

These cards work by dividing up a photo into its pigment elements Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, BlacK and scrambling them across several images. When four cards are combined and held up to the light, you can see the original image again. It's just wonderful.

  • What: Holiday Card Pigment Puzzle!
  • Why: Because your aunt is either going to love 'em or hate 'em.
  • Concepts: color, pigments, optics, light, art, joy
  • Time: ~ 20 minutes on computer, printing and cutting vary by number
  • Cost: ~$0.20-$0.75 per card depending on size
  • Materials:
    • Photoshop or GIMP (these instructions are for Photoshop, they have free trials)
    • Transparencies (for Laserprint is what I used, you can do Inkjet too)
    • Color Printer
    • Cutting device
  • Extra Resources: To learn about the pigments and light in this process, check out the Teacher Institute.

Let's get coloring!

Step 1: A Video for Video Learners!

Here's a significantly long video on how to do the computer portion of this project. This is for people who learn best by video. It is guaranteed to not be entertaining but informative if you like following along. Of course skip through to parts that feel like review for you.

Otherwise, proceed to the photoshop steps! Don't worry, it's not too tricky!

<p>reminds me of maxwell's first color photograph</p>

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Bio: The Oakland Toy Lab is a community-based wonder lab for students to build, tinker, explore, make, break, and learn! We are writing up engaging science ... More »
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