I created these semi transparent plexiglass tiles from photocopies and laser printouts. Since each photo becomes transparent, you can layer several images to create one design. I also added some color and backing to give a more vintage feel. I picked a couple of ladies that I think are pretty awesome, Alfonsina Strada and Ruth Asawa and layered text and images that related to their lives and careers.

You can use any image as long as it's been printed with a laser printer or copied on a copy machine. Part of the aesthetic of this technique is that it isn't a perfect transfer, so it works great for vintage photographs or anything that could use a bit of detritus. 

Step 1: Materials

You'll need:
- A piece of plexiglass
- Photocopy or laser printed images or text (get extra copies)
- Clear gel medium (you'll find it at any art store in the paint section)
- Squeegee (or a small block of wood works too)
- Paintbrush

- Semi-transparent paper
- Markers
<p>I have transferred prints onto surfaces many times. Using deskjet printer ink . Reversed if needed for showing as correct way round.</p><p>The trick is getting a good transfer sheet.</p><p>ANSWER/// Go to a vinyl signwriter. Get the discarded FREE backing paper they use when vinyl lettering jobs are done. They throw it out. Cut it into eg A4 sheets to simply print thru your inkjet .Lay on surface eg wood calender block etc and press. Works great. Lacquer after it transfers and dries a bit. Looks great FREE material and easy to do at home.</p>
I need to do this too....have a wall below a window that the cats always jump into....scratching the wall in the process...gonna make myself a beautiful plexi/paint picture to protect it when newly painted...will show after pics after its done too....
This is fantastic. I'm definitely doing this! <br>Lucky me I have some acrylic hanging around, will this technique work with glass as well?
I don't see why not :) There is also another technique with glass that allows you to pull the transfers off of the glass for use on canvases or anything else. But that's a whole other project.
Do you know where I can find the technique for pulling images off glass to use on canvas?
<p>Marvelous! What a brainwave :)</p>
<p>I wonder if this would work on Yupo? Even better, translucent Yupo?</p>
I have another question. Are the papers with text printed on common printer paper, and <br>are the letters cut out or on whole sheets (meaning besides the cutout figure are you doing layers of intact sheets of paper)?
Hi there! It's just standard printer paper and whole sheets. I cut out the figure since it was only on a small part of the page, but the other layers covered the entire surface. Hope that helps!
Thanks for the response it defintely helps! Now I understand why you advise netflix since you use whole sheets :p <br>I'm making one devoted to Ira Glass, I'll post a picture when it's done!
Looks like an awesome afternoon project. I wonder what it would look like if the acrylic was edge-lit.
Will this work with regular printer ink? <br>I love it and want to do one as a gift for my husband
Unfortunately, it doesn't work with an ink jet printer. The gel medium won't pick up the ink in the same way. I'd recommend making photo copies of your images if you don't have access to a laser printer. Good luck on your project!
thank you, this is such a cook idea, cant wait to do it
I am thinking that it would depend on how thick the plastic is. It may soften but that might make the toner stick all the better. If the correct temperature is used, it would not take very long to apply enough heat. After all, it takes place in a fraction of a second in the printer's fuser.
Since you are using Laser printer photos, try laying the photo directly on the plexiglass and running a hot iron over the back of the paper. The toner will melt and (may) stick to the plexiglass. - I have never tried this on plastic so I am not sure what would happen but it would make an interesting experiment.
Interesting idea. I know the ironing technique works for paper and fabric, but it might melt the plexi.
This is wonderful! Good job! As an artist I draw and have done other forms of printmaking. THIS is awesome, and I don't use this word much, if ever! This will give me new avenues of creativity and I'm very happy about this. <br>It strikes me that one could do their own drawing and photocopy it for one of the layer options. Really, one could do a number of layers they drew and have a very dynamic image in the end. I have one question regarding step four: Where are we rubbing, on the plexi, directly over the paper images that are being transfered, or something else. Sorry to be so dense about this, I just like to visualize a process before I do it and make sure I really it. Thanks!
Thanks! It's a great idea to use original artwork. Sorry I wasn't super clear in step 4. You'll rub directly onto the remaining paper bits that are attached to the plexi. As soon as the gel medium begins to dry, the ink is no longer on the paper so you &quot;scrub&quot; it off without the image coming with it. The only tricky part is that if the medium isn't completely set, you might warp a little bit of the image. Hope that helps!
and make sure I really understand it. &quot;Understand&quot; was the word omitted.
Oh this is plain wicked. I did something similar to a ceramic pot when I was in college, but I love the idea of working with plexi! Going on my I need to make this list!
Thanks! I like the idea of ceramic too. Good luck on your project!
Can't wait to try this!

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a maker with a penchant for art and a love of sculpting the unsettling. I also appreciate the history of deep craft traditions ... More »
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