Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Custom Transparencies

Occasionally I come up with an incredibly cool idea, this being one of these times. I know how in demand transparencies are for paper crafters, I also know how much we hoard them (there's one doily transparency I just can't bear to use because I love it so much). Sometimes you can't even find a transparency that will fit the project you're working on, but you desperately wish there was one... So i came up with a solution using a couple of things I found in my house.

My mom used to teach at university, but when she left I got all of her old materials she didn't need anymore. This included a whole stack of overhead sheets meant to print notes on. Basically they're clear sheets, one side is smooth and one side is a little grainy so the ink sticks. Using these, and a printer/computer and a couple of old stamps, you can make your own transparencies for scrapbooking or cardmaking. So here's how I did it...

Step1) Stamp the images you want onto a plain white piece of paper, then scan it onto your computer.

Step2) Transfer the images onto an editing program (I used Photoshop Elements, but you can definitely even use word and open the image into a Word Publishing Layout). Remove the white background and darken the stamped image as dark as it can get (unless you're wanting a colour image, then just shift the hue to whatever colour you want)
 Step3) Build the transparency image you want. I used 3 different stamps in mine, a happy birthday stamp, a frame stamp (I cut out the middle where there were lines for journalling) and a small flourish stamp for the corners.

Step 4) Print out your image on a sheet of white printer paper to see exactly where it will print, then tape your piece of overhead sheet on top, making sure the rough side is facing upwards. Feed the paper back into the printer, making sure when it prints out, the image will print directly over the image you printed previously.

Step5) Print again. This time your printer will print on the overhead sheet. 

Step 6) Taadaa! A fancy home-made transparency!

I'll post a couple of projects later where I've used this technique.


  1. awesome! I definitely need to try that. I have a bunch of transparencies I bought a long time ago to print journaling on. I never use them, though! Need to bust 'em out.

  2. Great tutorial!

    I'm curious why you posted the transparency over the paper, as opposed to just insert the transparency in the printer. Is it the paper size?

    1. The only reason I do that is because then If I print on paper first I can see the exact size it will turn out before wasting a piece of transparency. I have just stuck an entire sheet of transparency paper in before, but that's because the pictures I was printing out filled a whole page.