How to make ID holograms

Written by jorina fontelera | 13/05/2017
How to make ID holograms
The UK driver's licence contains a hologram. (BVRLA)

There are multiple processes for creating holograms for IDs (identification cards). In this instance, we will focus on the holograms used for official cards. The government uses sophisticated methods for creating ID holograms to prevent counterfeiting and prove authenticity, but you can create a novelty ID hologram at home.

Place a driver's licence on the scanner and scan as you would any other document. Using a laser printer, print the holographic image onto a transparency sheet.

Tape the transparency to a hologram stencil maker, such as Photo-EZ (see Resources). Place the transparency/Photo-EZ sheet combination in direct sunlight for four minutes (preferably outdoors) to develop the Photo-EZ film. Wash the Photo-EZ film by soaking it in clean water for 10 to 11 minutes and gently shaking the film. All the parts covered by the negative will wash away, leaving the stencil. Let dry.

Take a transparent base made for paints and mix it with a dual-tone paint, such as Perl-Ex (see Resources). Using Perl-Ex, mix the substances in a 1:50 ration -- 1 part paint and 50 parts base. If using a different brand, use that brand's base-to-paint ratio suggestion.

Place the hologram stencil directly on a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) ID card or, if using laminated paper for the ID, you can apply the hologram on the paper prior to lamination or on the finished laminated card. Put the hologram in reverse if placing the hologram on the paper prior to lamination. With a screen-printing brush, carefully apply a thin layer of the dual-tone paint to the stencil.

Once the paint is dry, laminate the ID if it is on laser paper. If you painted it on after lamination or on a PVC card, merely wait for the paint to dry, and you've got a new novelty ID card with a hologram.


When selecting a dual-tone paint, pick the one that closely matches the two dominant colours on the driver's licence.

Tips and warnings

  • When selecting a dual-tone paint, pick the one that closely matches the two dominant colours on the driver's licence.

Things you need

  • UK driver's licence
  • Computer
  • Scanner
  • Laser printer
  • Transparency sheets
  • Stencil maker
  • Dual-tone paint
  • Transparent base
  • Screen-printing brush or sponge

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