How to Make Homemade Hologram

Written by amanda flocke
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How to Make Homemade Hologram
Create your own holographic image using everyday objects. (business presentation image by robert fori from

In 1947, Nobel laureate Dennis Gabor accidentally created holography while working on the Thomson-Houston Company's electron microscope in England. Today holograms are a ubiquitous part of modern life. Holographic images adorn everything from credit cards to book jackets. Despite the commonplace nature of holograms, the equipment needed to produce these images is quite costly. Instead of investing in pricey, laser splitting gear, make your own hand-drawn hologram with inexpensive household objects.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Simple image printed on a 1-inch-by-1-inch piece of white copy paper
  • CD or DVD
  • Masking tape
  • Synthetic steel wool pad
  • Dull pencil
  • Etching needle
  • Soft, damp cloth
  • Craft knife

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  1. 1

    Secure a CD or DVD on a flat surface, label side down, with masking tape. Do not use a disk that contains information that you need, as this process will render it unreadable.

  2. 2

    Rub the disk in a circular pattern with synthetic steel wool until you can no longer see your reflection.

  3. 3

    Trace over the outline of a simple image printed on a 1-inch-by-1-inch piece of copy paper with a pencil. Flip the image over and place it on the dulled portion of the disk. Transfer the image by using the pencil to scribble on the backside of the paper in a back and forth pattern.

  4. 4

    Lightly trace the transferred lines with an etching needle. Remove the remaining transfer marks with a soft, damp cloth.

  5. 5

    Shade the outline with the etching needle, using cross-hatching and pointillism techniques (see Resources).

  6. 6

    Fill the background by etching overlapping lines, vertically perpendicular to the image. This channels the light around your etched image, creating a 3D, holographic effect.

  7. 7

    Buff your hologram with the synthetic steel wool, using circular motions, to a matt finish.

  8. 8

    Trim your hologram to the desired size with a craft knife.

Tips and warnings

  • If you do not have an etching needle, try using an upholstery needle or the pointed end of a drafting compass.
  • Craft knife use requires adult supervision.

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