Friday, 17 February 2012

DIY Decals

One day while printing some family pictures on my Canon Selphy printer did I realize that this printing method could be used to create to custom decals. I deducted that since the ink is not printed directly on the paper, but rather on a thin cellophane-like paper laminate, it could be lifted out like a water slide decal. I decided to put to test this hunch and arrived to the following outcome.

The inscriptions were created on Photoshop and printed with the Canon Selphy printer on their proprietary postcard paper. A water brush pen loaded with a solution of water and retarder was used to wet the surface to position the cellophane film before affixing it with Vallejo gloss varnish.

The printed cut-out was soaked in water for 15 minutes to separate the cellophane film from the paper. My deduction proved correct as the print was made onto the cellophane film instead of the paper and thus the Canon Selphy postcard print works exactly like a regular water-slide decal.

The film is positioned with a pair of tweezers and brush and affixed with a water-based gloss varnish from Vallejo. Excess film is trimmed with a scalpel blade and irregularities touched up with silver paint.

The main drawback I conclude is that the CMY print cartridge of the Selphy printer does not print black - making the darkest tones appear as a very dark blue. Needless to mention, CMY printing does not print white - which means that this will have to be filled in by hand.  Considering the type of quality for that inexpensive cost of print and the added convenience of doing it from your home computer, I must comment that the result is still rather delightful. Do give this a try and let me know what you guys think.

Until next time...



Anonymous said...

Interesting discovery. Had I only known earlier I would have saved myself the expense of buying some waterslide decal printer paper for this exact purpose! :)

Dave U

Orb said...

that, sir, is brilliant!

Akira said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Akira said...

commenting on 8 years old post.
It's brilliant idea and good to find the Selphy printer prints not on paper but on the this film. I tried it, and confirmed it works. The only issues are:

The transparent film is not as flexible as normal water sliding decals. Doesn't fit very well to the details or grooves of the plastic surface. I tried mark softer, but it didn't work for this film.

This printer uses CMY, so the black can't be true black but dark blue-gray like color. For the small letters, it's not an issue though.

This printer still doesn't have white ink. That's common issue for all printers except ALPS MD series.

But, it's still nice invention to use Canon Selphy for decal making, as nobody else found. Old Selphy models are so cheaply sold (I got mine with 10 EUR including spare ink sheets), since they are no more supported by Canon, or they don't support AirPrint. All Selphy has the same printing engine and works same for decal printing. You should try!