Alrighty, so for a while now I’ve wanted to spruce up my computer, and I wanted some keyboard stickers. Unfortunately, I have a crappy, unaccounted for and smaller sized keyboard that came with my HP mini, plus the only nice stickers I could fine were made by for Macs. And I have no money of course.
Naturally, I have to make my own. You can too! It’s super easy 🙂
First up, the things you’ll need are…
- Your computer keyboard. Duh.
- A nice colour image which is big enough to cover your entire keyboard. Ideally get this laser printed to stop the colour running when you glue and varnish it.
- A glue stick, PVA, or whatever kind of glue you have on hand which is going to stick the paper onto the plastic keys. After experimenting with a bajillion types of glue I ended up using a glue stick because it was the only glue that didnt make the colours of my picture bleed. Also it smelt nice, but that’s provably irrelevant.
- Several sheets of scrap paper, you need to be able to draw on this and see clearly. Also, you can use this as a cutting board.
- A cutting surface
- Varnish, I used glow in the dark nail polish. Not sure if Modge Podge and the likes will work. I used nail polish because I knew it was going to be hard wearing and robust, since I’m on my computer 24/7.
- Craft Knife
- Permanent Marker
Lay a piece of scrap paper on top of you key board. Turn your computer off!! I tried to do this without that and I ended up typing all sorts of weird things to people I was on Skype with.
Next, you’re going to pencil over the whole thing, like leaf shading in primary school! You should end up getting something looking like this.
This is going to make the template for your image. In the shading above, I went over and neatened the edges so I could see clearly. I also went to photo copy the whole thing since my hands turned out looking like I worked in district 12.
Take your trusty craft knife…
And begin cutting out all the pieces.
I should have left a border around it to make it stronger, but too late now.
Once you’re finished, lay it on the picture at your desired placement.
(using a black and white copy as a prototype…I hate not having a colour printer grrrrr.)
Now you ask, how are we going to cut out the pieces without ruining the picture? Good question. Flip the template over, and place it on the back of the image like so.
Shade it in!
You can neaten the edges if you want, but from here on it I kinda winged it.
Remove the keys of your computer. While you’re at it you can give it a good clean. I’m sure it’s possible to do this without taking the keys off, but my computer keyboard was pleading for a clean. You don’t want to know what I found there.
Next, start cutting out the bits of your image. It’s all good to use scissors because you aren’t making a template. Remember what you cut out is back to front on your computer since you’re doing it on the backside. IT’S BACK TO FRONT. I recommend starting with the space bar. It’s the most forgiving 🙂
Glue it on to the key, MAKE SURE IT IS THE RIGHT WAY UP WHEN THE KEY IS PUT BACK ON THE COMPUTER!
Give the key a good coat of varnish. I used glow in the dark nail polish so I could type in the dark.
Use a Sharpie or some sort of reliable permanent market to draw whatever characters needed onto the keys. Sharpie first, then varnish. I tried doing varnish, Sharpie and then varnish and it bled out the Sharpie so now I have a couple of ugly keys. Meh.
SUPER IMPORTANT- MAKE SURE THE KEYS ARE THE RIGHT WAY UP WHEN YOU WRITE THE CHARACTERS ON!!!
Once the varnish dries you can start sticking the keys back on. If you’ve done everything right, you should start to see the picture (mine’s a nebula by the way, not really much of a picture so don’t worry if you can’t see anything!)
Finish up all the keys!
In the end you should get an awesome looking computer key board like so.
(And don’t panic if something get’s stuffed up!
You can always remove it with some nail polish remover.)