Color Applique

Dress up that plain, drab window in your case with an applique. Not just one of those crappy single color stickers mind you, a full color image of your choice with all the details!

This was actually one of my very first mods, so I’ll go ahead and say that it’s very easy. The first thing you’ll want to do is gather your supplies:

  • Package of 8.5×11 inkjet Transparencies.(Usually pretty cheap at WalMart)
  • Plenty of ink for your inkjet!

Next you’ll want to figure out what image you want to use. I’m a fan of Cowboy Bebop and my server is named FAYE, so what better picture to choose.

I found the desktop background at the adult swim website and added a little extra blue hue to it since I have a blue case with blue lights.(Figured I should stay with the color scheme) You have to be careful when choosing an image to use. You’ll need to choose one that’s fairly high resolution so you don’t have that jpeg blur when you print it out and you really don’t want an image with a crazy background. I personally look for anime characters or symbols that are fairly simple.

After you’ve decided on an image, you’ll have to open up your favorite image editor. Depending on the size of your case window, you may be able to skip cutting the image and just use one sheet. I use fireworks or gimp, but just anything that you can cut images into sections. I have a huge window on my case so I new it would take a little planning before I could cut the image. You have to measure the size of the case window and remember what the verticle and horizontal halfway point is. Once you take 30 seconds to measure, you can open up your image and if it’s not big enough to cover the window already, go ahead and blow up the resolution a little. I had to increase my image size to 13.5 by 17 inches. Even though it’s big enough to cover the window, we can’t just print it out. Unless you have a really big printer and found poster size transparencies. Now we’ll need to cut the image into four sections, each small enough to fit on a 8.5×11 piece of paper. Save each image as its own file.(See image below)

Image cut into pieces.

That last step was fairly easy, but I wouldn’t stick those transparencies in the printer yet. After you think you’ve gotten the image chopped up into small enough pieces it’s time to test it out. You can print the four images out in black and white on regular paper to see if they fit and look about right. It actually took me a little time fiddling with the images to get them to print out correctly. After your test sheets look okay, you can use scissors and cut the little margin the printer left off the inside of the images. You’ll want to leave the margin around the outer edge so you can be sure to cover the whole window. Now, you can use a little tape and lay it out in the window.

Quick layout print to see what it looks like.

Not too bad eh? As you can see, I used some construction paper. It was just easy to work with. If you like the way you’re image looks, it’s time to break the seal on that pack of transparencies. Remember to set your printer to print photo quality or whatever the highest setting it has. Some printers have a setting for transparencies that you can turn on. Now you can start printing those nice images! It’ll probably take a while and when one finishes, be sure to set it aside and let the ink dry for a while.

As soon as the ink is dry on the last sheet, you can cut the margins just like you did with the test pages. I went out and got an exacto photo cropping tool to do so because I can’t cut straight with scissors. Everything should be fairly simple from this point. I used plain clear tape around the entire edge of the window and small square in the middle to hold all four sheets.Final product! I know, I forgot to mirror the image.

Looking at it when done, I noticed that the transparencies were just too clear and you really couldn’t see the image in the window from a distance. To fix this I traced the outline of the image onto a sheet of wax paper and cut it out. Then I used clear adhesive (glue stick) to attach it to the back of the transparencies. This means we can get rid of that little square piece of tape holding the middle of all the sheets together, the wax paper will support the sheets good enough.

This is our file server Julia.

My friends and I have performed this mod a number of times and it gets simpler with each time. I don’t think I’ll ever have just a plain case window ever again.

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