How to make a backglass

The instructions below are the methods that I use to make a backglass using the prints available through my website. There are many ways in which the same results can be achieved so this is only a guide and not a definitive method.

Firstly you will need to purchase two pieces of 1/8th inch or 3mm glass cut to size, this will normally be 24"x 28" or 25"x 31" but there are exceptions so please check first. These will need to be cleaned well before use and care must be taken to avoid breaking them or cutting yourself on the sharp edges.

Holes will need to be cut out in both the print and masking layers, this will vary depending which machine it is. Some will only need a small cut out for the replay counter to show through right up to Miss America 57 which needs 50 holes for numbers in both the layers making a total of 102 altogether (I have done two of these). I recommend cutting the holes in the masking layer slightly oversize to the print approximately 1mm or 1/16th" should be ideal and use a hole template to do the circular cutouts. I use a very sharp point to cut both the paper and the plastic by scoring it around until cut through, a scalpel can also be used taking care not to cut into the template if it is plastic.

The masking layer is made from a vinyl material and will be a bit tougher to cut. Take care not to scratch the surface on either of the prints.

When the prints are cut out the next stage is to line them up so that the masking layer will allow the light to show through in the correct areas of the front print. I use two trestles to support the glass which will be the front.

The prints are placed on the glass.

A powerful lamp underneath will show up the areas that need the light to come through.

If not gluing put the back piece of glass in place before lining everything up.


The lined up prints are clipped down on the top edge and can now be stuck together using 3M's Spray Mount which does not set and can be unstuck if not correctly done the first time. Fold the masking layer back and put some paper between the print and the glass so that the glue does not get on the glass through the cut outs, and spray a thin layer onto the back side of the front print. Wait a few minutes and fold the masking layer back and smooth it out as it unfolds. 

When the back piece of glass is in place and everything has been lined up, the edges need to be held using clips. Any excess pieces of the print need trimming flush with the edges of the glass.

The edges need to be glued using a low modular glazing sealer (my preference only) or something else suitable.

The edges will now need to well clipped down and left for at least 24hrs to dry.

The whole process of making this glass took me less than two hours.

The methods described here are for guidance only. All sensible precautions must be taken when handling glass and chemicals of any kind and the author takes no responsibility for any occurrence when using this guidance.