Educational materials for the blind are costly. Although there are many free online libraries of tactile graphics available, embossing is still a problem for most of the parents of blind children. This is why we came up with a way for you to emboss tactile graphics at home. It does not require special machinery. You only need to use and can even reuse a syringe filled with wood adhesive.
1. How to emboss tactile graphics at home
Embossing tens of tactile graphics does not have to be expensive or complicated. You can do it yourself at home, with cheap materials you can buy online or at the closest shop.
- a syringe with a needle (use a needle with a blunt tip such as those used for food or oils)
- wood adhesive
- a heat source (oven or the sun)
After you finished drawing adhesive lines, you need to dry them. Use either an oven or the sunlight. In the first case, insert the graphic for 5 minutes – no more than 40° Celsius. In the second, leave your graphics in the sun for 60 minutes at the same temperature.
This embossing method is cheap and accessible. You can download free graphics from our LIBRARY and print them at home, at friends, or the closest copying place.
You can find wood adhesive at the closest hardware store and a syringe at the nearest drug store. Use the sun heat to dry the adhesive if you have the time, and reduce your expenses to the minimum.
2. Reuse the syringe to emboss even more tactile graphics
Once you finished embossing your first tactile graphic, do not throw the syringe away. Your ”embossing pen” can be used more than once – reuse it to emboss tactile graphics at home.
To reuse the syringe, you only have to wash it with warm water. Wash it right after you are done embossing because otherwise, the adhesive will dry.
If you are on an embossing spree, just keep refilling with wood adhesive. Be careful not to stain your clothes. If that happens, warm water is a quick and safe solution to get them clean. Also, do not forget to put the syringe and needle away when you are done to make sure that nobody gets hurt.
3. Reuse the embossed graphics
Not only can you see the results of manual embossing right away, but they are also durable. You can emboss tactile graphics at home and get creative. Create your tactile catalogs or books and be kind. Share them with friends and spread the word about this easy technique. You can meet with other parents of blind children to emboss and create your library of tactile graphics.
You can now emboss tactile graphics at home – it’s easy and cheap. Just think about it, it’s 100 times less expensive than specialized embossing hardware. Embossing one tactile graphic will cost you less than $1.