Jake von Slatt of The Steampunk Workshop kept breaking the rear glass panel on his iPhone.
So, he ended up making his own gorgeous replacement out of brass to replace the standard Apple logo ones who kept getting.
The only problem was that it made his signal strength super weak, so he figured out how to transfer the etching onto a glass back. Here's the basic rundown of how he accomplished this feat...
First, remove the camera and flash with an X-acto knife.
Remove the glass. There's a double-stick membrane that holds the glass back onto the phone, so you'll need to heat it up in order to weaken the membrane first.
Once you've removed the back, spray it with epoxy remover to strip off the paint. You can use a buffer to get rid of the Apple logo if you want.
Print the design you want to use onto transfer paper. Use a suction cup to make sure it's in alignment with the back and secure it with a piece of high-temperature tape.
Cover with a piece of paper and roll the back and transfer paper through heat rollers. If you don't have the equipment, you could also try using an iron, just make sure to do it on a hard surface.
Soak it in warm water until the paper comes lose and floats to the top. Now you're ready to paint on your design.
Once it dries, put everything back together. It can be difficult to get the edges right, so clamp them together with clothespins for about 10 minutes to make sure they bond.
The finished product...
Here are some of the other designs he's made.
For a more detailed tutorial, check out The Steampunk Workshop.
If you're not quite up to the task of steampunk-personalizing your own glass back panel, you can simply swap it out with a new one. WonderHowTo user Byron Schmidt has a great tutorial to follow along with when replacing the glass back on your iPhone. Let's just hope you don't keep breaking it like Jake.
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