Think holograms are high-tech? Create the illusion of 3-D depth with Crayola® Gel Markers on Plexiglas. It’s amazing!


1. How do holograms work? A hologram is an image made by a special beam of light. Holograms appear to be 3-D, and the effect can be seen from all angles. Hungarian scientist Dennis Gabor invented the first hologram in 1947. You’ll want to find more information on this fascinating subject!

2. . How do eyes perceive space? To make a 3-D image that looks like a hologram, it helps to understand how human eyes perceive space. When you look at a distant landscape, what do you notice? The colors seem dull, you see less detail, edges are not as sharp, and you see less contrast. Why? Because you are looking through the air, which has density. On overcast days, the effect is even more pronounced. This phenomenon is called atmospheric perspective.

3. Get the Plexiglas. To make a pseudo hologram, you need at least three pieces of Plexiglas (for the foreground, middle ground, and background). Ask a clerk at a frame shop or home center to cut the Plexiglas into equal sizes, at least as big as a large index card.

4. Draw a landscape scene. On your first sheet of Plexiglas, use a Crayola Gel Marker to draw images that are far away. Landscapes may be best when you first try this. Use colors that have a minimum amount of contrast, such as blue, gray, and white. Use a cotton swab to blend the edges of your drawing so it has a fuzzy, far-away look.

5. On the second sheet of Plexiglas, draw details that are still in the distance, but not as far away as before. Use slightly brighter colors, and blend them less. These objects should be slightly larger than the ones you drew before, because they are closer to you.

6. On the third sheet, draw objects in the foreground. Use highly contrasting, bright colors. Don’t blend the edges. Make these objects the largest and brightest of all.

7. Assemble your hologram. Roll out a thick base of white Crayola Model Magic. Press your Plexiglas into it, leaving a little space between each sheet. Air-dry overnight.

8. View your Pseudo Hologram from the front for a 3-D effect. WOW!

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Crayola Modeling Materials including Crayola Model Magic®, and Model Magic Fusion™, Crayola Air-Dry Clay, and Crayola Dough—

  • Keep away from open flames. Do not use to make candleholders, hot plates, trivets, or other similar objects that will be used or placed near fire and other heat sources.
  • Do not put in an oven, microwave, or kiln.
  • Do not make into vessels/containers that will hold unpackaged food.
  • The use of modeling material to make items that look like food is discouraged for children younger than age 5 to avoid their confusion with real food.
  • Unless sealed with a water-resistant glaze, do not make projects exposed to or immersed in water, such as boats or outdoor bird feeders. They would disintegrate when exposed to moisture.
  • Crayola Dough—contains gluten (wheat flour) as an ingredient.
  • Crayola Air-Dry Clay, Crayola Model Magic and Model Magic Fusion are gluten-free. However, they are produced on the same machinery as Crayola Dough which does contain gluten. Although the machines are cleaned prior to the start of each production run, there is a slight possibility that trace amounts of gluten from Crayola Dough may be present in the other modeling compound products. For information regarding specific ingredients or allergic concerns, please call our Consumer Affairs department at 1-800-272-9652 weekdays between 9 AM and 4 PM Eastern Standard Time.


  • Gel Markers are washable, so if you change your mind or want to correct a mistake, wipe your Plexiglas with a damp paper towel—and experiment with another design!
  • Use this method to analyze a landscape painting by a famous artist. Separate foreground, middle ground, and background into separate areas, and analyze the painting based upon your findings.
  • Try this method with an abstract subject, such as geometric shapes or pattern.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Gel Markers
  • Model Magic®
household supplies
  • Plexiglas
  • cotton swabs
  • paper towels (optional)



  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 12


  • Science
  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Multiple Sessions


  • Students recognize the effects of atmospheric perspective.

  • Students understand how human eyes perceive depth.

  • Children create a multi-paneled drawing that shows depth and appears much like a hologram.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards