Design your circuit board. Use PCB computer-aided design (CAD) software to draw your circuit board. You can also use a perforated board that has pre-drilled holes in it to help you see how your circuit board's components would be placed and work in reality.
Buy a plain board that is coated with a fine layer of copper on one side from a retailer.
Scrub the board with a scouring pad and water to make sure the copper is clean. Let the board dry.
Print your circuit board's design onto the dull side of a sheet of blue transfer paper. Make sure the design is oriented correctly for transfer.
Place the blue transfer paper on the board with the circuit board's printed design against the copper.
Lay a sheet of ordinary white paper over the blue paper. Following the transfer paper's instructions, iron over the white and blue paper to transfer the design onto the copper board. Iron every design detail that appears near an edge or corner of the board with the tip of the iron.
Let the board and blue paper cool. Peel the blue paper slowly away from the board to see the transferred design.
Examine the transfer paper to check for any black toner from the printed design that failed to transfer to the copper board. Make sure the board's design is oriented correctly.
Replace any missing toner on the board with ink from a black permanent marker. Allow the ink to dry for a few hours.
Remove exposed parts of the copper from the board using ferric chloride in a process called etching.
Put on old clothes, gloves and safety goggles.
Warm the ferric chloride, stored in a non-corrosive jar and sealed with a non-corrosive lid, in a bucket of warm water. Do not heat it above 115 F (46 C) to prevent toxic fumes from being released.
Pour only enough ferric chloride to fill a plastic tray that has plastic risers in it to rest the circuit board on. Be sure to do this in a well-ventilated space.
Use plastic tongs to lay the circuit board face down on the risers in the tray. Allow 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of your circuit board, for the exposed copper to drop off the board as it etches away. Use the plastic tongs to agitate the board and tray to allow for faster etching if necessary.
Wash all the etching equipment and the circuit board thoroughly with plenty of running water.
Drill 0.03 inch (0.8 mm) lead component holes into your circuit board with high-speed steel or carbide drill bits. Wear safety goggles and a protective mask to protect your eyes and lungs while you drill.
Scrub the board clean with a scouring pad and running water. Add your board's electrical components and solder them into place.