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Make a faux product description sheet

Add a little bit of obscurity to your self-made christmas present. A fake Chinese setup guide sheet might have your friend confused for a moment, not knowing if the present actually is self-made or just of really crappy (or excellent!) Chinese quality.


You can easily create line-art illustrations by taking a photo and then using the edge detect tool on it. It may be necessary to remove some noise with the eraser tool.

For editing the description sheet, Inkscape is a great tool. You can convert the bitmap to a vector image by selecting Path → Trace bitmap..., so it will scale up/down better.


Passing the description text through Google translate gives it authentic technical writing tone. It is how many of the real product manuals seem to be made, too.

You can make a few language versions of the text to fill the sheet.


Typical product sheets are laid out in a square pattern, with the text underneath each illustration. Putting a random identifier code in the corner adds a lot of credibility to the hack.

Final touches

Remember to pack the present neatly, just like it came from a store. Use some left-over twist ties to hold cables, and make everything fit exactly in the box.

– Petteri Aimonen on 22.12.2010

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