The price of TLC plates can add up. See how to make thin-layer chromatography plates (TLC plates) for a few cents each that are as good as commercial TLC plates that sell for a dollar or two each. You can use these home-made TLC plates the same way you'd use chromatography paper, but the plates provide sharper separations and require far less analyte. They also lie flat, and are much easier to store for later reference. For more information, including step-by-step instructions, and to get started making your own thin-layer chromotography plates, watch this home-science how-to.