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Tips & Techniques > Use Foam Board for Tracing Surface

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Posted by: homewerk
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About homewerk star
CO United States
Member since: 10/2/07
Reviews: 28 (tips: 4)
Skill level:Advanced Beginner
Favored by: 3 people
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Posted on: 5/7/12 9:07 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 3 people   Very Helpful by 15 people   
I trace my patterns and until recently did so by taping the pattern to a patio glass door, then taping tracing paper over the pattern. Recently Iíve found that if I trace from a table top, I am more accurate, and comfortable. But my AHA! moment came when I stab pinned the pattern and tracing paper to a 20 x 30 inch piece of foam board. Not only did the foam boardís white surface give me better visibility, I could move the foam board around so that the hard to reach spots came to me instead of me reaching to them. When I need to manipulate my french curve to replicate a line I just reposition any pins that might be in the way. As long as the pattern and tracing paper are secured at 2 or 3 points, they will not shift out of line.

My tracing accuracy has increased ten-fold because Iím looking down, close range on the pattern instead of reaching up to trace on a vertical surface (Iím not much over 5 feet). Tracing this way is not as tiring. The foam board stores away easily and is very portable.

Iím fortunate to have a dedicated desk surface for my cutting mat so I donít have to worry about a pin going all the way through the foam board and scratching the table top. If you try this on your dining table, put some cushioning under the foam board to catch a pin point -- just in case.

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ampm5 said... (5/16/12 10:13 PM) Reply
what a great idea! I am under 5 ft and sometimes even have difficulty leaning over a table to trace. I'll definitely try this next time. Thanks!!
sew2006 said... (5/8/12 11:10 PM) Reply
Many stores also sell a 36x48 tri fold foam board sometimes used by kids for science fairs. I use flat push pins and find I don't have to move them around as much as regular pins. This size is perfect for the Burda magazine sheets.
brooksdi said... (5/8/12 5:30 PM) Reply
thanks homewerk..looking forward to trying this
homewerk said... (5/8/12 10:04 AM) Reply
brooksdi -- It's about three-eighths inch thick. The usual kind, bought it at a local grocery to make a backdrop for photography.
brooksdi said... (5/8/12 4:51 AM) Reply
Great idea! How thick was the foam board that you used?
ghijsmom said... (5/8/12 1:36 AM) Reply
Thanks for a great idea!
Patti B said... (5/7/12 10:13 PM) Reply
Great idea! I like that the hard to trace parts come to you.
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