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DIY Light box: How to Trace A Drawing Without Tracing Paper!

Learn how to use your computer or window to make a DIY light box and how to trace a drawing without tracing paper.

Here you will find a quick post that may help you in other posts or DIY projects. You can make your own DIY light box to help make tracing easier. Tracing is when we take the outline of an image and transfer it exactly how it is to another material. Basically, it is a copy. In today’s post I will show you how to trace a drawing without tracing paper. Soon with your DIY light box you will be able to use royalty free images, images in the public domain, or your own photos, letters, ect. for tracing projects for your home school or decor!

This post may contain affiliate links.

Option 1: Use your computer monitor or tablet as a light box.


Materials needed:

  • Pencil
  • Tape
  • White thin computer/printer paper
  • Digital image to trace

How to Trace a Drawing Without Tracing Paper!

  • First choose your image and adjust to the size you want on the paper. (If you want your drawing larger then the 8 ½ × 11 computer paper you can tape them all together after drawing each section later) I used these royalty free penguins from here.
  • Next tape the paper to the screen. One piece to hold it up is fine. (You can put the tape on fabric to make it less sticky first)
  • Then make sure the room is dark and the screen is bright. If you cannot see the image on the paper those two factors need to be adjusted.
  • When ready, using your pencil lightly trace the image. (Disclaimer: pressing hard can damage your monitor. I have done this technique many times with no damage, however Eva to Ave takes no responsibility for damaged screens from tape or the pencil!) Press lightly! You mat go over it to darken it later!
  • Finally, gently remove the tape and use your image! Go over in black marker and erase pencil if desired.

How to Trace A Drawing Without Tracing Paper: Use a window with full sun as a light box!


Materials needed:

  • Pencil
  • Tape
  • White thin computer/printer paper
  • Window with full sun
  • Hard copy printed to size of your image, (with pre-traced bold lines in black marker around outline if needed)
  • Start by taping your hard copy to the window.
  • After that, tape the blank paper over the image.
  • Next make sure the room is dark and the window is light. If you cannot see the image on the paper those two factors need to be adjusted. The hard copy contrast may need to be enhanced by tracing over with a black marker or adjusting on the computer.
  • When you are all set up, use your pencil to trace the image.
  • Finally, gently remove the tape and use your image! Go over in black marker and erase pencil if desired.

That is it! I use this all the time when I need to draw something quickly. Tracing can be used with my free Catholic Themed Infant Contrast Cards, or with Toddler Time! Pointillism, introducing fine art techniques to toddlers!

How can you use a DIY light box? Let me know in the comments below!

Thank you, and I hope this post brings joy!


Stella Maris, Ora Pro Nobis!

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Hello, I'm Jenny!

Hello, I'm Jenny!

I am so happy you are here! Join us as we celebrate Traditional Catholiscism, home making and educating, and wife and motherhood.

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