DIY Tracing Table

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Posted in WorkshopLighting

Introduction: DIY Tracing Table

I found myself in need of a way to trace a drawing for a project I'm working on. After looking online and seeing that the tracing tables are typically starting at around $30 I wanted to find a way to beat the system. This "tracing table" was made with things I already had around the house which made it a much better alternative for my budget. It was very easy to use and served my purpose perfectly.

Step 1: The Supplies

You'll need:
A white or light colored pillow case/sheet/blanket (to put under the lamp to act as a reflector adding more light in the box)

A flashlight/lamp (I used a camping lantern that we had one hand. I think the best option would be to use a large hand held flashlight so that you can point the light directly up toward the top of the box)

A clear plastic storage bin

Step 2: Assemble the Bottom Pieces

Put the white cloth on a flat surface. Place the light source on top of the cloth.

Step 3: Place the Bucket on Top and Trace Away!

I placed the plastic bucket over the top of the light source and began tracing.

A couple of tips:
Doing this in a dark room will amplify your ability to trace through the paper.
I placed mine on top of my bed because it made my tracing table the right height. You could also do this on a coffee table, the floor, etc.

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    11 Comments

    Wow! I went and made something a little bit more robust and did a lot of time decorating, but could never get it to work quite right because of the light component. This is way easier and better. Thank you!

    I really need to make this.

    Maybe a strip of aluminum foil instead of the white pillowcase/sheet. I believe it would reflect more light thru the plastic tub. Great idea .

    Wow this saved me a lot thx

    This is sweet, and it has prompted me into doing something like it.

    Glad you shared!

    Great improv solution for a lightbox! When I was in college for animation, kids would rig up all sorts of weird things so they could work in the dorms. The slightly frosted plastic of a tub is way easier on the eyes than a clear glass coffee table (saw that one really fry someone). I'd include a note to use a light source that does not emit much/any heat. Some kids ended up searing the carpet beneath them when clamp lamps were used as the light!

    Super easy !!

    This is brilliant!

    Oh my goodness. This is so simple.

    High five from me, I'll definitely be using this trick next time I need to trace something!

    1 reply

    I'm glad you'll be able to benefit from it! I was really excited when it ended up working!