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 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    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!

    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 .


    4 years ago

    Wow this saved me a lot thx


    4 years ago on Introduction

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

    Glad you shared!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    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!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    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

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

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