How to Enlarge Patterns without a copier

Have you ever needed to enlarge a pattern, but did not have a copier handy?  Happens to me all the time!  You see, I live in a RV and a copier would take up so much room that I’d have to find other accommodations for the husband.  Fortunately for him, I use an easy grid way to enlarge my patterns to the size that I’d like!

How to Enlarge Patterns the Easy Way

how to enlarge a pattern

For this demonstration, I’m going to use my Rooster Pattern from my Faux Punched Tin tutorial!  Since the finished project is a bit bigger than the 8 1/2″ x 11″ pdf pattern, I thought it might be helpful to show you how to easily enlarge or decrease the size of a pattern without a copier.

free rooster pattern

For this project I used:

Sheet of paper large enough for the enlarged pattern

Oftentimes the pattern that you have is not the correct size for what you would like to make with it.  When this happens, it is easy enough to enlarge or decrease the size of your pattern using a grid system.

how to enlarge a pattern

Begin by taking your pattern and marking it off with a grid system.  In this case, I used a yardstick to mark it off in 1 inch squares.

how to enlarge a pattern

Now you have to decide what size you would like it to become.  You will need to mark up a second grid on a blank sheet of paper with the grid squares at the size that you would like the finished pattern to be.  For instance:

If you want to double the pattern size, create a second grid of 2″ squares.

Want to make it smaller?  Create a second grid of 1/2″ squares.

how to enlarge a pattern

 In this case, I want to double the size of my pattern, so I marked of 2″ squares on my blank sheet of paper.

how to enlarge a pattern

Start in one corner of your blank paper and fill in what you see in that matching square from the original pattern.

how to enlarge a pattern

Go from square to square, repeating the design, concentrating on each square as you go.  Soon you will see the pattern start to appear.

Continue from square to square, duplicating what you see in the coordinating square on the original pattern.

how to enlarge a pattern

And there you have it.  The finished pattern is ready for whatever project you have in mind!

punched tin rooster

For a fun project with this pattern, be sure to check out my Faux Punched Tin Tutorial.  Hope you enjoy!

Enjoyed this tutorial?  Be sure to check out my tutorial page for many more!

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Katie March 14, 2012, 6:40 pm

    Love it, perfect gift for my mom!

  • Amie @ Pinkapotamus March 11, 2012, 10:51 am

    This is such a wonderful guide.. thanks so much for sharing.. I always wondered how to make patterns bigger once they were printed without affecting the integrity of the design! Thanks so much for sharing with the Pink Hippo Party.. can’t wait to see what you share next!

  • creativejewishmom/sara March 10, 2012, 1:26 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday, great pattern that could be used for so many things!

  • Jill March 8, 2012, 7:42 pm

    Thanks for sharing the rooster pattern Suzy! and the how to on enlarging! I remember doing this at school! Many years ago…

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  • Michele March 8, 2012, 9:19 am

    Great refresher course on using a grid to transfer and increase a pattern.

    I’ve come to use a copier too though. If the desired outcome is a pattern larger than a piece of paper I have, I just copy sections of the pattern and tape all the sections together like a puzzle.

  • erum March 7, 2012, 11:30 am

    thank you for sharing the real technique artists use but if your drawing is not very good or you want quick results without so much effort than enlarge your pattern by a photo copy machine 🙂 just a suggestion for laziness 🙂

    • Suzy March 7, 2012, 1:34 pm

      Good idea. But sometimes you want the pattern to be bigger than the paper in your copier. This method makes it any size. 🙂

  • Sonya March 3, 2012, 10:26 am

    Thanks for the enlarging how-to! I think I knew this once upon a time but forgot! Thanks for the reminder!

  • RazMaTaz March 2, 2012, 2:35 pm

    I love your rooster. I’m going to use it for my embroidery.

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