Tracing Patterns onto Fabric Tutorial: Step-by-Step

Last Updated on November 30, 2023

If you’re a sewing enthusiast or love crafting, you know the importance of accurate pattern tracing onto fabric. If you enjoy quilting, sewing, or creating tiny pouches or bags, having a trustworthy technique can greatly impact the results of your work.

Here, we will share a fantastic technique using freezer paper to trace patterns onto fabric precisely.

Tracing Patterns onto Fabric


  • You can use freezer paper for precise pattern tracing onto fabric.
  • Optimize your printer settings to ensure accurate printing on the matte side of the freezer paper.
  • Experience stability during fabric cutting with the freezer paper adhering to your material.
  • Safely apply patterns on waterproof canvas, focusing on the right side to avoid damage.
  • Easily remove any residue, leaving your fabric clean and ready for your next creative project.

Materials You’ll Need

  • Freezer paper (any brand will do, as long as it’s plastic-coated)
  • Your pattern printed on the matte side of the freezer paper
  • Fabric (home decor fabric and waterproof canvas demonstrated in the tutorial)
  • Iron
  • Pins
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • Optional: Electrical scissors for faster cutting

Why Freezer Paper?

Before diving into the tutorial, let’s understand why Ali prefers freezer paper. Unlike regular printer paper, freezer paper is plastic-coated, making it an ideal choice for this method. The plastic coating ensures that the paper adheres to the fabric easily and can be removed without residue.

Tracing Patterns onto Fabric – How do you trace a pattern on fabric?

To trace patterns onto fabric, use freezer paper, print your pattern on the matte side, apply it to the fabric with an iron, and cut with precision using scissors or a rotary cutter.

Follow this fantastic method for tracing patterns onto fabric, especially useful if you’re a Bag Maker, enjoy crafting small pouches, toiletry bags, or even if you’re into quilting. The secret weapon? Freezer paper.

Printing on Freezer Paper

Printing on Freezer Paper
Printing on Freezer Paper
  1. Prep Your Printer: Test and determine the best settings for your printer. Ensure that it prints on the matte side of the freezer paper, not the waxy side.
  2. Loading the Paper: Place the freezer paper with the matte side up in the printer. Stick a reminder on your printer to avoid confusion.
  3. Printing: Print your pattern onto the freezer paper. It might be lighter than regular paper, so print one or two pieces at a time to prevent jams.

Applying Freezer Paper on Fabric

Applying Freezer Paper on Fabric
Applying Freezer Paper on Fabric
  1. Prepare the Fabric: Press your fabric to remove wrinkles and ensure it’s flat. Fold it, keeping it on grain, with the wrong side facing up.
  2. Pin the Layers: Pin both layers of fabric together to prevent movement during cutting.
  3. Apply the Pattern: Align your pattern on the fabric, shiny side down. Use an iron to press it onto the fabric. The freezer paper adheres, ensuring accuracy during cutting.

Cutting Fabric

Cutting Fabric
Cutting Fabric
  1. With Scissors: Use regular or electrical scissors to cut along the pattern. The paper stays in place, providing stability and precision.
  2. With a Rotary Cutter: A rotary cutter can be used for a faster and more accurate cut, especially if you have experience with it.

Working with Waterproof Canvas

Working with Waterproof Canvas
Working with Waterproof Canvas
  1. Prep the Canvas: Only work on the right side of the fabric, as the back has a PVC coating. Quickly apply heat to avoid melting the PVC.
  2. Apply the Pattern: Align the pattern on the fold, pin the layers, and press the pattern onto the fabric. Be cautious with the heat to prevent PVC melting.
  3. Cutting: Trace or cut directly on the fabric using scissors or electrical scissors. PVC coating won’t damage your tools if done quickly.

Final Tips

  • Adjust Printer Settings: Experiment with your printer settings to find the best way to feed freezer paper.
  • Quick Press for Waterproof Fabrics: Be mindful of the PVC coating on waterproof fabrics; press quickly to avoid melting.
  • Reapplication: If the pattern lifts, reapply heat to ensure it sticks securely.


This tracing pattern onto fabric tutorial using freezer paper is a game-changer for sewing and crafting projects. Embrace this method to achieve precise patterns, making your cutting process a breeze.

This approach’s ease of use and efficacy will definitely improve your sewing skills, regardless of experience level. 

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