How to use a lightbox for tracing your designs easily

If you are wondering whether or not you should invest in a light box let me share with you why I love mine. I will also share a few pointers on how to use a light box for tracing your designs in today’s post.

While I’m showing you how to use a lightbox for tracing I will create this watercolor piece from start to finish today.

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Supplies used in today’s project:

For my watercoloring I have a heavyweight paper today. I will be using a Round 8 and Round 6 paintbrush for the painting. I’ve printed my design to size and am ready to paint!


I’ve chosen a handful of colors of my favorite Tombow Dual Brush Pens to watercolor with. Isn’t this color palette bright and cheerful?

tombow watercolour pens

Reasons why I love my lightbox:

light box for tracing cricut bright pad

Today I want to watercolor a floral composition but already have a design in mind. There are many ways you can transfer your design onto watercolor or mixed media paper- but I prefer using a lightbox. The Cricut Bright pad I am using today is really easy to use- it is light, portable and best of all comes with adjustable brightness. The paper I am planning to use today is a SUPER thick 350lb thickness mixed media paper and this light pad worked like a charm!

Other than watercoloring you will be amazed at how many other ways you can use your light box! You can use them to trace over your hand lettering, to weed out your intricate cut vinyl.

How to use a lightbox for tracing your designs:

How to use a light box for tracing

  1. Choose a design, pencil sketch or print out and resize to the correct size you need.
  2. Place your design onto the lightbox and then place your watercolor or mixed media paper on top. I like to use some masking or washi tape at the top to tape these two together.  You do not need to tape this to the lightbox itself. It is easier to tape just those two together and be able to angle them while painting or drawing.
  3. Turn on your lightbox and adjust brightness until you are comfortably able to see the design without straining your eyes.
  4. Turn off your room light if you need to do more detailed work or are unable to easily see the fine details of your design.
  5. One of my biggest tips for you- keep your lightbox and work at a 45-degree angle while working. Keep moving your light pad as you work instead of trying to move your hand around the corners.
  6.  Finally, there is no right or wrong way here. You can trace your design with a light pencil first and then paint it in or as I do you can directly paint your design to achieve a no-line image transfer.

Here is a quick start to finish video of my process.

Here is an in-depth video that I have previously shared showing how to use a lightbox for tracing. Click here.


Today I am part of a fun blog hop with 9 inspiring projects for you to enjoy!

How to Use Cricut for Branding – Create & Babble ⋅ Faux Leather Cactus Key Chain – Real Girls Realm ⋅ Teacher Award Ribbons – seeLINDSAY ⋅ Decorated Gift Bags with the Cricut Maker – Cookies, Coffee and Crafts ⋅ How to Make Leather Earrings – Refresh Restyle ⋅ Hello Gorgeous Makeup Bag – The How-To Home ⋅ How to use a lightbox for tracing (that’s me!) – Smiling Colors ⋅ Personalized Baby Girl Cricut Card – The Inspiration Vault ⋅ Mermaid Glitter Wine Glasses – Daily DIY Life

DIY Light box ideas:

  1. Keep your design against a window and use the sunlight as your lightbox.
  2. I’ve heard you can also try using your iPad to trace your designs. I haven’t tried doing this, but if you google “iPad as a lightbox for tracing” you might find some pointers.
  3. You can also use a clear shoebox or plastic bin with a flashlight underneath to work as a makeshift lightbox.
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  1. What a great way to use the light box. I have been trying to decide if I need one or not, but I’m leaning towards yes!

  2. What a great idea! I have had the bright pad on my wish list for a while. I definitely need to just make the purchase. So many great uses for it.

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