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simple pattern-making – the Basics

One of the main purposes of crafting (the other one is creative outlet & sharing, of course) is making your own of something. An original, one-of-a-kind something. This is why I’ve never liked scrapbooking die-cuts. They’re super cute and can be really useful, but even if it’s a pain in the butt I prefer to design my own shapes and cut-outs.

There are patterns (like die-cuts) for paper crafts, for sewing projects, for pretty much any kind of project. Patterns most certainly have their place, but it’s good to know how to draft your own when the need arises.

Making templates or patterns for symmetrical objects is incredibly simple in its basic form.

You’ll need a piece of paper (of whatever size you require for your pattern), a pencil or pen and a pair of scissors.

Fold the paper in half.

Now draw half of the shape you need on that piece of paper. (eg: If you need a balloon template, draw half of a balloon.) The shape you draw should start and end at the fold line.


Keeping the paper folded, cut along the line you drew.

Unfold it and you have a perfectly symmetrical pattern.

And if you need a slightly a-symmetrical pattern, you can now make any necessary alterations to one side.

Or, if it ended up too large or not quite the right shape, fold the paper back in half and re-cut a bit.

You can use this method for something as simple as a balloon, or as complicated as a many-tentacled, one-eyed monster.You can use it for smaller pieces of a larger project.

And you can use it for shapes like diamonds by folding the paper into quarters (fold it in half, then in half again), to get a shape that’s split into four exactly alike quadrants.

As simple and, well, two-dimensional as it seems, this pattern-making method can get you quite a ways into some pretty complex sewing projects, not just for “flat” things like garments, but even for 3 dimensional items like plushies. It’s just a matter of how you apply it.

There’s nothing to be afraid of when it comes to pattern-making. Just experiment till you get what you want, and recycle the bits that don’t work out.

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