How To Resize And Transfer Printable Templates

If you have painted along with me, you know I don’t often use templates, but I have included them in a few past projects, and some painting tutorials in my shop come with one too. Today, I will show you how to resize and transfer printable templates for acrylic painting at home.

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In the past, I shared how you can paint from a photograph by creating an outline of digital pictures with an app. Combine that technique with the awesome tool I share below to turn any of your favorite images into your own template for acrylic painting!

How to Paint from a Photograph The Social Easel Online Paint Studio with ipad flatlay

I also keep tracing paper on hand as another option to trace outlines and create templates. Using tracing paper is a simple way to copy words you like from something or an image from a calendar to practice your painting techniques. 

How to Resize Printable Templates

First, I will show you a quick way to take a JPG traceable template and resize it to fit any canvas size you have.

BlockPosters How to Resize and Transfer Printable Templates The Social Easel

I like to use because there is absolutely no cost, and they make the process super clear to resize, large or small.

Just a few simple steps to follow:

  • Begin with the Get Started button. 
  • Upload your image. 
  • Choose what size will fit your canvas best.

You will see that by default, they customize the size of your upload to fit three pages across. You can then adjust the image to fit different sizes by using the drop-down options. They will tell you about how large the dimensions are for each option when it’s selected. 

How to Resize and Transfer Printable Templates The Social Easel (1)

You can also choose between landscape or portrait layout, type of printer paper, and if you want a border around the edge or not. (the border makes it easier to tape together-trim one side and layer) Just click around and select the option that is best for your project. 

Make sure to rename before downloading, so it’s easy for you to find and print!

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How to Transfer a Template Onto Canvas

Now that you have a template printed, it’s time to transfer the image onto your canvas. To make this job easy, I like to use graphite paper.

If you haven’t used graphite paper before, start by laying it onto your painting surface with the shiny black side down. Line your template up over the top. Then all you have to do is trace it!

Use just enough pressure to not push through your paper, but enough that it leaves a heavy enough line for you to see on the canvas. I use a ballpoint pen but a pencil works well too.

Tracing with Graphite Paper Transfer a Template onto Canvas The Social Easel

I don’t worry about it being too exact! Just trace close enough to give you a good idea of where your lines are. 

When applying paint, there is a possibility of losing your lines, I recommend drawing over the graphite outline with a sharpie for easier visibility. Don’t worry. It will all get covered when you apply your paint.

Graphite Paper How to Resize and Transfer Printable Templates The Social Easel

And there you go! Using printable templates for acrylic painting is super simple once you have a few basic supplies.

Christie’s Tutorials with Free Printable Templates

Many of my tutorials on come with templates. You can also find them in some of my blogs! Here are a few favorites…

This tutorial shows you how to paint a lemon wreath while using acrylic paints like watercolors! Hand lettering the “live Simple” in the center can be a bit intimidating, so of course, I have included a printable template!

How to Paint a Patriotic Gnome The Social Easel

Who doesn’t love to paint adorable little gnomes?! This patriotic gnome painting tutorial includes a template and walks you through how I painted his red, white, and blue stocking cap and pinwheel with a midnight sky full of fireworks above.

If you are ready to start painting for fall, this mixed media owl painting tutorial is a great project to add to your To Paint List! It begins with the basic outline from the included template and transforms into something quite special layered with all sorts of color and texture.

This DIY farmhouse Christmas countdown calendar is so fun to create! I show you how to hand-paint the festive wreath, but don’t worry, there is a template for the lettering!

Visit my FB painting community and share what you make! We would all love to see what you create.