How To Enlarge Traceables For Transferring

Share this post!



I’ve had quite a few of you message me about how to print traceables to be used on larger 16″ x 20″ canvases.

Here is a little hack that I would like to share with you and if you have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer then you are golden! (Most of you do and if you don’t you can download it for free)

Now…a little disclaimer before I begin…I am on a PC, not a mac. I am only a little knowledgeable about Mac and I’m assuming Adobe Reader PC version is similar to if not equal to Mac version.

Step By Step For Printing On Large Papers

The trick is to set your print settings to print the traceable on multiple pieces of paper to be tiled together like a puzzle! You can go as large as you’d like with this! Then you can tape the pieces together. Frugal and easy!

1. Download the PDF file of what it is you want to trace!

Open the image up in Adobe Acrobat Reader.



2. Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader

Here you see my unicorn traceable example pop up. If I were to print this now, it would be on a standard 8.5″ x 11″ canvas paper. That’s fine if that’s the size canvas I’m painting on but what if I want it bigger?



3. Click on print. When the print settings dialogue box pops up, click on “poster”. 

I outlined “poster in red as you see above. This is going to tell the printer that you are printing a very large image, aka a “poster”.

4. Adjust the tile scale box to a higher percentage. 

If you look at the “tile scale box” that I squared in red above, I entered the number 190%. That is going to scale the unicorn up. Look at the preview. It has now changed to a 17″ x 22″ size. That’s relatively the size of a 16″ x 20″ canvas. Since there’s some white space still around the unicorn, this will most likely take up an entire 16″ x 20″ canvas. Depending on the size canvas you are using, you need to play with this %. If you are scaling down for smaller canvases, make the % lower. The preview will show you what size the paper will be and this needs to match closely to the size canvas you are using. 


5. Print the image and put your puzzle together!

When you print, you will get 4 sheets of paper. I recommend you then tape the image together.


6. Transfer on Canvas

Basically you’ll need a sheet of graphite paper. Place the graphite paper between the printable and paper and trace it. If you don’t have any, you can rub a graphite pencil or chalk on the back of the image and then trace on the front. This also works for chalk.


Still need help with the sizing? I’m kind of a nerd with this kind of stuff so reach out to me and I’d be glad to problem solve the sizing with you!

Share this post!

16 thoughts on “How To Enlarge Traceables For Transferring”

  1. Thanks so much! I’ve been dreading having to draw this on five sep canvas free hand.
    I am NOT computer savvy.
    If I took my iPhone with these instructions to a printing place.. do you think they could do this for me?

    • It’s possible! I haven’t tried printing on my iPhone at a print store but I imagine that if you have a PDF file they should be able to print it for you in the size you need.

  2. Oh wow!!! Thank you so much for sharing and making this so easy to follow. I am one who needs to see how it works while reading the instructions.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.