Have you ever wanted to make your own scroll saw patterns? Scroll saw pattern making is much easier than you may think. To help you out on your journey of pattern making we have compiled a list of great resources that can help you get started right away making your own patterns from scratch or making patterns from images found online. The best part… all of these resources are FREE.
There are many reasons why you would want to create your own patterns and this list of resources on scroll saw pattern making will hopefully serve as a springboard to get you well on your way. Whether you are trying to capture a family photo in pattern form or you are trying to enlarge a pattern to make it fit on a larger surface for cutting, this list will show the programs we use to make most, if not all, of our patterns.
Vector Programs For Scroll Saw Pattern Making
It would be impossible for us to start this list with anything other than our go-to vector program; Inkscape. Not only is the program extremely useful, it is easy to learn and there are many tutorials available online to help you navigate the program and get the most out of it.
We primarily use Inkscape for scroll saw pattern making to trace images that we turn into patterns, turn bitmaps into vectors or trace hand drawn sketches that we have scanned into our PC. You can download Inkscape for free from their website and try it out for yourself.
Vectr is an online vector editing program. If downloading and installing a program isn’t your thing, this is a great alternative. One nice thing, is that if you like it, you can also download it. Vectr is fairly bare-bones in its approach, but if simplicity is what you need, then you can’t go wrong here. As with most online editing programs, you will need to login or sign-up for a bit more functionality. Give Vectr a try and see if it is right for you.
Vecteezy is another online editor that is great to use for scroll saw pattern making. Again, there is not as much functionality as programs like Inkscape, but if you are familiar with vector editing, this will surely get the job done. Much like Vectr, signing up for their site is beneficial in terms of saving and exporting. Check out Vecteezy to see if this online editor is right for you.
Pattern Enlarging Programs
My love for Posterazor as been documented well throughout many of our posts. In my opinion it is hands down the best way to turn a small or normal sized pattern into a large scale pattern in minutes; if not seconds. This is, of course, a desktop program, but it is very small. The user interface is simple and easy to understand and the files export as a PDF which is great. Grab your copy of Posterazor and see just how useful it is.
Blockposters.com offers the exact same thing that Posterazor does, just in an online version. If you don’t want to download and install a program, then this is the route that you will probably want to go. Again, this allows for export of PDF which is exactly what you want. Visit blockposters.com and see if this is the right solution for you.
Regardless of the heavy innuendo of this online solution, it will do the same thing as both Posterazor and Blockposters. Its just one more option for you to choose from. Just like the other two it will do exactly what you want and export as PDF. Check out Rasterbator and then make your decision.
Image Editing Programs
Paint.net is our go-to image editing program. We use this mainly for resizing and coloring patterns that aren’t incredibly complex. This isn’t a vector editing program and it is very simple, but there are a vast array of plugins that are useful for image editing. One of the reasons we like this for scroll saw pattern making is that you can quickly make black and white, high contrast patterns from images. Also, we often use this program to scan in hand-drawn sketches for tracing in Inkscape. Despite the (.net) in the name, it is a desktop program and not an online solution. Get paint.net and give it a try to see if it will be useful in your pattern making endeavor.
If paint.net isn’t your thing, consider trying GIMP. GIMP is very similar to paint.net, but seems to have a lot more features. We have used it in the past with some success, but became stubborn in learning it, especially when paint.net did much of what we needed and we were more familiar with it. Perhaps you will favor GIMP over paint.net. Get a copy of GIMP and see which one you like better.
More About Scroll Saw Pattern Making
There are many other programs and online solutions that I am sure we have left out. However, all of these on the list will get you well on your way to making scroll saw patterns. If you have any questions about a particular program, let us know in the comments. Also, if you know of any more that you would like us or others to know about please let us know.
We hope this list of resources was helpful.
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